Choosing the Right Chicken Breeds for Families with Children: Best Kid-Friendly Poultry and Friendly Family Chickens

Discover the best chicken breeds for families with children! Learn about kid-friendly poultry and family-friendly chickens that are gentle, easy to care for, and great for backyard coops. Make the right choice for your family.

Choosing the right chicken breeds for families with children is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both children and feathered friends. Certain breeds are known for their gentle disposition, ease of handling and friendly nature, making them perfect companions for young chicken enthusiasts.

In this guide, I will explore the best child-friendly poultry and top family-friendly chicken breeds to help you make an informed decision that benefits your entire household.

Choosing the Best Kid-Friendly Chicken Breeds for Your Family

When choosing chicken breeds as a delightful addition to your home, especially if you have children, it is essential to focus on child-friendly chicken breeds. Families with children often look for family-friendly chicken breeds that are not only calm and friendly but also robust enough to tolerate a child’s enthusiasm. Choosing chicken breeds that are gentle and family-friendly will make a significant difference to ensure that your children have a positive and engaging experience. Let us delve into some of the friendly chicken breeds to consider for your household.

The best breed to have with children is the Buff Orpingtons. These large, fluffy birds are known for their gentle nature and are very tolerant of being handled by children. Their calm demeanor makes them one of the top family-friendly poultry options. Another favorite among families is the Silky, a breed that is not only adorable but also incredibly friendly. Silkies have a unique appearance with their soft, almost fur-like feathers, and are well-suited to living around children due to their calm and docile nature.

Christmas chickens cropped watermarked
Four of my first five pullets (Left to Right):
Sussex, Buff Orpington, Cuckoo Maran, and Ameraucana.

We originally purchased five different pullets to have a variety and to study which breed would be suitable for my family.  I was lucky to discover that they all are very friendly in their different ways. Each one has its own personality and it is fascinating to observe their differences.

Other child-friendly chicken breeds include the Rhode Island Red and the Plymouth Rock. Rhode Island Reds are hardy and adaptable, making them easy to care for, while Plymouth Rocks are known for their friendly disposition and ease of handling. Both of these breeds can coexist happily with children and usually thrive well in family environments. When choosing the best breeds, it is important to consider the temperament and care requirements of each breed to ensure a good match with your household.

Family-friendly chicken breeds such as the Australorp and the Cochin also deserve honorable mentions. Australorps are prolific egg layers and are gentle and friendly, making them perfect for families. Cochins, with their fluffy feathers and calm personalities, are excellent choices for homes with children. Friendly chicken breeds such as these will enrich family life by introducing children to the joys of poultry keeping in a safe and enjoyable environment.

When choosing chicken breeds for families with children, it is key to focus on friendly chicken breeds known for their calm and gentle temperaments. Whether you choose Buff Orpingtons, Silkies, Rhode Island Reds, or other family-friendly chickens, ensure that the chosen breed is child-friendly to create a harmonious and enjoyable environment for both your children and your feathered friends.

What Makes a Chicken Breed Kid-Friendly?

When choosing chickens for your family, especially if you have children, it is essential to choose child-friendly breeds. What exactly makes a chicken breed child-friendly? Understanding this will make the process of selecting the best and most friendly chickens easier for your family. 

First, one of the most important traits of child-friendly chickens is their gentle nature. Chickens who are gentle and calm are more likely to interact positively with children. This is crucial for families to ensure that children feel safe and excited about helping in the backyard coop.

Another key factor in choosing friendly family chickens is their temperament. Some breeds are inherently more sociable and friendly, making them better suited for a family environment. Breeds that are friendly tend to get along with children and with other hens and family pets. 

Ease of handling is also an essential trait. The best child-friendly chicken breeds should be easy to pick up and handle so that children are comfortable to help with care without feeling intimidated. A large size can also be a consideration. While smaller breeds are often easier to handle for young children, some families might prefer larger hens that are robust and less flighty, which will reduce the risk of accidental harm.

Egg production is another factor that cannot be overlooked. Families usually appreciate hens that are good layers that provide a daily source of fresh eggs. Breeds known for their laying abilities are typically more rewarding for children who enjoy collecting eggs daily.

Another aspect of choosing the right breed is their adaptability to different environments. Child-friendly chickens adapt well to various backyard sizes and coop spaces. Families with children often have active and bustling backyards. Therefore, friendly chickens that are resilient and withstand the hustle and bustle are ideal.

Chickens kept in a backyard coop should also be hardy enough to comfortably handle different weather conditions, ensuring they thrive all year round.

When choosing the best chickens for your family, look for breeds that are gentle, friendly, easy to handle, good layers, and adaptable to your backyard setup. This thoughtful picking process ensures that your children have a positive and educational experience with their feathered friends.

  1. Silkie
    • Traits: Exceptionally gentle, very child-friendly, known for their fluffy appearance, friendly demeanor, and unique feathering.
    • Egg Production: Moderate egg layers with roughly 100 small eggs per year.
  2. Orpington
    • Traits: Calm and friendly, great with children, easy to handle, large and docile.
    • Egg Production: Good layers, producing about 200-280 large brown eggs per year.
  3. Plymouth Rock
    • Traits: Friendly, easy-going, very child-friendly, hardy, and good with confinement.
    • Egg Production: Excellent layers, providing around 200-280 large brown eggs annually.
  4. Australorp
    • Traits: Gentle and docile, easy to handle, perfect for families with children, and known for their glossy black feathers.
    • Egg Production: Prolific egg layers with approximately 250-300 large brown eggs per year.
  5. Wyandotte
    • Traits: Calm, gentle, very child-friendly, adaptable to various climates, and easy to handle.
    • Egg Production: Good layers, producing around 200 large brown eggs per year.
  6. Sussex
    • Traits: Friendly, calm, easily handled, excellent with children, and curious by nature.
    • Egg Production: Very good layers, with around 200-250 large eggs per year.
  7. Cochin
    • Traits: Very gentle, friendly, fluffy appearance, great with children, and good for cold climates.
    • Egg Production: Moderately good layers with about 150-180 medium-sized eggs per year.
  8. Brahma
    • Traits: Gentle giants, docile, great for families with children, winter hardy, and easy to care for.
    • Egg Production: Moderate layers, providing about 150-200 large eggs annually.
  9. Faverolles
    • Traits: Very gentle and friendly, good with children, unique feathering and appearance, and excellent personalities.
    • Egg Production: Good layers with about 150-200 medium-sized eggs per year.
  10. Rhode Island Red
    • Traits: Hardy, friendly, easy-going, good with children, excellent in various climates, and easy to care for.
    • Egg Production: Excellent layers, providing around 250-300 large brown eggs per year.

Top Friendly Chickens That Are Great for Kids

When raising chickens in a family environment, especially if you have children, choosing friendly chicken breeds is crucial. These breeds are known for their docile and gentle nature, making them the best chickens for families. Child-friendly chicken breeds provide a source of fresh eggs and also integrate seamlessly into the dynamics of a household. Let us explore the top friendly family chickens great for children.

First on our list is the Buff Orpington. These chickens are popular among families due to their calm demeanor and affectionate behavior. Buff Orpingtons thrive on human interaction, making them ideal for children who love to handle and pet their poultry. Additionally, they are excellent layers, providing a steady supply of brown eggs.

Next up are the Silkies. Known for their unique and fluffy appearance, Silkies are often considered the teddy bears of the chicken world. Their gentle and friendly disposition makes them perfect for children. Silkies lay small, white eggs and are renowned for their strong brooding instincts. These hens are a delightful addition to any backyard flock.

Another excellent choice for families is the Plymouth Rock. These hardy and adaptable hens are highly sociable and enjoy being around people. Plymouth Rocks are dependable layers of brown eggs and have a placid nature that is great for children. They are also quite resilient, making them a good choice for beginners.

The Sussex breed is another example of family-friendly chicken breeds. Sussex chickens are curious, friendly, and excellent foragers. They are very active and enjoy exploring, which is an asset to engage children in a backyard chicken experience. Sussex hens lay large, creamy white eggs consistently, and ensure a plentiful supply of eggs for the family.

For those seeking a smaller breed, consider the Bantam. Bantams are tiny but make up for their size with their big, friendly personalities. They are perfect for smaller backyards and are known for their excellent temperament. Bantams provide small but delicious eggs, making them one of the best breeds for families with young children.

Finally, do not overlook the Rhode Island Red. These chickens are not only robust and hardy but also very easygoing. Rhode Island Reds are exceptional layers, producing copious amounts of large, brown eggs. Their friendly nature makes them one of the top child-friendly chicken breeds available.

1. Buff Orpington

When picking the right chicken breeds for families with children, the Buff Orpington stands out as one of the most friendly and great choices. These lovely hens are popular due to their child-friendly nature and because they are exceptional layers of brown eggs.

Part of what makes Buff Orpingtons such a family-friendly chicken breed is their gentle demeanor and calm disposition, making them perfect for children who may be a bit nervous around larger poultry. Buff Orpingtons are known for their large, fluffy appearance, which makes them incredibly cuddly and lovable.

EK with chickens 2 watermarked
My Buff Orpington (Molasses)
The tan one next to my left foot.

Families with this flock will appreciate how these birds thrive in a backyard setting, adapting well to a variety of climates. This makes them an ideal choice for families new to raising hens or those looking to expand their existing flock with bird breeds that are both friendly and productive. 

One of the most remarkable attributes of a Buff Orpington is its exceptional laying ability. These hens consistently produce an abundance of brown eggs and ensure that your family has a steady supply of eggs, eggs, and eggs throughout the year. Additionally, their large size means they are also suitable as meat birds, offering a dual-purpose benefit that adds to their appeal.

Buff Orpingtons are notably gentle, allowing children to interact with them safely, helping children learn about responsibilities and the joys of raising poultry. Because they are such a great child-friendly chicken breed, they are often top picks for families looking for both companionship and productivity in their backyard barns.

Their friendly disposition also means they integrate smoothly into mixed flocks and get along well with other family-friendly chicken breeds. The popularity of Buff Orpingtons is well-deserved. They are considered one of the best child-friendly chicken breeds due to their unique combination of good nature and productivity.

Raising these birds in your backyard will bring joy to the children and also provide the family with a steady supply of fresh brown eggs. As one of the top picks for great and friendly family chickens, Buff Orpingtons are a reliable and affectionate addition to any household looking to raise hens.

Whether you are new to raising backyard poultry or are adding to an existing flock, the Buff Orpington is undeniably one of the best choices for child-friendly, family-friendly chicken breeds.

2. Silkies

When considering child-friendly chicken breeds, Silkies often top the list. These unique birds are well-loved for their incredibly friendly and gentle nature, making them an excellent addition to any family flock. Silkies are ideal for children thanks to their sweet temperament and docile behavior, which makes them easy for children to handle and interact, making them one of the best choices for families looking to raise chickens in their backyard.

Silkies are known for their personality and also for their distinctive appearance. They have fluffy plumage that feels more like fur than feathers, and they come in a range of colors including white, black, and blue. This unique look is quite captivating for children and adds a touch of charm to any backyard coop. Their attractive appearance combined with their friendly disposition makes Silkies a top pick for families with children.

Silkie chicken AI
Silkies come in several colors including:
White, Black, Buff, Splash, Gray, Blue, and Partridge.

Silkies are reliable egg layers although they may not lay as prolifically as some other breeds. They typically produce small to medium-sized brown eggs, and while they might not fill the coop with eggs, they make up for it with their easy-going nature and the joy they bring to children. As an added benefit, these hens are known to be exceptional mothers, often going broody and diligently caring for their chicks, which is a wonderful learning experience for children.

Keeping Silkies in your backyard is relatively straightforward. They are low-maintenance birds and do well in various climates, though it is important to ensure their coop is dry and draft-free, as their fluffy feathers are not as water-resistant as those of other breeds. With proper care, Silkies are a delightful addition to your family for many years, providing companionship and gentle lessons in responsibility to children. Most Silkies continue to lay eggs throughout the entire year, making them a consistently productive member of the flock despite their primary appeal being their charming and friendly nature.

Overall, Silkies offer a fantastic blend of friendly personality, easy maintenance, and visual appeal, making them one of the best child-friendly chicken breeds available. If you are setting up a family coop and want hens your children will love, consider adding Silkies to your backyard. With their gentle demeanor and the joy they bring, Silkies are sure to become a beloved part of your family.

Check out my other posts on Backyard Chickens

Q: What are some of the best chicken breeds for families with children?
A: Some of the most child-friendly chicken breeds include Buff Orpingtons, Silkies, Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, Australorps, Cochins, Sussex, and Bantams. These breeds are known for their gentle nature, friendly temperament, and ease of handling, making them ideal for family environments where children will be interacting with the chickens.

Q: Why is the Buff Orpington considered a great chicken breed for families with children?
A: Buff Orpingtons are renowned for their calm demeanor and affectionate behavior. Their large, fluffy appearance makes them incredibly cuddly and lovable, which is appealing to children. They are also excellent layers of brown eggs, providing families with a steady supply of fresh eggs. Their gentle nature allows for safe interaction between children and chickens, making them a top pick for family coops.

Q: What makes Silkies a popular choice for families with kids?
A: Silkies are loved for their incredibly friendly and gentle nature. Their unique, fluffy plumage is captivating for children, and their calm disposition makes them easy to handle. Despite not being prolific layers, they produce small to medium-sized brown eggs and are known for being exceptional mothers, which can be an excellent learning experience for children.

Q: How do Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks compare as family-friendly chicken breeds?
A: Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks are both hardy and adaptable breeds, making them easy to care for in a family environment. Rhode Island Reds are known for their robustness and prolific egg-laying, while Plymouth Rocks are highly sociable and enjoy being around people. Both breeds have a friendly disposition and are easy to handle, making them suitable for families with children.

Q: What additional factors should families consider when choosing chicken breeds?
A: Besides temperament and friendliness, families should consider the chickens’ adaptability to different environments and climates, their size, and their laying abilities. Chickens that are resilient and can handle various weather conditions are ideal for active backyards. Additionally, choose breeds known for their egg-laying abilities to reward children who enjoy collecting fresh eggs daily.

Backyard Visitors

Hi Everyone! I have always loved our backyard and have been fascinated with all the wildlife living there. I am especially amazed by the skill, strength, and beauty of hummingbirds. I hope this article answered your questions.

Recent Posts