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Our 12 Favorite Friendly and Sweet Pet Chicken Breeds

5 out 5 chicken ladies agree, chickens make fantastic pets!

Chickens aren’t just for the farmyard anymore. They can also provide companionship, fresh eggs, and a whole lot of charm.

Over the years we’ve raised many different breeds of chickens and found some breeds make fantastic pets, while others just…don’t. Just as with dogs and cats, certain breeds tend to have certain personalities and traits.

I’m going to introduce you to 12 of my favorite sweet and friendly chicken breeds. Adding any one of these breeds (or a bunch!) to your backyard flock is sure to make you smile.

Why Chickens Make Great Pets

Chickens may not be your typical choice for a pet, but they do offer some unique benefits.

Fresh Eggs

Let’s just put it right out there, chickens are most definitely pets with benefits!

Many chicken breeds are excellent layers, providing you with fresh, nutritious eggs every morning. While all pets have something to give, these ones actually give you food, which is just so magical.

Low Maintenance

Chickens are relatively low-maintenance pets, and require about as much care as a cat. As long as your flock has a clean environment to live, fresh water, and plenty of food they’ll be happy. If you can give out some chicken cuddles and free range time here and there, even better!

Chickens are truly one of the easiest pets you can keep!


Believe it or not, chickens have distinct personalities and can be quite affectionate. Some chickens are super outgoing and brave, others are shy and quiet. Some chickens will sit on your lap and beg for pets, others prefer to be on their own and observe you from afar.

No matter what personalities your chickens hold, you can be sure that you’ll be endlessly entertained by their presence.

Natural Pest Control

Chickens love hunting for bugs and can help keep your yard pest-free. If you free range your flock they’ll eat fleas and ticks as well as nuisance bugs like mosquitos and flies. They even love to chow down on garden pests. This is a huge benefit that not many other pets can give!


Keeping chickens can be a fun and educational experience for kids and adults alike. We like to call it ‘watching chicken TV’ when we let the flock out to free range because their shenanigans are just so funny and we will legit watch them for hours!

How to Make Sure Your Chickens Grow Up to Be Friendly

Ensuring your chickens are friendly starts when they are chicks. Even if you buy the most friendly and personable breeds out there, they won’t grow up to be happy little lap chickens without proper human socialization. Your chicks need to learn to trust you and you need to show them that you’re worthy of that.

Here’s how to raise them to be affectionate and sociable.

  • Frequent Handling: Handle your chicks gently and often to get them used to human interaction. I recommend holding and cuddling your chicks at minimum 3 times a day so they can bond with you. They can sit on your lap while you watch tv or nap by your side while you work! As long as they’re with you and know that you’re providing safety and comfort, that’s what matters.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use treats to reward good behavior and create positive associations with humans. Plus watching your chicks come running when you shake the treat bag is a sight to behold!
  • Socialize Them: Let your chickens interact with other chickens to develop social skills.
  • Provide a Safe Environment: When they’re babies, make sure that their brooder is safe and secure. Keep other animals and small children out of the room where the chicks are kept, and when the chicks interact with pets and kids, make sure you supervise and direct the interactions. When the chickens grow up, make sure their coop is secure and comfortable, this will help your chickens feel safe and happy.

If you follow these steps, practically any chick will grow up to be friendly and like being around you. But if you want to better your chances of having super friendly lap chickens, it pays to start off with breeds that are well known to be sweet!

These are my favorite friendly chicken breeds.

The 12 Friendliest Chicken Breeds

1. Silkies

Silkies are known for their fluffy feathers and gentle demeanor. Silkies are one of my all time favorite chicken breeds. Our Silkies love to sit on our laps, follow us around the yard, and make the best mommas in the world. One of our Silkies was so sweet, she even tried to mother our baby ducks!

  • Why They’re Friendly: Silkies have a calm and sweet temperament, making them great lap chickens.
  • Unique Traits: Their soft feathers and blue-black skin make them stand out in the chicken world.

2. Buff Orpington

Buff Orpingtons are friendly, affectionate, and excellent layers. This breed is affectionately known as the ‘golden retrievers of the chicken world’ and for good reason!

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are docile, enjoy being held, and are great with children.
  • Egg Production: Expect plenty of large brown eggs from these lovely birds.

3. Dominique

Dominiques are a heritage breed known for their friendliness and hardiness. Dominiques are one of my favorite breeds ever.

We came across them completely by accident, the one day old chicks happened to be for sale the first time we went to pick out chicks. We added two to our flock and they blossomed into the sweetest most friendly chickens we ever had.

One of them even lived to be 11 years old!

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are curious and love interacting with their owners.
  • Historical Significance: Dominiques are one of the oldest chicken breeds in America. This heritage breed has been on and off the watch list for years, if you want to help preserve their stock, this is a wonderful breed to add to your flock.

4. Australorp

Australorps are known for their record-breaking egg-laying abilities and friendly personalities. Australorps also tend to go broody very easily and are known for being excellent mothers.

If you want to raise chicks, this is a great breed for you!

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are sociable, enjoy human company, and are good with other chickens.
  • Egg Production: These ladies are one of the most prolific egg layers in the chicken world. If ‘pets with benefits’ is your main goal, this is the chicken for you!

5. Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Reds are a classic American breed with a friendly disposition. These beautiful birds are naturally drawn to their flockmates as well as their owners. This breed is great for children because they’re calm and easy to handle.

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are confident, easy to handle, and make great pets for beginners.
  • Egg Production: Expect abundant brown eggs from these reliable layers.

6. Wyandotte

Wyandottes are beautiful, dual-purpose birds that are also known for their friendliness. Wyandottes come in a variety of colors, from silver and gold to blue and red. Their beauty is matched by their wonderful personalities. Wyandottes are naturally calm and quiet birds that are perfect for beginners or children to raise.

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are calm, good with kids, and enjoy being around people.
  • Color Varieties: Wyandottes come in a wide range of colors, adding variety to your flock.

7. Faverolle

Faverolles are French chickens known for their friendliness and charming appearance. I think this breed is just the cutest. If you like the appearance of the Ameraucana or Easter Egger chicken but aren’t keen on their flighty personalities, the Faverolle is a good alternative.

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are gentle, love being handled, and are great for families.
  • Fluffy Feet: Faverolles have feathered feet that make them look extra adorable.

8. Brahma

Brahmas are large, gentle giants with a sweet and docile temperament. Hens tend to weigh between 8-10 pounds and roosters can weigh as much as 12 pounds. Don’t let their large size scare you though, these big birds are friendly as can be.

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are calm, enjoy human interaction, and are great for kids.
  • Cold Tolerance: Brahma’s feathered feet and thick plumage make them well-suited for cold climates.

9. Cochin

Cochins are known for their fluffy appearance and friendly disposition. Cochins come in a huge variety of colors, you could fill your flock with this one breed and have over 20 different looking birds!

You may have a hard time finding this breed at local feed stores during chick season, but they’re plentiful at online hatcheries like My Pet Chicken.

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are gentle, enjoy attention, and are great for backyard flocks.
  • Unique Appearance: Their feathered legs and large bodies make them unique.

10. Frizzle

Frizzles fun and quirky, and known to have a friendly attitude. Frizzles aren’t actually their own breed, but rather a variety of other breeds. For instance, pure breeds like Silkies, Cochins, Orpingtons, Polish, and Barred Rocks are bred to have these frizzled feathers.

Even though this isn’t an official breed, it still makes our list, because most of the frizzles you’ll find for sale come from breeds that are well known to be friendly. And besides, they’re just so much fun! This ornamental bird is sure to turn heads while they’re cuddling in your arms.

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are curious, enjoy company, and add a touch of uniqueness to your flock.
  • Feathered Quirk: Frizzles have feathers that curl outward, giving them a distinct appearance.

11. Jersey Giant

Jersey Giants are massive chickens with a gentle nature. This is one of the biggest backyard breeds you can find, with hens weighing around 11 pounds and roosters weighing up to 15 pounds.

Thankfully these chickens are gentle giants and only use their large size for bigger chicken hugs!

Jersey Giants may not be the best breed if you’re an absolute beginner, but seasoned chicken keepers will certainly enjoy their friendly personalities.

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are easygoing, good with kids, and make great pets for families.
  • Impressive Size: These chickens are one of the largest breeds in the world.

12. Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rocks are classic American chickens known for their friendly personalities. Want your backyard to look like every picturesque farm in Americana art? Toss some Plymouth Rocks back there and let the magic take hold.

These beauties are not only pretty, they’re lovable too. You’ll never regret adding this sweet breed to your flock.

  • Why They’re Friendly: They are docile, enjoy being handled, and are great for beginners.
  • Heritage Breed: Plymouth Rocks have a rich history in the United States.

If you’re considering adding chickens to your family, these 12 sweet and friendly breeds are an excellent place to start. With their affectionate personalities, unique characteristics, and egg-laying abilities, they’ll not only provide you with fresh eggs but also become beloved members of your household, just like your other pets!

Remember, raising friendly chickens starts with proper care and early socialization, so give your feathered friends the attention they deserve, and you’ll be rewarded with loyal and loving pets.

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