Choosing the best chicken breeds for cold weather is crucial to maintaining a thriving flock in the winter. So, if you live in an area that experiences cold weather, it is best to choose chickens that can withstand cold temperatures!
Cold hardy features
Some of the features you will find in cold hardy chicken breeds are:
- small comb Small-comb chickens are one trait that does well in cooler climates because they are less susceptible to frostbite. Single-comb, pea, pad and nut breeds of chickens are smaller comb sizes.
- thick plumage; – Breeds of chickens with smooth feet is another trait that does well in cooler temperatures. Think of it like a chicken wearing a pair of leg warmers!
- big size – Large breed chickens tend to do better in cooler climates than bantam chickens. They have more body fat and muscle to help protect them from cold temperatures.
Blue and green egg whites for hens for cold weather
Colorful egg baskets are very popular. These types of chicken breeds will keep your backyard full of green and blue eggs. Our top picks for blue and green colored egg layers for cold weather are:
- Ameraucana – Ameraucanas have a sweet temperament and lay beautiful light blue to teal eggs. Combing the peas will help leave them less susceptible to frostbite.
- Super Blue Egg Layer – Exclusive to Us! We’ve taken our favorite egg breed for Super Blue Eggers and crossed them with our most vibrant blue egg layers. The result: copious layers of large, blue eggs.
- Blue Favaucana – We love this designer strain for its many excellent traits: very docile; green sage, medium to large eggs; Lovely little masks, beards, and lightly feathered feet (some with five toes!). They have pea combs and lush plumage of cold hardiness.
- Olive Egger – This designer strain produces a variety of beautifully layered olive eggs. Its large body type allows birds to keep warm in colder climates.
Best laying hens for cold weather
Although all chicken breeds naturally lay fewer eggs in the winter due to less sunlight, these breeds will survive longer than most others. Our top picks for the best cold-weather egg layers are:
- Rhode Island Red – Rhode Island Reds are so highly regarded that they are the official Rhode Island state bird! They are a bird that does it all: they roost exceptionally well, they are prized for their meat, and they are generally very cold-hardy and hardy.
- Speckled Sussex – The Sussex has it all: They’re excellent layers of colored whites or light browns – and set in the coldest weather. They are dual-purpose birds, though their bodies are fleshy and not prone to flight when mature, so they are easy to fence.
- Black Australorp – Australopithecus is the Australian descendant of Orpington. They are calm, friendly and excellent layers of light brown whites. Australorp’s exceptionally smooth, glossy black plumage has hints of green and purple in the sunlight. Peaceful and generous, the Australorp is a very cheerful bird that we highly recommend to anyone wanting a dependable pet chicken.
- Barred Plymouth Rock – “Barred Rocks” are some of the most popular dual-purpose chickens on small farms today. Their heritage is not clear, but what is clear is that they are very friendly, great layers of large brown whites, and can tolerate cold weather well.
Cold weather chicken
These cold hardy chicken breeds will make great pets due to their friendly disposition. Our top picks for friendly, cold-weather chicken breeds are:
- Buff Orpington – Orpingtons are large, friendly, dual-purpose birds that were originally developed in the United Kingdom. Their fluffy feathers keep them warm in the winter months. In addition, they are gentle and friendly, as well as good layers.
- Chocolate Orpington Everyone needs a little chocolate in their life! Orpingtons are the only way to go for many small farms and homeowners. These beautiful, rare Chocolate Orpingtons will grow into cute and friendly large birds. They are persistent layers that produce light or medium brown eggs. Orpington chickens are very cold-hardy due to their delicate plumage.
- White Cochins – Cochins are known the world over for being large balls of fluff and feathers. They do not lie well but are popular due to their gentle personality and great mothering qualities. Their feathered legs and feet help keep them warm in snowy and cold climates.
- Light Brahmas – Brahmas are gentle giants with feathered legs and feet and copious, fluffy feathers. This stately breed of chicken makes a great pet because of its easygoing, calm nature and tolerance of the cold! Although it is not a power layer, you can expect three or so medium-sized brown eggs from this bird per week.