Chickens for central Texas hot summers?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by junglebean, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. junglebean

    junglebean Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I'm a newbie, about to get my first flock. Their purpose will be pets, eggs, pest control and manure. There doesn't seem to be much info on chickens that can take the heat (besides the fryin' pan;) ). We have some extreme weather here, with it getting up to 105 F in the summer. The coop I have is summer ready, with mainly just hardware cloth sides, under some big live oak trees. I also have a mister ready to install. The breeds I am interested in are Buff Orpingtons, Hew Hampshire Reds, and Dominiques. I have heard some blips about larger breeds being less heat tolerant. I am concerned for the BO's and I may even be interested in getting some Jersey Giants or Australorps in the future. Any personal experiences on these breeds' heat tolerance? THANKS!
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    Klamath County, OR
    I'm interested in the answer to your question, too, as we may move to Texas (probably the central part of the state) someday. In the meantime, it can get pretty warm here, too -- I've seen it 105 here, although thankfully it does cool off at night, and our hot weather doesn't last as long as yours. The only chickens I've had here who've had trouble with the heat were the Cuckoo Marans. Australorps did fine, Barred Rocks did fine, Buff Orpingtons did fine, Easter Eggers did fine. So far my Wyandottes have been fine, although they were still babies last summer.

    However, probably the BEST birds for a really hot climate will be the Leghorn types with smaller bodies, less-fluffy feathering, and larger combs.

  3. josh44

    josh44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2008
    San Antonio Texas
    Quote:Your breeds will be fine,
    I am in SA TX not to far from you.
    I have pretty much raised them all, our Tx heat
    Doesn't bother them none.

    Just As long as your chickens have shade, and fresh water at all times ,

    Then I don't see a problem.
  4. lavacaw

    lavacaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2008
    South Central Texas
    I am about two hours away from you. ALL large chickens have problems to some extent when the temps go above 100 degrees. I have or have had BO's, RIR's, Barred Rocks, Dominickers, Leghorns, EE's, Production Reds and mixed breeds as well as guineas. All have done pretty well. Saying that, mine have shade and water available at all times. Their coop is always open to the pen so they can go in and out as they need to and I have never lost one to the heat.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I don't have the breeds you mentioned but LF brahmas would be an exception to the large birds = less heat tolerant rule. My brahmas sail right through our humid as all get out, hotter than the blazes of hades summers. Shade, cool water and sometimes ice jugs laid around is all I do.
  6. junglebean

    junglebean Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I am glad to hear that Kathleen's Australorps did fine, as well as her Orpingtons. Good to hear from San Antonio, as I know you're more humid and hotter! Glad lavacaw hasn't had any heat victims. I have heard about Leghorns being good in the heat. Fresh water at all times is good advice, and I have read about freezing the water first. Ice jugs laid around sounds good, too. They will always have access to shade and cool dirt underneath the coop. I will look into the Brahmas, as well. Love the rooster taming advice on your page, gritsar...BB [​IMG]. Thanks a bunch, ya'll!
  7. 95yj

    95yj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2009
    Central Vermont
    almost all breeds are pretty heat tolerant, just make sure that they always have clean, preferably cool water. the buff orps may do better just cause their a lighter color, the dark one's [JJ's and other black colored birds] should be fine so long as they have plenty of shade.
  8. blackred

    blackred Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2007
    Blue Texas
    As someone that has raised poultry in the Austin area for the last 45 years I will definitely say stay away from the heavy breeds if you are wanting any kind of production out of them. If you are just wanting to keep a few chickens alive and have a few eggs then it doesn't matter.
    My wife has run the gauntlet with the Buff Orpingtons, Marans, and others and they did just fine in the cooler months, but would just about stop laying in the summer.
    She has since settled in on ISA Browns and they do excellent all year round, she keeps half as many hens and gets more eggs. If you don't like a production type hybrid then stick with the Mediterranean breeds, Leghorns, Minorcas,Andalusians,etc

  9. pasofinofarm

    pasofinofarm NONESUCH FARM CONROE TX

    Mar 22, 2007
    Near Houston, TX
    We are in southeast Texas so get heat plus humidity. We tried several breeds before settling on the ones we now raise... Marans/Faverolles/Ameraucana all seem to do well in our climate
  10. camalianus

    camalianus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2009
    Turkens are excellent tolerating heat. [​IMG]

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