Pet Chickens: Which Breeds are Best?

Chickens make excellent pets, but selecting the right breed is very important because some chicken breeds are more friendly than others.

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 hatchBantams 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.

Australorp

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.

Brahma

A big chicken, some are friendlier than others, they lay brown eggs. They are a fairly attractive looking bird.

Cochin

File:Cochin miniatura (rasa kur) u6.jpg

photo source

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.

Jersey Giant

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.

Mille Fleur

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.

Naked Neck

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.

Orpington

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.

Plymouth Rock

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.

Polish

Image Source

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.

Silkie

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.

Sussex

These birds make good pet chickens and are very popular in back yard flocks. They are hardy, friendly and adapt easily to confinement.

Wyandotte

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.

Image Source

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  1. B Nelson

    On August 21, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Free Range eggs are better for you and having pet chickens is fun. They “Talk” to you every morning…

  2. Soph xo

    On January 19, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you so much for this article, I’m actually getting Silkies to keep as pets very soon I’m so excited! A friend’s frizzle hen is actually broody on about 9 eggs at the moment, and the chicks will either be silkie x frizzle or frizzle x white with black specks (sorry I don’t know their breed). I’m pretty excited!

  3. Jeff

    On May 20, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Don’t forget Australorps! They are basic black and rather large, but I have found them to be the gentlest, quietest breed. They also lay lots of eggs.

  4. Feather_Fanatic

    On October 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Hey those black hens are Black Stars not Australorps.
    The description does fit Australorps!
    They are very friendly.
    Australorps breast feathers are black!
    They do not have brown markings on the throat/breast!

    see the difference:
    http://static.mypetchicken.com/images/ChickenPix/medium/FRE_AstlrpCk_1_M.jpg

  5. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 2, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    thanks for the information Feather_Fanatic

    I bought them at auction and the box said Australorp.. I suspect they may have been a cross, I have not heard of Black Stars. Thanks for the info

  6. mango

    On March 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I own sebrights as pets and the roosters are sometimes very aggressive. The hens are very pretty but sometimes flighty. I think the hens make good pets.

  7. Chris Pappas

    On July 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I recently (this year) converted the old shed down the back yard into a chook house. It has a normal sized door and this had to be left open for the chooks to move in and out.
    I had their feed inside and those pesky wild birds,wood pigeons and the like,would fly in for a free feed and with the risk of passing on diseases as well. I put in a door strip, the one
    with the hanging coloured plastic strips and I have not had a wild bird in there since.The cost was around $20.00 and a little bit of work installing, and I reckon it has already paid for itself.
    So if you have a chook house like mine and have trouble with wild birds pinching your chooks feed this may work for you.
    Chris P

  8. Carla

    On February 21, 2013 at 1:33 am

    The quiestest birds I’ve had are Red Stars from mypetchicken.com. I tried Australorps but when they started laying the racket outside made me so mad I gave all 6 of my chickens away including the coop.

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