22 Best Cold Weather Chicken Breeds for Your Homestead

Cold Weather Chicken Breeds
Photo by Sarah Halliday

If you’re raising chickens in cold weather, you may wonder what breeds best suit colder temperatures. The good news is that many chicken breeds can withstand cold weather. 

Finding the perfect cold weather chicken breed for your homestead won’t be challenging. Here are some of the best cold weather chicken breeds that can help you stay warm during the winter months.

1. Ameraucana

If you live in an area with cold winters, Ameraucana chickens are a great option. They’re a hardy breed that can withstand below-freezing temperatures. Ameraucanas are also good layers, producing around 200 eggs per year. 

Their eggs come in various colors, from blue to green to brown. And if you’re looking for cold weather chicken breeds that are sure to stand out, Ameraucanas fit the bill!

2. Australorp

Australorp are Australian cold weather chicken breeds developed in the early 1900s. It is a dual-purpose breed that can be used for eggs and meat.

The Australorp is a large bird, with hens weighing 6 and 8 pounds and roosters weighing 8 and 10 pounds. The breed has black feathers and a single comb.

Australorps are known for their egg-laying abilities, with hens laying up to 250 eggs yearly. The species is also relatively cold and hardy, making it a good choice for homesteaders in colder climates.

3. Brahma

Brahma chickens are a large breed that can weigh up to 18 pounds. They are cold and hardy and do well in colder climates. 

Brahmas have a feathered shank and a single comb. They come in three varieties: light, dark, and buff. The light variety is the most popular. Brahmas lay brown eggs and are good egg producers.

4. Buckeye

Of the many cold-hardy chicken breeds, Buckeyes are some of the best. Hailing from Ohio, these chickens are built to withstand cold winters.

They have a single comb and wattles, protecting them from frostbite, and their feathers are dense and oily, providing extra insulation. 

Buckeyes are also good layers, producing brown eggs. If you’re looking for reliable cold-weather chicken breeds, Buckeyes are a great choice.

5. Chantecler

If you’re looking for cold weather chicken breeds, the Chantecler is an excellent choice. This chicken is from Canada and was developed to withstand cold weather. 

The Chantecler has a single comb and wattles, which helps protect it from frostbite. This chicken breed is also known for being docile and good with children.

6. Cochin

The Cochin is a top pick if you’re looking for cold weather chicken breeds that are sure to turn heads. This beautiful bird has an extra-fluffy appearance thanks to its feathers, which can come in various colors. While they may look delicate, Cochins are hardy and can withstand frigid temperatures. 

Plus, they’re excellent layers of both eggs and meat. If you’re interested in raising a Cochin, be prepared to give them plenty of space to roam – they’re large birds.

7. Cornish

Cornish chickens are a large, dual-purpose breed known for being cold tolerant. They are a great cold weather chicken breeds. These birds have dense feathers and can be either white or black. 

Cornish chickens are good egg layers and make excellent meat birds. The Cornish is great if you’re looking for a versatile chicken breed to add to your homestead!

8. Delaware

Delaware chickens are a dual-purpose chicken breed, meaning they can be used for meat and egg production. They are known for being hardy birds that can withstand cold weather conditions. 

Delaware chickens are also good layers, producing up to 250 brown eggs annually. Delaware chickens are a great option if you’re looking for versatile cold weather chicken breeds.

9. Dominique

The Dominique is an American heritage breed popular in the early 1800s. It is a hardy, cold-tolerant bird that does well in hot and cold weather. The Dominique is an excellent forager and does well on free-range. 

It is also a good egg layer, producing up to 200 brown eggs annually. Dominique are calm, docile, cold weather chicken breeds that make a great pet chicken.

10. Easter Eggers

Easter Eggers are an excellent choice for cold weather chicken breeds. They are hardy and can withstand cold temperatures without any problems. 

They also lay many eggs, making them a great addition to any homestead. Easter Eggers are also friendly and docile, making them great around children.

11. Faverolle

Faverolle chickens are a French breed known for being friendly and docile. They’re also cold and hardy, making them an excellent choice for homesteaders in colder climates. 

Faverolle chickens are good layers of brown eggs, and they’re also known for being good mothers. If you’re looking for dual-purpose cold weather chicken breeds, the Faverolle is an excellent choice.

12. Jersey Giant

One of the giant chicken breeds, Jersey Giants, can weigh up to 13 pounds. They’re docile birds that are good for both eggs and meat. Originally from New Jersey, they get their name from their large size. 

While they don’t lay as many eggs as other breeds, each weighs about half a pound. Jersey Giants are good cold weather chicken breeds because they have dense feathers that keep them warm in frigid temperatures.

When it comes to housing, these giants need plenty of space to roam—at least 10 square feet per bird is ideal.

13. Marans

If you’re looking for cold weather chicken breeds that can lay eggs, look no further than the Marans! This French breed is known for its rich, chocolate-brown eggs. Marans are hardy birds and can tolerate colder temperatures than most other breeds. 

However, they do require more space than other chickens due to their large size. If you have the room, Marans make great additions to any homestead!

14. New Hampshire Red

The New Hampshire Red is an excellent choice if you’re looking for cold weather chicken breeds and a reliable egg layer. This chicken breed is hardy and adaptable and can lay up to 200 eggs annually. New Hampshire Reds are good meat birds and a versatile breed for meat and eggs.

15. Olive Egger

If you’re looking for cold weather chicken breeds that lay gorgeous olive-colored eggs, this is the bird for you! This dual-purpose breed crosses between a brown egg layer and a blue/green egg layer. This cross resulted in hens that lay medium to large eggs with lovely green, blue, and sometimes even pink hues!

16. Orpington

One of the best cold weather chicken breeds is the Orpington. A dual-purpose chicken, great for both eggs and meat. The Orpington is a large bird, with hens weighing around 8 pounds and roosters at 10 pounds. 

They have thick feathers, which help keep them warm in colder climates, and good layers of brown eggs. One downside to the Orpington is that they can be prone to obesity, so ensure you don’t overfeed them!

17. Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock is a heritage chicken breed developed in the northeastern United States in the 1800s. It is a dual-purpose breed, meaning it can be used for meat and egg production.

Plymouth Rocks are excellent cold weather chicken breeds because they have a large body and feathering that protects them from the elements.

They are also good layers, producing up to 200 brown eggs annually. The Plymouth Rock is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a cold-weather chicken breed that’s good for meat and eggs.

18. Rhode Island Red

One of the most popular chicken breeds, Rhode Island Reds, are dual-purpose birds, great for meat and egg production. They’re hardy, cold-tolerant birds that do well in hot and cold weather. 

Egg production tends to slow in the winter, but they’ll still lay more eggs than most other chicken breeds. Rhode Island Reds are a good choice, supposing you need versatile cold weather chicken breeds. They are great for both meat and eggs.

19. Speckled Sussex

The Speckled Sussex are cold weather chicken breeds developed in England in the 19th century. The species gets its name because it is covered in black and white feathers, which give it a speckled appearance.

The Speckled Sussex is a good choice for homesteaders in cold climates, and the breed can also withstand hot weather.

20. Silkie

The Silkie is a good choice if you’re looking for a cold-weather chicken breed that’s sure to turn heads. The Silkie is undoubtedly a unique-looking bird with its silky, fluffy feathers and blue skin. 

The Silkie is an excellent choice for colder climates. However, this breed is also calm and docile, making it a good choice if you have young children or other pets. The Silkie is also a good layer, producing around four eggs weekly.

21. Welsummer

Welsummers are a Dutch cold weather chicken breed developed in the village of Welsum. They are dual-purpose chickens, meaning they can be used for eggs and meat. 

These birds are known for their distinctive plumage, a dark brown with light brown and red feathers mixed in. The hens lay large, dark brown eggs.

22. Wyandotte

One of the most popular cold weather chicken breeds, Wyandottes, are good egg layers and produce large brown eggs. They’re known for being calm, docile birds that make great pets. 

Wyandottes are cold and hardy and do well in colder climates. One of the best things about this breed is that they come in various colors, perfect for the homestead’s aesthetic.

Conclusion

There are a variety of cold weather chicken breeds to choose from, each with its unique benefits. Consider the climate you live in and what qualities you value most when choosing the best breed for your homestead.

With proper care and attention, any of these 20 breeds can thrive in colder climates. Remember that different types of chickens will have different requirements.

It is recommended to start poultry farming with some chicks before deciding which type of chickens you want to keep long-term.

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