Best breed for cold climates

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by BantamRun, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. BantamRun

    BantamRun Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2014
    Gaylord, MI
    I live in northern Michigan and was wondering if anyone could tell me the breed or breeds of chickens that will do the best and lay the most eggs in this colder climate with some pretty harsh winters at times
     
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd recommend Australorps, Easter Eggers, Wyandottes, Plymouth rocks, Buff Orpingtons and Dominiques.
     
  3. BantamRun

    BantamRun Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2014
    Gaylord, MI
    Thanks. I have all but the Easter Eggers and the Dominiques. I was thinking of getting some different breeds to go with them and was a little curious what others recommended as last year it reached a very cold -31 below F in a non-insulated coop. It has not been as bad this year and usually doesn't get quite THAT cold. I did lose a couple last year to the unexpected and severe temperature drop which lasted for a long period but for the most part they did pretty good. Last year was the first year we raised chickens. Again I was thinking of some different breeds to go with my flock and didn't want to make the wrong choices. Thanks for the info. It was very helpful.
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    If sheer egg production is your main priority, I would suggest Black Sex Links (Black Stars), which are hardy and friendly, egg laying machines. I've had dozens of breeds and hybrids over the past 50 years in winter climates that dropped as low as 30 F below zero, and my BSLs have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. They have been particularly persistent in really cold weather, and their eggs have also been my largest, with double yolks being fairly common.
     
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  5. BantamRun

    BantamRun Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I actually just picked up a BSL hen today along with some RIR hens. Someone was getting rid of them to go off to college. I've never had any of the BSL's before. She was my wife's favorite of the bunch. We will most likely be getting some more. Thanks for the input.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome.
     
  7. BantamRun

    BantamRun Out Of The Brooder

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    Gaylord, MI
    Is there a broody breed you would recommend if we decide to let them sit? I have a Brahma and a couple Wyandottes that I heard can be broody. I also have some welsummers, Austrolorps and Barred rocks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    All of those breeds can be broody at times, but the broodiest breeds I've had are Silkies. The only downside is that they are bantams and because they are small, I wouldn't recommend putting them in with standard sized breeds. The broodiest standard breeds I've had are Cochins. Both our Silkie and our Cochins raised a number of broods for us.
     
  9. BantamRun

    BantamRun Out Of The Brooder

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    Gaylord, MI
    Thanks. I have been reading a lot about the Silkies being one of the broodiest breeds and the best mothers. Do they do well in colder climates like Northern Michigan? I have been getting mixed answers on that point. Also we have our ducks and chickens together and was wondering how they will do with the ducks. The rest of our chickens seem to be doing fine with them. We do have one Millie Fleur OEGB Rooster. The other chickens don't seem to mind him. They all seem to get along better than my kids [​IMG] so I'm not too worried about putting Silkies in with them.
     
  10. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our Easter eggers are great over the winter. Two other breeds you might want to consider are buckeyes and chanteclers. Buckeyes were developed in Ohio to be a cold hardy version of RIR. They have smaller combs. We've had RIR in the past and buckeyes now, and I love my buckeyes. Small combs, very friendlky and beautiful large eggs.
    The chanteclers were developed in Canada to be cold hardy. They have small cushion combs and are supposed to lay throughout the winter. Mine are 7.5 months old and are just starting to lay.
    You can go to www.mypetchicken.com and answer a short questionnaire and they will list breeds that should be good for your needs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015

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