Picking the top chicken breeds for hot weather is crucial to keeping a thriving flock. We humans can head into the air conditioning or swim in the pool to cool off. Chickens rely on adaptations and behavior to make it through hot weather and stay cool; some breeds are better at it than others. So, if you live in an area that experiences hot weather, it's best to pick chickens that can handle the rising mercury!
Colored Egg Layers
Colorful egg baskets are popular; these two backyard chicken breed varieties will keep yours full of green and blue eggs. The Olive Egger and Easter Egger are both hybrid birds that are hardy, friendly, and good egg layers. Because these are designer birds, they come in many color options, from Partridge Olive Eggers to Bountiful Blue Egg Layer, Green Queen, and Blue Easter Eggers.
While many breeds do well in hot weather, the best hot weather breed award has to go to the Leghorn. This famous breed (remember the cartoon Foghorn Leghorn!) originated in the Mediterranean, so it's no stranger to hot weather, and its body is built to handle the heat. The Leghorn's distinctive large floppy comb and large wattles allow body heat to circulate, be exposed to the air, and cool before reentering the body. These white egg-laying birds are the best chickens to own for hot weather. They are available in three varieties: White, Light Brown, and Exchequer. The White is the most prolific layer of the three (they can lay almost every day of the week), but the other two varieties aren't far behind.
Brown Egg Layers
If brown eggs are a must-have, along with hot weather tolerance, plenty of breeds fit this bill. Below are two fan favorites:
Plymouth Rock – The popular Barred Rock is available in large fowl and bantam varieties and is one of the most popular dual-purpose chickens on small farms today. They're very friendly and excellent layers of large brown eggs. Other varieties are White, and Silver Penciled. No matter the variety, this American breed does well in hot and cold weather.
Welsummer – This dark brown egg layer came to America via Holland and is available in large fowl and bantam sizes. They are famous for their deep reddish-brown egg color; many eggs are also speckled! Welsummers are good foragers meaning you'll save on feed if you allow them to range freely!
As you pick your new flock members, keep the best chickens for hot weather in mind. They will provide a solid base for a happy and healthy flock.