Hey everyone! If this question is answered on another thread, and you are able to point me in that direction, I would really appreciate it. I hate to be a pain by asking a question that has been answered somewhere else.
I currently do not have chickens, but have plans to get my first flock in the spring. As I chose breeds, I see notes about being heat or cold tolerant....but I never see a definition of what is considered hot or cold.
We have 4 solid seasons. Temperatures can (and occasionally do) reach triple digits in the summer, and it's humid all season. In the winter the temperature is rarely below zero, but the windchill will reach negatives quite often. While we still get snow (not as much as when I was a kid), we mostly get sleet and ice. I've attached a snapshot of our "average" weather to this thread.
Taking that information into account, what weather tolerance do I need in a chicken?
Other info you might need:
* I'd like to start with 6 hens, maybe increasing the flock some (depending on how many the city will allow) as I gain experience.
* They will be kept in a mobile coop most of the time.
* Our property (urban, 1/2 acre) is well drained.
* My main purpose to having hens will be for laying, but a I'm not against having a dual purpose bird that can be used for meat. Or a meat bird, that produces a decent amount of eggs. (there are just two of us in the house, but I have a couple friends who are unable to have chickens who will benefit from my flock)
* I'd like to be able to handle the birds (in addition to getting eggs, they will be pets). So something less inclined to be standoffish would be great.
* I'd like to stick with heritage breeds, if possible.