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Bovans Brown Chicken Breed: Everything You Need to Know

Bovans Brown Chicken Breed

Are you planning to kickstart a poultry business with the latest commercial birds like Bovans Brown chicken breed?

These chickens are prolific brown egg layers, but what do the numbers say about them? 

Today, we’ll introduce you to the world of Bovan Browns and share with you there:

  • history and background
  • disposition towards fellow chicken/ child
  • and figures and stats that prove their excellent egg-laying capabilities

If you’re trying to weigh in if this breed is the right one for your business, this can definitely help you.

But before that, here’s a little trivia about the origin of this breed.

Bovans Brown Chicken


History and Background of Bovans Brown Chicken Breed

The history of the Bovan Brown chickens traces back to the 1950s, when there was a tight competition between American and local Dutch companies.

In 1954, Dutch poultry breeders Harry van Duijnhoven and his wife founded the Bovans Organisatie N.V. (Bovans Poultry Breeders) along with three other families.

This breeding farm consists of the Bongers family, and the other three families namely van Duijnhoven, van Lankveld, and van der Linden.

There was only one Bo in the group while there were three vans, hence the name Bovans.

Back then, their breeding center was Harry van Duijnhoven’s farm at Stevensbeek.

They developed different breeds, including the Bovans Brown.

This highly versatile breed is the result of Bovan’s balanced breeding program.

And now, it’s acknowledged as one of the most robust layers and versatile chickens in the world.

Physical Attributes of Bovans Brown Chicken Breed

As its name suggests, this breed has elegant brown feathering with a few white spots and a white tail tip that stays great throughout the egg-laying period.

Its wattles, lobes, and comb are red which blend perfectly with their beautiful feathering. 

Overall, it’s an attractive brown breed with equally gorgeous eggs.

Bovan Brown chickens weigh around 1920g at 16 weeks and 2005 g at 100 weeks.

Their average chicken feed intake is 114 g/day, and their feed conversion rate is 2.19 kg/kg.


Disposition of Bovan Brown Chickens

Bovan brown chickens are generally docile, hardy, and gentle at the same time.

They’re very friendly, and they love to greet their humans. These birds are also gentle with kids, and they love sitting and roosting on their owner’s knees. That’s why they can be ideal pets as well.

Bovans Brown Chickens free-ranging

Egg Laying Capabilities of Bovan Brown Chicken Breed

Bovan Brown chickens are prolific layers, and they’re well-renowned hybrids in the egg-laying department.

The Bovans Brown produces many quality dark brown colored eggs due to its early maturity, high peak performance, and excellent laying persistency.

Each hen can lay up to 464 eggs within 18 to 100 weeks. But this can vary whether the hens are in free-range or in a colony.

Layers housed in a colony typically produce more eggs than those in free-range.

Each free-range hen can produce around 312 eggs within 72 weeks, but those in a colony can have about 323 eggs.

But it can increase to 354 eggs per free-range hen and 366 eggs for those housed in colonies in their 80th week.

It has a peak production of 96%, and it can reach 50% of its production rate in as early as 143 days. 

Therefore, it’s one of the best commercial egg layer breeds today.

Housing Systems for Bovans Brown Chicken Breed

Bovans Brown laying hens’ are resilient, and adaptive to various climates, management plans, and chicken housing systems.

So, you won’t have to worry much about them since they’re hardy.

The Bovans Brown can survive in cage housing, floor, aviary, and organic chicken housing systems. 

bovans brown chicken breed

How to Care for Bovans Brown Chicken

One of the most crucial aspects of rearing Bovans Brown chickens is providing them with a stable natural environment to live and thrive. 

If you’re planning to raise Bovans Brown chickens, here are some tips on how to make your chicken-growing business a success

Invest in a quality feed

Adding calcium and mineral-rich additions to grains can help supplement the chickens’ food and aid in the production of strong eggs.

So it’d be best to add oyster shell grit or diatomaceous earth to their diet aside from their usual feed. 

Vaccinate your flock

Your Bovans Brown chickens are also prone to various insects and parasite infestations. So, we recommend vaccinating your chickens like how you vaccinate your pets. But of course, it should also come along with good sanitation.

Provide their basic winter needs

Winter can be harsh sometimes so consider adding a small heating unit during this season to provide a safe, indoor space for your birds.

Additionally, it’d be best to keep your coop well-lit with a red light of the spectrum because it can help stimulate your chicken’s egg-laying hormones. Additionally, lighting your coop during winter can help them continue laying more eggs.

You should also keep the waterer and water supply clean and fresh and replace the water daily. 

Keep their coop secure

Coyotes, stray dogs, foxes, and other creatures may attack your birds if they’re not in an enclosed pen.

So, it’s also vital to assess your coop and check if there are any signs of damage or lost portions of the fencing to keep your flock safe from predators. 

Maintain the golden ratio

The ratio of hens to roosters will always vary depending on the breed. But we recommend a 12:1 ratio, which is one rooster for every 12 hens.

That’s because if you have too many roosters, your hens will be mated too frequently. And that can cause them to lose feathers, develop bear backs, and perhaps become wounded.

Elevate the coop

Predators such as stray dogs and foxes can dig a hole beneath your chicken coop‘s wall or fence and attack your flock if you build it on the ground. Thus, it would be best if you’d elevate it to keep your chickens safe.

By doing so, your flocks will be protected from the elements as well. On top of that, the bottom of the chicken coop will last longer because it will not rot due to precipitation and wet ground.


Is Bovan Brown Chicken Breed the Right Breed For You?

Bovans Brown chickens have everything you could ever ask in a commercial egg layer. It’s hardy adaptive to different environments and it’s docile. They also love spending time with their humans and they’re friendly even towards children.

Thus, if you want a chicken breed with a calm disposition, appealing plumage color, and excellent laying capabilities, then this breed is the way to go.


Other Bovans Chicken Color Variation

If you’re looking for other options aside from Bovans Brown, here are other variations that might suit your needs.

bovans goldline

Bovans Goldline

This friendly and calm chicken produced by Joice & Hill Poultry is among the most excellent egg layers during their early years.

In fact, Bovans Goldline can lay up to 330 eggs in their first year.

However, there’s a drawback if layers are pushed too hard in their early years, with artificial lighting, for example.

It can cause egg quality to decrease faster later in life than layers that produce fewer eggs.

They look similar to ISA Brown and Warren chicken, but they’re not popular in US commercial farms.

That’s because white eggs are more in-demand in the US than brown eggs.

But if you want a friendly chicken that produces brown eggs and gets along with children, it’s worth considering.

Bovans White

Just like its brown counterpart, this robust chicken breed has strong livability and feed efficiency. 

They have an average feed intake of around 107 g/day, which is less compared to the Browns.

And it reflects in their cumulative feed conversion rate which is only 2.04 kg/kg, and in their eggs which weigh around 62.5 g.

But its egg-laying capability is superior to the Bovan Browns since each hen can produce around 476 eggs within 18 to 100 weeks.

Bovans Black

This black-feathered Bovans chicken is also robust and easy to manage. But it is relatively more prominent than its free-range Bovans brown and white counterparts since they weigh around 2206 g.

Their average feed intake in its 18th to 100th week is 121 g/day, and their feed conversion rate is 2.44 kg/kg.

However, here’s the catch. Each hen housed can only produce 445 eggs within its 18th to 100th week.

They’re still excellent layers but not as impressive as Bovans brown and white. 


FAQs About Bovans Brown Chicken Breed

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this hybrid chicken breed.

How many eggs do Bovan Brown chickens lay?

This chicken breed can lay lots of eggs ranging between 250 to 300 eggs per year. 

But they can produce more in their first year and lay around 330 eggs, proving that they’re one of the most excellent layers.

What is the lifespan of Bovan Brown chickens?

Bovan Brown chickens can live up to 3 to 4 years, but some can exceed eight years.

What color do Bovan Brown chickens lay?

Their eggs are dark brown. 

bovans brown


Choosing a profitable chicken breed for your poultry business can be quite challenging. But the rule of thumb is to choose a breed that eats less, produces more, and has a low mortality rate.

And if you’d take those factors into account, you’ll see why Bovans Brown chickens are the go-to egg layers for many.

They are prolific egg layers with an average feed intake of 114 g/day and they produce over 300 eggs a year. On top of that, they have 94 % livability within 18 to 100 weeks.

So, they’re an excellent option for those who are looking for brown egg layers.

READ NEXT: Blue Orpington Chicken Breed: Everything You Need to Know

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One thought on “Bovans Brown Chicken Breed: Everything You Need to Know

  1. Hello,

    I have a Bovans brown chicken which lays a fertilized egg due to a rooster mating it.
    Will it be possible for hen to hatch its egg? Or should I remove the eggs from the nest?

    A feedback will be highly appreciated please.

    Thank you

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