Need Advice on Breeds that will be OK in VERY Harsh weather...


11 Years
Mar 30, 2008
Wasilla, Alaska
And by Harsh, I mean HARSH. Temperatures that will, on occasion reach below -20 degrees F.

I live in Alaska, and we are purchasing a home in about 2 months.

I am new to chickens (My parents had then when I was a kid, but that was a long time ago, and not here in this state), so I am doing a LOT of research before I jump into anything.

But, I DO know that I have always wanted them, and we are buying a house especially in an area where we can have them.

We are going to be spending this entire summer building the PERFECT coop, insulated and heated with light-bulbs, and with outdoor artificial lighting, WELL protected and safely fenced in area for the Birds.
We will be getting the Birds as chicks the following spring, and they are going to spend the first few weeks in the house, then go into their area.

I need advice on what breeds will be safe in Alaska, but I also want to make sure to go with birds that will lay larger eggs as I have children that LOVE them, and eat more and more of them as time passes.

I dont want to get any birds that will suffer up here, but I am also sick of buying my eggs from the store!
They taste like crap!
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Ameraucana's have a good reputation for cold hardiness and winter laying, and as a bonus you won't have to settle for boring white eggs. Do some research and make sure you get birds from a good line - there's a lot of confusion and dishonesty between Ameraucanas, Auracanas and Easter Eggers. Buy quality and only cry once. It costs just as much to keep bad birds as it does to keep good ones.

I live in central New Hampshire, and it gets pretty cold here. Our coop is unheated except for the waterer. We have Silkies and Marans, and they don't seem to mind. They stay outside in almost all weather. We've occasionally had combs get frost bit, but that doesn't seem to bother them, either.
Do you guys know of some place where I can get GOOD quality birds?

Someone here suggested getting them from,: , but they seem like a Mc.Donalds Breeder, so Im worried about it.

I really want to make sure that I am going to be getting healthy, strong chicks.
Figure out what breed you want, then go to a site specifically dedicated to it. Hang out and read the posts. You'll figure out pretty quickly who the breeders with good reputations are.
Mrs.AK-Bird-Brain from this forum I recall was talking of starting a small backyard hatchery in Alaska. If she's up and running that would be a good source of chicks with no long shipping stress.
Well, I would have to say my ameraucanas had it tough this last winter and I never lost a one.

I did not have a coop ready in time and they lived in a car cover type tent until December. The weather got in the teens and they were basically out in the open with just a roof over them.

They were all young chickens also, so no fat on their bodies. Some even preferred to roost in my apple tree next to the tent. Below is a picture of my tent.....


Edited to add, I would not recommend these tents to anyone now that I have used them. They are basically gigantic kites without strings. That is why it is tied down to the fence and trees.........
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