As far as pets go, chickens are ones with the most advantages, they eat bugs, and provide you with food. NO, I am not suggesting you eat your beloved pet, I am referring to the eggs they will lay on a consistent basis. Feed costs are cheap, and chickens can be very friendly if the breed is selected right. Not all chickens make good pets. Roosters should be avoided as, in some breeds, they can be aggressive. Your hens will still lay eggs if there are no roosters around - but the eggs just wont hatch. Bantams are smaller chickens.
Ameraucana and Auracana
These chickens are popular because they lay colored eggs. Ameraucanas lay eggs that may be blue or blue-green. Auracanas are “rumpless” birds, and lay blue eggs. Both are non aggressive and easily kept in confined pens. They come in many different color patterns and generally make good pets.
I have kept these myself and been very happy with them as pets, they are good layers, and have brown eggs. They are good with kids and allow themselves to be handled and picked up. My daughters favorite hen was a Black Australorp.
A big chicken, some are friendlier than others, they lay brown eggs. They are a fairly attractive looking bird.
Cochins make excellent pets and are very unique looking birds with fancy feathering and come in a variety of colors. They are friendly and often used as “foster” hens for other chicks.
These are the largest breed of chicken, and one of they few breeds that will continue to lay eggs into the winter. They can be friendly with people, so will do well for somebody wanting a bigger bird as a pet.
These are the most popular variety of a breed called Belgian D’Uccle, these are Bantam (small) birds, who do well as pets. They are fun because they are extremely colorful. Even the roosters can be friendly.
I personally find these Naked Neck chickens weird to look at, but they are popular as pets by many people I know. They lay cream colored eggs and are easily handled and friendly.
Orpingtons are quite friendly birds and make good pets, they lay brown eggs and can lay in the winter too. If you have a variety of birds these ones might be at the bottom of the pecking order.
These are very popular birds as pets, they lay brown eggs. Barred Rock hens are probably the most common, have white and black stripes on the feathers. They are easy to tame.
These can be good pet birds as well, noted for the tuft of feathers on top of their head, they are interesting to look at. They are friendly and lay white eggs.
Rhode Island Reds or Whites
Good birds for pets and laying. They are calm and hardy in most weather conditions. The roosters of this breed are somewhat aggressive, so should be avoided in your pet flock.
Silkies are extremely popular chickens for those looking for a pet. They enjoy being held and have a fluffy appearance which appeals to children. They are not prolific layers, but do make excellent foster moms to other birds’ chicks.
These birds make good pet chickens and are very popular in back yard flocks. They are hardy, friendly and adapt easily to confinement.
Although popular as pets, some birds are not as friendly as others. They are handsome birds to look at or have as pets, and lay brown eggs.
* The following are some chicken breeds that are not good as pets, because either they do not like confinement or are not as good around people; Andalusians, Leghorns, and Sebrights.
This is a photograph of a Silver Sebright hen.