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33 Brown Chicken Breeds (with Pictures)

Ashley Bates

Chickens have to be some of the most versatile creatures in the barnyard, sporting so many patterns and colors. Breeders work diligently to produce different types of chickens to serve varying purposes. Some are for meat, others for show, and most for egg production.

Many chicken owners can agree that their personalities are even more intriguing than their feathers. So, when it comes to brown chickens, how many do you have to choose from? You might be surprised at the spectrum this neutral color covers. Let’s check out these 33 chickens in all sorts of neutral brown tones—from tan to deep chocolate.chicken divider2

1. ISA Brown

ISA_Browns-Commons wikimedia
Credit: Commons Wikimedia

The ISA Brown is a crossbreed of a few different chicken breeds, like the Rhode Island Red and Whites. They are considered some of the best egg-laying chickens around, bred solely for production. One hen can lay up to 300 or more eggs per year.

ISA Brown chickens are usually docile and amiable with people and farm life alike. A well-socialized ISA might become a lap chicken, coming up to you clucking to be held.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Tan
Purpose: Egg-laying
Brooding Potential: Medium

2. Rhode Island Red

rhode-island-red-pixabay
Image Credit: HighwayForSouls, Pixabay

Crisp and auburn, the Rhode Island Reds are famous egg-layers—being some of the most sought-after breeds around. They’re also some of the most common, so they aren’t hard to come by. Many crossbreeds use the Rhode Island Red because of their high yield of 260 or more eggs per year.

Rhode Island Red hens are generally curious and calm around the farm. However, the roosters can be quite aggressive. Err on the side of caution when you add a boy of this breed into the mix.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Brown
Purpose: Egg-laying
Brooding Potential: Low

3. Buckeye

Buckeye_bantam-Commons Wikimedia
Credit: Steven Walling, Commons Wikimedia

The Buckeye chicken is the only known chicken breed that a woman developed. These rich mahogany beauties are big-time foragers but only moderate egg layers. Because of their middle-of-the-road production, these chickens are raised for both meat and eggs—depending on needs.

Buckeyes are usually very calm chickens that you don’t find picking on other flock members. They go with the flow and respect the pecking order. As for humans, buckeyes are no strangers. Although, they might not be as interactive as some other breeds.

Egg Production: Medium
Egg Color: Brown
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Medium

4. Golden Comet

golden comet chicken-pixabay
Image Credit: JACLOU-DL, Pixabay

The Golden Comet is a light brownish chicken known for its extra-fabulous egg-laying capabilities. If you’re looking for a prize layer, these girls get the job done. They create over 330 eggs per year. These chickens aren’t broody at all—so an incubator is your best bet.

The Golden Comet is an incredibly social chicken with a sense of curiosity. You might find that this kind of chicken will follow you around the barnyard. They might not be too keen on being picked up, but they love to be a part of what’s going on.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Brown
Purpose: Egg-laying
Brooding Potential: Low

5. New Hampshire Chicken

New_Hampshire_Red_Hen-Commons wikimedia
Credit: Bodlina, Commons Wikimedia

New Hampshire chickens are derived from Rhode Island Reds, so you might guess that they lay a high yield. They can be quite motherly, too. So, if you’re looking to add a hen to your flock that will be broody when you need her to be, this might be the type you’re looking for.

The striking New Hampshire chicken isn’t for the faint of heart. While they are pretty good egg-layers, they don’t make the most excellent pets. These chickens have a reputation for being aggressive and competitive in the coop.

Egg Production: Medium/High
Egg Color: Brown
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Medium/High

6. Barnevelder

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Credit: Air55, Commons Wikimedia

While not all brown, Barnevelder chickens sport a gorgeous color/pattern combo. Feathers are brown with black lacing, giving a very high dimensional look. They don’t lay as much as some other barnyard cluckers—producing about 180 per year.

Barnevelders are usually some of the quieter chickens in the flock, but they are very alert and lively. They are usually not temperamental with flock mates and will greet their humans amiably.

Egg Production: Medium
Egg Color: Light Brown
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Low

7. Lohmann Brown

Lohmann_Brown_Commons wikimedia
Credit: Konstantin Nikiforov, Commons Wikimedia

Lohmann Brown chickens were bred for the sole purpose of egg production. White Rocks and Rhode Island Reds melded to create this crossbreed that lays over 320 eggs per year—impressive! These chickens rarely go broody, so they won’t be willing to egg-sit.

Lohmann’s are very easy to keep, as they’re hardy and docile. Their temperament is ideal for large flocks and children.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Brown
Purpose: Egg-laying
Brooding Potential: Low

8. Buff Brahma

Buff_Brahma_bantam_Commons wikimedias
Credit: Ben Stephenson, Commons Wikimedia

Known as gentle giants, the Buff Brahma is a tall, uniquely proportioned chicken with elegant feathery feet. They have light to reddish-tan feathers and black lacing around their necks. These chickens are moderate egg producers who were originally bred for meat due to their large size.

All Brahmas hold the title for being exceptionally sweet and relaxed. Even though they are quite large in comparison to other chickens, they rarely show unfavorable personality characteristics toward others in their flock.

Egg Production: Medium
Egg Color: Tan
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: High

9. Sebright

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Credit: Latropox, Commons Wikimedia

The Sebright is one of the very oldest bantam chicken breeds in Britain. However, these gals are all for show. There is no major reward in terms of meat or eggs to gather from a Sebright. But they do make charming additions to any flock.

Sebrights are very active, chatty, and social. They are also terrific flyers. Males might be a bit aggressive, as most small bantams are. But females are usually extremely adaptable and agreeable with other flock mates.

Egg Production: Low
Egg Color: White
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: Low

10. Naked Neck

naked neck-pixabay
Image Credit: MLARANDA, Pixabay

Naked Neck chickens come in all sorts of colors, including buff—a light yellowish-brown color. We couldn’t keep this chicken off the list because, well, look at it! These chickens naturally lack feathers around their neck and vent. Because of their nakedness, they don’t fare well in colder climates.

These chickens are terrific for both free-ranging and run living. They tend to be very calm and easy to handle. So, despite their exotic looks, they are tame and complacent creatures.

Egg Production: Low/Medium
Egg Color: Tan
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Low

11. Welsummer

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Credit: Officially_Mr_X , Commons Wikimedia

This attractive Dutch breed sports colors that fade from a copper-tone brown to dusty black along their tailfeathers. They have quite a mixed origin, combining Barnevelders, Cochins, Wyandottes, and Rhode Island Reds. They lay large eggs but have a low to moderate production, producing about 180 eggs per year.

While these chickens aren’t prize layers, they make up for it with their humble personalities. They are a joy to have in the flock, getting along with other mates in the group without issue. They are quite intelligent, too—so they might just outsmart you if you aren’t careful.

Egg Production: Low
Egg Color: Reddish Brown
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: Low

12. Easter Egger

Gem_(Easter_Egger_hen)-Commons wikimedia
Credit: HedgehogWhisperer, Commons Wikimedia

Easter Eggers come in all shades of neutral colors, from cream to nearly black. These chickens have what is called a “blue egg” gene, creating a spectrum of egg colors that have a subtle bluish hue—but they can lay greenish, or even pink, eggs sometimes. They are moderate to high layers, producing up to 200 eggs in a year’s time.

These hardy chickens are wonderfully friendly. They will be your best friend, following you around the yard—probably begging for snacks.

Egg Production: Medium
Egg Color: Blue
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Low

13. Cinnamon Queen

Cinnamon Queen chickens have an exceptionally beautiful brown color ranging between auburn and tan. They come from the cross of Rhode Island Red and Silver Laced Wyandottes. These chickens are terrific layers with a count of roughly 280 extra-large eggs per year.

These birds can be affectionate and friendly with people. They do well with their flock mates, getting along with others without aggression or attitude.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Brown
Purpose: Egg-laying
Brooding Potential: High

14. Barbu D’uccle

d uccle chicken-pixabay
Credit: vickypawprince, Pixabay

The little speckled Barbu D’uccle is a bantam variety, meaning they’re a miniature version of chicken. They produce smaller than average eggs less often than most full-size breeds. As with many bantams, this is an ornamental breed, known for its looks—not its worth.

They would provide lots of entertainment and eye-catching appeal for onlookers. They are a bit sassy but friendly with most chickens and people.

Egg Production: Low/Medium
Egg Color: Cream/Tinted
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: Low

15. Belgian Antwerp D’anvers

Belgian_Bearded_dAnvers_hen-Commons wikimedia
Credit: Steven Walling, Commons Wikimedia

These chickens are also ornamental, even though they do produce more eggs than many other bantam breeds. Their eggs are smaller, and they yield roughly 250 every year. Also, these are very broody chickens—so babies are definitely possible here.

Belgian Antwerps are very amiable and friendly with just about anyone. Because of their bantam blood, they are also fearless—but much more even-keeled than others.

Egg Production: Medium
Egg Color: Cream
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: High

16. Rosecomb Bantam

Rosecomb bantams are a beautiful dusty mocha color, and the roosters are even more stunning (but they are black). The hens lay small eggs infrequently—but they are incredible fliers. Watch out, or you might not be able to get them out of their new designated roost.

These bantams are highly active and resilient. Rosecombs might be a bit flighty with people, but they can warm up—especially if they are well-socialized.

Egg Production: Low
Egg Color: White
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: Low

17. Serama

serama-Commons wikimedia
Credit: Sultanldy, Commons Wikimedia

Serama hens have interesting markings, riddled with tones of brown from beige to chocolate. They might even come with different feather textures—frizzly or silkie parts. They are definitely a mixtape of beauty, but they’re only eye candy. Seramas aren’t broody, nor do they produce a lot of eggs.

Seramas tend to be a little frisky. So, beware if you get on their bad side. They might just punish you for a while or give you the cold shoulder.

Egg Production: Low
Egg Color: Cream
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: Low

18. Cornish

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Image Credit: 905513, Pixabay

You might see many Cornish hens that are white—but they also develop brown color sometimes, too. These chickens don’t produce many eggs per year, topping out at 180. These hens are solely bred for meat purposes, and their weight reflects that. An average Cornish hen can weigh up to 12 whole pounds.

Sadly, Cornish hens are only alive 42 days as a rule if they’re meat chickens. Because of their fast development, they have to be on stringent diets to live past that marker.

Egg Production: Low/Medium
Egg Color: Brown
Purpose: Meat
Brooding Potential: Low

19. Derbyshire Redcap

Männliches_Haushuhn-Brown Chickens
Credit: 3268zauber, Commons Wikimedia

The Derbyshire Redcap hen is a mixture of black, golden, and brown. These chickens serve as both egg-layers and meat producers. Annually, Redcaps lay about 200 large eggs total.

Since Derbyshire Redcaps are so independent and spirited, they work best as free-ranging chickens. They aren’t the most social with people either, as they prefer to be alone doing what they want. They have better things to do than follow you around, human!

Egg Production: Medium
Egg Color: White
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Low

20. Red Shaver

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Credit: bmphotographer, Shutterstock

The lovely Red Shaver is golden brown, much resembling their Golden Comet cousins. These hens are excellent picks for both meat and eggs—laying a whopping 315 eggs per year. So, they are extremely beneficial to have in your flock for the purpose you desire.

Red Shavers tend to be among the quieter hens in the flock. They might even keep to themselves and avoid mischief. They are usually very friendly and aggregable with people.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Brown
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Low

21. Brabanter

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Image Credit: freeegooo, Pixabay

This speckled Dutch beauty is a mixtape of soft brown shades.  It is actually an ancient breed that shows up in 17th-century paintings. Since they are ornamental, they’ve come so far because of their rich beauty—especially the males. Both roosters and hens have spiky head feathers, which is quite the hairdo.

Even though they might look like they’re ready to rock, they are actually relatively calm. If you handle them early, they might even enjoy petting sessions.

Egg Production: Low/Medium
Egg Color: White
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: Medium

22. Polish

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Credit: Karen Nutini, Commons Wikimedia

As far as crazy hairdos go, the Polish chicken beats all—sporting an afro better than any 70s style. Polish hens come in a variety of colors, many of which are shades of brown. These chickens were, no doubt, bred for show, but they have a decent egg production—laying 200 medium eggs per year.

These birds have a reputation for being very sweet, calm creatures. They might follow you around the yard curiously or wait for you to hand them a snack.

Egg Production: Medium
Egg Color: White
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: Low

23. Cochin

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Credit: furbymama, Pixabay

The Cochin chicken is a fluffy little ornamental cutie. They come in all sorts of exciting colors—including brown. They might not lay many eggs annually, but they are extremely likely to go broody. Their motherly instinct is sky-high, so chicks are definitely likely with this breed.

Cochin chickens have excellent temperaments, too. They tend to be very mild and loving—and many don’t mind being handled. That is especially true when you handle them frequently as babies.

Egg Production: Low
Egg Color: Light brown
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: High

24. Old English Game

Old English Game chicken
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The sleek Old English Game bantam is brown, fading to dark brown or black. It’s possible that they were originally used for cockfighting, but it’s only a speculation. Today, they are primarily used for meat since they are muscular and active—although they are little birds. They make fantastic, highly protective mothers as well. So, if you’re looking for a broody hen, these girls win the prize.

These hens aren’t likely to make friends with many. They are usually moderately aggressive and very independent. They might like to go explore, but they won’t want to be around you much.

Egg Production: Low
Egg Color: Cream, tinted
Purpose: Meat
Brooding Potential: High

25. Altsteirer

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Image Credit: reinbacher, Pixabay

The toasted Altsteirer chicken is interestingly delightful. They are reddish-brown with a tuft of hairlike spikes on their heads. Altsteirers don’t lay as frequently as some, averaging roughly 180 eggs per year. They also don’t go broody often, so mothering is a low possibility for the breed.

Altsteirers are generally curious and adventurous chickens. They are likely to be calm, cool, and collected as far as demeanor goes.

Egg Production: Moderate/High
Egg Color: Whitish-yellow
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Low

26. Speckled Sussex

Speckled_Sussex_Chicken-Commons wikimedia
Credit: Davee, Commons Wikimedia

The Speckled Sussex is a polka-dotted sweetheart with a brown base and white flecks. These chickens are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a dual-purpose flock. They are equally fabulous for egg-laying or meat. The Brown Sussex produces 250 eggs annually, and hens may or may not go broody.

Speckled Sussex is said to be charming, friendly, and low-tone. They might be likely to follow you around or interact with you in exchange for watermelon.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Speckled, red, light, brown
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Moderate

27. Marsh Daisy

The Marsh Daisy is a simple beautiful chicken, coming in brown, buff, and wheaten shades. The hens get the name from their combs, as they mimic the Marsh Daisy flower. Their primary use is egg-laying, but they do make decent meat birds if they are fully mature.

Marsh Daisies tend to be very active and brave. They will spend most of their time burning off energy. They aren’t frantic chickens, though—so, they won’t mind being near to humans, either.

Egg Production: Medium/High
Egg Color: Tinted
Purpose: Egg-laying
Brooding Potential: High

28. Orloff

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Credit: Thomon, Commons Wikimedia

The Orloff comes in many feather selections—one of which is rich mahogany. Because of their interesting mutton chop facial hair, they might remind you of the late John Quincy Adams. They don’t have a high egg production, so they are primarily meat birds.

Orloffs typically have very easy-going temperaments. They tend to be some of the calmer members of the henhouse.

Egg Production: Low
Egg Color: Light brown
Purpose: Meat
Brooding Potential: Low

29. Pavlovskaya

The Pavlovskaya is a highly rare, ancient chicken breed from Russia. They come in many colors, including shades of brown. These chickens are so sparse so you should never use them for meat purposes. Although, they will be mostly kept as show birds since they have a low egg production.

These chickens tend to be very chipper and lively. Because of their admirable characters, you can forgive the fact that they aren’t strong layers. What they lack in function, they make up with personality.

Egg Production: Low
Egg Color: White
Purpose: Ornamental
Brooding Potential: High

30. Rhodebar

The Rhodebar is a hardy, large reddish-brown barred chicken that lays moderately well. You can keep them for eating or egg-laying, as they are terrific for both. They lay approximately 200 eggs per year and have a big chance of going broody.

Many say these chickens are calm and relaxed, so you could easily handle them if you needed to. Lots of owners love them because they are docile and purposeful.

Egg Production: Medium/High
Egg Color: Tinted
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Moderate

31. Cubalaya

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Credit: Kruppert, Commons Wikimedia

The Cubalaya chicken comes from Cuba—and hens are multicolored in many brown tones. Both hens and roosters are absolutely beautiful in this breed. On top of their good looks, they are also ideal for both meat and eggs. These hens lay an average of 200 eggs per year, which is pretty high.

These chickens are fantastic foragers, so they work best in free-ranging situations. They might be fond of following you around in the garden, but they are a bit flighty and dislike being handled. You could say they’re a free-spirit type of bird.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Light brown
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: High

32. Swedish Flower

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Credit: Nobody75, Commons Wikimedia

The rare Swedish Flower is the biggest and loveliest chicken in all of Sweden. These girls make excellent laying hens, producing up to 200 extra-large eggs per year. Because of their large size, they make a fantastic meat source, too.

These ladies are lovely—a pleasure to have around the barnyard. They make ideal companions for children, as they have calm, nurturing personalities.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: Tinted
Purpose: Dual
Brooding Potential: Moderate

33. Brown Leghorn

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Credit: Joe Mabel, Commons Wikimedia

Brown Leghorns are extremely beneficial chickens to have in your flock. They have a golden brown hue with bright red combs. These girls are amazing egg-layers, producing 300 or more eggs in a year.  While they have high production, they are not broody by any stretch.

The Brown Leghorn isn’t a cuddly chicken. They will be foraging, adventuring, and scratching around with no time to mess around. They are extremely flighty and anxious—not a lap chicken for sure.

Egg Production: High
Egg Color: White
Purpose: Egg-laying
Brooding Potential: Low
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Brown Chickens: Final Thoughts

You probably didn’t imagine that brown chickens could be so vastly different in looks, personality, hue, and resourcefulness. It’s amazing to consider just how incredibly unique each breed is.

There are some absolutely gorgeous, definitely quirky, and positively charming chicks on the list. Have you found a few new picks to add to your hatchery shopping this spring?

Interested in learning more about different kinds of chickens? Check out these!
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Featured image credit: Ehrecke, Pixabay

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.