Raising layers in very cold climates


9 Years
Oct 11, 2010
Hi! I'm new to the forum and have a question that I can't seem to find the answer to, but I have discovered that all of you seem to be experts so I hope some of you have thoughts/suggestions for me!

We have moved to Interior Alaska where the temps can get down to -50 in the winter. I am trying to put together a plan that will make chicken-managing do-able in the worst part of the winter. Here is what I'd like to do......please tell me if this is dumb or doable.

I want to get a dual-purpose breed, raise them until they start to lay, let them lay all spring and summer, and then butcher them in the fall. That way I don't have to deal w/ heating their coop and managing a bunch of layers that aren't really laying thru the winter, having to deal w/ frostbitten combs, feet, etc. I am trying to get eggs and meat in the least labor-intensive manner, while not paying to feed and heat them through the winter, if possible.

So. IS this possible? Or will there not be enough time to really get them laying well before I butcher them. I have done both layers and Cornish X in the past, but don't want to do that if I don't have to.

Also, does anyone know if the dark in the winter here will prevent the layers from maturing? If they would start laying in 20 weeks in Iowa, say, will they take longer bec of the dark winters here, or that a factor in their maturation? I know they need light to lay, but I'm planning on that light being there at the same time they are ready to lay. But will it take them longer to get to that stage bec of the winter darkness?

Any suggestions/answers would be most appreciated, even on breeds.......Is there a dual-purpose bird that does well in arctic climates? Thanks in advance!


10 Years
Dec 6, 2009
I would think Brahmas, Buckeyes, Wyandottes and Dominiques would be your birds. But I dont know if that plan is going to work because I dont figure you want to raise chicks starting in august lasting thru out the winter for your layers in the spring and summer. My Dominiques I got in early may are just now laying. Just my 2 cents.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom