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
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.
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).
Nevertheless, continue reading to find the best chicken breeds for Texas. Some of these hens lay well and produce decent meat, making them a suitable choice for a Texas backyard flock.
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:
- Egyptian Fayoumi
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)
One of the best chickens to raise in Texas.
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.
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)
We can also say that Ancona is one best egg-laying chickens for Texas. 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 might be the best chicken for Texas heat because it’s 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.
Catalana is one of the best dual-purpose chickens for Texas!
It’s hard to find this breed in the US, although Catalana exceeds pretty much in Latin America!
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!
Are Catalana Chickens good egg layers?
Catalana chickens lay around 180-200 eggs per year, which categorize them into medium layers. Their egg color is white.
Does Catalana Chickens 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 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.
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:
Are Egyptian Fayoumi Good 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. Egyptian Fayoumi Chickens are one of the best chickens for Texas heat!
They prefer to have room to roam and do better if allowed outside.
After 30 months more or less, they might become broody. So, before that, you will have a good amount of eggs gathered from them!
Also, Leghorn is one of the best chickens to raise in Texas!
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.
Similar to Catalana, Leghorn is also one of the best dual-purpose breeds for Texas!
In fact, we can also say that Leghorn is the best egg laying chicken for Texas. Over the course of a year, Leghorn hens may lay anywhere from 280 to 320 eggs.
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.
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 the climate is tropical.
So, can we define what are the best laying hens for Texas?
Best laying hens for Texas are definitely Ancona with over 250 eggs per year, and Leghorn with over 300 eggs per year.
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.
It comes in six varieties:
- Silver Penciled
- Golden Penciled
- Silver Spangled
- Golden Spangled
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.
Best dual purpose chickens for Texas?
If you want to raise chickens in Texas for meat and eggs, we suggest these six dual-purpose breeds:
Best rooster breeds for Texas?
Although a lot of people avoid raising roosters, here are 5 texas rooster breeds that we recommend:
- Plymouth Rock
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island Red
Can chickens survive 115-degree heat?
The summers in Texas are long, hot, and unpleasant; the winters are short, chilly, and windy; and it is rainy and sometimes overcast skies throughout the whole year. The temperature seldom drops below 37 degrees Fahrenheit or climbs beyond 93 degrees Fahrenheit during the course of a year, although it regularly ranges from 48 degrees to 90 degrees.
So, can chickens survive in Texas heat?
It can be tricky raising chickens in texas heat. Chickens will need help from fellow Texans!
In the event that the temperature outdoors reaches or exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should begin the process of cooling down your chickens. Excessive Texas heat, defined as temperatures at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, may cause serious health problems to your flock.
How do I know if my chickens are too hot?
Overheated hens exhibit symptoms including heavy panting, listlessness, and a pallid appearance of the comb and wattles.
How to keep chickens cool in Texas heat?
Summertime is the perfect time to get your chickens outside, but if you live in Texas, you know that summer can be brutal. To keep your chickens cool in the hot Texas sun, there are a few things you can do.
First, make sure your coop has plenty of shade and is well-ventilated. If possible, try to find a spot for it where the wind blows through frequently. If not, try setting up a fan inside the coop and opening some windows on opposite sides of the coop so that air can circulate more freely inside.
Second, make sure they’re drinking enough water! When it’s hot outside, chickens tend to drink less than they normally would because they’re trying not to get overheated by their own body heat—so make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water at all times! If they’re not drinking enough water and becoming dehydrated, they won’t be able to regulate their body temperature as effectively—and will be more likely to suffer from heatstroke or other problems caused by high temperatures.
Third, check on them often! If it’s really hot outside and you see your chickens panting heavily or seeming lethargic (or even sleeping on their backs with their legs stretched out), take them inside immediately and call your vet immediately if necessary!
To sum up, it’s not easy to find the best heat and cold hardy chickens for Texas. 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 for Texas to consider. Here we mention fast-growing birds, dual-purpose breeds, and heavy meat breeds.
These breeds are one of the best chickens for central Texas!
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.
What are the funniest or oddest chickens you’ve ever seen? – Take a look at our 10 Unusual and Bizarre Chicken Breeds.