Help me choose, winter hardy breeds.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tororider, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    I have decided to do day old chicks special ordered from Mt Health through Tractor Supply company. I am going to get 4 pullets. My choices are :Araucana, buff orpington, hubbard golden comet(similar to production red, right?), silver laced wyandotte, or a partridge rock. I am looking to get some winter hardy(Detroit, MI area), good egg laying, pretty, maybe dual purpose breeds that will make for a handsome small flock.

    I surrender to your knowledge.
  2. silkieluvr

    silkieluvr Songster

    Sep 20, 2007
    Marin, California
    Here is my experience with these breeds:

    Aracauna (easter egger): lots of fun because of the green/blue eggs, but mine don't lay in the winter and ours are very mild. Also, if not handled A LOT, some of them can be a little skitish.

    Buff Orpington: Never had one, but I've heard really good things about them.

    Hubbard Golden Comet: They're a sex-link breed, which I have one. She lays every day without fail and shes going on 3 years old. Cute personality too.

    Silver Laced Wyandotte: I had one about a year ago, but she was very skitish. She also picked on the birds quite a bit. On the plus side, she was very pretty to look at.

    Partridge Rock: Never had a partridge, but I have barreds. My barred rock is super sweet and a great layer of extra-large to jumbo brown eggs.

    These are just my experiences with the birds, but I'm sure personality and egg production varies from strain to strain.
  3. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    I read lots of good things about buff orpingtons. I would get 1 and see how it goes. I got 10 babies in the brooder
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    I have a good friend with comets, and they lay like crazy and are a pretty bird, IMO.
  5. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    My Orps and wyandottes seem to be unphased by the cold here in Northern Michigan. There are quite a few cold hardy breeds out there for us cold winter ppl.

    Best of luck with your choices !!!

    Julie [​IMG]
  6. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    Can I jump in and thread jack here?

    To flip this very question around.... are there any breeds that you experienced folks would NOT recommend for colder areas?

    We're moving to Northern Maine (never had chickens but want them as soon as we move and have read enough to comfortably bring them home to us).

    So, do any of you find that certain breeds just can't take the cold- and would be better off not living up North?
  7. HenHaven

    HenHaven Songster

    Mar 3, 2007
    Coarsegold, CA
    Hatchery "Araucanas" are usually Easter Eggers. They are a mixed breed, cold hardy due to a peacomb. You just never know what the "mix" is, so you can't count on a good winter layer, unfortunately. I have some hatchery EEs that layed all winter, but I consider myself lucky. Buff Orps are nice, they are known to go broody though, maybe the Rocks? or a mix of all?

    Here is a chart that I think is really cool and fun! It will tell you which breeds lay well in the winter (they rate a snowflake) lol, and the last column will usually give you a clue to whether they are/aren't winter hardy.
  8. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    Thanks, I had been using that chart as well. I was just looking for some first hand experience. I think any that I am looking at should be ok, especially if I insulate the coop and add a water plate warmer when it gets cold.
  9. herechickchick

    herechickchick Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    Quote:Nothing with a large comb like the Andalusian, frostbite can be a problem with large combed breeds.

    I would go with the Partridge rocks!
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  10. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    Although I have all cold hardy breeds my EE'S (don't like to be handled) & Brahmas (are big cuddly teddy bears) show no sign of the cold weather! (they have the pea comb)

    My male cochins & male buff rock have a touch of frost-bite this year! ((girls were fine))

    They are in a cement block shed with a heat lamp over the water to help stop freezing. We will insulate this summer!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2008

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