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H&N has now been one of the world’s leading breeders of egg type chickens for over 60 years.


The commencement of our company goes back to the year 1936, when the founder of H&N, Mr. Arthur Heisdorf started his career as a geneticist for Kimber Poultry Breeding.


Mr. Heisdorf left Kimber Farms to start his own poultry breeding company near Seattle, WA – U.S.A. He started selling Kimber strain Leghorns. At the same time he began importing samples of stock from leading breeders from America as well as from Europe and Japan. He crossed them with Kimber Leghorn and found one that “nicked” (combined well) with the Kimber Blood. That was the foundation of “Nick Chick” Leghorn.


The brothers Bert and Cliff Nelson became partners in the business with Mr. Heisdorf. This is the origin for the Company name H&N; H for Heisdorf, N for Nelson


Mr. Heisdorf buys interest of the Nelsons


The breeding program was changed from one of pure line breeding to that of recurrent reciprocal selection. It involved the selection of pure line families based on the performance of their commercial offspring’s. This was a revolutionary departure from the basic poultry breeding technique being used at that time. The company now incorporates as Heisdorf & Nelson Farm Inc. The next step was to develop franchise distributor hatcheries in the U.S.A and globally. Parent Stocks were supplied to franchise hatcheries so that they could produce H&N “Nick Chicks” too.


A research laboratory was added. This was one of the first privately owned facilities devoted exclusively to the study of poultry diseases and research.


Electronic processing of data initiated by the breeding program has begun. Licensing agreement was reached with Lohmann & Co., Cuxhaven, Germany to distribute “Nick Chick” breeding stock in Europe, Middle East and Afrika.


A breeding farm and testing program was established in Cuxhaven. This marked the beginning of the Lohmann poultry breeding program and the start of a business relationship that lasted until 1978.


"Brown Nick” was introduced to meet the growing worldwide demand for brown egg layers


H&N had begun pioneer work on the eradication of Lymphoid Leukosis. The following years, Mycoplasmosis gallisepticum was eradicated from all H&N grandparents in the U.S.


A program for Mareks disease vaccination began.


Heisdorf sold the business to Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies


H&N was acquired to Lohmann & Co. AG, also the holding company of Lohmann Tierzucht and Hy-Line International. This acquisition renewed the relationship between the Lohmann organization and H&N. At this point the company acquired its present name, H&N International.


Introduction of “Super Nick” (sold in Japan under the name “Elbe”) to satisfy the needs of market demanding larger white eggs


Significant demand for tinted eggs exists in Japan and China, so the “Coral” was introduced to supply this demand


“Silver Nick” a brown egg layer with white feathers was introduced to meet the needs of an important niche market in Europe.

Current situation and the future

Over the past 10 years, H&N has made important progress in the worldwide sales activities. During this period, we have seen an increase of more than 85 % in total parent stock sales compared to a 38% increase in total world egg production over a similar 10 year period.

We are proud that our products are highly accepted all around the world. In order to maintain this momentum our genetic research staff will make every effort to continually improve each H&N product in all economically important factors. This effort will be supplemented by marketing and technical support which is based on the knowledge, experience and attainment of our well educated staff. 

As we move into the future we will remember the firm foundation our company was built on and we will keep it in mind always!

Arthur Heisdorf

Arthur Heisdorf

Further Information



H&N International
Am Seedeich 9
27472 Cuxhaven
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Phone: + 49 (0) 47 21 564-0
Telefax: + 49 (0) 47 21 564-111
Email: info@hn-int.com
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