I am in Park County, at roughly 10,000 feet.
Does anyone have any experience with this high of altitude and raising chickens?
We will be purchasing chicks from a local store around April 11th. The choices available to us are Buff Rock, Speckled Sussex, Partridge Rock and White Orpington. Sounds to me the Buff, Partridge and Speckled are the "hardiest" however, I know the woman at the store said they only purchase very cold hardy birds, so I guess we can not go wrong.
We are pulling together materials for the coop and should be able to start building it in a week or two potentially postponing getting the chicks even though they wont be ready to be out there yet I have heard.
I have been around chickens, but never raised them from chicks. I also have only been around chickens at 5,000 feet or lower elevations, so I know there are probably special things to do up here.
Anyways, I ramble, but I appreciate any and all input here!
I'm at about 8000 ft. Build them a good shelter that they can plan on staying in for several days with snow and wind and all. I agree with the larger combed birds getting frost bite, but that is mostly a rooster issue. I think all the breeds you mentioned should do fine. The EEs do fine too, but because they are a mixed breed it will depend on the individual bird more. I've lost birds to what a suspect was a heart attack, maybe something to do with the altitude and lack of air. Hatching chicks is definitely more of a challenge in the thin air. When you think of building, think about predator issues. We are in a subdivision and have mostly fox and skunk, not the bigger critters, but make things secure, especially the pen to both digging and hawks flying over. The more time you take in planning for problems when you build, the less likely you are to experience the actual problem.
You were up at 12:38 listening for peeps. Oh man, this is going to be a long day for you. Have fun, enjoy the SLOW process and hope you get lots of chicks hatched.