chicken heat tolerance

Casa Grande, AZ(Zone 9b)

I live in the desert SW and have been losing a few hens lately. at first I blamed the heat {105-112} for days on end. I have mister systems outside and fans inside. and the last month I have lost 4 hens, all Rhode Island Reds. I lost one today and it is only 95*. mabe to old age. Are there some breeds of chickens that do better in the heat than others? Would white hens be better for this heat? Ill bet someone knows the answer.

Antrim, NH

I don't know specifically, but it really seems like you are doing all the right things to take care of them. I would imagine that big single combs and light plumage, as well as sparser plumage would help. Assuming RIRs were really bred in Rhode Island, the climate they were bred to thrive in is quite different than yours! I'm jealous, because I bet you can have all sorts of cool chickens that don't winter well here in NH.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Bumping this thread as I am getting chickens this year! And, I live in the desert :-) And, it gets down into the teens during the winters... I seem to be able to find advice about wintering them, but not on what breeds might be more heat tolerant than others. Thanks in advance for any info.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

RIRs are what is considered "full-feathered". they can't tolerate the heat.

for heat tolerance try the Transylvania Naked Necks, AKA Turkens. they have few feathers, lay well, and make decent meat birds too!

other breeds exhibiting "reduced featherization":

if you are concerned about frostbite in winter [which causes sterility in breeding flocks] get something with a rose, pea, or walnut comb... or simply have a small draft free shed where their body heat and maybe one heat lamp would suffice...

& here is some advice for raisingchicks:


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Thanks much! The adventure begins :-)

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

you have NO idea what you are embarking on LOL

what are you getting & from whom?


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Local feed store - but after reading the thread on McMurray, I think I am going to ask where they get their chicks from. I had chickens 20 something years ago, but have never raised them from day old chicks, so I'm looking forward to being a Mama again :-)

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

one thing many of us learned form that was how to search around for local breeders and for small hatcheries. just do some homework online... i think i saw a bunch of links just at the feathersite link i gave you.

let us know when you get them!

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