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31 Best Desert Chicken Breeds

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If you’re considering raising desert chicken breeds, it’s important to choose which ones can thrive in strenuous heat and arid conditions.

Desert environments pose unique challenges for poultry.

They have high temperatures, low humidity, and limited free-range water sources.

Fortunately, several chicken breeds are well-suited for life in the desert.

In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to the best desert chicken breeds and explain what makes them ideal for hot, dry climates.

Whether you’re a seasoned poultry keeper or just starting, this guide will help you select the right chicken breeds for your lovely desert homestead.

How to Choose Desert Chicken Breeds That Tolerate Hot and Dry Climates 

Here are some quick and easy traits to look for to tell if a chicken is suited for desert climates.

The more of these attributes a chicken has, the more likely it will thrive in hot and dry weather.

Less feathering

Chickens without feathered feet, muff ears, or dense plumage are better suited to hot temperatures.

The Transylvanian Naked Neck (or Turken) is a breed that lacks feathers on its neck and upper breast.

Large single combs

Combs, which have a high concentration of capillaries that cool the bird off, is crucial.

Rhode Island Reds have single combs, while Wyandottes have smaller rose combs that release heat more slowly.

Brahma chickens have pea combs that retain more heat.

Exposed earlobes

Prominent earlobes allow heat to escape, cooling the bird down.

Birds with small or covered earlobes are not as well-suited to hot weather as those with large and exposed earlobes.

Big wattles

Like combs and earlobes, wattles have capillaries that cool the bird off quickly.

The Minorca, which comes from the tropical island of Minorca, is a great example of this.

Long, exposed legs

Bare legs have more surface area, allowing blood to circulate and carry heat away from the bird.

Malay chickens from Australia, where it’s hot, are an excellent example of this trait.

Low body fat

A smaller body with less fat is easier to cool in hot weather than a larger body with more fat.

Bantam chickens are an excellent example of this compared to heavier birds like the Cornish Rock Cross.

Light-colored feathers

Light-colored feathers reflect heat from the sun more efficiently than dark feathers.

White Leghorns are a good example of this. White skin can be beneficial for this same reason.

Breeds developed in hot areas

Breeds developed in hot or desert-like countries are naturally more suited to those climates.

The Madagascar Naked Neck, developed in Madagascar, is a good example of this.

On the other hand, Welsummers from the cold Netherlands cannot handle hot temperatures well at all.

31 Best Desert Chicken Breeds to Raise

Aseel Chicken

Asil (Aseel) Chicken

Asil chickens, also known as Aseel or Asli, are a breed of gamefowl originating in India and Pakistan.

They’re most common in these countries, including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

These chickens are known for their fighting ability and are often used in cockfighting.

Thankfully, that’s not as common of a practice today.

Asil chickens are incredibly well-suited for hot climates.

They have a high heat tolerance and can withstand extreme temperatures and intense sunshine.

This is primarily due to their natural adaptation to the arid and hot climate of their native region.

Asil chickens have muscular and compact bodies with long, strong legs, and large waddles.

Their low body fat percentage allows them to conserve energy and withstand heat.

They also have a single comb, which is less susceptible to heat stress than larger combs.


Appenzeller Spittzhauben Chicken

The Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken originated in Switzerland.

They’re known for their striking appearance, with a tall crest of feathers on its head.

It’s well-suited for desert climates due to its efficient comb and larger wattles, reducing the heat stress risk.

This breed has a lightweight frame and large nostrils that help regulate their body temperature.

If these chickens start to feel uncomfortable in the heat, they will find shade and water, a quality that not all breeds possess.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben chickens are known for their excellent foraging abilities, too, a true gift in desert climates.

Of course, we don’t recommend turning chickens loose without food or a constant water source.

But when it matters, Appenzellers are more likely to thrive than many other breeds.


Australorp - desert chicken breeds

Australorp Chicken

The Australorp chicken was developed in Australia and is known for its excellent egg-laying abilities.

As you can imagine from its origins, this breed is well-suited for hot climates.

Despite having deep black plumage, they tolerate brutal sun exposure and high temperatures with ease.

They also have a single comb, which is less susceptible to heat stress than a pea or rose comb.

Additionally, Australorps have long legs, which help them conserve energy and withstand prolonged high temperatures.

They are also known for being calm and docile.

This temperament allows them to handle the heat better than more easily agitated breeds.

Because excessive heat IS a stressor, this is a seriously underrated attribute if you live in a high-stress area.

This breed is less likely to pick fights with flockmates out of heat-induced rage and irritability.

Overall, the Australorp’s combination of hardiness, heat tolerance, and egg-laying abilities make it a great choice for those looking to raise desert chicken breeds.


Australian Langshan Pair

Australian Langshan Chicken

We believe that Australian Langshans are a cross of Croad Langshans, Waker Chinese Langshans, Modern Langshans, and Orpingtons.

You can see glimpses of each of these contributing breeds in the Australian Langshan breed, which is well suited for arid desert living.

They picked up the Langshan traits of having low body fat, upright body positioning, long, clean legs and feet, large single combs, exposed ears, and big hanging waddles.

You can also detect the Orpington background because of their docile personalities and large brown eggs.

Like the Orpingtons, they also lay upwards of 200 eggs per year.


Barnevelder Chicken Breed

Barnevelder Chicken

Originally developed in the Netherlands in the early 1900s, you may assume that these birds aren’t suited for hotter climates.

But these beautiful Barnies (Barnevelders) will surprise you.

This breed was developed to be strong and resilient in nearly all climates.

Their robust immune system allows them to thrive in the most challenging environments.

Stress, heat, cold, poor nutrition, and arid climates don’t seem to affect them nearly like other breeds.

One of the key advantages of Barnevelder chickens for desert living is their ability to withstand high temperatures.

They have a dense plumage that protects them from the sun, and their large combs and wattles help to dissipate heat.

Barnevelder chickens are also good for desert living because they are excellent foragers.

They are highly adaptable and can scavenge for food and water in even the harshest environments.

This makes them ideal for people living in remote areas with limited resources.

Another advantage of Barnevelder chickens is their docile nature.

They are easy to handle and make excellent pets.

This can be a big advantage for keeping other chicken breeds in good companionship.

Of course, desert-dwelling people appreciate their friendship too.


Barred Rock - desert chicken breeds

Barred Rock (Plymouth Rock) Chicken

Barred Rock chickens, also known as Plymouth Rock chickens, are a popular breed among backyard chicken enthusiasts.

They are ideal for beginners because they are dual-purpose, docile, and forgiving for new chicken keepers.

The hens lay large brown eggs consistently throughout most of the year.

If you keep these chickens in the desert, they will likely lay most prolifically during the cooler months of the year.

Barred Plymouth Rock chickens have a distinctive black and white barred feather pattern, making them easy to identify.

Dominique chickens (listed below) have similar markings, but the bar pattern is not quite as distinct as the Barred Plymouth Rock.

Despite thick feathers and short legs, Rock varieties fare well in dry heat.

This is because of their large single combs, clean legs, large waddles, and willingness to seek out shade and dig holes to cool themselves in.

They’re good foragers and predator-wise, so they should do a good job of evading desert predators.


Belgian D’Uccles - desert chicken breeds

Belgian d’Uccle Chicken

This gorgeous little bird is a colorful treat for the desert backyard.

They are one of the better chicken breeds when it comes to flying, so they can avoid predators.

Plus, they have low body fat, which makes it easier for them to make it through the hottest days of the year.

They do not lay quite as many eggs as other breeds, at “only” 150 to 200 small white eggs per year per bird.

But this just means that they use their resources wisely and have the energy to take on the dry heat.

Belgian d’Uccles have single giant combs, an upright body position, white skin, and exposed earlobes.

Some may have feathered feet, but this doesn’t make them uncomfortable in the heat.


Boschveld Chicken - best desert chicken breeds

Boschveld  Chicken

Boschveld chickens are native to South Africa.

They were developed by a company, Agric Ross, in the 1990s.

This breed is known for its hardiness and ability to thrive in hot climates.

They are not very common in the United States but are one of the very best breeds for surviving desert-like conditions.

Boschveld chickens are well-suited to hot areas due to various factors.

For one, they have reflective feathering, which helps keep them cooler and avoid damage from direct UV rays.

They’re also naturally more active in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler.

At around noon, during the hottest part of the day, that’s when they rest.

Boschvelds also know how to find forage and water sources extremely well.

Additionally, these chickens are resilient enough to withstand even dehydration and heat stress.

They are also resistant to many common chicken diseases.

This is an added advantage in hot climates where diseases can spread notoriously quickly.


campine chicken breed

Campine Chicken

The Campine Chickens originated from Kempen, Belgium, where they were initially used as common barnyard fowl.

Over time, they were developed into a hybrid breed that now lays between 140 to 200 medium-sized white eggs.

Despite their small size, they are excellent foragers and make ideal free-range birds.

Their self-sufficiency is admirable, at the very least.

Campine hens weigh around 4 lbs., while roosters weigh approximately 6 lbs.

The breed is available in two varieties: silver and gold.

They have a single, tall comb that often flops over, large wattles, and exposed earlobes.

Each of these attributes really makes them good candidates for desert living.

With that said, they are not well-adapted to cold temperatures.

They just don’t have the tools to survive without serious intervention from humans.


Cream Legbar - desert chicken breeds

Cream Legbar Chicken

Cream Legbars are a stunning breed of chicken known for their unique blue eggs.

They were developed in England in 1931 by crossing South American Araucanas with Gold Penciled Hamburgs.

Cream Legbars are prolific egg layers, producing approximately 230 white to creamy blue eggs yearly.

They are not always broody and typically weigh around 6 lbs.

They’re well-suited to hot climates due to their moderate size with lower body fat.

Their long, clean yellow legs, large single combs, and exposed cream-colored earlobes helped too.

These physical attributes help Cream Legbars to tolerate high temperatures while maintaining their health (and sanity).


Croad LangshanCroad Langshan

Croad Langshan Chicken

Croad Langshan chickens are a large breed that originated in China in the late 1800s.

They were initially bred for meat and egg production.

Not only that but they’re also known for their striking appearance and docile temperament.

That’s why this breed is ideal for new chicken owners.

Croad Langshan chickens are well-adapted to hot climates due to their large size and minimal feathering.

They have long, muscular bodies and long legs that help to dissipate heat, making them more tolerant to high temperatures.

This breed also has a large single comb and wattles.

These chickens are also good foragers and are always on the lookout for predators.

They are capable of surviving in hot and dry environments, making them an excellent choice for farmers or backyard chicken keepers in the desert.


Dominique - desert chicken breedDominique Chicken

Dominique chickens originated in the United States in the early 19th century, mostly on the southeastern coast, where temperatures can soar in the summer.

They were an incredibly popular breed during the colonial period and were used for both meat and egg production.

Settlers loved them because they could withstand a lot of negligence and were pretty self-sufficient.

While they were developed in a humid area, they can still withstand hot and dry conditions well.

This is due to their moderate size, hardiness, and adaptability.

They have a single comb, which allows for efficient heat dissipation.

They also have strong, long legs and clean feet that enable them to vent heat and forage effectively for food and water.

In addition to their physical traits, Dominique chickens have a resilient and adaptable nature.

They are willing to adjust their behavior and activity levels throughout the day to cope with changes in temperature.

If you want a beautiful black and white backyard bird that contrasts well against your desert backyard, then the Dominique chicken is for you.


dorking chicken

Dorking Chicken

Dorking chickens are an endearing breed that provides a significant source of meat and eggs to homesteaders and backyard keepers.

They are one of the oldest breeds in the world, with known origins dating back to 43 AD at least.

Dorkings are highly valued for their meat, which has a rich, delicious flavor; this is the result of their slow-to-mature attribute.

They typically weigh around 8 lbs each, and the hens lay 170 to 190 medium-brown eggs annually.

They do well in the desert due to their slender frames and light-colored feathered backs.

They also have cream-colored, clean legs, large single combs, big wattles, and well-exposed ears, all of which facilitate adequate heat dissipation.


Egyptian Fayoumi chicken

Fayoumi Chicken

The Fayoumi chicken breed originated in Egypt, mostly raised on the banks of the Nile River near Fayoum.

It is one of the oldest recorded breeds of chickens in the world, with a rich history dating back to ancient times.

Fayoumi chickens are known for their hardiness, adaptability, and resistance to diseases.

Researchers use this breed to study genetics and their great disease immunity.

Egyptian Fayoumis are excellent foragers

They’re capable of finding their food and water in arid and hot conditions, making them ideal for farming in harsh environments.

Fayoumi chickens are also prolific layers.

They produce up to 280 eggs per year that are small to medium-sized, creamy-white in color.

Hens start laying at 4 months old; roosters start crowing as early as 5 or 6 weeks old.

These chickens have a sleek and slender build, with a small yet prominent comb and hanging wattles.

Their feathers are typically white or light grey, with black speckled tail feathers.

They have long, powerful legs that allow them to move with agility and speed while releasing lots of excess heat from the body.


hamburg - desert chicken breed

Hamburg Chicken

Hamburg chickens originated in 14th Century Holland.

They are a small and graceful breed known for their striking appearance and excellent egg-laying abilities.

Hamburg chickens come in several color varieties, including silver-spangled, gold-spangled, black, and white.

Their small comb and wattles allow for effective heat dissipation.

They are also active and hardy birds that can forage for food and water effectively, even in tough conditions.

These chickens are prolific layers, producing up to 280 small, white eggs per year.

They are also relatively small in size, with hens typically weighing around 4 lbs and roosters weighing around 5 lbs.

This small body weight is why they can withstand more direct sunshine and high temperatures without feeling miserable.

If you want to free-range a chicken in the desert, this is the breed for you.

Foraging isn’t just a skill of theirs; it’s their entire personality and way of life.

These birds don’t thrive in confined spaces at all.

They strongly prefer to be on the loose, sourcing most of their food, water, and enrichment all on their own.

Don’t worry, they can fly well, so they evade almost any predator you’ll find in the desert.


ISA Brown

ISA Brown Chicken

The ISA Brown chicken is a popular hybrid that was developed in France in the late 1970s.

It is a cross between Rhode Island Red and White Leghorn chickens, bred specifically for egg-laying purposes.

Both Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns make this list as well, so you can imagine how well this sex-link does in the desert.

ISA brown chickens are known for their excellent egg-laying abilities, producing 300 or more large brown eggs per year.

They are also docile, friendly, and easy to handle, making them an ideal choice for backyard chicken keepers.

These chickens are typically a reddish-brown color with white tail feathers.

They have small single combs and wattles, which help them regulate their body temperature in hot weather.

They are also relatively small in size, with hens typically weighing around 5 to 6 lbs.


Japanese Bantam - desert chicken breeds

Japanese Bantam Chicken

The Japanese Bantam chicken is a small breed of domestic chicken that originated in Japan.

It is a popular breed among chicken enthusiasts, known for its striking appearance and friendly personality.

Japanese Bantam chickens are small (bantams), weighing only 18-22 ounces when fully grown.

They come in a variety of colors, including black, white, and gray.

They also have short, squat bodies with fluffy feathers and a distinctive tail that is carried upright.

Don’t confuse their small sizes for weakness.

Japanese Bantam chickens are hardy and adaptable, able to thrive in a range of climates, including the desert.

They are also docile and friendly, making them an ideal choice for backyard chicken keepers.

However, Japanese Bantam chickens are not known for their egg-laying abilities.

They typically lay only a small number of small white eggs per year.

Instead, they are primarily kept as ornamental birds, prized for their unique appearance and charming personalities.

Consider them desert ornaments rather than powerhouse meat or egg producers.



Minorca Chicken

The Minorca chicken originated on the Spanish island of Minorca.

It is a large breed known for its striking black feathers and dual-purpose uses.

Hens lay 120 giant white eggs a year; hens and roosters weigh around 8 lbs at full maturity, and the meat is good quality.

They don’t provide a lot of fat, which is part of the reason why they do so well in the heat.

Minorcas have long, slender bodies and distinctive upright postures.

They have a single, large comb and white earlobes, which help them regulate their body temperature in hot weather.

Their friendly and docile personalities make them a great choice for backyard chicken keepers.

However, they require plenty of space to move around, as they are an active breed that thoroughly enjoys free-ranging.

Minorca chickens are a hardy and adaptable breed well-suited to hot climates.

They are prized for their egg-laying abilities and unique appearance and make a great addition to any desert flock.


Naked Neck desert chicken breeds

Naked Neck (Turken) Chicken

Naked Neck chickens, also known as Turkens, are a unique breed of domestic chicken.

They are known for their distinctive and somewhat bizarre appearance because of the lack of feathers on their necks and heads.

Despite their unusual appearance, Naked Neck chickens are hardy and adaptable birds that can thrive in a variety of environments.

They are known for their tolerance to both heat and cold, thanks partly to their featherless necks.

In terms of egg-laying, Naked Neck chickens are moderate producers, laying around 180-200 eggs per year.

They are also good meat birds, with a large and flavorful carcass that is highly sought-after by culinary enthusiasts.


Old English Game Chicken

Old English Game Chicken

These aggressive little fellows have a wild fighting side that made them ideal cockfighters for many centuries.

Today chicken keepers use them as protection for their flock, as show animals, and as foraging backyard chickens.

They do well in desert climates because of their body type.

They’re slim, upright bodies with little body fat, a large and tall single comb, large waddles, exposed earlobes, white skin, and light feathers that reflect heat and light well.


Ovambo Chicken

The Ovambo is another fantastic breed that isn’t common in the United States (or North America, for that matter).

Still, it is an excellent contender for the best desert chicken breeds.

They originated in the northern regions of Ovamboland in Namibia and are also very popular in Angola.

They’re commonly known as “trans-border chickens” because of their ability to thrive in different climatic conditions (including hot and arid climates).

These birds are hardy and adaptable, making them a popular choice for farmers and poultry keepers in Africa.

The Ovambo chicken has a distinctive appearance: a large, broad head and a slightly curved beak.

They have a compact body and a short tail, with striking plumage that comes in a range of colors, including white, black, “red,” and brown.

The hens produce an average of 150 eggs per year.

One of the unique features of the Ovambo chicken is its resistance to common poultry diseases such as Newcastle disease and Marek’s disease.

This makes them a valuable breed for small-scale farmers who may not have access to preventative medication or expensive medicine veterinary care.

As interest in sustainable agriculture and backyard poultry grows, the Ovambo chicken will likely become more widely recognized and desired.

It should do particularly well in the hot American Southwest.


Penedesenca Chicken

The Penedesenca chicken is a breed of chicken that originated in the Penedès region of Catalonia, Spain.

These beautiful birds are highly prized for their dark brown eggs, a popular ingredient in traditional Spanish cuisine.

The Penedesenca hens somewhat resemble a cross between a Rhode Island Red and an Easter Egger, but slimmer.

They are mostly a toasted or golden brown shade with a finely penciled or double-laced feathering.

They have a single comb, sometimes called a King comb, and a black or dark brown feather coloration.

Roosters look similar to Brown Leghorns in appearance—their feathers are iridescent and shimmering.

An interesting fact about these chickens is that they have white earlobes but lay rich brown eggs.

Aside from their dark brown eggs, Penedesenca chickens are also valued for their hardiness and adaptability to various climates.

They are an active breed that loves to forage, making them ideal for free-range or backyard poultry keeping.

Spain is a warm area, so it’s no surprise that these chickens are suited to tolerate hotter climates well.

They have clean slate-colored legs, exposed white earlobes, lower body fat, a single comb, and a hanging waddle to help dissipate their body heat.


Potchefstroom Koekoek Chicken

This breed was developed in the 1950s in the town of Potchefstroom, South Africa.

The Potchefstroom Koekoek is a hardy and adaptable breed that is well-suited to the hot and dry climates of South Africa.

They are medium-sized birds weighing between 4 and 6 lbs, and their meat has a lot of good flavor for many cooking applications.

These South African chickens are also known for their excellent egg-laying ability, producing an average of 200-250 eggs per year.

This is truly a versatile and tough bird.

In addition to being dual-purpose for meat and eggs, they are natural-born foragers.

The hens instinctively hatch eggs yearly, too.

If you’ve raised chickens in the United States, you can appreciate the culmination of these four traits.

Potchefstroom chickens are not suited for cold areas at all.

They will suffer and likely die in the cold. But in the desert, they absolutely thrive.


New Hampshire Red desert chicken breed

New Hampshire Red Chicken

The New Hampshire is an American breed that is not as well-suited for the desert itself but for desert coops with appropriate shade and water.

New Hampshire Reds are almost indistinguishable from Rhode Island Reds to the untrained eye.

The differences are subtle, like a few blonde highlights in the red feathering and ever so slightly brighter shades of red in their plumage.

You can expect around 200 light brown eggs from each hen.

Hens weigh around 6.5 lbs; roosters weigh about 8 lbs.

These birds tolerate desert temperatures thanks to their upright bodies.

They also have lower body fat content, tall single combs, hanging waddles, exposed ears, and long clean legs that regulate their body temperature.


Rhode Island Red desert Chicken Breeds

Rhode Island Red Chicken

Rhode Island Reds are among the most popular chicken breeds in the United States.

They’re dual-purpose, well-suited for many climates, beginner-friendly, docile, and yet still good free-range foragers.

They also tolerate confinement surprisingly well despite their self-sufficient ways.

These mahogany birds also weigh 6.5 to 8 lbs at full maturity and lay at least 200 eggs annually.

Rhode Island Reds have similar heat-tolerating qualities as the New Hampshire Red.

The only difference is that there are variations of Rhode Island Red chickens with rose combs rather than single combs.

Choose the single-comb version if you live in a hot area like a desert.


Sebright Chicken breed

Sebright Chicken

Sebrights look like the more upscale and petite bantam version of a beautiful golden or Silver Laced Wyandotte.

The Sebright chicken is a small ornamental breed that originated in the UK in the early 19th century.

They were named after Sir John Saunders Sebright, a British politician and poultry enthusiast who helped develop this breed.

Sebrights are unique in that they have laced feathers.

The edges of their feathers are a different color than the rest of the feathers, creating a lacy or scalloped effect.

They come in two varieties: the Golden Sebright and the Silver Sebright.

Due to their small size and beautiful appearance, Sebrights are popular as exhibition birds and backyard pets.

However, they are not commonly kept for egg or meat production.

Their small size means they do not produce a significant amount of either.

Sebrights are known for their lively and active personalities and are said to be friendly and easy to handle.

They do well in confinement as long as they have enough room to move around and access to quality feed and fresh water.

They’re well-suited for desert living because they are very upright (like a pigeon), have low body fat, clean cream-colored legs, light skin color, light feather plumage, and very wide rose combs.


Serama - best desert chicken breeds

Serama Chicken

The Serama is the smallest chicken breed in the world; though some are ten inches tall, most are around six inches in height.

They originated in Malaysia in the 1600s, when farmers crossed Malaysian Bantams with Japanese Bantams.

The Serama chicken is a small and unique breed that originated in Malaysia.

They are considered the smallest chicken breed in the world, with adult birds weighing only 8-16 ounces.

Despite their small size, Seramas are known for their bold and confident personalities.

Seramas come in a variety of colors, including black, white, red, and blue.

They have short, upright tails and a distinctive upright posture.

Their tight-fitting and glossy feathers give them a sleek and elegant appearance.

Seramas are popular as exhibition birds and pets due to their charming personalities and striking appearance.

They are also sometimes kept for egg production, although they do not produce as many eggs as larger breeds.

Seramas are relatively easy to care for and can be kept in small spaces.

They are active and enjoy foraging, so providing them with access to outdoor space or enrichment activities is important for their well-being.

Overall, the Serama chicken is a delightful and unique breed that is sure to capture the hearts of chicken enthusiasts.


Black Sumatra Flocks

Sumatra Chicken

The Sumatra chicken, also known as the Black Sumatra, is a unique breed of chicken that originates from the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

It is a relatively rare breed that is prized for its striking all-black appearance and gentle disposition.

The Sumatra chicken is a medium-sized bird with glossy, jet-black feathers that shimmer with iridescence in the sunlight.

They have a slender, upright body and a small pea comb, with long clean legs and toes that are black or slate blue in color.

Sumatra chickens are primarily raised for exhibition and ornamental purposes rather than for meat or egg production.

They are popular among poultry enthusiasts and collectors due to their striking appearance and elegant, regal demeanor.

While they are known to be good layers, their eggs are small and infrequent.

Sumatra chickens are also renowned for their gentle temperament and docile nature.

However, they require special care and attention due to their delicate nature and susceptibility to cold weather.

Black is typically ideal for heating up.

But it does not seem to affect these birds’ ability to stay cool and tolerate even the most sweltering conditions.

They are well-suited for desert-dwelling chicken keepers.


sultan chicken breed

Sultan Chicken

The Sultan chicken, also known as the Serai Taook, is a rare and exotic breed of chicken originating from Turkey.

This is an ornamental breed that is primarily raised for its striking appearance rather than for meat or egg production.

The Sultan chicken has a distinctive look with an elaborate crest of feathers on their head, resembling a crown.

Sultan chickens are a relatively small breed, with hens weighing around 2 to 2.5 lbs and roosters around 2.5 to 3 lbs.

They have a gentle temperament and are known to be good with children.

They are also low-maintenance and do very well in confinement.

Some people have even had success keeping them as indoor house pets.

While they are not known for their egg production, Sultan hens can lay small, white eggs occasionally.

Their chicks are slow to mature, taking up to six months to reach maturity.

However, their beauty and unique appearance make them worth the wait and a desirable addition to any flock.

They are sure to turn heads and impress poultry enthusiasts.


Venda Chickens

Venda chickens, predictably, come from the Venda region of South Africa.

They are a hardy breed that is well-suited to the hot and dry climate of their native region.

The Venda chicken has a distinctive appearance, with a beautiful combination of black and white mottled feathers.

They are medium-sized birds with a slim yet impressively muscular build and a small, upright comb.

The Venda chicken is often raised for meat production but is also good layers of large brown eggs.

However, some sources say that these “village” or “Zulu” chickens are rarely eaten or used for eggs.

They are best known for their excellent foraging abilities, which allow them to thrive in free-range environments.

They are also resistant to many common poultry diseases, making them popular among small-scale farmers.

The Venda chicken is a valuable breed for their resilience and adaptability.

They are an important part of the cultural heritage of the Venda people.

Vendas are gaining popularity in other parts of South Africa and beyond due to their unique appearance and strong foraging qualities.


White leghorn chicken

White Leghorn

The White Leghorn chicken is a breed of chicken that originated in Italy.

They are medium-sized birds with a slender, muscular build and a small, upright comb.

They are known for their prolific egg-laying abilities, with hens capable of laying up to 280 to 300 large white eggs per year.

Due to their high egg production rate and feed efficiency, the White Leghorn is a popular breed among commercial egg producers.

They’re also used to create several impressive hybrid chicken breeds, like:

  • Golden Comets, Cinnamon Queens, Red Stars, Golden Buffs,
  • Gold Sex Link,
  • ISA Browns

The White Leghorn has a distinctive appearance, with pure white plumage, bright red comb, and wattles.

They are an active and alert breed and do well in free-range environments as well as in confinement.

They are also adaptable to a range of climates, making them a popular choice for backyard flocks and hobbyists.

While the White Leghorn is primarily raised for egg production, its meat is also good quality.

They are a popular breed worldwide and have been used in the development of many other breeds.


FAQs about Desert Chicken Breeds

How Can I Keep Chickens Comfortable in the Desert?

Keeping chickens comfortable in the desert requires providing them with adequate shelter, water, and shade.

Chickens should have access to a well-ventilated coop that is shaded during the hottest part of the day.

For especially hot areas, the coop should be equipped with fans and/or misters.

It’s important to keep their water supply clean and cool and provide shade for their drinking area.

Chickens should also have access to a shaded outdoor area with dust baths and plenty of water.

Feeding should be done early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.

It’s important to monitor the chickens for signs of heat stress, such as panting, lethargy, or a decrease in egg production, and take appropriate measures to keep them comfortable.

Can You Raise Chickens if You Live in the Desert?

You can raise chickens in the desert as long as you provide them with adequate shelter, water, and shade.

It’s important to select chicken breeds that are well-adapted to hot and dry climates, such as the desert-adapted Venda chicken or the heat-tolerant White Leghorn.

With proper care, attention, and management, chickens can thrive in the desert environment and provide a valuable source of food and companionship.

Which Chicken Breeds Are The Worst for the Desert?

Breeds with heavy feathering or large combs are more susceptible to heat stress and can suffer in the desert environment.

Breeds that originated in or were developed in colder regions also tend to do worse in the deserts.

The worst breeds for desert living are:

  • Cornish Rock Crosses
  • Cochin
  • Silkie
  • Polish chickens
  • Faverolle
  • Sussex
  • Chantecler
  • Wyandottes
  • Jersey Giants
  • Americauna
  • Araucana

Best Desert Chicken Breeds: Final Thoughts

If you’re a chicken raiser in the south or in the hottest desert homestead, there sure is a desert chicken breed perfect for your location and lifestyle.

Interested in reading more articles related to raising r caring for chicken in hot weather?

These articles should be perfect for you!

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One thought on “31 Best Desert Chicken Breeds

  1. I’m in 9b AZ. I’m new to raising chickens as of thus Spring. I have Sex-links, Barnevelders, Wyandottes, Brahman, and a few ‘unidentified’. Are my Wyandottes going to die in this 110° heat??! I freeze quart sized ice chunks for their waterer every time I change it and sometimes add mint. I’ve got their coop shaded on the West side. We’re building a coop extension this weekend and will get misters in there too.

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