Are you interested in raising lap chickens? If so, you’ll want to consider some of these top lap chicken breeds.
Pets are an excellent addition to any home. They provide companionship, comfort, and entertainment. There are lots of different animals that make good pets.
Dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds are some of the most popular. But, there are also hedgehogs, mice, hamsters, snakes, lizards, fish, etc.
What about chickens?
Yes, chickens, too, make wonderful pets. Known as lap chickens, they can be almost dog-like in loyalty, cuddliness, and temperament.
So what is a lap chicken? What are the best lap chicken breeds, and can any chicken be friendly?
What Is a Lap Chicken?
When you think of chickens, you may think of farms where chickens are raised for meat or eggs.
You may not think of them as indoor pets, emotional support animals, or cuddly companions.
However, these types of chickens are becoming more common—especially for families with children.
Known as lap chickens, these friendly feathered friends are comfortable being indoors or out. But they prefer spending time with their human companions.
They are calm, cuddly, and do well in homes or apartments.
Lap chickens are comfortable being in a house with people and are often considered companion birds.
They thrive in more confined spaces and don’t need other chickens around to make them happy. Instead, they view their human companions as their friends, not requiring the company of other birds.
Unlike other breeds of chickens, those affectionately referred to as “lap chickens” are often more docile and non-aggressive.
As a result, they do well with kids and adults alike. Sometimes, they may come running when you call them or eat out of your hand—almost like a dog.
There are plenty of other tricks you can teach your lap chickens to do, too.
In fact, many people can “housebreak” their lap chickens so they don’t have to worry about chicken poop all over the house – among other inconveniences that you might encounter when raising chickens exclusively indoors as pets. That’s a huge benefit for sure!
8 of the Best Lap Chicken Breeds
Lap chickens have become increasingly common as household pets. In fact, it is not uncommon to see chickens walking around yards in the suburbs or chilling out in a city apartment.
With so many breeds of chickens to choose from, how do you know which breeds are the calmest and friendliest? Here is a list of some of the most popular lap chicken breeds.
These docile chickens have dark black feathers. However, in the sunlight, they have hues of green and purple mixed in. The Australorp also is a great egg layer. On average, they can lay around 250 eggs a year.
One thing to note about this beautiful breed is that they do not do well in hot climates. Instead, they prefer colder climates.
While they do well indoors, and despite being a larger breed of chicken, they are very active.
Allowing them to free-range in your yard to hunt for bugs can help keep them active and healthy.
They may be shy at first, but they will follow you from place to place once they warm up to you. Australorps love treats.
What makes these birds so lovable is their friendly, gentle disposition. In addition, they are calm, quiet, and easy to handle.
So not only are they great for beginners, but they are also good with children.
The Barbu D’Uccles is a beautiful breed. Its small size makes it one of the easiest breeds for children to pick up and handle.
Many of these friendly chickens love to sit on your hand or shoulder.
Not only do they love flying up onto the shoulders of their favorite people, but they are also very talkative.
Unfortunately, unlike Australorp, they are not very good at laying eggs. However, what they lack in egg-laying ability, they make up for in beauty, personality, and kindness.
This breed of chicken has a variety of feather colors, shades, and patterns. Some of the most popular are porcelain, mottled, blue, and Millie Fleur.
However, their beauty is only matched by their friendliness. In just a matter of moments, they will become your new best friends.
These docile, friendly chickens are a favorite of children all around the world. They are covered in fur-like feathers that feel silky.
One of the best things about silkies is that they love cuddling and sitting in people’s laps.
They don’t lay a lot of eggs, but they make up for it in their demeanor. Unusually friendly, calm, and docile, they love people.
In fact, they will follow you around your home and yard, talking to you along the way.
Silkies do well in apartments if you can have a chicken in your apartment, of course. They are quiet, and their smaller size makes them ideal for smaller spaces.
However, if you want a low-maintenance chicken with dog-like devotion, a silkie may be the right choice for you.
These gentle, fluffy birds are beloved by children and parents alike. Due to their quiet nature, they are great for more urban areas.
They do produce about five eggs a week, making them great for egg production and companionship.
Buffs don’t like to stray too far from home.
They are most content when they are in your lap or being fed. With Buffs, you do have to be careful, though. Because they like to eat, they can develop obesity quite easily.
Buffs are calm, stately, and glide when they walk. However, when they spot a treat, they will start to run.
Cuddling is one of their favorite activities. In fact, they are known to seek their owners out when they want attention.
One of the most child-friendly breeds of chicken, they will tolerate almost anything.
However, we still recommend watching them interact with your children because they have a strong, powerful beak.
They are a beginner-friendly breed of bird. Not only are they tranquil, easy to handle, and low-maintenance, but Buffs are best suited for a smaller yard.
If you’re looking for a fluffy, cuddly, and mellow chicken, look no further than the Cochin.
These delightful fluffballs come in a variety of colors and weigh around seven pounds.
Unfortunately, they are not renowned for their egg-laying ability, laying only a few a week. But they do make great mothers.
Cochins are calm, docile, and friendly. They make great pets because they love your company, love being handled, and enjoy sitting in laps.
Because they are quiet and do well in confinement, they do well in small yards, neighborhoods, and apartments.
While they do ok with free-ranging, you will most likely find them hanging out by their feeders.
In addition, they don’t fly well, meaning you can easily contain them in your yard with a shorter fence.
One thing Polish Chickens are known for is their crazy 70s-like hairdo. But, while their head of feathers might be crazy, their temperament is anything but.
They make an excellent lap and house chickens because they are friendly, tame, docile, and enjoy cuddles and touch.
However, because they are naturally curious, it is probably safer for you to keep these beautiful birds indoors. Otherwise, they may get stuck somewhere. Most of the time, they are quiet.
Because of their calm demeanor, they are great pets for children.
However, they do get startled easily, especially if their feathers grow over their eyes. Regularly trimming these feathers can help reduce their flightiness.
Aptly named, these birds have dense, fluffy feathers that are a beautiful honey salmon color. Beloved by children and adults alike, they are a perfect mixture of cuddly and entertaining.
They are always enthusiastic, always excited to see you, and are super curious and talkative.
Salmon Faverolles seems to have a sort of exuberance about life. They always seem to be in a hurry, like they have somewhere important to be, but they also love cuddling.
Not only are they docile and gentle, but they will also make you laugh.
They do not do very well free-ranging. So, if you do decide to purchase these comical birds, make sure you keep them confined either in your home or in your yard.
Another perfectly named bird, these loving birds lay different colored eggs. Most commonly, they lay blue, green, pink, olive, tinted, or brown eggs.
They are friendly and make great house pets.
Like their eggs, they have a sunny disposition. Experts describe them as being curious, gentle, and super friendly.
Easter Eggers will willingly approach you for treats or cuddle time. They are great with kids. If you have kids, you kids will love these birds just as much.
What are the Friendliest Lap Chicken Breeds?
In general, chickens are friendly birds, especially if they aren’t being raised with other chickens they might compete with.
However, some breeds are nicer than others. If you want a friendly chicken, you have to raise a friendly chicken before identifying which breeds are the most social.
3 Quick Tips to Help You Raise a Gentle, Cuddly Lap Chicken
Raise them from chicks
Talking to your chicks in a quiet voice helps calm their nerves while also helping them associate humans with being non-threatening.
Once they get used to your voice, you can start picking them up. However, you should limit this time to several sessions of just a few minutes at a time until your chicks get comfortable with you.
Feed your chicks out of your hand
Once your chicks start to get older, start putting their favorite treat in your hand.
As they get more comfortable eating out of your hand, you can pet them using slow, smooth movements. After they acclimate themselves to your touch, spend time with them.
Make sure they know you’re in charge.
Talking nicely and calmly while you feed your chickens helps establish you as their primary food source. If they associate you with food, they will actively seek you out.
To sum up:
Raising your chickens from babies is the best way to make your chickens as friendly as possible.
Feeding, handling, and making sure they see you as a source of comfort and safety will make your chickens cuddlier, more social, and better companions.
Finding the Best Lap Chicken Breed
Not all chicken breeds have a friendly disposition. If you want chickens that will be easy to raise as lap birds, steer clear of the following breeds:
Although they can work well for some people, they tend to be the least friendly option and may not be suitable if you want to raise chickens indoors.
They can be quite difficult to tame, especially gamefowl.
Gamefowl, along with any birds closely related to junglefowl (the natural ancestors of most domestic chicken breeds), tends to be much flightier and more difficult to manage.
On the flip side, these are some of the friendliest breeds suitable for house pets and children.
- Speckled Sussex
- Buff Orpington
- Rhode Island Red
- Easter Eggers
- Jersey Giants
The two lists above are not exhaustive.
Other chicken breeds are just as friendly and cuddly. It is important to remember that some breeds are described as friendly, so there may be some variation among individual chickens, just as with people.
Some breeds require more space to roam than others. Some breeds prefer warmer climates.
Whichever breed you choose, making sure you feed them, acclimate them to touch and your voice, and providing them with adequate shelter will help them see you as a non-threat.
If you are interested in raising lap chickens, it is essential to do your research. Not only do you want to pick a breed that matches your experience level, but you also want to find a breed that matches your climate and living situation. Good luck!
READ NEXT: The Top 10 Friendliest Chicken Breeds