If you live in a hot climate, you may want to choose chicken breeds well-suited to hot weather. Here are a few tips for keeping your chickens cool this summer, and 3 breeds that will do well in hot climates.
It’s a hot summer across the country, and keeping your livestock cool is important for their health. Chickens, in particular, are vulnerable to heat – after all, how would you like to walk around all day in 90-degree weather wearing a thick coat of feathers?
But there are a number of things you can do to keep your chickens cool and happy throughout the hot summer months.
First of all, make sure your chickens always have plenty of fresh, clean water to drink. You can even put some ice in the waterer to cool the water on extra hot days. Also, give your chickens a place where they can get out of the sun and cool off in a shady spot. Grass is good, as it is cooler than bare dirt or concrete (plus, your chickens really should have plenty of access to grass anyway for best health and the healthiest eggs). You can also feed them frozen or refrigerated kitchen scraps to help them cool down.
You can also choose breeds that are especially well suited to hot climates. Here are 3 egg-laying chicken breeds that will do well in hot weather:
#1 – Andalusian
Andalusians are commonly seen in the color blue, although there are other colors. Blue Andalusians are a threatened breed according to The Livestock Conservancy breed comparison chart, so by raising this breed you are helping to preserve heritage breeds and diversity. They are excellent layers of large white eggs. They don’t do well when confined in runs, but if you are looking for an active free ranging bird they are an excellent choice…. They can be a bit flighty, but are not generally aggressive. They can forage for themselves rather well, which will cut down on feed costs. They don’t tend to go broody which means you can count on longer periods of uninterrupted laying. Blue Andalusians don’t cope with cold well, so if you have extreme temperatures in both directions you may want to select another breed….
#2 – Araucana or Easter Egger
True Araucanas can sometimes be hard to find, but their less pure bred counterpart, the Easter Egger also does well in both heat and cold. They are quite hardy birds. They are fun to keep as they lay pretty blue colored eggs that dress up the egg basket…. They are good layers, and will lay for several years unlike some breeds that only lay for one or two. The breed is fairly docile and will be fine kept in a run if you have less space or aren’t planning to free range. They will also sometimes go broody and set, which means you can hatch out your own chicks.
#3 – Dominique
The Dominique also does well in any climate. If you have big variations in weather she will be a good option for your flock. The Dominique lays brown eggs, and is a good layer. They are also good foragers, which is nice if you want to raise pastured eggs and conserve feed. She will also adapt to living in a coop and run setup if necessary. While most hot weather birds are lightweight and don’t convert feed into weight well enough to raise for meat, the Dominique does have a nice breast size compared to overall weight. They are pretty, with black and white patterning, which looks quite lacy. Dominiques are also calm in temperament…
For more information, check out the full article at TheGrowNetwork.com…