When looking for the best breed of chicken to raise, there is no one right answer. There are many factors to the pros and cons of specific breeds.
It is important to consider the location and climate the chickens will be living in. Some breeds thrive better in certain temperatures.
Which chickens suit the weather in Delaware? Let’s take a look.
The state of Delaware has its unique climate, so you’ll need to consider this when deciding what chicken breeds to raise.
The weather in Delaware varies throughout the year, giving it four true seasons, but overall, the weather tends to be on the colder side.
In a typical year, Delaware has mild weather in spring and autumn.
In the winter months, average lows are below freezing. The average summer highs reach well into the 80s°F (20+°C).
13 Breeds Suited for Delaware
Because the weather in Delaware changes throughout the year, chickens living in Delaware need to handle both cold and heat. Traits such as small combs help prevent frostbite, making chickens more likely to survive the winter.
However, some cold-weather traits could make it more difficult for chickens to endure the summer heat. These traits include heavy feathers and large body size.
The opposite is also true. Small bodies and large combs and wattles are traits that help chickens handle hot weather. However, these same traits can put them at risk during the winter.
Fortunately, we’ve found thirteen breeds that strike a balance and can tolerate large temperature variations.
As a Mediterranean breed, these chickens are especially known for their heat tolerance, but they are also cold hardy. Andalusians are dual-purpose chickens, and the hens lay around 180 eggs a year.
This breed originated in Australia as a blend between the Orpington and several other varieties of chicken.
The Australorps’ trademarks are the ability to lay 300 eggs per year and thriving in a wide range of temperatures.
Due to their large size and thick feathers, Brahmas are highly cold-resistant. However, they do not produce as many eggs as some other breeds, averaging 140 a year.
For a location such as Delaware that experiences both cold and warm weather, it’s best to choose a light-colored variety such as white, gray, or buff Cochins. Light-colored plumage will help keep the birds from overheating in the summertime.
Buckeyes are known for being a sweet-natured breed. They are particularly well-suited for cold weather but can also adapt to warm weather.
Buckeyes thrive best when permitted to range freely.
They are also known to lay between 150 and 200 eggs per year.
Given the name, it’s no surprise that this dual-purpose breed is well-suited to Delaware’s weather.
Delaware chickens originated when breeders crossed New Hampshire Reds with Plymouth Rocks.
These birds lay around 200 eggs a year, and they are hardy and able to adjust to fluctuating weather.
Dominiques are believed to be the first unique variety of chicken that originated in the United States.
Their mottled coloring helps to protect them from predators. In addition, these chickens usually lay between 150 and 200 eggs per year and can thrive in a wide range of temperatures.
7. Easter Egger
These common mixed-breed chickens are known for laying between 200 and 280 colorful eggs every year.
Easter Eggers usually have friendly temperaments. While they’re particularly well-adapted to the cold, they can also endure hot weather with the proper care.
8. New Hampshire Red
New Hampshire Reds are dual-purpose, medium-sized chickens. They can be skittish around humans at first, so proper socialization is important for them.
They are heat-tolerant but also do well in cold climates. On average, New Hampshire Red hens produce 200 eggs a year.
These dual-purpose chickens are known for being good with children.
Orpington chickens can tolerate cold and heat, although they have a higher risk of getting frostbite than some other varieties on this list, so keep this in mind if you plan to raise Orpingtons in Delaware.
Hens are productive egg-layers, usually laying between 200 and 280 eggs a year.
10. Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock hens are well-suited for cold weather, but the roosters’ large combs make them less hardy. This means Plymouth Rocks are a good egg-laying breed for Delaware but not necessarily a dual-purpose one.
Overall, this breed can endure a wide range of temperatures.
Plymouth Rock hens are also great egg layers, averaging 250 eggs per year.
11. Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Reds have been raised in the United States for over a century. They are medium-sized, and they grow quickly.
These versatile chickens do well in both hot and chilly temperatures.
In addition, they are known to be prolific egg producers. Hens can lay around 280 eggs a year!
This breed is noted for being cold-hardy, but also for being one of the best breeds to keep in warm climates. This makes Welsummers a great choice for the ups and downs of Delaware weather.
Hens lay an average of 180 eggs a year.
This dual-purpose breed has a nearly 150-year history.
Wyandottes are renowned for laying eggs year-round, even in the cold of winter. Their small combs help to protect them from the risk of frostbite.
Hens usually produce between 150 and 200 eggs each year.
Choosing what kind of chicken to keep can feel overwhelming. Price, longevity, egg production, and temperament can all affect your decision.
One consideration that may get overlooked is location. It is important to find out if a chicken breed can thrive in a particular area’s climate.
For example, Delaware is a state that tends to have cold weather but can also get quite warm in the summer. This list is meant to help you find breeds suited to this state’s changes in temperature.