Spring time is almost here and chick days are starting to pop up at all of the local feed stores. The temptation to pick up more of these little cuties is hard to resist. Its also hard to resist the urge to collect all of the chicken breeds! However, we try to stick to 5 breeds, our favorite & best chickens for pets.
5 Best Chickens for Pets
Children and chickens seem to go hand in hand. Once they’re old enough, chickens make great family pets. And children learn chicken chores at an early age.
Plus, they give us farm fresh eggs, daily. Wins all around.
Our children have learned valuable chicken care and daily chicken chores. Things like letting the chickens out of the coop in the morning, filling feed & refreshing waterers, collecting eggs, and basic cleaning tasks.
So, having the right breeds in our flock is important. Some breeds just don’t have a kid friendly temperament and I wouldn’t recommend keeping them as pets.
We keep a mixed flock with a variety of chicken breeds and they seem to mesh well.
A few more things that are important for keeping our chickens: they must be a good laying variety and they need to heat & cold tolerable.
Benefits of Keeping Chickens
Besides bringing farm fresh eggs, chickens bring a variety of awesome benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should consider adding some chickens to your homestead.
- They keep insects under control
- Chickens help till up soil and prep the gardens
- Keeping chickens helps aid in self sufficiency
- Chickens provide great therapy, stress relief, and companionship
- They teach children responsibility
So which chicken breeds are best to raise and keep as pets? Here are our top 5 favorites with a few honorable mentions at the end.
#1 Rhode Island Red
I hardly hear of this breed being recommended for being a good and friendly addition to the family. Some have even said they find this breed aggressive. Personally, we have never had that issue in close to 10 years of chicken keeping.
Our Rhode Island Reds have always been incredibly sweet, docile, and easy to handle.
This is number one on my list for a reason – they’re a top choice on our ranch. And have been for years!
For us, they have been little sweeties. The Rhode Island Reds have also been a top egg layer for our family.
This breed can usually serve as a dual purpose breed for both meat and eggs. But are commonly known for their amazing egg production.
This is another super sweet and gentle chicken breed. Brahmas make an excellent choice of breed for children and to keep as pets.
They are also known as a gentle giant. This breed is a bit more docile than most others.
Brahma chickens are pretty regular egg layers. However, they aren’t as productive as the Rhode Island Reds.
#3 Buff Orpingtons
A really excellent choice for egg laying! They are very comparable to our Rhode Island Reds in this regards.
They also make an excellent choice for young children because of their loving nature. Ours have always been incredibly friendly and enjoy being carried.
Buffs tend to go broody often. So that’s something to keep an eye on if you don’t want them to hatch eggs.
#4 Polish Chickens
This is such a fun breed. These aren’t the greatest egg layers, but they sure are fun and definitely unique.
Our two roosters, Doc Brown & Marty (bonus points if you get the reference) are probably the best roosters we’ve owned.
Polish chickens are adorned with poufy feathers on their heads and sometimes can cause problems like limiting their vision. Trimming these feathers can be helpful.
Super tiny chicken breed. These chickens are pretty entertaining around our ranch. Just watching them run across the yard is sure to fill us all with laughter.
This is another breed that isn’t consistent with egg laying and they go broody often. I find our silkie hens to be the best mamas.
They sure make a great little addition for anyone who wants a fun chicken breed to keep as a pet.
Here are a few more very popular breeds you may want to consider. We don’t currently have these breeds on our ranch, but I know several people who love them!
These are great for pets, families, and kids to raise. Just like our personal favorite chickens, these breeds are known for their sweet and docile personalities.
- Easter Eggers
- Plymouth Rock