Chickens can be great pets, and — bonus — egg-layers have some obvious benefits. But not all chickens are the same. Like dog breeds, there's a wide range of chicken breeds to choose from, each with their own look, egg-laying capabilities, and temperament. As someone who has taken care of chickens on a few different farms, including mine, I've picked a few of my favorites.
Rhode Island Red
These birds are as tough as they come and can handle just about any kind of weather or change. Plus, they lay eggs like clockwork, so you'll always have a bunch to grab from your fridge. And the best part? They love a good cuddle.
If you want a chicken that'll chill on your lap and hang out, a Rhode Island red is your go-to. They're perfect for anyone who wants a feathered friend who brings breakfast right to your doorstep.
In the realm of pet chickens, silkies are truly the cream of the crop. With their irresistibly cute, fluffy appearance and their remarkable, endearing personalities, they stand out as one of the most lovable breeds you can own.
Beyond their striking looks, silkies win hearts with their gentle and friendly demeanor, making them a top-tier choice for families and chicken enthusiasts. Just make sure to do your research, as these fluffers don't do great when they get wet.
Buff orpingtons are pretty much the teddy bears of the chicken coop. They’re super chill and friendly, and you can count on them for a steady flow of eggs, which is pretty awesome.
Plus, they’ve got fluffy golden feathers that are so pretty — they're like little puffy pieces of sunshine strutting around your yard.
Cochin chickens are truly a sight to behold with their round, plump bodies and extravagant feathering. Originally known for being decent egg layers, over the years, the goal has been perfecting their looks. Since the focus shifted, they are no longer known for their egg-laying abilities. But they still average around 150 medium-sized brown eggs each year, so you'd still have enough to feed a small family.
This particular breed is famous for their super fluffy feathers and classy look, which really sets them apart from the rest. They're like the fancy, well-dressed birdies of the chicken world. And the best part — these chickens are incredibly friendly and a breeze to take care of.
Whenever I hear this breed, all I can think about is Foghorn Leghorn from Looney Tunes. I suppose it does make sense, though. These chickies are extremely docile and friendly and will "talk" to everyone. They're an intelligent and really active breed. And they're continuously foraging for yummy snacks.
They're easy to take care of and lay lots of eggs — about 320 large, white eggs each year! So, they're not just fun to have around; they also give back to the family.
Picking the Right Chicken
Chickens are loads of fun, but before choosing a breed, think about what you want in a pet chicken. If you're after a friendly egg-layer, search for one that fits the bill. Or, if you prefer a chicken that's super affectionate and maybe even a bit overly friendly, aim for that type.
Choosing a chicken that matches your preferences is much better than picking one at random. This ensures that the chicken you bring home truly suits your needs, making your chicken-keeping adventure happy and fun. Plus, once you find the best chicken breeds for you, you can have loads of fun picking out chicken names and names for your coop that make you cluck with laughter for years to come.