With some cities opening up for chicken raisers, more residents are interested in optimizing their small spaces by having chickens.
However, with thousands of poultry bird types worldwide, which are the best chicken breeds for city living?
When deciding which chicken breed is best for you, you must consider the following questions:
- Do you prefer meat chickens or egg chickens?
- What chicken breed fits your climate?
So, if you are looking for a guide covering how to raise these birds with limited space and a list of the best chicken breeds for city living, you are in the right place!
Here is the list of best chicken breeds for city living or urban areas.
Best Chicken Breeds for City Living
We’re kicking off this list with the Ameraucana chicken, the crossbreed of the Araucana chicken breed, and American chickens.
They are characterized by their pea comb, unique blue eggs, and white foot bottoms.
You can also easily notice their earmuffs and beard contrasting with the common chicken ear tufts.
This chicken breed is ideal for city dwellers because of its high cold tolerance.
Unlike other chicken breeds, they can withstand frostbites. However, they have less heat tolerance and need sufficient shade and water in the summer.
They can live in limited spaces, are tamable, and can live up to 10 years, depending on how you care for them.
These chickens are also fun and friendly, perfect for meat and egg purposes, and they can lay many blue eggs.
This chicken breed is a crossbreed of Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds. Australorps feature their black color with hints of fluorescent blue-green, white, and blue.
They also have an erect five-point comb. If you are opting for the meat and egg chicken breed, Australops are perfect.
This chicken breed is sought-after for its high egg production and being good hens with moderate broodiness.
Moreover, this chicken breed is the best choice for city residents because it is easy to raise even for beginners, has a lifespan of 6-10 years, and can withstand heat and cold climates.
You can also ensure that Australorps won’t bother your neighbors because they are silent and don’t fly much.
However, this chicken breed is prone to obesity, and bullying is mixed with other aggressive chicken varieties.
Born from local Dutch and Asian chicken breeds, Barnevelder showcases double-laced colors with triangle-patterned overlays.
They also have single five-point combs, yellowish legs, and reddish wattles.
What makes this chicken breed unique is their lard and dark chocolate eggs depending on the lineage.
They can also withstand moist cold weather but have a weaker tolerance to heat.
This chicken breed is often broody, perfect for confinement, not noisy, and friendly. They can only live for 4-7 years.
4. Brahma Chicken
Popularly known as the King of Chickens, the Brahma chicken breed is one of the best urban chickens for interested city dwellers.
It is one of the best backyard chickens that ever exist. This chicken breed is characterized by its feathery feet and legs and abundant plumage.
They come in a different variety, serving the dual purpose of being meat and egg chicken breeds.
Furthermore, Brahma chickens are tamable, gentle, and friendly chicken breeds that can be raised in limited spaces.
They can also withstand both cold and hot conditions.
5. Leghorn Chicken
Leghorn chicken is also of the best chicken breeds for city living.
These chicken breeds are remarkably active with non-sitter hens making them very productive, laying 200-250 large white eggs annually.
They come in different colors with yellowish skin. If you are looking for a package chicken breed that is good for meat, egg, and showroom, you might want a Leghorn Chicken.
6. Buff Orpington
Buff Orpingtons come in various colors, like black, white, and blue.
They show a noticeably low stance, curved back, pinkish bald feet, and single five-point comb in red or rosy shades.
Also, you can see them with red wattles and earlobes, pinkish beaks, white skin, and reddish eyes.
They make a good chicken breed for both food and eggs. They lay light brown-colored eggs, but the production lessens as they age.
Buff Orpingtons can live up to 10-12 years. Their calm and friendly personality makes them a good choice for the city. They are perfect for confinement as they are lazy foragers.
With their profuse plumage, they have high cold tolerance but weak heat tolerance. They are also prone to mites and fleas.
7. Dominique Chicken
Dominique chickens are sought-after by city dwellers for their adaptable, independent, and calm demeanor.
They have a life span of 8-10 years, serving good quality meat and egg production.
Some people use their feathers to make mattresses. Chickens of this breed are self-sufficient and good foragers.
They can survive in both heat and cold conditions.
Moreover, Dominique Chicken are characterized by their mottled black and white color, reddish single comb, and concaved back.
Houdans are characterized by their unique features, including the bony protrusion on their heads.
They have uniquely formed beards, short legs, crests, red V-shaped comb, white wattles and earlobes, and mottled colors.
They are perfect for both tasty meat and high egg production.
Houdans are good foragers, but their crests give them the disadvantage of blocking their sight, allowing more chances of being captured by predators.
They can live 7-8 years and have a good heat tolerance but weaker cold tolerance.
Their docile and friendly nature makes them good for kids and beginners.
9. Lohmann Brown
If you are looking for a family chicken, Lohman Brown must be on your list. They are versatile, friendly, and can live up to 10 years.
They can live perfectly in small spaces and gardens.
Moreover, they can survive in all climates with maintained production quality.
Lohmann Browns are plain, caramel-shaded, medium-sized breeds with long necks and short feathers on their tails.
They boast their red wattles and rose-colored single comb.
10. New Hampshire
If you are planning for urban chicken farming, the New Hampshire chickens are a good breed for meat and eggs.
It can adapt well even to limited spaces and all sorts of weather. They are tamable and friendly.
However, when it comes to food, they can be aggressive and dominates your other docile chicken breeds.
Their plump, meaty body can recognize in deep red color.
11. Polish Chicken
Polish chickens are unique with their pompom hairdo, which can sometimes hinder their sights and crests in various shades.
They have white earlobes and red V-shape comb and wattles. And they are dual-purpose chicken breeds that can live up to 8 years.
They can survive in limited spaces but are not good in wet climates.
This chicken breed is not noisy and docile, exposing them to bullying from aggressive breeds. Their crests are often picked on, which leads to serious problems.
12. Silkie Bantams
Silkie Bantams are often called teddy bears due to their fluffy, friendly, and cuddly features.
They are characterized by their crested head, dark walnut comb and wattles, blue earlobes, furry legs, and grey-blue beak.
Silkies can be good backyard chickens for meat purposes but have low egg production.
They can live up to 9 years and can fit in limited spaces. They need extra care as they are weak against predators and cannot fly.
Silkies have cold and hot tolerance but are not good with wet conditions because their fur is not waterproof like other chicken breeds.
13. Speckled Sussex
Speckled Sussex chickens come in different colors. They feature single red comb, wattles, and earlobes with white legs.
As they molt, they get more colorful each time. They are also a good producer of meat and eggs.
Adaptable as ever, they can survive in all sorts of weather. They are friendly and cheerful and can live in small spaces.
14. Barred Rock Chicken
Also known as Plymouth Rocks, this chicken breed is useful for meat and egg purposes.
They come in different colors with bars of contrasting hues.
Moreover, they have yellowish legs, red comb, wattles, and a wide triangle-shaped body with a single five-point comb.
Depending on how you care for them, they can live up to 12 years.
They are good with limited spaces and have hot and cold tolerance. These birds are very friendly and mild.
15. Easter Egger
Finally, we’re wrapping up this list of the best chicken breeds for city living with the unique-looking, friendly, and active chicken breed,
Easter Egger. These birds are raised for both meat and egg purposes.
Furthermore, they lay large eggs in blue, green, and pinkish-cream colors.
And they can settle well in limited spaces and cold hardy, making them one of the best urban backyard chickens.
Benefits of Raising These Chicken Breeds in The City
Even though the area is limited for raising chickens in the city, it also offers several benefits. First, it allows the chicken to enjoy the free-range style forage.
As they are kept in a fenced area like a backyard or garden, they can freely look and eat insects and weeds and take a dust bath whenever they like.
Thus, it is found that eggs from backyard chickens contain more Vitamin E, A, and Omega 3 than those we can buy from factories. And, of course, they taste more delicious.
Furthermore, food is secured during a crisis for low-income families living in the city.
Raising a chicken in the city can also educate your family and those around you.
Since city dwellers have lesser access to farm products like chickens, raising them in your backyard can help.
Your family and neighbors can observe ad learn more about chickens and eggs and dive further into agriculture.
Chickens can also be a source of good quality organic fertilizers.
Next, raising chickens in the city can help reduce waste. Most of the time, we have leftovers in every meal.
But if we have chickens in our backyard, we can feed them our kitchen scraps instead of putting them in the trash.
This can be helpful, considering that chickens are omnivores, if we give them their daily, proper food and nutrients.
Lastly, chickens can be great pets. Your family, especially your kids, can learn more about pets and responsibilities as they take care of them.
Just teach them to be gentle handling the chickens and maintain hygiene afterward.
Things to Consider When Raising Chickens in The City
Even though some cities are legalizing chickens in the city, there are also some limitations and things that everyone must consider, such as:
1. City Laws and Ordinances
Laws and ordinances vary depending on the city where you live.
However, no matter the city you are in, you must consider a few things before raising urban backyard chickens.
The first thing is ensuring that raising a chicken is legal in your area. You must know your city’s rules and regulations for urban chicken keeping.
Next, as we all know, roosters are louder than hens. That is why there are areas that allow hens but prohibit roosters.
That is also one thing you have to clarify first. You can also choose to purchase non-aggressive and quiet chicken breeds.
One last thing is to learn the rules and regulations about butchering if you are planning to raise chicken for meat purposes.
If your city does not allow backyard butchering, please find an authorized butcher or local farmer to do that for you.
2. Your Neighbors
You must consider your neighbors if you live in urban areas with more crowded and closer homes.
You wouldn’t want to create conflict with your neighbors about chickens later on.
That is why it is important to share your thoughts before purchasing chickens. Inform them that the chicken breed you will raise is not noisy and won’t create any disturbances.
Aside from avoiding certain issues, it can also improve your relationships with your neighbors. You can also share the eggs with them if you like.
3. The Space Your Chickens Need
For your chickens to live a comfortable life despite being raised in the city, ensure you provide sufficient space they need.
The number of chickens you will raise must be based on the measurement of your area. For instance, a free-ranging chicken only needs 2 feet coop.
But if you won’t let your chickens free-range during the day, you might need 6-10 square feet for every chicken for coop and run.
Moreover, if you have a collection of different breeds in your area, you may need a larger space to avoid bullying among your chickens.
4. City Predators
If you plan urban chicken farming, you must ensure their safety. And to do that, there are basic predators you must be warned of.
Those are dogs, raccoons, rats, hawks, and people. They all love chicken.
As for dogs, the larger the city, the more stray dogs there are.
However, tamed or not, your chickens are not hundred percent safe when dogs are around.
Raccoons might also be cute, but they are formidable enemies for your chicken.
They are smart and strong to the point that they can open your protective locks and steal your chicken.
Likewise, your pullets, chicken eggs, and even half-grown chickens are in danger with rats around.
Hawks might also be small, but they can carry away your chickens.
You can solve this by stringing fishing wire or orange string around your coop or backyard in a crisscross pattern. Then, the most dangerous enemy for your chicken is people.
They either harm your chicken, steal them, or destroy your chicken house.
That is why you must protect your chickens as much as possible and build good relationships with everyone.
Best Chicken Breeds for City Living: Our Final Thoughts
Any chicken breeds mentioned above are best and perfect for anyone depending on the situation, climate, and environment.
Not all chicken is suitable for confinement and can survive in all conditions.
That is why choosing the best breed chicken breeds for city living is crucial.
Urban or not, anyone can raise a chicken as long as some conditions and requirements are met.
Moreover, urban chicken farming can be challenging, but you can rest assured that the benefits are fulfilling.