Tough Chicks: Hardy Breeds for Harsh Climates

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

The climate in Australia can be fairly unpredictable - at best! One day it’ll be scorching hot, the next it will be bucketing down rain, and you’re zipping up your jumper because of the bitter breeze- oh, Australia.

Because certain types of chickens can be temperature sensitive, it’s important to make sure you pick the right chicken breeds for your climate.

Why its important to get the right breed for your climate

Like humans, when chickens overheat or underheat  it can cause them serious health problems. And like humans, certain breeds can tolerate different temperatures better depending where they’ve been bred from. For example, you don’t often hear people from England complaining about what we would constitute a freezing cold winter!

If you’re located in one of those sporadic weather patches where rain, hail or shine doesn’t discriminate, there are certain chicken breeds that might just be perfect for your crazy climate. They can tolerate both hot and cold conditions comfortably, plus make egg-cellent pets!

New Hampshire Red


New Hampshire Red’s are sweet, placid birds that can withstand the elements whilst keeping calm and carrying on! They fare well in both cold and warm climates, and are one of the chicken breeds that love to forage and roam free, pecking at the ground and enjoying the best of what nature has to offer! Fortunately, they aren’t good fliers - so as long as you have a decent patch of grass for them to enjoy, you don’t need to extend the height of your fences.

This American-born bird has been bred to withstand the often harsh elements of its home country - so its no wonder its found its home in ours.  The New Hampshire Red is traditionally used more for meat production, however their egg-laying is not too shabby either - producing approximately 120 eggs per year.

The New Hampshire Red is a splendid bird to have in your backyard - with its colour palette containing green, orange, brown, red and other earthy tones. Quite spectacular! Want to know more? Check out our 5 reasons to love New Hampshire Reds here!



The Australorp is one of Australia’s own chicken breeds - and is considered the local version of the Orpington.

This bird fares well in both cold and hot climates (it really is a true Aussie!), and is also a wonderful egg layer. You can expect 250-300 large, light brown eggs from this little trooper!

Australorps also make great family pets, and are delightful additions to any backyard - the kids will love petting their extra soft feathers! They are quiet, have a gentle temperament and just go about their business while you go about yours.  If you have a little less space, the Australorp can be found in a bantam size. Want to know more? Check out our 5 reasons to love Australorps here!



The Brahma is another of the chicken breeds that are soft to the touch, and make lovely company for chicken keepers who treasure their flock. They are known as the ‘gentle giant’ of the chicken world - their gentle nature is as generous as their size!  If you don’t have enough room for the standard sized version, there is also bantam version - pint sized perfection!

Brahma hens are also known for their egg-cellent mothering tendencies, and are one of the chicken breeds that will reliably sit on her eggs to term if you're thinking of hatching.  Due to their size, they are also good as table birds.

The Brahma will lay approximately 150 medium sized, brown eggs each year, and make an amazing family pet for 365 days per year!



The Sussex chicken is certainly a fine specimen. They are a large, hardy, sweet breed that will keep your breakfast table full and your backyard entertaining!  They love to be your garden buddy, and search out tasty morsels like worms while you're tending to your plants.

The Sussex are very curious creatures, who love to forage, free range and investigate their environment. Another great feature of the Sussex is that they are eggs-tremely economical eaters, that won’t eat your fellow flock out of house and coop!

Your breakfast table will be constantly stocked with omelettes, frittatas - all the egg related goodies your heart desires, as the Sussex lays approximately 200-350 eggs per year.

Easter Eggers

Easter Eggers are gorgeous, sweet little birds that are amazing with children! You will be hard pressed to find Easter Eggers under the official list of chicken breeds - this is because they actually don’t match any predetermined breed standards. Nonetheless they are a beautiful bird - even if they can’t be quantified, and are often mistaken for Ameraucanas.

Easter Eggers can be found all over the world, and deal well with hot and cold climates. They are also decent layers - you can expect around 200 eggs per year. The best part? They are one of the few chicken breeds that lays a colourful rainbow of eggs! Green, blue, pink...all thanks to the Easter Egger.

Australians sometimes have to contend with sporadic weather (depending where you are, this can be an understatement!). Luckily, chickens are quite hardy creatures - with these chicken breeds being particularly fantastic at coping with differing temperatures.

However, no matter how hardy the bird, they are always going to need a comfortable coop to keep them warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. All of our coops are expertly ventilated, and have lots of shade room - so your chickens can beat the heat, or bask in the sun depending on which weather pattern you’re experiencing. Try the Taj Mahal, Penthouse or Mansion!

Come rain or shine, something we’ll never be able to control is the weather! This can be a worry and concern when thinking about the safety and comfort of your backyard friends.

Cluckily, you can prepare for all seasons thanks to our friends over at Chickenpedia. I recommend their brilliant Weatherproof Chickens course to all my readers! They have compiled a guide of everything you need to keep healthy chickens through the seasons (which is more than you think!) with a great set of checklists and downloads to keep. Dangerous conditions including dehydration and frostbite can be avoided with the correct information and actions. Whatever the weather, this course will help you keep your chickens happy and healthy all year round.

As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. Many chicken keepers struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have comprehensive online courses on everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, you’ll find beginner-friendly courses that’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. No need to wing it, become the ultimate chicken eggspert! Check out Chickenpedia and their amazing courses today!

Sources and further reading