If you live in an area with sweltering summers (or even an area where it’s warm year-round), finding the suitable chicken breeds to thrive in such a climate is often tricky.
Many breeds simply don’t do well in warm or hot weather, while others are much hardier and tolerate a wide range of climates easily.
If you’re looking for the perfect hot-weather breeds for your flock, look no further!
This list covers 12 ultra-hardy and accessible breeds you’ll love.
As far as common chicken breeds go, the Orpington is one of the most popular among hobby farmers.
It exists in a wide range of colors and plumage patterns, it’s one of the friendliest breeds in existence, and it tolerates both hot and cold weather exceptionally well.
Initially, the Orpington was a dual-purpose breed, but today, it’s especially well-loved as a pet and show bird.
While these birds’ plumage makes them look large and heavy, their feathers are not particularly dense and light and fluffy!
This, in addition to their ability to lay lots of large, light brown eggs, has made them ordinary members of warm-weather flocks.
You won’t need much to keep these chickens cool, aside from shade and access to fresh, cool water.
This breed was initially developed in the late 1800s by crossing Minorcas, Langshans, and Plymouth Rocks.
While buff is the most common color, black, white, blue, and splash variations are also common.
The buff Orpington in particular, does best in warm weather thanks to its light-colored, lightweight feathers and hardy, adaptable nature.
The Orpington is also on our list of good chicken breeds for meat.
The Leghorn is another of the most well-known chicken breeds of all time, thanks to its exceptionally hardy and docile nature.
There are 10 recognized color varieties, but the classic white Leghorn is perhaps the most tolerant of hot weather thanks to its lighter plumage coloration.
This particular breed dates back to the 1800s, which likely originated from a few similar species in Italy.
The breed was initially referred to as “Italians” until their name was changed to Leghorn in the mid-1800s.
“Leghorn” is a rough translation of Livorno, a port in Italy where the breed was first exported out to the Americas.
From there, it spread to the UK and other parts of the world, and it’s been a fantastic egg-laying breed ever since.
In addition to their tolerance of a wide range of climates and their delicious, large white eggs,
Leghorns are mild-mannered, curious, and beautiful birds, which means they’re great pets!
No flock is complete without a Leghorn or two.
Next, we come to another iconic breed, the versatile, adorable, and docile Plymouth Rock.
As its name implies, the breed originated in Massachusetts in the 1800s, where it became an instant hit throughout America.
This dual-purpose breed is incredibly useful for its tasty eggs and meat.
It breeds well in captivity thanks to its broodiness.
Its mild-mannered temperament makes it an excellent backyard bird.
There are seven different colors of the Plymouth Rock breed, but the barred rock is the most recognizable and well-known.
All colors fare pretty well in a wide range of climates, from very hot to very cold.
Its body feathers are lightweight and fluffy, while its legs are clean and free of any additional feathering.
Interestingly, this breed likely was derived from Java and Dominique chickens.
Its large, brown eggs are delicious, and they lay well year-round.
Though its popularity has fluctuated a lot over the past few hundred years, it remains one of the most well-known breeds in the world.
No matter where you live, a Plymouth Rock chicken is a good addition to your flock–even in the hot summer weather!
Rhode Island Red
The beautiful Rhode Island Red is another excellent breed for both hot and cold climates alike.
Like Plymouth Rock, this American breed also originated in Massachusetts in the late 1800s.
It has been an extremely useful dual-purpose bird, with delicious meat and large, brown eggs from its inception.
It’s a particularly heavy layer, so you’ll have no shortage of fresh eggs with a few of these hens around!
This breed is heavy-bodied and exceptionally hardy.
It not only tolerates a wide range of climates but thrives in just about all of them.
Its rich, glossy auburn body plumage and greenish-black tail feathers make it a beautiful addition to any flock.
Rhode Island Reds are confident, curious, and intelligent chickens, making them delightful to observe.
Though it originated in a relatively cold region of the US, the breed spread throughout the country very quickly after its creation, so today’s Rhode Island Reds are very adaptable.
You’ll never go wrong adding a few Reds to your coop, no matter what the weather is like where you live.
Related: Rhode Island Red Growth Chart
Naked Neck (Turken)
These bizarre birds have a strange appearance, which takes some getting used to!
However, if you’re able to find the beauty in the aptly-named Naked Neck, it’s an excellent addition to any warm-weather flock!
This breed is often referred to as the Turken for its resemblance to the domestic turkey.
Though this breed originated in chilly Transylvania, its lack of neck feathers and light plumage makes it great for year-round hot climates, even in rather extreme heat.
If you live in an area with hot temperatures during the summer and cold temperatures during the winter months, the Naked Neck is a perfect choice, as it is extremely hardy and tolerates both hot and cold weather well.
Even though it isn’t very heavily feathered, its heavy body makes it a very tough, resilient, and active bird.
Naked Necks exist in many colors, from the typical black, white, and buff to the more ornate cuckoo and blue shades.
They’re useful for their light brown eggs and meat, though today, they’re more common as pets amongst hobby farmers and chicken keepers looking for more unique additions to their flocks.
This breed is also featured on our list of crazy-haired chickens.
This bizarre-looking breed is remarkably heat-tolerant despite the birds’ large, feathery crests.
This is another excellent chicken if you’re a hobby farmer looking for the most unique and visually striking birds!
They’re lean, active, and lightweight chickens who won’t be bothered by a particularly hot summer.
The Appenzeller originated in Switzerland, and it has an array of unique traits, from its V-shaped comb, which resembles horns, to its wide range of ornate color variations, like silver- and blue-spangled.
They are dependable chickens and decent layers, though their white eggs are small.
In addition to tolerating the hot summer months with ease, this breed also does just as well in cold climates.
They aren’t the most docile or gentle birds, but they come around and tame slightly over time.
Overall, they are independent, solid foragers, and incredibly hardy backyard chickens.
The Andalusian chicken is a Spanish breed, so it will be right at home in warm and even hot climates.
This breed’s other common names include the Blue Andalusian and the Andaluza Azul.
Its history is a bit obscured and not well-documented, but we know it dates back at least to the 1800s!
Despite its dark, glossy plumage, it does well under the hot summer sun.
This breed is particularly useful and well-known for its egg production.
They are decent layers of large, white-colored eggs.
Additionally, they are good pets, though they aren’t as handleable as some of the more docile breeds.
They are very independent, quiet, and reserved but not aggressive or irritable.
These birds are very adaptable and well-suited to a wide range of hot and cold climates.
While they aren’t as tame or friendly as some of the other breeds on this list, the Andalusian’s active, athletic nature makes it fun to observe as a pet.
Andalusian chickens especially love roosting high up in trees, and they are strong foragers and intelligent, curious chickens overall.
We now come to another incredibly hardy Spanish breed, the beautiful Penedesenca!
You’ll notice quite a few Mediterranean breeds on this list, as they are among the most heat-tolerant chickens in the world.
The Penedesenca’s history is also not very well documented before the 1900s, but we know it originated from the Catalonia community of Spain.
This breed’s main use is its egg production.
Notably, it lays very dark brown eggs–the darkest of any breed!
Thanks to its handsome range of colors, it’s also a lovely pet.
It exists in several colors, but wheaten and black are the most common.
These medium-sized birds are hardy and active.
They aren’t the tamest chickens and tend to be somewhat flighty and skittish, but it is possible to bond with them and gain their trust over time.
If you don’t mind these shy birds keeping to themselves, you’ll enjoy observing them–from a distance, of course.
This jet-black breed certainly doesn’t look as if it’d be very heat-tolerant, as its black skin, comb, wattles, and feathers seem like heat magnets.
However, the beautiful Sumatra chicken is native to hot and humid Indonesia, so they fare exceptionally well in the heat!
Though they were originally bred for fighting, they’re more popular as pets and show birds today.
The Sumatra breed dates back at least to the 1800s.
It made it to the US and Europe by the mid-to-late-1800s, where it became pretty famous for its shiny, greenish-black plumage.
There are a few color varieties, but black is the most common and representative of the breed.
Despite its typically dark coloration, the Sumatra lays large, white eggs.
Though they aren’t very prolific layers, they tend to become quite broody.
Their meat isn’t particularly useful, so keep this in mind if you’re looking for a more useful and practical breed.
However, as a pet, the Sumatra will stand out in any flock, thriving in hot weather.
The Welsummer is a Dutch breed, but it tolerates hot weather just as well as the Mediterranean breeds on this list!
It was originally developed in the Welsum village in the Netherlands in the 1900s.
Its creation resulted from repeated crossbreeding of several other popular breeds from various regions, such as the Rhode Island Red and Wyandotte.
This medium-sized dual-purpose breed is useful for its meat and its large, dark brown eggs, but it isn’t the most prolific layer.
It exists in three different plumage colors, but the Red Partridge variety is the most common and well-known.
It also exists in a smaller bantam variety.
The Welsummer breed truly shines as a pet. It has an exceptionally calm, friendly, and intelligent nature, making it an interesting bird to observe, handle, and care for in captivity.
They are hardy, adaptable foragers, and highly independent, though they enjoy interacting with other chickens.
They tolerate cold weather quite well, too, so even if temperatures vary significantly in your area, the Welsummer is still a solid choice.
Though it originated in chilly Delaware, this particular breed does well in hot climates!
It exists in just one color, white with black striping around the neck and black accents on the tail feathers.
As they are an extremely adaptable, dual-purpose breed, you won’t go wrong with these heat-hardy chickens, regardless of the weather in your area.
While it was historically bred for both meat and eggs, today, the Delaware chicken is mainly kept for egg production and as a pet.
It was developed in the early 1900s when breeders crossed Plymouth Rock birds with New Hampshire Reds.
Occasionally, genetic mutations would occur where light-colored hens were produced, and those birds were then bred further to create the Delaware breed.
The Cornish-Rock eventually overtook it in popularity as a meat breed by the 1950s.
In addition to the standard variety, a smaller bantam version of Delaware also exists, though it is pretty rare.
Both varieties tolerate a wide range of temperatures, both hot and cold.
The Brahma is very heat-tolerant despite being a large, heavy-bodied breed of chicken.
Related: How cold can Brahma chickens tolerate?
This American bird dates back to the mid-1800s and was bred primarily for meat until the early 1930s.
Today, it is mainly kept as a pet by backyard chicken owners, though it is also a very productive egg layer.
Brahma hens are decent layers of very large, tasty brown eggs.
It exists in three primary colors: light, buff, and dark, though in more recent years, additional colors like black, blue, and barred have also become more prominent.
The buff Brahma is the most popular variety.
Like most breeds on this list, it also exists in a smaller bantam version.
Though developed in the US, the Brahma likely originated with birds imported from Shanghai, China.
This likely contributes to the breed’s heat tolerance, but it does well in cooler climates.
Further reading: Brahma chicken eggs FAQ