Keeping chickens in your backyard is a wonderful way to get fresh eggs, put meat on the table, get free fertilizer, and control insects.
But not all chickens may be suited for backyard farming.
If this is your first time raising chickens, the best ones to get for your coop are docile breeds.
These docile chicken breeds are easier to have around, especially if you have pets or children.
They also make less noise and avoid getting into fights with other breeds.
Their mellow natures make them excellent pets that won’t stress you out with constant crowing or pecking at your ankles when you walk past them.
So if you’re thinking about starting a flock or adding more to your coop, consider one of these eight docile chicken breeds:
Top 8 Docile Chicken Breeds
Docile chickens are a great option if you want to keep chickens in your backyard as pets or you generally want a peaceful flock.
These breeds are much calmer than other chickens, so they are less likely to startle since you live with them.
They also may not need as much space as other breeds since they don’t need to roam as much and won’t be as active in their habitat.
If you have younger family members, having docile breeds can help ensure the animals are safe for children to be around, making it a good option for families with kids.
As a bonus, some of these breeds are good egg layers and will ensure that you get a constant supply.
It can be a great way to get fresh eggs, and it can also be a good source of income if you plan to sell them.
Without further ado, take a look at this list to help you decide which is the best docile chicken breed for you.
If you’re looking for docile chicken breeds, the Buff Orpington is a popular choice.
This breed is one of the sweetest chickens you can get, and they’re also beautiful to look at.
Despite the name, it is not really muscular, and the term refers to its coloration. These chickens are almost similar to golden retrievers (if you compare them with the dog species) with their fluffy yellow plumage.
The Buff Orpington is a large breed, so it’s best for people with a bit more space and bigger coops.
This breed is large enough to provide plenty of meat and lays many large brown eggs.
With their friendly dispositions, they could get along just fine with children, other animals, and other chicken breeds.
Buff Orpingtons, however, are protective of their young and should be left alone if they have chicks.
If you live in a colder climate, the Buff Orpington is a good choice; if not, continue reading to check out more breeds.
Silkies are an exotic and docile chicken breed that is good for beginners and experienced chicken raisers alike.
This breed, which looks unlike any other on this list, originates from China.
Like its namesake, it has fluffy and silky fur, making it look like a cotton ball.
It has dark skin, bones, and meat, which are prized ingredients in Asian cuisine.
This small breed is very friendly and doesn’t like to wander, so it is good for people who don’t have a lot of space.
The Silkie is a calm, quiet chicken that doesn’t like to scratch and peck. You wouldn’t even hear this chicken crowing that much.
Like bunnies, they can be picked up and cuddled. Silkies make good pets for people who keep their chickens indoors.
Silkies are average layers and produce small, white eggs around three times a week.
They’re also great mothers who will take very good care of their chicks.
Unfortunately, Silkies also can’t handle extreme cold and wet weather well, so people in cold climates may want to look for another breed.
If you want a docile chicken breed that is a gentle giant, Cochin chicken is a good option.
Another docile breed that originated from China, the Cochin was prized for its large size. This breed can reach up to 8–11 lbs. and come in different colors.
Cochins are also known for being easy to handle and could easily be lap chickens.
They’re also good backyard foragers, so they’ll eat bugs and weeds in your yard. Cochins, however, are not good egg layers, but they are very maternal.
Like the Orpington chicken breeds, this big baby was made for colder climates.
The Australorp chicken breed is a friendly clucker that earned its spot in the list. It is also the honorary national bird of Australia.
A “cousin” of the Buff Orpington, this breed is popular for backyard farming and egg production.
The Australorp is different from the Buff Orpington if you look at its body shape and black feathers with a green sheen.
The Australorp is an average-sized breed, making it perfect for various spaces.
This breed also holds the world record for egg laying after an Australorp hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days.
Australorps are also very hardy and adapt well to warmer climates.
If you’re looking for a docile chicken breed that’s great for kids, the Sussex and its light and speckled varieties are good options.
Used to be an endangered breed, it has risen again in number and popularity thanks to backyard breeders.
Being an old breed originating in England, the Sussex is also a good egg layer.
This docile chicken breed is a good addition to your backyard flock.
Sussexes are friendly and easy to handle, and you would have no noise problems. They don’t cluck, crow, or make a fuss compared to other chicken breeds.
These chickens do well both indoors and outdoors and could thrive well in hot or cold weather.
As its name suggests, this cuddly hybrid docile breed can produce different colored eggs.
Easter Eggers are not purebred and could come from different stocks.
Most Easter Eggers come from Araucana or Ameraucanas lineages that were bred with other breeds to produce different colored eggs.
A hen may lay blue, green, rose, or brown eggs, but it is impossible to tell until she starts laying them.
Aside from their unusual egg-laying ability, these chickens are very friendly and even come up to humans for treats like dogs.
Easter Eggers are a great choice for a family flock as they are used to confined spaces and are not sensitive to weather.
Tall, elegant, and imposing, the Brahma is considered a docile chicken breed.
Brahmas can grow up to 30 inches tall and weigh up to 14 pounds, but don’t let their size fool you. These are some of the nicest chickens you’ll meet.
This breed was allegedly produced in the United States from unusually huge chickens imported from China through the Shanghai port.
Brahmas can lay up to 200 eggs per year, but it could take them eight months to mature, so this breed requires patience.
Brahmas are calm birds, and despite being big, they are usually shy and timid.
Since this is a big breed, a larger space is needed, and it is best suited for cooler and drier climates.
Another good addition to your backyard flock is the Faverolles chickens.
Known for its unique but adorable characteristics, the Faverolles is also a friendly and lovable chicken.
This chicken is known for its silly beard, muff, and extra toe. They look like tiny, cuddly grandfathers and would most likely appreciate being loved by you and your kids.
Like its relative, the Cochin, the Faverolles are very docile and get along with everyone.
Faverolles are known for being happy and friendly, and they are also calm enough to be handled often.
This French breed is famous for being decent egg layers (laying 150–180 eggs per year) and having good meat quality.
Faverolles are very active and need lots of space to roam around. It is very cold-resistant but does not fare well in warmer climates.
Where To Get Docile Chicken Breeds
Now that you are already familiar with some docile chicken breeds, you are probably wondering where you can get them.
It is better to get chicks if you don’t have an incubator or have no experience.
Chicks can be sourced from hatcheries. There are many hatcheries to choose from depending on your location, so it is best to choose according to convenience and preference.
For docile chicken breeds, there are also specialty breeders that cater to specific lines.
Always check for genetic problems and ensure that the breeder is reputable.
So before ordering, consider these:
- What chicken breed do you want?
- What is the cost of raising these chickens?
- Do you have enough space to raise them?
Taking Care of Your Docile Chicken Flock
If you have already decided to raise docile chickens or are already doing so, here are some tips to keep them happy and healthy.
Start with chicks
Starting with chicks is the best way to condition your flock into becoming friendlier to humans. Young chickens are easier to train than older birds who are not familiar with you or your family.
Keep hens only
Keeping an all-hen flock reduces bullying or other forms of aggression. Having roosters around usually leads to fights and squabbles.
If you want to maximize your flock’s egg production potential, it’s best to keep only hens.
Spend time with them
Spending time with your chickens builds trust and familiarity. As mentioned, start them out young and be as hands-on as possible.
Try feeding them from your hand and get them used to be lifted up or placed on your lap.
Give them a good home
Ensure that you build or buy a sturdy coop that can shelter them from the weather and predators.
Check to see if your yard has a good fence and is free of dangerous things like poisonous plants and sharp objects.
Keep your coop and yard clean
Cleanliness is the key to making sure your chickens are healthy and happy.
If your coop and yard are clean, diseases and parasites are less likely to spread and hurt your whole flock.
You have to consider if you have enough space for the chickens to roam around or stay in their coop. Overcrowding is inhumane and will probably create health problems for your flock in the future.
Make sure you calculate if there is enough room for the number of chickens you want. As mentioned above, some docile chicken breeds need special considerations, like wide open spaces.
Prepare for medical problems or emergencies
Always be prepared for any situation that may affect the health of your chickens.
Keep in mind that your chickens may get sick or hurt even in your own backyard. Know where the nearest vet is and keep medication and first aid on hand at all times.
Ensure that they have plenty of food and water
Always make sure that you have enough food for your chickens.
Some docile chicken breeds are not very good foragers and need to be supplemented with feed. You also need a clean water source accessible, especially during hot weather.
Once all of those are good to go, go ahead and welcome some of these lovely and friendly breeds to your family.
Docile Chicken Breeds: Conclusion
If you’re looking for docile chicken breeds, there are a lot of great options.
You can pick a breed based on your climate, the amount of space you have, looks, and the purpose of having them in the first place.
Docile chicken breeds are prized for their dispositions, while some are also dual-purpose and pave more benefits than you expect.
Docile chickens would not show aggression, unlike other breeds, so you wouldn’t need to worry about them hurting each other or giving you more trouble.
But before you adopt chickens, make sure you understand what they need and how to care for them.
Remember that some docile chicken breeds are better for beginners, while others are well off for experienced chicken keepers.
Once you start raising them, don’t forget to keep them healthy and happy.