I'm new & need lots of help!

Vicki Author

Aug 15, 2016
My family & I will be moving to a small farm just north of Columbus, Ohio soon & want to raise just a few chickens....no more than a dozen for starters & are wondering what are the best breeds that do well in cold weather & what breeds lay the largest eggs or does it even depend on the breed to get large to jumbo size eggs?
I love to do a lot of baking so we will be keeping most of the egg!
Also is it necessary to keep chickens inside in very cold weather or can they be allowed out side for short periods as in the snow? We will have a large barn for the chickens is it OK to just let them roam the barn in cold weather? They will have everything they need in there if we have a heavy snow, so would it be OK to leave them inside until it melts?
We more than likely won't be starting our chicken project until next Spring which gives us a lot of time to do our research. We would like to hear advice from all who deal with harsh Winters and how they care for their chickens!
We will greatly appreciate all helpful input! Thank you all in advance!
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

Here are several chicken breeds known for being hardy in cold weather: Sussex, Araucana, Cochin, Orpingon, Aseel, Ameraucana, Rosecomb, Silkie, Java, Australorp, Hamburg, Dominique, Brahma, Faverolle, Wyandotte, Easter Egger, Old English Game, Barred Rock, Jersey Giant and Welsummer.

If you're wanting chickens who are good layers along with being cold hardy and good with your family, I would recommend: Orpingtons, Easter Eggers/Ameraucanas, Australorps, Brahmas, Faverolles, Barred Rocks, Sussex, Cochins and Wyandottes.

Jersey Giants are known for laying very large eggs. The size of eggs depends on the individual hen, but, obviously, by knowing the size of the breed of hen, you'll be able to judge if the eggs will be tiny or big.

Chickens will enjoy free ranging outside, even if there is snow on the ground. But, if the temperatures are super cold, they will probably prefer to stay indoors. They should be fine in the barn just as long as they have ways to stay warm. Straw is a great insulator that can trap heat so I would recommend filling your barn with lots of it.

Definitely check out our learning center. https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center There you will find lots of helpful info and tips. And, of course, feel free to ask any and all questions you may have. We are happy to help.
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Hi :welcome

Glad you could join us here! Mountain peeps has left you some fabulous advice and a great link to check so I will wish you the very best of luck for future.

Enjoy your time here on BYC and all the chicken chat :frow
Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice and links from MPeeps already so I'll just say hello!

All the best
Thank you so much for your information and help! It is really appreciated! I'm going to look into all the breeds you mentioned and do a lot more research on chickens! I have a while before the move and I want to be as prepared as possible before going into raising chickens! Thank you again!

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