If your family is thinking about bringing chickens into your backyard, this post is for you! Chicken keeping is a great way to teach responsibility to your kids, and you get eggs out of the deal! Chickens are an easy pet with benefits, and even very young children can pitch in and help care for the birds. Raising chickens is a fun and wonderful adventure, but you may be wondering, what are the best chicken breeds for kids?
While there are tons of wonderful chicken breeds out there, we’ve picked our top five chicken breeds for families based on their personality, ease of care, and temperament. These five breeds fit the bill for the perfect family pet-with-benefits!
The silkie chicken is at the top of our list for kid-friendly chicken breeds. This breed is hands-down the sweetest, most mild tempered chicken out there. It’s also a nice benefit that these chickens are about half the size of the rest of the birds on this list, so they’re easy for kids to handle.
We’ve been raising silkies for close to a decade and have never had any issues with aggression, in fact quite the opposite! Our silkies tend to be lower on the pecking order, they’re totally fine with being submissive and have no desire to fight.
Another perk to raising silkies is that they tend to be calm and slow moving. They’re not likely to scare kids or run away from them. Our silkie chickens enjoy being held, and even our silkie rooster enjoys a good cuddle once in a while.
For more about silkie chickens, check out our post all about them!
The Orpington is a crowd favorite for a reason, these birds are just lovely to be around. Orpingtons are a great chicken breed for kids because above all else they’re always calm, cool, and collected. While the rest of our flock is flapping, flying, running, and scratching, the Orpingtons are standing tall and stoic, watching the chaos without a care in the world. This quality makes this breed less likely to startle kids, and we’ve even seen some calm Orpingtons lap sitting with their favorite humans!
Many chicken keepers call Orpingtons the “golden retriever of the chicken world” due to their happy go lucky personality and good nature around all types of people. All around, this is a great chicken choice for any family.
The Australorp is a new breed to us, but has already proved to be one of our favorites. These ladies are quiet and shy, but not flighty. They’re inquisitive and smart, and tend to pick up on things quicker than the rest of our flock.
Best of all, Australorps are super friendly, sometimes even a little too friendly! Our Australorps follow us around and perch on our knees while we sit in the backyard. They love to be around people and aren’t bothered in the least by kids chasing after them.
While we don’t personally raise Cochins, we’ve heard many people say they’re one of the sweetest and most wonderful of chicken breeds. Cochins are known for being gentle giants and their calm dispositions match very well with a family with kids. Cochins can grow to weigh over eight pounds, and their feathers make them seem even bigger! Their large size makes them slow moving and easy to catch, but may make them difficult for young kids to handle. This breed might be better off with a family with older children.
The only downside to raising Cochins is that they can be a bit high maintenance. They are predisposed to becoming fat, so lots of treats are a big no-no with this breed. Cochins also need to be kept in a very clean pen so their foot feathers don’t get soiled or injured. If your kids are a little older and super responsible, this might just be the perfect breed for your family!
Many people confuse the Dominique chicken with the Barred Rock or Plymouth Rock. While they do look very similar, Dominiques sport a rose comb on their head, and happen to be one of the most personable chicken breeds on the planet.
The Dominique is hands-down my favorite breed, and they’re wonderful with kids! Dominiques just want attention, they want to sit on your lap, to chat with you while you hang the laundry, and to be by your side while you garden. If your kids are looking for a chicken that is truly a pet, the Dominique won’t let you down.
Here’s another benefit to adding some Dominiques to your flock, Dominiques are on the chicken watch list, meaning this breed is in danger of disappearing! You can be a hero to the chickens and a hero to your kids by choosing this wonderful breed!
I hope this post has helped you to decide which breed of chicken is best for your family. These are my top five choices, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones! There are lots of chicken breeds that are known for being great family pets.
If you truly want some super friendly chickens breeds for kids, the best thing that you can do is handle them daily right from day one. We’ve found that hens that are handled a lot and treated with respect as chicks grow up to be the most friendly and cuddly as adults. The best thing you can do is be kind and cuddly to those new little chicks, and really, that’s not so tough is it?