What is a good hardy breed for central Arkansas? Winters around freezing and summers near 100. Need a good bread of any type of fowl really good for meat and eggs any fowl and breed just need a hardy one.
I am in SW Arkansas. I've had many breeds, from huge brahmas down to little seramas and just about everything in between - turkens to silkies.
Not counting my two seramas that I only have to keep my disabled bantam chicken company, the only breed I will have from now on is the large fowl (standard) brahmas.
Pros - They laugh at Arkansas winters and need no special care; lay well in the wintertime too. Need the same precautions and care as any other chicken when our summer temps. hit 100° F+ - plenty of fresh water, electrolytes in the water and shade. Are dual purpose birds that can be used for meat when their laying days are over. Gentle giants that are not at all flighty.
Cons - are very slow maturing birds. Depending on whether they are hatchery quality or breeder quality brahmas, you could be waiting until 9 to 10 months before you see your first egg. Hatchery quality usually start laying earlier - 6 to 7 month old range.
No matter what breed you decide on, very hardy doesn't mean that they shouldn't have shelter from the winter extremes and protection from predators.
Most large chicken breeds can handle the weather just fine. Have them in a coop with air circulation so the moisture doesn't build up and that protects them from the wind and a place to stretch that is covered from snow.
However, the 100-degree summer weather is a different matter, you need to be sure you have deep shade, lots of fresh cool water and a cool place to dust bathe. Heat will kill a chicken far faster than cold.