Raising chickens is becoming more and more popular, especially for families who want to have a source of fresh eggs and enjoy the benefits of watching these charming birds roaming around their yards.
However, not all chicken breeds are created equal. Some breeds are more suitable for families with children, while others are not.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best chicken breeds for families to raise based on their temperament, personality, and egg-laying abilities.
What Are the Best Chicken Breeds for Families?
If you’re looking to add some delightful feathered friends to the family, chickens are the perfect pets!
Raising chickens can be a fulfilling hobby that teaches kids responsibility, provides fresh eggs, and doubles as pest control for your garden.
But with so many breeds available, choosing the perfect ones for your family can be overwhelming.
Here are some of the best options to consider.
1. Buff Orpington
Buff Orpingtons are known for their sweet and gentle personality, making them one of the best chicken breeds for families.
Sometimes referred to as the “Golden Retrievers” of the chicken world, they are large and fluffy, making them great cuddle buddies for children.
These chickens are also excellent egg layers, producing large brown eggs throughout the year.
They are cold-hardy, making them a great fit for families living in colder areas.
2. Silkie Bantam
Silkie Bantams are small, fluffy, and friendly birds that love human attention. They are docile and non-aggressive, making them ideal for children.
Silkies are not prolific egg layers, but they make up for their lack of quantity with quality.
Their eggs are small, cream-colored, and packed with flavor.
Silkies are also great as pets, as they tend to bond with humans and follow them around like puppies.
The Cochin chicken is known for its docile, friendly personality toward humans.
This makes them great for families with children who may want to interact with and handle their chickens.
They enjoy being around people and have been known to seek out human company.
Cochin chickens have a heavy, fluffy feathering that provides insulation during cold weather.
They’re also adaptable to different environments, making them ideal for families living in areas with varying climates.
This large breed of chicken can reach up to 8 pounds in weight.
They’re also great egg layers, producing large brown eggs that are perfect for a family’s breakfast.
Cochin chickens are a low-maintenance breed that doesn’t require much work beyond the basics of feeding, watering, and shelter.
Their feathering allows them to be less prone to mites and other parasites, making it unnecessary to apply chemicals to them.
4. Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rocks are another great chicken breed for families. They are easy to care for, friendly, and adaptable.
They also have a calm and gentle disposition, making them great for children.
Plymouth Rocks are also prolific egg layers, producing around 280 brown eggs per year.
They are also very hardy, making them a great fit for families living in extreme weather conditions.
Plymouth Rock chickens are also very easy to care for. They require a simple diet of chicken feed and water, and they don’t need a lot of space to roam.
Unlike some other breeds, they are not picky eaters and can adapt well to different climates.
This makes them a great choice for families new to chicken keeping or looking for a low-maintenance pet.
Finally, Plymouth Rocks are a beautiful breed of chicken. They have distinctive black and white stripes, which make them easy to spot in your backyard.
They also have a friendly and curious gaze, making them a fun addition to any family.
Plus, if you’re interested in showing chickens at fairs or exhibitions, Plymouth Rocks are a popular breed to show.
5. Polish Chicken
Polish chickens are known for their quirky and entertaining personality, making them popular among families with children.
They have a unique look, with a large crest of feathers on their head, which makes them look like they’re wearing a hat.
While not the most prolific egg layers, Polish chickens are known for their large white eggs, which are delicious and nutritious.
They are also very docile and friendly birds, which makes them great pets.
Wyandottes are one of the best chicken breeds for families, as they are a hardy, adaptable breed with a gentle and calm disposition.
They are also prolific egg layers, laying around 200 brown eggs per year.
Wyandottes come in various colors and have a beautiful, lacy appearance that makes them look dainty and delicate, but they are actually very hardy birds.
7. Speckled Sussex
The Speckled Sussex is known for its beautiful speckled feathers and friendly personality. They are excellent foragers and do well in free-range environments.
They are also known to be great with children and are easy to handle. Speckled Sussex hens lay about 4-5 light brown eggs per week.
Speckled Sussex chickens are incredibly docile, which means they are gentle even when being handled by children.
They are easy to handle and will even come running to you for cuddles.
They are friendly and curious, which makes them great for children to interact with.
Speckled Sussex chickens are adaptable to different climates, making them suitable for various regions.
They can tolerate both cold and hot climates and do exceptionally well in free-range settings.
They also adapt quickly to new environments, so you can rest assured they’ll settle in quickly in your backyard.
8. Easter Egger
Don’t let the name fool you!
This breed does not lay exclusively green eggs, but they are capable of producing a variety of egg colors, including blue and pink.
Easter Eggers are docile and enjoy human attention, making them a great addition to any family.
They also do well in both free-range and confined environments.
Australorps are a popular breed among poultry enthusiasts for a good reason.
They are hardy birds that are easy to care for and are known for being exceptional egg layers.
In fact, they hold the world record for egg production, laying up to 364 eggs per year.
For families who enjoy eating fresh eggs, Australorps are an excellent choice.
Aside from their egg production, Australorps are also known for their friendly and docile nature, making them great around children.
They’re easy to handle and are also known for being good with other chickens.
They’re also adaptable to different types of environments, whether you have a large backyard or live in an urban area with a small coop.
Another reason Australorps are a great choice for families is that they come in various colors, including black, blue, and white.
They’re also known for being low maintenance and relatively quiet, making them ideal for small backyards or urban living.
Plus, they’re great at foraging, which can help cut down on food costs and provide them with a more diverse and nutritious diet.
In terms of health, Australorps are known for being robust and disease-resistant, meaning they’re less likely to get sick or require extensive veterinary care.
They have a long lifespan, with some living up to 7 years or more, giving your family ample time to enjoy their company.
Brahma chickens are one of the largest breeds, making them a popular choice for families.
They are friendly and docile, making them great with kids.
They also do well in colder climates due to their thick feathering. Brahma hens lay about 3-4 brown eggs per week.
This breed is known for its unique feathering and gentle temperament.
They are easy to handle and make great pets.
They are also very hardy and can adapt well to different environments. Faverolle hens lay about 4-5 light brown eggs per week.
12. Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Red chickens are friendly and easy to handle. They are great with children and make lovely pets.
Rhode Island Reds are a perfect choice if you have a family with young kids.
They are easy to train and can become quite sociable. They are known for their calm temperament and won’t mind being picked up or petted.
Rhode Island Reds are excellent egg layers and one of the most popular breeds in America.
They can lay up to 300 eggs a year, and their eggs are of medium to large size.
You can expect around 5 to 6 eggs per week from each chicken.
This makes them a popular breed with hobby farmers and homesteaders alike.
With Rhode Island Reds in the backyard, you’ll always have a fresh supply of eggs.
Finally, these chickens are hardy and can handle colder climates without much difficulty.
Unlike other chicken breeds, they have a layer of fat beneath their skin, which acts as an insulator against cold temperatures.
They are also resistant to many common chicken diseases, making them a low-maintenance breed.
Hardiness is an important factor, especially for families new to raising chickens.
What Breeds of Chickens Can Be Kept Together?
Raising chickens can be a fun and rewarding experience for families.
Not only do they provide fresh eggs and entertainment, but they also teach responsibility and respect for animals.
However, if you’re not well-versed in poultry, it can be challenging to know which breeds are compatible with each other.
In general, you can raise just about any type of chicken together, provided that you take the time to introduce the different breeds to each other slowly.
That said, some birds do better together than others. If you’re interested in raising a mixed flock of chickens with your family, here are some things to pay attention to.
Chickens are classified according to their comb type, which is the fleshy growth on the top of their heads.
Breeds with different comb types are less likely to fight because they don’t look like competitors.
For example, the single comb of Rhode Island Reds can live harmoniously with the pea comb of Australorps.
However, avoiding breeds with similar combs, such as two rose comb breeds like Wyandottes, is advisable to prevent bullying.
Temperament is another crucial factor to consider when selecting chicken breeds that will live together.
Choosing breeds with docile and friendly temperaments is recommended, especially if you have young children.
Breeds like Cochins, Orpingtons, and Silkies typically have mild-mannered personalities, making them good choices for mixed flocks.
Size & Activity Level
Size matters in the chicken world, as larger chickens may injure smaller ones.
It’s best to avoid keeping the world’s largest breed, the Jersey Giant, with the smallest bantam breeds like Sebrights.
Also, breeds with different activity levels can live together when there is enough room.
Calmer, heavier breeds like Sussex or Plymouth Rock can coexist with more active breeds like Leghorns or Campines as long as they have space to roam.
Different breeds of chickens were developed for specific reasons, such as meat, eggs, or ornamental attributes.
Combinations of breeds meant for different purposes might not work well together.
For example, a layer breed like Leghorns may not be best kept alongside a meat breed like Cornish Cross.
Mind you, it’s possible, but it requires extra care and attention to ensure that each breed’s specific dietary and environmental needs are met.
Keeping a Healthy Flock
Keeping your chickens healthy should always be your number one priority.
When you keep breeds with fewer disease susceptibilities, it can help prevent entire flocks from getting sick.
Always check with an expert in the field when in doubt.
Best Chicken Breeds for Families: Conclusion
When it comes to raising chickens, it’s important to choose a breed that is easy to care for and appropriate for your lifestyle.
While there are many breeds to choose from, the Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte, and Sussex are some of the easiest chickens to raise.
These breeds are known for their docile temperament, hardiness, and egg-laying capabilities.
Regardless of which breed you choose, caring for chickens takes patience and diligence, but it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience with the right breed.
Choosing the right chicken breed for your family is important.
It’s essential to consider the breed’s temperament, egg-laying abilities, hardiness, and adaptability.
The above-listed chicken breeds are great for families with young children, as they’re all known for their friendly and docile nature.
They’re also excellent egg layers, producing large, brown eggs consistently.
With the right chicken breed, you can enjoy fresh eggs daily and have a great pet for your family.
Happy chicken raising!