7 Best Chicken Breeds for Arizona

Arizona is a great place to keep chickens. The climate is perfect for chickens and there are many chicken breeders in the state. However, it is important to choose the right chicken breed for your needs. Some chicken breeds are better for eggs and some are better for meat. Do your research to find the best chicken breed for your needs.

In Arizona, the climate is conducive to chicken keeping and there are many different chicken breeds that do well in the state. Some of the best chicken breeds for beginners in Arizona include the Rhode Island Red, Amerucana, Australorp, and Orpington. These breeds are all good egg layers and are relatively easy to care for.

Here you can find more details about the seven best chicken breeds for the Arizona climate:

1. Australorps

Black Australorps are huge, heavy, and stunningly beautiful chickens. These feathered chickens have a remarkable stance with rounded bodies and breasts. Black Australorps are among the best chickens for beginner keepers.

These dual-purpose chickens are suitable for beginners looking for reliable meat and egg producers. They are a lovely choice of chickens for beginner backyard poultry keepers.

They have tasty meat and flavored light brown eggs. A healthy Black Australorp hen can lay around 200 eggs annually. Some large-sized Black Australorp roosters can weigh between 8.5 and 10 pounds. Hens can weigh between 6.5 and 8 pounds, making these birds dependable meat birds.

Black Australorps are pretty hardy, enabling them to live for several years. They boast excellent resistance to multiple poultry diseases. These chickens can also adapt well to cold weather. They have no specialized care since novice chicken keepers can give these chickens almost anything edible.

Black Australorps are pretty gentle, explaining why most novice chicken keepers fall in love with these chickens. Black Australorp roosters and hens are friendly, quiet, and calm. Moreover, it is pretty easy to handle these birds. They are suitable for free-range and indoor chicken-keeping methods.

As a novice chicken keeper, you should consider Black Australorps, especially if you want to keep a gentle, productive, and easy to manage breed.

2. Rhode Island Reds

Rhode Island Reds are perhaps the most popular chicken breed on the planet. These chickens are especially suitable for novice chicken keepers, with good reasons. The dual-purpose American birds are excellent layers and prolific meat producers.

They are also pretty popular among beginner backyard chicken keepers. These chickens are among the easiest chicken breeds to maintain since they have minimal care requirements. All you require to keep these birds as a first-time chicken keeper is a good coop and a balanced diet for these birds.

Rhode Island Reds are relatively hardy. They are some of the best layers of all dual-purpose chicken species. They are suitable for novice keepers with small chicken flocks. One of the reasons beginner chicken keepers love these chickens is that these birds are docile, calm, and active.

If you are a novice chicken keeper searching for a breed you can keep either in free-range or confinements, Rhode Island Reds are a good starting point.

Rhode Island Reds are fantastic for beginners seeking a prolific laying breed since hens can continue laying even in deplorable housing conditions. Rhode Island Reds can also thrive in cold environments and continue laying and producing large chunks of tasty meat.

Although these birds are gentle and docile, they are some of the most active foragers of all the breeds.

3. Sussex Chickens

Sussex Chickens are also excellent dual-purpose birds for beginner chicken keepers. These chickens are a worthy addition to any backyard or chicken coop. They have an extended family ground and a curious and kind nature, making the birds excellent for beginners.

These birds are also suitable for anyone who wants a beautiful breed for their expanding backyard flock. Whether you are a novice keeper or you have been rearing chickens for ages, Sussex chickens will make worthwhile companion birds due to their pleasant personality.

Sussex Chickens are excellent layers for novice keepers who want a prolific layering breed. Sussex hens can lay between 200 and 35o large, light brown eggs annually. Besides laying efficiently, these chickens also produce decent amounts of quality white meat.

Sussex hens are gracious mothers. These hens can hatch several times a year, ultimately giving you a large flock over time. Sussex chickens are pretty hardy chickens, and they rarely succumb to several health issues, making them perfect for novice keepers. They are hardy in winter and cope with heat better than most breeds.

4. Buff Orpingtons

Buff Orpingtons make an excellent breed for novice keepers for many reasons. These heavy birds are fabulous meat birds, with cockerels producing between 8 and 10lb of white meat.

Buff Orpington hens will provide you with between 6 and 8 lb. of white meat. Therefore, Buff Orpingtons are great for a beginner keeper striving to get a reliable meat-producing breed.

Buff Orpingtons are also good layers, making the birds an incredible choice of a layer breed for beginners keen on rearing chickens for eggs. Hens produce between 200 and 280 light brown eggs yearly. Buff Orpingtons have an excellent temperament. They are friendly and docile.

These chickens rarely go cranky, and they aren’t aggressive either. Their calm and peaceful nature makes these birds worthy of any beginner chicken keeper’s coop.

Buff Orpingtons are active foragers, making these large birds great for chicken keepers who want a tremendous free-range breed. Buff Orpingtons also tolerate confinement, and therefore you can keep these birds indoors if you have a small backyard for your birds to forage each day.

They tolerate cold temperatures because of their heavy plumage, although their combs are somewhat prone to frostbite. These chickens are disease tolerant, so they can live for eight years. They rarely fall sick, easily resisting some conditions that affect most hybrid breeds.

5. New Hampshire

New Hampshire chickens look pretty similar to the Rhode Island Reds, although their bodies have a triangular appearance. Despite being hybrid chickens, New Hampshire chickens are ideal for novice chicken keepers, especially those who want an excellent breed for meat and egg production.

They have a calm, docile yet curious personality. These chickens are suitable for beginners seeking to raise their birds in free-range or confined environments.

New Hampshire chickens can have different personalities. Some New Hampshire chickens can be aggressive, although most of them are curious, calm, and aggressive. They are reliable and robust.

Moreover, these birds are cold and hardy, and they will thrive in frigid conditions. These chickens are hardy to virtually all types of temperatures.

New Hampshire chickens are also disease resistant. These birds can live a healthy life for several years with good care. A good coop, a consistent supply of water and food, and protection from predators are all your New Hampshire chickens need when you start keeping these birds for the first time.

New Hampshire chickens are highly energetic birds. They are ever active, and they are fond of free-ranging. They are happy when living in flocks.

These chickens are pretty friendly towards humans and other chickens, making these fabulous birds valuable to any novice keeper’s flock. They also tolerate handling and confinement pretty well. Being intelligent, friendly, docile, and calm, they are excellent pet birds for beginner chicken keepers.

Whether you are a novice keeper searching for a layer or meat-producing breed, the New Hampshire breed will ultimately be your perfect breed.

6. Naked Neck Chickens

Naked neck chickens lack feathers, as their name implies. However, that doesn’t suggest these birds aren’t a good choice of breed for novice chicken keepers. These chickens have distinct single combs and bright red necks and heads. Because they have fewer feathers than most breeds, these chickens can withstand hot weather.

These chickens offer a great starting point for a prospective chicken keeper searching for a dependable layer. They lay a reasonably good number of eggs, averaging between 120 and 150 eggs yearly. Because they are dual-purpose chickens, these chickens also make decent meat producers for chicken meat lovers.

They have a pretty fast growth rate. Therefore, first-time poultry farmers won’t spend much time feeding and nurturing their chickens. It takes about three months for chicken keepers to butcher these birds for meat.

Naked neck chickens are among the most intelligent chickens on the globe. Beginners will like these birds due to their unmatched instinct for survival, enabling them to detect and avoid predators. Most importantly, every beginner keeper will love these birds’ social and friendly nature.

They may be docile but flighty, mainly when they detect danger. Besides being friendly and intelligent, naked neck chickens are also disease resistant. They can handle the weather pretty well. If a chicken keeper accords them with excellent care, these birds can live for more than a decade.

7. Ameraucana

The Ameraucana chicken breed is also a favorite breed among novice chicken keepers. Anyone who wants light blue eggs won’t hesitate to keep Ameraucana chickens in their backyard or coop.

These chickens are independent birds who want nothing else but free-range. Nonetheless, Ameraucana chickens will handle confinement perfectly well. These lovely chickens will rekindle the interest of any chicken owner when it comes to chicken rearing. They are loving, friendly, and fond of investigating new things.

They are suitable chickens for family life. And they enjoy being around small kids and interacting with humans. Nonetheless, these chickens may score poorly in human handling since they don’t like you to pick them up or hold these birds for long constantly.

Although chicken keepers keep Ameraucana chickens for eggs, the birds are also dependable meat producers known for producing high-quality, healthy white meat. Ameraucana chickens are reliable layers since they can lay up to 200 light blue eggs a year, a reasonably good amount of eggs for small families.

The best trait about the Ameraucana chickens that make these birds a favorite choice among novice chicken keepers is that they can withstand a wide array of climates. These chickens mainly tolerate cold weather pretty well.

Whether you want to introduce a dependable egg-producing or meat-producing breed in your small flock as you venture into poultry farming, the Ameraucana chicken breed could be perfect.

Is It Legal to Keep Chickens in Arizona?

Yes, it is legal to keep chickens in Arizona. There are no state laws that prohibit the keeping of chickens, and many cities allow chickens as well. However, this could change in the future as more and more people move into urban areas and the state legislature starts to receive complaints about noise and odor coming from chicken coops.

For now, though, anyone in Arizona who wants to keep chickens can do so without fear of breaking the law. For more information, please get in touch with the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

Tips for Raising Chickens in Arizona

Chicken rearing in Arizona can be an exciting activity, particularly for those who love chickens. However, it can be pretty daunting to keep chickens for potential chicken keepers who have no hands-on experience in chicken keeping.

Check these tips for beginner chicken keepers if you are venturing into chicken keeping for the first time.

  • Decide on why you want to keep chickens-People keep chickens for different reasons. Some people, for instance, keep these birds primarily for eggs. Others keep chickens for meat, while others keep chickens as ornamental birds or pets. Decide why you want to keep chickens before you start keeping these birds.
  • Choose a suitable breed– After deciding why you want to keep chickens, it is time to pick a breed that suits your needs. If you plan to keep chicken for eggs, choose a prolific layer. For meat, you can select a heavy, meat-producing breed. You can go for a dual-purpose breed if you want to keep chickens for both eggs and meat.
  • Make a good coop for your chickens – Even if you intend to keep free-range chickens, remember they still need an excellent coop to roost at night. Have a proper coop for your birds. Let it have good ventilation and ensure it can’t let in predators to kill your birds.
  • Be natural– The chicken-keeping process should be realistic. You can free-range your birds and feed your birds natural foods other than commercial feed. Make your own chicken feeder instead of purchasing feeders at a poultry store.
  • Have a routine-Establish a routine to help you take care of your chickens. Schedule time to collect eggs, feed the birds, and make their coop comfortable. With a routine, taking care of your birds will be pretty straightforward.


The first secret to successful chicken keeping for a novice chicken keeper in Arizona is identifying a suitable breed. Choosing the wrong breed will ultimately derail your chicken-keeping efforts. Picking the right breed will pay off in due time.

Whether you are a beginner chicken keeper who wants to keep chickens for meat, eggs, or both, you will succeed in your chicken-keeping journey if you pick the most suitable chicken breed.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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