ISA Brown chickens are a breed of chicken which have been crossbred with a variety of different other breeds. ISA Browns are renowned for being about to produce 300 eggs per hen in their first year of laying and as such, the list of breeds which where crossbred to create ISA Browns is kept a secret. ISA Browns are sex-links, meaning female and male chickens are different colours which allows the sexing of chicks to be more efficient. Their name comes from the company which created the crossbreed in 1978, Institut de Sélection Animale, who bred ISA Browns with the intention of making them good layers.
Our chooks are a happy little group of hens who love to chatter away with each other all day. Currently, our chooks are contained in a fenced area at night so that Baci, our new Maremma sheepdog, can learn how to guard them properly. When Baci has learnt how to guard the chooks, they will go back to free ranging on fresh pasture. They are super friendly and when we go down to the paddock they come running, clucking for kitchen scraps which we feed to them as a way to minimise food waste at Green Olive at Red Hill. Our chooks have access to a large nesting box and each day we collect many eggs from there. We then use the eggs in our farm tapas menu in dishes such as our egg frittata with garden vegetables, red onion marmalade and pecorino. During the school holidays, kids can come to our Meet the Animals activities and say hello to our chooks and all the other animals that we have here on the farm!