Farmers || Future

My wife and I are trying to rethink an order for chickens we have placed. Out f our last batch of hens (25) we only have eight left. We kept an eye on them so we're pretty sure the loss is due either to aggressive birds (25 Cornish) or to our wonderful Lake Erie climate. We're trying to figure out some cold hardy breeds and the only ones that leap to the front of my mind are Bantams. I know a few hardier breeds have mediocre egg production but if there is a breed that is somewhere in the middle, let me know. I don't feel like burying or burning anymore money.

Tags: Chickens, Climate, Cold, Hardiness

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John;
I also have the pleasure of living in the Lake Erie region and have always had good luck with Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds. They are both hearty and excellent layers. We keep about 25 at a time and recycle them after about 2 years when production drops off. Living near Buffalo, we experience some pretty nasty weather, but as long as the coop is draft free and they have plenty of fresh water, they can withstand the cold temps. Sometimes when it gets to single digits, I turn on an infra red light on a timer overnight. Occasionally we will find a dead bird, but if your loosing that many hens, that does not seem right. Id suggest getting a book on chickens and learn the tell tale signs of disease and sickness. As soon as one of them displays a symptom, immediately separate her from the others.
Brahmas are wonderful, I especially like the Dark Brahmas - they have a reputation for being Majestic, sweet natured birds, plus they have a rose comb.

Henderson has a handy dandy chicken chart that you can compare production and various traits. I hope I post this link correctly!

Do you want dual purpose or egg laying abilities as the primary focus?

http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

A few others that come to mind are:

Americaunas (not to be confused with the hatchery stock called "Easter Eggers")
Ancona
Appenzeller
Araucana
Aseel
Australorp
Buckeye
Chantecler (very hard to find purebred stock)
Cochins
Dominique
Dorking (they will lay through winter, especially if you get stock from Sand Hill Preservation)
Faverolles (can be delicate)
Hamburg
Holland
Java
Jersey Giant
Langshan
Orpington
Rocks
Sussex
Welsummer
Wyandotte

Anthea
Bantam are not a breed but rather a size. Many chicken breeds have standard sizes and bantam sizes. I would reccomend cochins for cold hardy birds or just ask the hatchery people.

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