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Best chicken breeds for Florida

Raising chickens in Florida can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to choose the right breeds for the state’s hot and humid climate.

With so many breeds to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones are the best fit for your backyard flock. It’s also important to keep in mind that Florida is a state located in the “hurricane belt” and the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the peak of the season from mid-August to late October. It is important to be prepared in case a hurricane hit the state.

Summer in Florida, which lasts from June to September, is generally hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching into the 90s Fahrenheit (mid 30s Celsius) and high humidity. Thunderstorms are also common during this time of year, providing some relief from the heat.

Winter, which lasts from December to February, is the mildest season in Florida, with temperatures ranging from the low 60s Fahrenheit (around 15 Celsius) to the low 70s Fahrenheit (around 20 Celsius). This is also the time when Florida is most likely to have a freeze and frost, but it is not a frequent occurrence.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the best egg laying chickens for Florida, specifically the top four Florida chicken breeds that are well-suited to live in the Sunshine State.

Orpingtons

Orpington hen

Orpingtons are a large, friendly breed that is well-suited to life in Florida. They are known for their calm and docile temperament, making them an easy breed to keep.

They are also quite hardy and can tolerate hot weather well. Orpingtons are also excellent egg layers, producing around 200-280 eggs per year. One of the best chickens to raise in Florida.

They come in a variety of colors including black, blue, and splash.

Easter Eggers

easter egger

Easter Eggers are a hybrid breed that is known for their ability to lay eggs in a variety of colors, including blue, green, and pink. They are also quite hardy and can tolerate hot weather well. Easter Eggers are generally friendly and docile, making them a great choice for backyard flocks. They lay around 200-250 eggs per year.

Welsummers

Welsummer hen in a garden

Welsummers are a Dutch breed that is known for their rich, dark brown eggs. They are also quite hardy and can tolerate hot weather well. They are generally friendly and docile, making them a great choice for backyard flocks. They lay around 200-240 eggs per year. They come in a variety of colors including red, black, and speckled.

Leghorns

best chicken breed for Florida - Leghorn

Leghorns are an Italian breed that is known for its high egg production. They are also quite hardy and can tolerate hot weather well. Leghorns are generally active and lively birds that are well suited to life in a backyard flock. They lay around 280-320 eggs per year. They come in a variety of colors including white, brown and black.

Silkies

Silkies

Silkies are a small, fluffy breed that is known for their friendly and docile temperament. They are also quite hardy and can tolerate hot weather well. They are not as good egg layers as the other breeds, laying around 100-120 eggs per year. Silkies come in a variety of colors including white, black, blue and splash.

Araucanas

Araucana
via Flickr

Araucanas are a South American breed that is known for their blue eggs.

They are also quite hardy and can tolerate hot weather well. They are generally friendly and docile, making them a great choice for backyard flocks.

They lay around 200-240 eggs per year. They come in a variety of colors including black, blue, and splash.

Fayoumis

Fayoumis

Fayoumis are an Egyptian breed that is known for their hardiness and heat tolerance.

They are also quite active and lively birds that are well suited to life in a backyard flock. They lay around 150-200 eggs per year. They come in a variety of colors including white, brown, black, and red.

Chicken Hatcheries Florida

Chickens for sale in FL can be found at various farms and feed stores throughout the area. These chickens are available in a variety of breeds, from egg-laying hens to meat birds. Many local farmers also sell eggs from their chickens, which are known for their rich flavor and orange yolks

Here is a list of chicken hatcheries in Florida that might help you find the perfect breed for you:

Sweetheart Silkies Inc

The Sweetheart Silkies Inc. is a chicken hatchery that is NPIP-certified and has been around since 2016. Aside from Silkies, which are the main breed they sell, they also sell eggs from the Showgirl and Frizzle breeds.

But apart from being a chicken hatchery, they also provide a temporary home for birds that need to get better. Most of the time, they sell their flock through an auction that starts at $50 and ends with a PayPal shipping fee that is not yet included.

Location: 6444 Solano Farm Rd, Elkton, FL 32033

Phone: 904-299-9008

Vitoria Farms LCC

Vitoria Farms is an NPIP-certified chicken hatchery that sells eggs, chickens, quail, and ducks that are of the highest quality. They follow the biosecurity rules very closely to make sure that their flock stays healthy.

People who want to buy from them can visit the farm for a small fee to cover the costs of biosecurity requirements. The fee is only waived if you spend at least $50 or more with them.

They have different kinds of chickens, like Ameraucanas, Bielefelders, Marans, Broilers, Silkies, Faverolles, and Seramas. Hatching eggs are sold by the dozen and cost between $30 and $60 for chicken eggs. This price does not include the cost of shipping.

Location: 18335 Powerline Rd, Dade City, FL 33523

Phone: 352-467-2600

Happy Feet Hatchery

The Happy Feet Hatchery is one of many chicken hatcheries that are certified by the NPIP and are owned and run by people in the area. They have fresh eggs, hatching eggs, day-old chickens, and other birds that can be picked up by appointment or shipped. Customers who want to ship their order must do so before they buy.

Happy Feet Hatchery makes sure that the flock they are raising is of excellent quality. They have chicken breeds like Orpington, Faverolles, Sex-Link, Olive Eggers, Cream Legbar, Black Copper Marans, Buff Brahma, and Ameraucana. Prices range from $5 to $50, depending on the breed and age of the chicken.

Location: 35703 Huff Rd, Eustis, FL 32736

Phone: 407-733-4427

Quail Life Farm & Hatchery

The Quail Life Farm & Hatchery is an NPIP-certified chicken hatchery that sells Coturnix Quail, Northern Bob White Quail, and Buttons from the day they are born until they are adults. These birds are for sale all year. But they only send eggs; they don’t send live birds.

Also, they sell Skillet Birds for $3 each or for $2 each if you buy 25 or more. No matter what size or age you are, when you order on their website, you have to pay a 0.50$ deposit. Then, you’ll pay the extra amount when you pick up your orders.

Location: 15264 Samons Rd, Brooksville, FL 34601

Phone: 352-584-2066

Greenfire Farms

Greenfire Farms is also on the list of chicken hatcheries that have been approved by the NPIP. You can be sure that they have hatched great chickens because of how well they run their hatcheries.

They have different kinds of chicken breeds, such as bantams, game fowls, large fowls, cold-hardy breeds, and dual-purpose breeds. These breeds include the 55 Flower Hen, Basque Hen, Hedemora, Isbar, Orloff, Pavlovskaya, Queen Silvia, Swedish Black Hen, Lamona, American Bresse, Lavander Wyandotte, Lyonnaise, Marans, Flarru Eye Grey, and many more.

The price ranges from $19 to $99, plus $35 for shipping, depending on the type of chicken, how old it is, and whether or not it is a boy or a girl.

Location: 1345 Dupont Rd, Havana, FL 32333

Phone: 866-684-2968

Are there any laws or regulations for raising chickens in Florida?

Yes, there are some laws and regulations for raising chickens in Florida. For example, most cities and counties have rules about the number of chickens that can be kept on a property, and some areas may require permits or inspections. It is important to check with your local government to see what laws apply to you.

What cities in Florida allow chickens?

For example, in the City of Gainesville, a maximum of 10 hens, intended for personal consumption, are permitted per single-family home. Keeping or raising other livestock such as horses, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, and rabbits is not allowed.

The laws regarding keeping chickens in Florida can vary depending on the city or county. Some cities and towns have laws that allow chickens within city limits, while others have specific regulations regarding the number of chickens that can be kept on a property. Some municipalities also require permits or inspections for keeping chickens.

For example, many cities in Florida like Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville, allow chickens on residential property but with a limit on the number of hens and some rules to follow, such as no roosters allowed, coop size, distance from neighbors and specific zoning regulations. Some cities like Sarasota and Tallahassee also have specific regulations for backyard chickens.

Is Florida too hot for chickens?

Florida’s hot and humid climate can be challenging for chickens, but with proper care and management, chickens can thrive in the state.

Some ways to keep chickens cool and comfortable in the Florida heat include providing shade and plenty of fresh water, as well as taking steps to protect them from the sun, such as installing a misting system or using a poultry cooling fan.

It’s also important to make sure their coop is well-ventilated and insulated to keep the temperature inside as cool as possible.

How do I keep my chickens cool in the Florida heat?

Keeping your chickens cool in the Florida heat is essential to their health and well-being. Some ways to do this include providing shade and plenty of fresh water, as well as taking steps to protect them from the sun, such as installing a misting system or using a poultry cooling fan. It’s also important to make sure their coop is well-ventilated and insulated to keep the temperature inside as cool as possible.

What do I need to know about predators in Florida when raising chickens?

Florida has a diverse wildlife population, which means that backyard chickens may be at risk from a variety of predators.

Some common predators in Florida include raccoons, opossums, snakes, and birds of prey. It’s important to take steps to protect your chickens from these predators, such as installing secure fencing around your coop and run, and keeping your chickens in a secure coop at night.

How do I care for my chickens during the rainy season in Florida?

The rainy season in Florida can pose a few challenges for backyard chicken keepers.

To keep your chickens healthy and comfortable during this time, it’s important to make sure their coop and run are well-drained and protected from the elements.

You may also need to adjust your feeding and watering schedule, as chickens tend to eat less and drink more during wet weather. Make sure your coop is well-ventilated but also protected from the rain.

What should I feed my chickens in Florida?

Chickens in Florida should be fed a balanced diet that includes good quality chicken feed, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, and occasional treats such as mealworms or scratch grains.

Chickens also need access to clean, fresh water at all times. In hot weather, chickens tend to eat less and drink more, so it’s important to monitor their water intake and make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water.

Can I raise chickens for meat in Florida?

Yes, it is possible to raise chickens for meat in Florida. However, it’s important to keep in mind that raising chickens for meat requires a different set of management practices than raising chickens for eggs.

If you plan on raising chickens for meat, it’s important to research the best breeds for meat production and to consult with a veterinarian or poultry expert for guidance on feeding, housing, and care.

Do chickens lay eggs in the winter in Florida?

Chickens are known to be seasonal layers, which means their egg-laying patterns can be affected by the changing of the seasons and the amount of daylight. During the winter months, the days are shorter and the hours of daylight are less, which can affect a chicken’s egg-laying patterns. In general, chickens tend to lay fewer eggs in the winter months compared to the spring and summer months.

Keeping Chickens During The Winter
via Flickr

However, this can vary depending on the breed of chicken, some breeds are known to lay eggs year-round, and some breeds have a tendency to slow down on laying during the winter time.

In Florida, due to the mild winters, chickens may continue to lay eggs throughout the winter months, but the rate of egg production may decrease. Some chickens may stop laying eggs altogether during the winter, but this can depend on the individual chicken and the specific conditions of its environment.

It’s important to keep in mind that chickens need a certain amount of daylight in order to lay eggs. Artificial lighting can be used to increase the hours of daylight and encourage egg laying during the winter months. It’s also important to provide chickens with a balanced diet, adequate shelter and protection from the cold to help them maintain good health and continue to lay eggs.

How often should I collect eggs from my chickens in Florida?

Chickens in Florida will lay eggs on a regular basis, usually every 1-2 days. To ensure that your chickens are healthy and comfortable, it’s important to collect eggs from the coop at least once a day.

In hot weather, eggs should be collected more frequently to prevent them from getting too warm. It’s also important to wash and refrigerate eggs as soon as possible to prolong their freshness.

Conclusion

In Florida, it is also illegal to keep roosters within city limits, due to noise pollution. This means that only hens are allowed in most urban areas.

In conclusion, Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, and Welsummers are some of the best chicken breeds for Florida’s hot and humid climate. These breeds are hardy, lay a good amount of eggs per year and have a good temperament. It is also important to be aware of the laws and regulations for raising chickens in Florida and to ensure that your chickens are well-cared for to keep them healthy and comfortable.

Resources:

https://www.fdacs.gov/Business-Services/Food/Food-Establishments/Limited-Poultry-and-Egg-Farms

https://www.fdacs.gov/Agriculture-Industry/Livestock/Chickens-Poultry

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