Ohio is one of the cooler states in the USA. It has four distinct seasons with a lot of annual rainfall, making it relatively humid.
The winter is long in Ohio, with regular frosts, and temperatures rarely exceeding 37℉. In summer, temperatures range between 84℉ and 64℉.
You must choose the right breed for your state because some chickens won’t thrive in a cold climate.
If you want to know more about the best breeds for your region, discover the eleven best egg laying chickens for Ohio below.
Table of Contents
1. The Ameraucana
Ameraucanas are a native breed and are an Americanized version of the Chilean Araucanas. They love to free range but are also contented living indoors.
The Ameraucana is a distinctive breed due to its blue eggs, extensive muff, beard feathers, and playful personality. However, they generally don’t enjoy being handled.
They are dual-purpose birds which come in many colors. The hens produce up to 150 eggs annually.
Ameraucanas are highly intelligent and prefer to live outdoors. But they can also live indoors happily if they have lots of space, boredom breakers in the coop, and daily access to the yard.
Ameraucanas are smaller birds weighing between 5.5 to 6.5 lbs. Hens are rarely broody but are dedicated mothers when they hatch eggs.
2. The Australorp
The Australorp is a distinctive black chicken with shimmering feathers. It’s native to Australia and descends from the Black Orpington.
Australorps are ideal for Ohio because they’re hardy birds and thrive in cold climates.
Australorps are medium to large birds and weigh between 7 to 10 lbs. when fully grown but are slow to mature. They love to forage outdoors but also tolerate confinement.
Hot days are rare in Ohio, but due to their black feathers, Australorps are more sensitive to the heat, so ensure they have access to water and shade in the peak of summer.
3. The Buckeye
The Buckeye is native to Ohio and was developed by Nettie Metcalf.
Nettie was the first woman to produce a breed by crossing the Plymouth Rock with a Buff Cochin.
The Buckeye chickens are generally quiet and enjoy being petted once you gain their trust.
They are calm, friendly birds with an inquisitive nature. They love to forage, but also do well indoors.
Buckeyes lay 150–200 medium to large brown eggs annually and start laying early, from around six months old.
Buckeyes are large birds weighing between 6.5 and 9 lbs. Some roosters can be aggressive, so you should keep them with other assertive breeds.
4. The Buff Orpington
Buff Orpingtons come from Kent, in the UK.
To protect combs from frostbite, invest in a sweeter heater for your coop, or smear the combs in Vaseline overnight.
Orpingtons are fantastic pets because they love human company and enjoy being petted and handled. They’re also a hardy heritage breed, making them perfect for beginners.
Orpingtons are dual-purpose birds. Hens lay between 200 and 280 large brown eggs annually. The hens are often broody and devoted mothers.
Orpingtons thrive indoors and even though they are large, they are passive, so you shouldn’t keep them with dominant breeds.
Buff Orpingtons weigh between 6 and 10 lbs. and may struggle with the heat in summer, so ensure they always have access to shade and water.
5. The Delaware
Delawares are a cross between the Plymouth Rock chicken and the New Hampshire chicken. They were originally broilers, but people keep them primarily for their eggs these days.
They are fast maturing, medium to large, dual-purpose birds weighing between 6 to 8 lbs.
The Delaware chicken is famous for its jumbo eggs and lays up to 200 per year. Hens will start laying from around five months old.
Delaware chickens are alert, curious, calm, and friendly but can be noisy, and hens rarely go broody.
6. The Dominique
Dominiques are also called Pilgrim Fowl and are one of the oldest native breeds.
The Dominique is a dual-purpose bird, but most people keep them as layers. Hens produce 150–200 medium brown eggs annually and are fantastic brooders and mothers.
The Dominique is a hardy, low-maintenance, calm, friendly bird, and loves to free-range. They are fast developers and weigh between 5–7 lbs. when fully grown.
7. The Plymouth Rock
The Plymouth Rock comes from New England and is one of the most popular chicken breeds in the USA.
Plymouth Rocks are a descendant of the Dominique and look incredibly similar but have a large comb rather than a small pea one.
Plymouth Rocks are hardy, dual-purpose birds and robust layers, producing around 200 medium to large brown eggs annually.
The Plymouth Rock loves to free range and are docile, friendly birds that aren’t aggressive towards other flock members. They mature quickly and weigh between 7.5 and 9.5 lbs.
8. The Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red comes from Massachusetts.
They are dual-purpose, medium-sized birds weighing between 6.5 and 8.5 lbs. They are reliable layers, producing 250–300 large brown eggs annually.
Hens will start laying at around five months old and aren’t very broody.
Rhode Island chickens are curious and intelligent and love to free range but also thrive indoors.
Rhode Island hens are generally friendly with adults, but roosters can be territorial, so you shouldn’t keep them if you have pets, small children, or timid breeds in the flock.
9. The Sussex
The Sussex chicken dates back to Roman times. It comes from Southeast England and is perfect for the long, cold Ohio winters.
Sussex chickens are dual-purpose birds and produce 180 to 250 large cream to light brown eggs annually, and the hens are good brooders.
The Sussex is a large bird weighing between 7 and 9 lbs. They love to free-range and are reasonably quiet.
This breed doesn’t tolerate the heat, so ensure they have access to water on hot days.
10. The Welsummer
Welsummers originated in the Netherlands and are ideal for Ohio because they’re heat and cold-resistant.
But they have a large comb which you must protect against frostbite in the winter.
They are curious and energetic, so they love to free range but also adapt to living indoors.
Welsummer hens can be broody, but they aren’t attentive mothers, and they produce 160–250 distinctive, dark brown eggs annually. Sometimes the eggs are speckled.
11. The Wyandotte
They’re calm, quiet birds that adapt well to living indoors but benefit from time outside each day. Wyandottes enjoy human company but can be aloof until you gain their trust.
Wyandotte hens lay 150 to 200 cream to light brown medium to large eggs annually. They’re not very broody but are attentive mothers when they do raise a clutch.
Wyandottes mature quickly and weigh between 6 and 8.5 lbs. when fully grown.
Cold hardy chicken breeds are generally large, with dense feathers and small pea combs.
If your chickens have large combs, you must protect them from frostbite with a sweeter heater in the coop or by smearing their combs in Vaseline.
Most cold hardy birds don’t tolerate the heat well, so on hot days during the summer, ensure they have access to shade and plenty of water.