Raising chickens and collecting your own eggs is becoming more and more enticing by the day, thanks to the rising price of eggs.
If you live in Tennessee, you may ask yourself which egg laying chickens are best for your state.
While the state does experience all four seasons, neither the winters nor the summers are too extreme for the chickens on the list we’ve cultivated in this article.
In the cold months, the average temperature in Tennessee is around 27° Fahrenheit. In the warmer months, 88.3° Fahrenheit is the average, which is not too bad if chickens have ample shade.
Knowing which egg laying hens can handle the weather in your state is the key to having a successful backyard chicken coop.
Table of Contents
1. Golden Comets
Golden comet chickens are great laying hens for Tennesseans looking to raise a backyard flock.
They are hardy birds, meaning they are strong, easy keepers. They will weigh six to seven pounds when fully grown and can easily handle Tennessee’s environment.
Golden comet chickens are a light to medium red color, but many have white feathers intermixed in their plumage, especially on their tails and necks.
You may know these chickens by another name, depending on the hatchery or breeder they came from, like Red Stars, Cinnamon Queens, Gold Sex Links, or Golden Buffs.
2. Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Red hens weigh six and a half pounds as adults, have rusty red feathers, and are very friendly birds.
They are an American heritage breed that originated in Rhode Island around the turn of the 20th century.
These chickens are hardy and do well in all climates, meaning Tennessee’s weather conditions are more than ideal. For those looking for a great laying hen for Tennessee, consider the Rhode Island Red.
3. Plymouth Rocks
Plymouth Rock hens make excellent laying chickens for Tennessee thanks to their resilience and ability to lay a lot of eggs annually.
Plymouth rocks are docile birds that would be excellent for almost any backyard coop.
Plymouth Rocks come in a few different colors, including white, red, or barred, which is white- and black-checkered plumage.
They are a tough breed of chickens, able to withstand hot or cold temperatures, so Tennessee’s mild weather is perfect for them.
Another great egg laying chicken for Tennessee is the Orpington, a breed that originated overseas in England.
These chickens are slightly larger than some of the others on this list, and they can weigh up to eight pounds as adults.
There are several varieties of Orpingtons with different colored feathers, including buff, silver-laced English, lavender, and Jubilee.
Orpingtons are stout chickens that handle cold and hot temperatures rather well, which explains why they do so well in states like Tennessee.
If you are looking for a large laying chicken, the Orpington might just be the right option for your coop.
Australorps can weigh six and a half pounds when they finally finish growing.
Australian chicken breeders developed this new breed from a combination of Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Minorca, White Leghorn, and other popular chicken breeds of the 1900s.
Australorps can be black, solid white, blue, buff, wheaten-laced, golden, or splash-colored.
Australorps fare well in most moderate climates, but on overly hot summer days in Tennessee, owners need to ensure they have plenty of shade.
They are medium-sized hens, weighing up to seven pounds in adulthood.
Wyandottes lay large, light brown eggs, and there are nine different color varieties in the United States. In Europe, there are as many as 30! Some of the most popular are the silver-laced, gold-laced, and blue-laced.
These chickens can live long and happily in states like Tennessee because the weather is never too extreme. Wyandottes are hardy birds that can withstand a variety of climates, so a mild one is perfect.
These chickens weigh between 4.5 and 5.1 pounds as adults, making them one of the smaller chickens on this list.
Their smaller size does not mean they lay fewer eggs than larger hens. On the contrary, some leghorn chickens can lay up to 320 large white eggs in a year!
Leghorn hens are tough chickens that can handle Tennessee weather like a champ, but do not expect them to be super friendly.
While they are not mean birds, they are a little flighty and prone to keeping their distance.
Although it may not be as popular as some other chickens on this list, the Buckeye is an excellent egg laying chicken that would fit right in on almost any Tennessean farm.
These chickens are friendly to humans, and they will only weigh about six and a half pounds on average when fully grown.
There is only one color of Buckeyes– mahogany red plumage with striking black tail feathers.
Thanks to their muscular build and thick plumage, the mildly cold winters in Tennessee are no problem for this bird.
Buckeye hens are not prolific egg layers, but they will lay anywhere from 150 to 260 eggs annually depending on the specific bird, nutrition, and living conditions.
9. Jersey Giants
Originating in America, the Jersey Giant chicken is yet another excellent egg laying chicken for backyard coops in Tennessee thanks to their hardiness and egg production capabilities.
Jersey Giants live up to their name, and they are noticeably the largest laying chicken on this list, weighing up to ten pounds as adults. Despite their larger size, however, these chickens are very friendly and make great pets for most farms.
These chickens do well in areas like Tennessee that rarely see extreme weather. They are tough birds and thanks to their size, colder temperatures are little match for them, if they have a solid shelter to rest in.
Sussex chickens will weigh seven pounds or less as adults and they tend to be curious and friendly.
They are hardy birds that were originally bred for the cooler climate of England, so Tennessee should be a breeze for any Sussex chicken.
This breed has several different color variations including brown, white, buff, red, and speckled.
Not only do they lay adorable blue eggs, but they also are adorable themselves. Ameraucanas have muffs as well as beards and there are several distinct color varieties including blue, black, splash, brownish-red, silver, wheaten, and white.
Ameraucana chickens are not just cute, they are tough birds that can withstand the moderate climate Tennessee offers up.
Be cautious though, not all chickens advertised as Ameraucanas are true Ameraucanas.
Now you know about several great laying chicken breeds that you can choose from.
Maybe you need to add a few hens to the mix, or maybe you are just starting on a grand chicken adventure. Either way, each of the chicken breeds discussed here will fit right in on any Tennessean farm.
I used my own experience with raising chickens and the following sources to write this article.