Most chickens will fare well in warmer climates, but there are a few breeds that are particularly well suited for hot temperatures. While other chickens may slow down their egg production—or cease it completely—during hot weather, hens that are more heat-tolerant will not experience such a drastic change in laying habits.
Be mindful, however, that careful precautions are still required to avoid heat stress for all types of chickens. During hot weather, be sure to allow adequate ventilation: keep windows open and run a large fan, if possible. Never deprive chickens of fresh, clean, and preferably cold water during hot weather.
Here are a few of the most heat-hardy chickens.
Ancona. The Ancona is a medium-sized Mediterranean breed and has black feathers with white spots. Anconas are excellent egg-layers, laying about five large white eggs per week. Although they tolerate confinement, they are very active birds and do not always enjoy human interaction.
Catalana. Also native to the Mediterranean, Catalana chickens are very popular among South American farmers. They are medium-sized and lay up to four cream-colored, medium eggs per week. Like the Ancona variety, these chickens are extremely active.
White Leghorn. One of the best-suited chickens for the heat is the white leghorn. A beautiful chicken with all-white feathers and a bright red comb, these hens will lay extra-large, white eggs up to once per day. Although they have a reputation for being skittish, many homesteaders love their white leghorns for their tame and intelligent personalities.
Plymouth Rock. One of the most popular breeds among American homesteaders, Plymouth Rock chickens are large birds with either barred (black and white striped), white, buff, silver, brown, or black feathers. They are excellent egg-layers, producing up to four large brown eggs per week. They are extremely tolerant of confinement, have calm demeanors, and are very intelligent (for chickens!).
Rhode Island. Another vary popular breed, Rhode Island chickens are large bird with red or white feathers. They have great personalities, tolerate confinement, and best of all, produce up to five extra-large brown eggs per week.
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