Everyone has their favorite chicken breeds.  Some like this breed, while others like that breed.  Some raise for meat, while others raise for eggs.  But, what are the top 5 dual-purpose heat tolerant chicken breeds best suited for the Arizona Desert?  Here’s my list.  Remember, this is from my experience.  These are breeds that we have never lost a bird from because of heat.  If I didn’t include your favorite breed, let me know in the comments.

Orpingtonsorpingtons

The Orpington is a breed of chicken named after Orpington, England, which was made famous in part by this breed. Belonging to the English class of chickens, it was bred to be an excellent layer with good meat quality. Their large size and soft appearance together with their rich color and gentle contours make them very attractive, and as such its popularity has grown as a show bird rather than a utility breed. They go broody very often, and make great mothers. Being rather heavy, they are able to fly small distances and rarely do, so they work well as backyard birds. Due to their build they do well in very cold climates. The fluff of their feathers allows rain water to penetrate, so they must be kept out of the rain.  Read More.

Rhode Island RedsRhode Island Red

The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken. They are a utility bird, raised for meat and eggs, and also as show birds. They are a popular choice for backyard flocks because of their egg laying abilities and hardiness. Non-industrial strains of the Rhode Island Red are listed as recovering by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  Three vital variations appeared to have had the largest impact around the Rhode Island Red: Asiatics, Game, and Mediterranean. Read More.

 

 

WyandottesSilver-laced Wyandotte

The Wyandotte is a breed of chicken originating in the United States. The first examples of the breed appeared in 1870s. Wyandottes are a docile, dual-purpose breed kept for their brown eggs and for meat. They appear in a wide variety of color patterns, and are popular show birds. The Wyandotte lays pale brown or tan eggs and usually has a white ring of feathers around its neck. Wyandotte hens are devoted mothers.  Read More.

 

 

Jersey GiantsBlack Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant is a breed of chicken originating in the United States in the late 19th century by John and Thomas Black. The intent of the breed was the replace the turkey as the primary meat poultry breed. Named for their state of origin (New Jersey) and their large size. Jersey Giants are largest purebred chicken breed. Cocks average 13 lbs. and hens 11 lbs.  Read More.

 

 

AmeraucanasAmeraucana

The Ameraucana is a breed of chicken developed in the United States. The name is a portmanteau term of American and Araucana (a related breed). Ameraucanas come in both a large and bantam variety. Eight colors are officially recognized for poultry shows by the American Poultry Association: Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten and White. There are several project colors, including Lavender.  Read More.

6 Responses to “Top 5 Chicken Breeds for the Arizona Desert”

  • Jen says:

    Don’t forget (Black) Australorps! They are an Australian designed breed from the Orpington. I read that they held the record for egg laying. A large breed that is especially heat hardy with a docile personality too.

    • Jeffrey Dyer says:

      At the time, I didn’t have any experience with Australorps. We added 4 to our flock last summer, and I have to say, they do very well in the heat. There are a few more breeds I’d add to this list. I’ll do another post soon.

  • cyanne says:

    I would think that a black colored chicken would roast in the Arizona sun!

  • Julee Davis says:

    Thank you SO much for this! I’m getting ready to buy chickens for my coop. While I knew about RIRs and Wyandottes, I did not realize how hearty these other breeds were. I’m in Tucson, so your information is EXTREMELY HELPFUL to me.

    Thank you again!

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