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Best cold weather breeds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Blue_Myst, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Songster

    Feb 5, 2009
    Here's the story: I'm hoping to get a few more chickens this spring, and this time I'm going to try and buy some which do better in cold weather, for the winter season over here is quite harsh. I've read that Barred Rocks and Golden Comets are very cold weather-resistant, but what other options are there? Are Buff Orpingtons a good choice?

    Thanks! [​IMG]

  2. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    my ameraucana are the only ones of my older ones (that insist on coming out of the coop when temp is in single digits) that don't have frostbite [​IMG]
  3. moduckman

    moduckman Songster

    Jan 2, 2009
    Cairo, Missouri
    There are several breeds, but any standard from the asiatic class (feather footed) or in the feather footed bantam class. If they have feather legs and a rose comb, they should be quite hardy. That is perhaps the most important thing, rose combs do not freeze. Feather legged birds originated in the mountains of asia.
  4. wings

    wings Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    Yup, rose combs are good.

    I do have RIRs though, and they are GREAT in the cold. Even now, they are only six months old and can deal with 10 degrees in the coop at night with no evidence of problems!
  5. seriousbill

    seriousbill Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Pea combs are also good--Brahmas are cold hardy, for instance.
  6. moduckman

    moduckman Songster

    Jan 2, 2009
    Cairo, Missouri
    Yea, brahmas are asiatic birds. they should do well.
  7. kentuckysilkies

    kentuckysilkies Songster

    Feb 20, 2007
    Winchester Kentucky
    Brahmas would make an excellent choice. This seems illogical, but Turkens are also a very cold hardy breed (excellent layers in cold weather).

  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:And amazingly they do really well in the dog days of summer too.
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I had a rose comb Hamburg rooster with severe frostbite. His comb healed to a smooth surface. Outdoors at minus 10°F, almost gave him a pea comb. And, if frostbite is a great concern, I think the (natural [​IMG]) pea comb is the way to go.

    Besides Ameraucanas, Buckeyes are also pea comb birds. Chanteclers were bred specially for a cold climate but I know nothing about them or the Buckeyes.

    Black Sex-links, as I understand it, are a preferred cold climate choice in the UK. They may be a better choice than those lighter weight Gold Comets, for a sex-link hybrid. (Black Sex-links are also carrying Barred Rock genes. [​IMG])

    From my experience: Buff Orpingtons are, indeed, a good choice, Blue_Myst. I also think my Barred Rocks have had little trouble in cold weather. Both are single comb breeds but they have plenty of bulk to retain body heat. And, I'll certainly agree with the Brahma choice, as well.

  10. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Songster

    Feb 5, 2009
    Thanks for all the input! [​IMG]

    Sounds like the smaller the comb (and more feathery the feet [​IMG] ) the better. I'll definitely keep that in mind. It doesn't get below zero very often, and since my coop stays a few degrees warmer than the outdoors, I don't usually have to worry too much about frostbite in areas other than the comb.

    If I do end up getting chickens with the larger combs...(the orpingtons are looking like the best choice for me right now), is it true that rubbing Vasaline on the comb helps prevent frostbite?

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