5 Best Chickens for Texas, United States (heat hardy, temperament, and origin)

Texans take pride in just about everything, whether it’s their football teams, barbeque, or their egg-laying chickens. There’s no denying that a chicken coop full of freshly laid eggs is a satisfying sight for homesteaders and hobbyists alike. But if you’re looking to raise the best egg-laying chickens in Texas, you’ll also want to consider other factors:

  • Heat Hardy
  • Broodiness’
  • Temperament
  • Egg-laying

The weather can be hot and humid, or cold and dry. If you live in an arid area, it’s important to choose a breed that is well adapted to your climate. During the hot summer months, temperatures sometimes reach 100 degrees.

Certain breeds of chickens may be better suited than others to the hot and humid conditions of Texas.

You don’t want to get too fancy with your chicken selection when it comes to laying eggs. If you want a breed that lays colored eggs or has a funny-shaped head (like the Silkie), make sure you are prepared for higher costs and more difficulty in feeding and raising them.

Texas State Map pinning to Austin

If you live in the city or suburbs of Texas, going through all this trouble is probably not worth it! You can find plenty of commercial options at your local grocery store or farmers’ market if you live in an urban area (for example organic cage-free brown eggs from Whole Foods).

Mediterranean breeds tend to be slimmer, with larger combs that dissipate heat well

In hot and humid climates, it is important to choose chickens with large combs. Chickens’ combs are their cooling system and also help regulate their body temperature.

If you’re looking for a best-egg laying breed in Texas that doesn’t have the issues with humidity, heat and fertility but still lays pretty well, we suggest the Mediterranean sorts:

  1. Ancona
  2. Catalana
  3. Egyptian Fayoumi
  4. Leghorn
  5. Hamburg

The Mediterranean breeds are known for their resilience in hot weather and are available in many different colors and types. They don’t need as much shade as some other breeds, but they do need plenty of fresh water.

Dual-purpose breeds like Rhode Island Reds (or just Reds), Plymouth Rock(Rocks), and so on are also reasonable to be raised in Texas.

Now, let’s focus more on the Mediterranean chicken breeds and why you should choose them!

1. Ancona Chicken Breed (characteristics, eggs per year, and broodiness)

The Ancona chicken breed was developed in the early 1900s by crossing some other Mediterranean breeds with Cochins and Leghorns. The goal was to create an egg-layer that would be easy to raise and adaptable to different climates.

In 1888, the first Ancona’s were imported into the United States. They were recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1898 as a single-combed variety and, in 1914, rose-combed types were recognized.

It’s been classified as a Light-Soft Feathered breed by the Poultry Club of Great Britain.

Ancona chicken- good choice for Texas residents

Characteristics of Ancona chicken

Ancona chickens are very similar in size and shape to Leghorn chickens, but they differ in that their backs slope downward from shoulders to tail, showing a slight angle where the two sections meet.

While Leghorns are known as flighty, Ancona’s take the term “pheasant-like” to a whole new level. They are known to fly over vast distances when foraging and are quite reclusive. We wouldn’t suggest getting this breed as a pet chicken.

The Ancona chicken is a good choice for Texas because it has the following characteristics:

Good-layer (around two hundred and fifty eggs per year – 250)

Eggs can be light brown or white, depending on the variety. They tend to be smaller than most commercial eggs but larger than some other bantam breeds such as Silkies or Polish.

Have a little affinity for broodiness

Many chicken keepers have pointed out that Ancona chickens have little to no tendency for broodiness. Although, hens are great mothers and will take care of their little baby chicks!

Heat Tolerant Chicken

Ancona’s are also heat-hardy and can survive hot temperatures without any problems at all. This makes them an excellent choice for Texas because it gets so hot there sometimes during the summer months.

If you are looking for a chicken that can do it all, the Ancona is worth considering.

2. Catalana Chicken Breed (characteristics, eggs per year and broodiness)

This is a dual-purpose breed coming from Barcelona, Spain. It’s not common in the US, but it’s well-known that this breed provides a respectable amount of meat and eggs. Their variety is BUFF, and in 1949 are recognized by the American Poultry Organization.

It’s hard to find this breed in the US, although Catalana exceeds pretty much in Latin America!

Catalana <a href=chickens are one of the best free-range chicken breeds. It’s perfect if you’re on a small farm, or maybe even if you just have a smaller homestead with only a few chickens to raise.” class=”wp-image-6835″ title=”Catalana Chicken Breed (characteristics, eggs per year and broodiness)”/>

Characteristics of Catalana chicken

Catalana (Gallina del Prat) is a beautiful bird with a single comb and white earlobes.

Their plumage is golden red with black tail feathers with a green sheen to them. They do not thrive when confined and they tend to be high-risk fliers, which means they are likely to fly over fences and out of pastures if they can get away with it.

Similar to Ancona, this breed doesn’t fit very well with kids and it shouldn’t be kept as a pet chicken.

So, why Catalana chickens are good for Texas, especially close areas to Mexico like Rio Grande, Zapata, Hebbronville, Los Acros, etc?

Greatest for hot climates

Yes, they are rare in the US, but there is a reason why. This chicken prospers in hot climate areas, like Texas! That’s why we included this breed in our selection. It might be hard to attain this breed, but trust us, it’s 100% worth it!

Decent Egg-Layers

Catalana chickens lay around 180-200 eggs per year, which categorize them in medium layers. Their egg color is white.

Doesn’t go broody

It is well-known that this breed doesn’t go broody.

Good for small farms

Catalana chickens are one of the best free-range chicken breeds. It’s perfect if you’re on a small farm, or maybe even if you just have a smaller homestead with only a few chickens to raise.

As we mentioned above, they might be hard to acquire, but in the end, they will be a great addition if we take into consideration the really hot summers in TX.

3. Egyptian Fayoumi

Some consider this breed as an ancient, coming from Egypt-west of the Nile river.

This breed is classified as LIGHT-Rare Soft feather by the Poultry Club of Great Britain and has been approved by the American Poultry Association in 1874.

Egyptian Fayoumi Hen in small farm in Houston, Texas

Characteristics of Fayoumis chicken

Very intelligent, active and fantastically alert type of breed. Most chicken keepers describe them as the best free-range chickens. Also, they are flighty chickens and can escape from predators easily.

Fayoumis have a single comb, with even serratations. Their wattles, earlobes and comb are reddish, and their eyes are brown.

There are two color varieties known; gold-pencilled and silver-pencilled.

You are wondering, are Egyptian Fayoumi chickens good for the Texas area?

Indeed, they are! Here are some pros that Fayoumis chickens have:

Respectable Layers

Hens have a tendency to lay from 180 to 210 eggs per year. The color of the eggs is white or tinted.

Outstanding for warm temperatures

The tropical climate is not a problem for them, they survive pretty easily. Fayoumis hens and cockerels are well-known for their hardiness and resilience.

Excellent Foragers

They prefer to have room to roam and do better if allowed outside.

Broodiness level=low

After 30 months more or less, they might become broody. So, before that, you will have a good amount of eggs gathered from them!

4. Leghorn

The Leghorn is a breed of white or brown chicken. It is one of the most popular meat and egg-producing breed and is used extensively for both farm and commercial egg production.

It was originally raised in the area of Leghorn, Italy, but has been exported worldwide. The breed was first imported into the United States in 1828 by William Crowell, who brought birds from Italy to New York City.

Leghorn Hen free ranging in Dallas, TX

Characteristics of Leghorn chicken

The Leghorn is a large bird with a heavy frame, broad breast and a large head.

The comb is single but horned, with five points on each side. The legs are yellow while the shanks are white (sometimes tinged light brown).

The earlobes are red or flesh-colored; this trait is common in Mediterranean breeds but not found in many others. The earlobes are also used as an identifying characteristic for Fanciers who choose to show their chickens at poultry shows.

They were originally bred for their prolific egg laying ability and good mothering skills making them very adaptable to free range situations where they can utilize available grasses, insects and other natural foods in their diet as well as commercial feeds if desired by their owners.

Also, they do very well in places where humidity is high and climate is tropical.

5. Hamburg Chicken breed

Hamburg chicken is a breed of chicken originating in the city of Hamburg, Germany. It was developed during the early 20th century through cross-breeding between several other breeds. In its native country, it is known as a Hamburger Huhn or Hamburger Hahn and is not a separate breed.

Hamburg originated in Germany as a crossbreed between various types of chickens. The goal was to create a bird that would lay eggs all year long and be small enough to fit into the chicken coop. By the early 1920s, these birds had become popular among urban chicken owners and spread throughout central Europe and the United States

In 1960, Hamburg was recognized by the American Poultry Association.

Hamburg Hen and Rooster in Laredo, TX

It comes in six varieties:

  • Silver Penciled
  • Golden Penciled
  • Silver Spangled
  • Golden Spangled
  • White
  • Black

Today it is still considered one of the most popular breeds in Germany because it can survive well on limited food rations and is heat-hardy chicken!

Hamburg chicken is a moderate egg layer, with around 170-210 eggs per year. Their egg color is white and medium-sized. They go rare broody, and they are both hardy for winter and summer.

Conclusion:

To sum up, there are plenty of chicken breeds that will not only survive but thrive in hot and humid climates.

Our list above gives you an idea of some breeds to consider. Here we mention fast-growing birds, dual-purpose breeds and heavy meat breeds.

Each has pros and cons, of course, and every area presents a different set of variables where these facts have to be considered. So make sure you’re working through the right process to find the right chickens for Texas.

If you live in Texas, these are the breeds you might consider buying. We suggest Mediterranean types like Ancona, Catalana, Egyptian Fayoumi, Leghorn, Hamburg, Penedesenca, and White-Faced Black Spanish.
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