Chickens and Extreme Temperatures

Q:  What are your thoughts on breeds to buy for our needs and environment. We want about 4 hens. Maybe 1 rooster. Only interested in eggs to eat. Live in Jamestown,Calif. Temps range from night time winter lows in the 20’s to 100 daytime in summer. Rare to get much snow . elevation is 1400′ We are in a rural area and are somewhat new at this.

A:  Most of the standard backyard breeds will work just fine.  I would go with a dual purpose breed, which means they are good for eggs and the butcher block.  The best, in my mind, are Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks.  They can handle temperatures down into the teens without any external heating.  They are also great layers, you should get 5 – 6 eggs per chicken per week.  As for the heat just make sure they have access to shade, and that they have plenty of fresh water.  Also, chickens are easier than you might think.  I hope that helps and let me know if you have any additional questions.  Thank you for your interest, and good luck!

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