Proteins can be found on farms in all 50 states and include chicken, beef, eggs, catfish, trout, lentils, ducks, geese, sheep, turkeys, and nuts.
Look at the concentrated dairy in the mild desert regions of the country.
These maps were provided by the USDA, from its last census report.
So you want brown eggs.
Either you have a farm, a farmette, or you’ve decided to get serious about urban gardening. Your next step is chickens for fresh eggs. And you want brown ones.
If you are going to invest in setting up chickens for egg-laying, then you want the most return for your investment of time and money. Grocery stores have learned that people are willing to pay twice as much for brown eggs over white ones. For you to have brown eggs, then, it is simply a choice of which kind of chicken you pick for your hen house.
Chickens raised on grass and insects, as nature would have them raised, produce eggs with a deep golden-orange yolk color. That color is indicative of the rich vitamins that the yolk contains, as compared to pale yolks produced by grain fed chickens. (Even though commercially produced chickens have synthetic chemicals added to their feed to make the yolks appear darker!) Healthy pasture raised chicken yolks contain more Vitamin K2, a vitamin helpful in protecting us from cancers, osteoporosis, immune diseases, cardiac disease, influenza and other infectious diseases, and even Alzheimers.
Below is a list and photos of twelve of the best brown egg-laying hen varieties, along with brief descriptions of each. Some breeds produce larger brown eggs; others produce medium sized brown eggs more frequently. Some breeds are known to produce eggs better in cold weather than others.
Keep in mind that the number of eggs produced by your chickens can vary greatly and will be determined by the growing conditions which you’ve provided for them.
Best of luck!
Rhode Island Reds
A similar breed but white in color, the Rhode Island White’s also lay brown eggs.
Red Star or Red Sex Link
New Hampshire/New Hampshire Red
Black Star or Black Sex Link
In addition to these twelve breeds of chickens which lay brown eggs are the Barnevelder, Brahma, Buckeye, Chantecler, Cochin, Dominique, Java, Jersey Giant, Langshan, Marans, and Naked Neck breeds. To do further comparisons, I recommend this PDF chart of chicken breeds along with their characteristics.
If you have anything to add from your personal experience of raising chickens that produce brown eggs that might be useful to others, please add your insights to the comments. Thankyou.
“Apparently, construction of the new chicken house was a neighborhood affair. I’d guess the women cooked meals for the men working on the project. Dad took this somewhere in Iowa, probably around 1919 to go with an article for Country Gentleman. I count at least 28 people and a dog.” —Don O’Brien. (Photo credit: dok1 on Flickr)
Antique print (lithograph) of the French Chicken breed of Crévacouers by J. Bungartz for ‘Vogelwereld’ by A. Nuyens. Date 1886 (dated 1883).