Finding the friendliest chickens for kids is essential if you’re planning on raising birds in the backyard. This fun family activity is a great way to introduce kids to nature. Even small children can help collect eggs, feed and learn how to commune with nature. Older kids can help water them or move straw into their habitat.
Friendly chickens are defined as breeds that can be held and pet without fear of aggressive behavior. Calm chickens are the perfect breeds for kids. This blog post will help you choose the friendliest chickens and start a family activity that will become the heart and soul of your home.
Teach your Children These Safe Chicken Handling Tips
The biggest danger with having chickens is hygiene. They do tend to attract a lot of bacteria so it’s essential that you instill these healthy habits in everyone who will be helping to care for them, especially when kids are going to be around them.
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap after handling chickens or their eggs.
Change clothes before working with chickens to avoid spreading diseases to them. Most families will have clothing specifically used for these duties.
Disinfect equipment after using it for chicken-related tasks. Especially when it contacts their droppings.
Another important tip is to make sure you get your chickens right after they are hatched and let your kids handle them often. Give them treats and spend time with them right away. This makes the chicken accustomed to being handled and it will be far gentler.
Benefits of Raising Family Chickens
There are a lot of amazing benefits to raising backyard chickens and those benefits don’t stop at the eggs – although those are definitely at the top of the list. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. Getting Fresh Eggs: We’ll start with the obvious one. Eggs are so much better when they are fresh so your family will enjoy this benefit for years to come.
2. Natural Pest Control: Even though you’ll want to keep your chickens fed on grain, they are always active foragers so they will eat small bugs and other insects.
3. Compost: Chickens provide natural fertilizer that can get used in your garden or plants. Instead of discarding waste from chickens, you can use it as fertilizer.
4. Stop Wasting Food: Chickens will eat up certain leftovers so you’ll never be wasting it. This also means you’ll have less trash.
5. Stress Relief: Spending time with animals is proven to have a number of mental health benefits. This is great news for your family because chickens on this list will all make amazing pets, in addition to providing other more tangible benefits.
Friendliest Chicken Breeds
Silkies are one of the gentlest chicken breeds in the world and their fuzzy plumage is soft, making them a great choice for kids. They are also quite gentle, love to be handles and pet.
Silkie chickens are also quite nurturing, looking for anything to mother. Then factor in their quirky, quiet personality and you can see that they are a great addition to a family-friendly backyard chicken farm.
Brahmas are another family-friendly option. They come in both standard and bantam chicken sizes. Bantams are smaller than normal chickens so they take up less space.
Another amazing feature is that the Brahma doesn’t mind being held and they come in an assortment of different colors. Brahmas lay brown eggs every other day on average.
Lavender Orpington Chickens
A list of the kid friendliest chickens wouldn’t be complete without adding the Orpington to it. There are two different types of birds that fall under this breed – the Buff Orpington and the Lavender Orpington.
While this breed is larger than most chickens, its docile personality makes it a very good choice for kids. They also lay rather large brown eggs and they are quite versatile to temperature fluctuations.
This is a close relative to the Orpington listed above but as its name indicates, this chicken was bred in Australia. But the docile nature of their close relatives is still on full display. They are amazing layers and really friendly toward people. They lay pretty sizable eggs that are a lighter brown than their Orpington counterparts.
This French breed brings an unmatched level of cuteness to the flock and can come in either white or salmon colors. Their feet are adorned with feathers. Plus this breed is quite docile so they are not a danger to children.
The main problem is that they can be too docile so you need to make sure you don’t put them with aggressive breeds because they will get bullied.
Plymouth Rock Chickens
Plymouth Rock is one of Americas’ oldest breeds and one of the friendliest full-size chickens. They just don’t like being held, but won’t mind it either and won’t attack.
They’re not the smartest chickens out there, but they’ll follow you or the kids around like a dog. They tend to lay about 3 eggs a week at least, 4 in the warmer months.
Ameraucana chickens are very close to the olive egger but their eggs are blue. Just like their cousin, the Ameraucana doesn’t like to be held and I doubt it’ll sit in your lap. But they are not going to be aggressive either.
Cochin chickens are quite versatile so they make a great choice for families looking to get started with raising chickens. They are able to thrive in a coop or as free-range birds.
Plus, they are docile so they are safe around children. There’s also the fact that Cochin chickens come in a wide range of colors and sizes, making them a diverse choice.
This friendly breed of chicken makes a great addition to any family. The biggest complaint seems to be that they have poor vision because of their head feathers. But, you can trim those feathers to keep this from being a problem. Polish chickens will lay about two eggs per week so they are not the best egg layers to choose from.
As the name implies, Easter Eggers will lay a variety of colorful eggs ranging from blue to pink. There are several breeds of Easter Eggers and they come in a lot of different sizes. More importantly, they can lay about 4 eggs per week!
Finding the friendliest chickens is important if you’re hoping to create the best backyard experience for your family. Building relationships with animals is incredibly therapeutic and will bring a family together. Plus they will make breakfast that much more enjoyable with fresh eggs.
Even though this list isn’t the most comprehensive out there, it gives you a great place to start. Everything listed is perfect for beginners. You’ll love the family fun that comes with owning the friendliest chickens!