10 Friendliest Chicken Breeds
When thinking of a friendly animal, few people imagine chickens. Understandably, chickens, for most people, are only meant for producing eggs and meat. Nonetheless, like cats and dogs, some chicken breeds have been selectively bred over time to incorporate some characteristics. As such, you can now find a friendly chicken to bond with and come running to you as you approach.
When considering your alternatives for friendly chickens, you should focus on their personality traits. Docile, affectionate, non-flighty, and curious birds are the friendliest. Here is a list of the ten friendliest chicken breeds you can include in your flock.
Silkies are so-named because of their barb-free silky feathers that look pillowy and soft. They are small chickens with no standard sizes though roosters often weigh about 36 ounces and the hens about 32 ounces.
Silkies have characteristic black muscles and skins with feathers on their feet and five toes on each foot. They also have a crest comprising a tuft of hair on their heads, with a few sporting a beard.
Silkies adapt well to captivity and make excellent house pets because of their docile, laid-back natures. They are also very good with kids. Thankfully, being friendly is not all the silkie has to offer. It lays about 120 eggs yearly and fetches a reasonable price for its black meat, bones, and skin which are delicacies and also used in Chinese medicine.
Orpingtons are among the sweetest chicken breeds to keep. They love attention and will appreciate hugs and cuddles. Orpingtons are family birds that can be safely raised around kids since they are very patient.
They love food and will come running if you have some treats for them. Fortunately, they are low-maintenance chickens that are easy to care for, provided you are ready to give them lots of love.
Rooster Orpingtons weigh about 8.5 pounds, while hens weigh 6.5 pounds. The chickens are excellent meat and egg producers. Hens lay around 280 large eggs annually. The chickens mature fast and have tasty meat.
Owing to their large sizes, many feathers, and small wattles and combs, Orpingtons are cold hardy breeds. They make good broody mothers and will adapt well to free-ranging and confinement.
At first glance, an Australorp resembles a little lady with its grace, beauty, and elegance. It walks as if it is a little princess dragging along a train. Initially, the chicken might not seem friendly and sweet because it is shy.
After you gain their trust, Australorp chickens will become some of the sweetest breeds in your coop. They are peaceful and calm around animals and people. The birds also love being around people and tolerate being handled, caught, and picked up well.
Austarlorp hens weigh 6.5 pounds on average, while roosters weigh 8.5 pounds. They are only available in black. As great heritage chicken breeds, Australorps are dual-purpose breeds with quality meat producing about 250 large, brown eggs annually. They are cold-hardy chickens but tolerate warm weather well.
Rhode Island Red Chickens
Rhode Island Red chickens are popular because they are among the easiest ones to keep. Their personalities can be summed up in one word: exuberant. They are not nervous or flighty and rarely get flustered, qualities that make them perfect around kids.
Rhode Island Reds love exploring new things and are so curious that they can be considered nosy. They are docile, but this primarily depends on their rank in the pecking order. This means they can be unpleasant and mean around timid breeds like Cochins.
Rhode Island Red hens weigh about 6.5 pounds, whereas the roosters weigh 8.5 pounds. The hens produce 5-6 light brown egg weekly. They love foraging and free ranging and are very hardy. These characteristics make Rhode Island Red chickens suitable for beginners. Unfortunately, the birds can be rowdy and loud at times.
Cochin Bantam Chickens
The Cochin Bantam is sometimes called the Pekin after its origin in Peking, China. The bird is renowned for being a delightful sweetheart. Cochin Bantams are calm, docile, and friendly. They love capturing people’s attention and will have no issues being handled or tamed.
The birds will also usually follow you or perch on your head or shoulder. A Cochin Bantam will become quite riled up and excited when it knows there are treats on the way.
Cochin Bantam chickens weigh 24-30 ounces and come in black, white, birchen, and blue. They are generally submissive to other chickens when kept in a mixed flock. Cochin Bantams are excellent mothers and will be happy to adopt the chicks of other breeds. Unfortunately, they are not very good egg producers laying only 150-200 eggs annually.
Speckled Sussex Chickens
The speckled Sussex is a gentle bird suitable for families because it is often great with children. Nonetheless, roosters have aggressive streaks, so it is prudent to keep them away from kids. The hens have a dependable and steady temperament and are not prone to flighty or panicky behaviors.
Speckled Sussex chickens love being patted and held. If you have treats, they will follow you around. They get along well with other chicken breeds making them ideal for mixed flocks.
Speckled Sussex hens weigh about six pounds, while the roosters weigh eight pounds. The chickens lay 4-5 eggs weekly and are among the most dependable egg layers. Speckled Sussex chickens thrive in cold climates and love foraging, so feeding them is not expensive. They are relatively quiet and thus a good choice for urban backyards.
Jersey Giant Chickens
As the name suggests, Jersey Giants are quite large, with hens standing about 20 inches tall and weighing up to eleven pounds. Roosters reach heights of 26 inches and weigh fifteen pounds. Their sizes might make the chickens look intimidating, but they are very friendly. In fact, they can even become friends with your dogs and cats.
Jersey Giants are incredibly docile, making them perfect for children. They come in three varieties: blue, white, and black. Their large sizes make it crucial to have enough space in your coop to keep Jersey Giant chickens comfortable. The birds need not less than six square feet each and should freely roam. Jersey Giants have excellent meat and produce about 200 eggs yearly.
The main adjective that describes Faverolle chickens is sweet. They are very gentle and social with humans and other chickens. This can cause them sometimes to be picked on when mixed with other breeds. The beautiful colors of Faverolles make them among the most adorable chicken breeds. They look fluffy, and you will immediately want to cuddle them.
Faverolles weigh 6.5-8 pounds and are good egg and meat producers. With them, you can expect about 200 eggs per year. They will add some love and life to your flock and brighten your home life. Faverolles are known as the clowns of the poultry world and will keep you entertained with their antics. They love snuggling and sitting on the laps of their keepers.
These are kept by most chicken farmers, so you will get a lot of ready help when you run into any issues with Wyandottes. Nonetheless, you are unlikely to have any problems because the chickens are calm and gentle. They get along well with children and other chicken breeds.
Wyandotte chickens weigh 8-9 pounds and are available in blue, gold, and silver. The chickens tolerate confinement well and need no special treatment to keep them healthy. They are dual-purpose breeds laying around 200 eggs per year.
Like the Jersey Giant, the Brahma is a large breed with hens weighing approximately eight pounds and roosters weighing about ten pounds. Despite their sizes, Brahma chickens are the most laid back. They are placid, not skittish or flighty, and docile.
Though they are not really lap birds, Brahmas love begging for treats and love hugs from people they trust. They also become attached to their keepers.
Brahma chickens are quiet birds ideal for urban areas, provided there is enough space to accommodate them. They start laying eggs later than most breeds at seven months but produce 3-4 eggs weekly, making them quite profitable. Their large sizes also make them exceptional meat birds.
Even after choosing one of the friendly chicken breeds above, you should spend time training your bird so that it is used to being around people. This way, you can benefit from its friendliness. Talk to the chickens daily, feed them and hold them once or twice. You can also start petting them on the chest since they do not like being patted on the heads like other animals.
If you have older chickens, give them treats like mealworms, lettuce, and scrambled eggs so they can trust you and want to be around you. Always maintain a calm demeanor around your chickens because you are bigger, and they want to feel safe around you. With the right friendly chicken breed, you will gain an exceptional pet while getting some eggs for your table or shop.