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6 Best Egg Laying Chickens for Colorado

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If you’re wondering which hens to purchase, it helps to have a firm grasp on the specific difficulties of chicken raising in Colorado. 

The state of Colorado is well-known for its high altitude as well as its wide climate variation, which includes warm summers and chilly winters. 

Choosing resilient chicken breeds for these conditions is essential for ensuring both the security and well-being of your hens.

Fortunately, certain chickens have been bred to be hardy, and they have traits that help them survive in harsher conditions. 

In this article, we will show you seven of the most reliable egg-laying chicken breeds for both warm and cold climates, including Colorado.

hen and little white chicks on green lawn with flowers in organic farm

Climate of Colorado

Winter Temperatures in ColoradoNormal winter highs and lows in the plains are 0°F -10°F, and sometimes -15°F. But some of the coldest waves have brought temperatures to as low as -30°F and -40°F.
Summer Temperatures in ColoradoDaily highs in the summer regularly exceed 95°F, and temperatures of 100°F or higher have been recorded everywhere.

Because Colorado is located inland and far from major bodies of water, it generally has a dry climate. 

In addition, because there are no oceans to moderate the state’s climate, Colorado experiences hot summers and cold winters, with reasonably large temperature swings throughout the day.

The state has an average yearly temperature of 43.5°F, which is 13.7 degrees below the norm.

Although the state of Colorado is most well-known for its winters due to its excellent snow conditions, the state does, in fact, experience all four seasons. 

While January is typically the coolest month statewide, December can be among the coldest in some areas, including Denver and Colorado Springs. 

Daily highs in the summer often exceed 95°F, with July typically being the warmest month.

Locals here enjoy more than 300 sunny days a year and yearly rainfall of only 8 to 15 inches. That’s more sunshine than you’d get in Miami or San Diego.

List of the Best Chickens for Laying Eggs in Colorado

1Plymouth RockLays about 250 eggs each year. Dual-purpose heritage breed. Docile, kid-friendly chickens. Heat and cold tolerant.
2SussexLays about 200-250 eggs each year. Dual-purpose heritage breed. Great for beginners and children. This breed is great in cold climates
3AustralorpLays about 250-300 eggs each year. Dual-purpose heritage breed. Easy to handle and docile, perfect for beginners. Hardy.
4Rhode Island RedLays about 270 eggs each year. Dual-purpose breed. Hardy and low maintenance.
5OrpingtonLays about 150-250 eggs each year. Dual-purpose breed. Excellent for children and beginner chicken keepers. Low maintenance.
6WelsummersLays about 160 eggs each year. Bird with a calm attitude and high intelligence. Dual purpose breed. Good for beginners. Thrives in colder regions.

1. Plymouth Rock

Plymouth rock chicken walking down the stairs of a house porch

The Plymouth Rock is a popular kind of chicken among American breeders. This breed is also by far one of America’s oldest poultry breeds.

The Barred Rock hen is resistant not only to cold weather but also to high temperatures.
Each year, they produce around 250 big, brown eggs of exceptional quality.

If they go broody, they make wonderful mothers, so you won’t need to worry about the well-being of the chicks.

But Plymouths are advantageous not just as egg layers but also as meat producers.

The Plymouth Rock is a large breed of chicken. Plymouth Rock roosters typically weigh in at 9.5 pounds. These big birds are perfect for the dinner table.

When it comes to raising chickens, the Plymouth Rock is among the easiest and sweetest.

A lot of Plymouth owners say that their birds follow them around like dogs and love to be cuddled and petted.

2. Sussex

A Speckled Sussex hen in the snow

Sussex chickens are among the oldest remaining chicken breeds, with their origins in England dating back to at least the year AD 43.

The Sussex is a sturdy bird that can withstand a wide range of temperatures. A single Sussex hen can lay anywhere from 200 to 250 pale brown eggs every year.

They start laying later than most breeds, typically around eight months of age.

Sussex chickens come in eight different colors, but the most common and popular is the speckled variety.

This is a big chicken that may be raised for both eggs and meat. Hens average about 7 pounds, while roosters average 9 pounds.

They have a kind nature and are simple to care for, making them ideal for inexperienced owners or younger kids. In fact, even the roosters are mild-mannered.

3. Australorp

Two black australorp chickens sitting in lush vegetable garden surrounded by carrot leaves

The Australorp chicken breed was developed in Australia, but its friendly personality, robust health, and abundant egg production have made it popular across the globe.

Being both heat and cold-tolerant, Australorp birds are well-suited to a wide range of climates.

The Australorp breed of hens is known for its prolific egg production. A hen of the Australorp breed set a new world record for the number of eggs it laid in the 1920s.

On average, an Australorp hen will produce between 250 and 300 tasty eggs per year.

Their egg production begins to decline around the age of four, and their life expectancy is roughly eight years.

Australorp was bred to be prolific in both egg layers and meat birds. Male birds should weigh between 8.5 and 10 pounds, while females should weigh between 6.5 and 8 pounds, making them the optimal sizes for meat birds.

The Australorp is known for its mild demeanor. Due to their low maintenance requirements, these chickens are ideal for beginners and families with young children.

4. Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red Chicken in the coop

Rhode Island Red chickens were first bred in the late 1800s in Rhode Island, USA.

They are hardy birds that will provide you with an abundance of eggs.

They’re great for first-time chicken keepers because they’re hardy and low maintenance. Aside from the necessities of life (food, water, and shelter), they don’t not have many other requirements. 

In a year, Rhode Island Red hens can lay around 270 medium to large-sized, light-brown eggs. 

They start laying eggs between 4 and 5 months of age, which is earlier than the norm for most chicken breeds.

Because of their big size, Rhode Island Reds are a great chicken breed to raise for consumption. Hens typically weigh roughly 6.5 pounds, while roosters can get up to 8.5 pounds.

They’re calm and social hens that get along well with other birds. However, roosters of the Rhode Island Red have a reputation for being very territorial and aggressive. 

5. Orpington

Buff orpington chicken standing in the backyard farm

The Buff Orpington is a friendly breed of chicken that is great for inexperienced farmers or families with young children. Moreover, they are frequently kept as pets. 

Developed by William Cook in the latter half of the nineteenth century, Orpington chickens are named after the English town of Orpington, from which they originally came.

The Orpington chicken became well-liked due to the fact that they develop quickly, are resilient, and have pleasant demeanors.

While they can survive in very cold temperatures, they need a lot of shade when it’s hot outside.

Usually, hens start laying eggs at around 24 weeks of age.

Your Orpington chicken’s egg output will differ depending on the color variation you choose. But you should easily expect anywhere from 150-250 total eggs every year, with an average of 3-5 eggs per week.

The Orpington chicken is a large breed with potential as a meat bird. The roosters weigh about 10 pounds, while the female hens weigh about 8 pounds.

6. Welsummers

Welsummer chicken standing on green grass

Welsummers are stunning birds native to Europe, prized not only for their good looks but also for their pleasant demeanor and the quality of the rich brown eggs they lay.

The Dutch call those birds a Welsummer, a name that more closely resembles the name of the town where they were developed (Welsum) at the end of the 19th century.

Welsummers are pleasant, lively birds known for their calm demeanor and high level of intelligence.

The Welsummer chicken breed thrives in a free-range environment because they enjoy foraging and are exceptionally good at spotting food.

Welsummers are versatile birds that can be eaten, but their best feature is their beautiful brown eggs.

The Welsummer is full of life and resilience but has a rather light build. Welsummer hens can weigh up to 6 pounds, while roosters can reach 7 pounds in weight.

Welsummers lay an average of 160 eggs every year. 

The eggs have a very unusual pigment; they are a gorgeous dark brown but can be rubbed off with your fingers. This is due to the fact that the pigment isn’t added until the very last stage of egg production.

Final Thoughts

You can choose from literally hundreds of different varieties of chicken to keep in the backyard of your home. However, it might be challenging to narrow down the options to only those that will thrive in a state like Colorado, with its distinct natural environment.

Remember that the hen you will buy should be able to survive both hot summers and cold winters.

Here are six of the best chicken breeds for Colorado, all of which fare well in the state and, more significantly, all of which are reliable layers.

Remember that some laying hens lay eggs better than others, and your egg needs should be taken into account when choosing a breed.

You should give some thought to your options and research all of the breeds listed in the article.


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