While many people keep backyard chickens for meat and eggs, more and more people are discovering the wonderful companions that chickens can be.
Although each chicken is an individual, there are certain breeds that are known to be friendlier than others.
Friendly chickens love to be snuggled and held; they are good with children; and they will happily follow you around the yard!
Are you looking for chickens that can be companions as well as good egg layers?
In this article we will share the 15 friendliest chicken breeds that will brighten your life with their affection, curiosity, and zest for life…
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Sebrights are true bantams.
These chickens are known to be friendly and have an affectionate and curious personality.
Although they are not lap chickens, they will seek out your attention and follow you around the yard. They are also very inquisitive and are fun to watch as they forage and explore.
They are also relatively independent when it comes to other flock members, and tend to be happier in smaller flocks.
This breed is actually very rare and is one of the oldest bantam breeds. These birds are extremely small and often weigh less than 1.5 pounds. There are two color varieties that are recognized, gold and silver. Their base feathers are either silver-white or a golden brown and are edged with black trim.
If you are looking for a good egg layer then the Sebright may not be the chicken for you. They lay less than 1 egg per week and their eggs are very small and white.
14. Plymouth Rock
The Plymouth Rock is one of the oldest chicken breeds.
They are also one of the friendliest breeds around!
Plymouth Rocks are well loved for their easy-going and friendly personality. They are sweet and calm chickens that are known to be curious and inquisitive. They are excellent foragers too and will be more than happy to follow you around the garden.
They have a striking color pattern on their feathers with alternating stripes of black and white.
Although they handle confinement well, they will be much happier if allowed to free range.
Sultan chickens are truly a sight to behold.
These chickens were bred to be kept by Turkish royalty and are loved for their beautiful appearance and pleasant personality.
Sultan chickens are calm, affectionate, easy-going, and funny.
They love to be held and cuddled by their keepers and will often seek out affection. They are not flighty or anxious. However, if the feathers on their head are not maintained and are left to grow over their eyes, they can become flighty.
Sultans are entirely white and have a large crest of feathers on their head.
Because this breed is kept for show and as pets, it is not surprising to find out that they are not great egg layers. These chickens lay around 50 eggs annually, and their eggs are light brown.
Just like the Sultan, Polish chickens are known for their striking appearance.
They are also very well known for their friendliness.
Polish chickens have a calm temperament and love the company of their keepers and other chickens. A docile and sweet chicken, they have been known to be flighty and a bit anxious. Because of this, they should be kept with mild-mannered chickens as they will be bullied by more dominant breeds.
You can find them in 10 different colors with the most common being the silver, buff, and blue laced.
Polish hens are also known to be good egg layers. These friendly hens will lay 3-4 white eggs a week.
They are generally hardy but do need extra maintenance to keep their crests clean and the feathers out of their eyes. Because they are so flighty they are not the biggest roamers, and they tolerate confinement well.
Australorp chickens are loved for their versatility.
They are most commonly kept as egg layers and as household pets. Expect them to lay 5 large brown eggs every week.
Australorps come in a beautiful black iridescent color that appears blue when the light hits their feathers.
To top it off, they are also one of the best breeds of chicken for someone looking for a friendly companion.
They are known for their sweet and friendly nature. These chickens are very calm and tend to do great with children and large families. They are also very sweet and affectionate, forming strong bonds with their keepers and they act as great little companions.
10. Jersey Giant
Our next friendly chicken is the Jersey Giant.
Not only are these chickens some of the friendliest, they are also some of the largest! Jersey Giants can weigh up to 15 pounds and are easily one of the biggest chickens you will find.
Despite their intimidating size they are easy-going and not aggressive.
They are extremely docile and friendly, which makes them ideal for children. Even though they are more submissive, other chickens will rarely instigate anything with them due to their large size.
These chickens come in three color varieties: black, white, and blue. Jersey Giants have bare legs, and red combs and wattles. Their leg and beak color varies based on their color variety.
Because of their large size, it is important that these chickens have enough space in their coop to be comfortable. Aim to give them at least 6 square feet of coop space each. They should also be allowed to free roam.
9. Speckled Sussex
The Speckled Sussex is one of the friendliest chickens that you could add to your backyard flock.
Although they are big, they are known for being easy-going and curious, and love being handled.
They love receiving attention from their keepers and sometimes even follow you around your garden as you work. Speckled Sussex chickens are an ideal choice if you are not only looking for a great pet, but also a good backyard layer.
Speckled Sussex hens are known to lay around 4 to 5 eggs a week.
They are curious and will enjoy free ranging.
The Cochin is a gentle giant.
These friendly chickens are gentle and love the company of their keepers and their families.
Hens can reach up to 8 pounds and roosters can reach 11 pounds.
These are fluffy chickens and have a personality that is as soft as they look. They are extremely easygoing, love to be handled by their keepers, and make excellent lap chickens.
Their calm temperament also makes them a great chicken for families with young children as they do not get startled easily.
Cochins handle coop life well and since they enjoy the companionship of their keepers they are unlikely to wander away and roam. However, these chickens can be somewhat lazy, so giving them opportunities to roam will provide them with some exercise.
Silkies are known to be very friendly.
They are one of the best chicken breeds to keep as pets or companions. These chickens are extremely docile, sweet, and easygoing.
Silkies are also great with kids and love being cuddled and carried around.
They are also one of the most popular breeds because of their beautiful, fluffy plumage. They come in a variety of feather colors and on top of their head, they have a pom-pom of feathers giving them a tousled but adorable appearance.
Because they love the companionship of their keepers, it is important for you to interact with them.
Also, because they are very gentle, they often get bullied by more aggressive breeds. They should be kept with other Silkies, or other breeds of a similar temperament to prevent this from happening.
Next up on the list is the Faverolle.
They are a friendly breed because of their sweet, and sometimes goofy personality.
Faverolles are the clowns of the chicken world and will entertain you with their antics.
They love to get attention, snuggle, and sit on their keepers’ laps. They are also very easy to handle which makes them a great choice for families with young children.
Roosters and hens have quite different appearances.
Hens are a salmon or light brown color, with patches of darker color on the head, tails, and wings. Roosters are much darker in color, with black feathers on their breast and tail.
5. Easter Egger
The Easter Egger is not actually a pure breed but a hybrid.
They are a mix between the Araucana and the Ameraucana.
Easter Eggers were actually bred for their blue eggs. However, they are also one of the friendliest chicken breeds.
They have a sweet and gentle temperament.
These chickens love to receive attention and affection from their keepers. They are a great bird to have around with kids, and form strong bonds with their keepers, so do not be surprised if they follow you around the yard.
Easter Eggers have no breed standard and come in a rainbow of colors. These chickens can be black, blue, white, or rust in color.
These extremely curious chickens need to free range and will spend most of their time foraging.
4. Red Star
Just like the Easter Egger, the Red Star is not a breed but a hybrid.
Red Stars were bred for their fantastic egg laying ability but they also have a very friendly personality.
These chickens love to spend time around humans.
However, this temperament does not extend to their flock mates. Red Stars can be aggressive with flock mates. This should be taken into consideration if you want to add them into a flock with more submissive breeds.
True to their name, Red Stars come in a rusty red.
These chickens are some of the best layers around and will lay six to seven eggs a week. Their eggs are large and brown.
They are also fantastic foragers.
3. Barbu D’Uccles
Barbu D’Uccles are a Belgian bantam.
These beautiful chickens are loved for their friendliness.
They are known for being sweet, compassionate, and extremely affectionate with their keepers.
Given their calm and easygoing personality, Barbu D’Uccles are great chickens for families with small children. They are also easily handled, and tend to handle coop life well.
These chickens are also known for being chatty, and would be more than happy to hold a conversation with you while sitting on your lap. Barbu D’Uccles will also follow their keepers around and seek out their attention.
If this is not enough, they are also great egg layers. Hens will lay 3 to 4 eggs a week and will continue to lay throughout the winter.
No list on friendly chickens is complete without mentioning the Brahma.
These chickens are gentle giants.
Brahmas are calm and affectionate.
They are extremely friendly with their keepers and flock mates and will seek out attention and friendship.
Because they are so large, nothing really startles or scares them. Their large size can make them difficult to handle, and their size can make them intimidating to small children. However, these chickens are so calm and easygoing that they are one of the best breeds to have around children.
Orpingtons are lovely, easy going birds.
They are well known for their looks and their friendly demeanor.
Orpingtons are very friendly and love the attention of their keepers. They are so friendly that many people keep them as pets, and not just as an egg layer.
They are docile chickens who enjoy the company of their keepers, as well as being handled and cuddled. This makes them an ideal bird for families with children, or people looking for pet chickens.
You will also notice that they are one of the larger breeds on this list. Orpingtons often weigh around 8 pounds and their large size makes them cold hardy too. These chickens can be found in a variety of colors including black, buff, red, white, and barred.
Orpingtons are good layers too and can lay 3-5 eggs per week.
This easygoing breed also handles confinement well, but is very happy to roam about and follow you around your yard.
There are so many chicken breeds out there that it can be overwhelming to choose the best breed for you and your family.
Hopefully one breed on our list is the perfect blend of qualities for you and your backyard flock.
Keep in mind that each of these chickens is an individual and has their own unique needs. Consider what you are looking for in a chicken, as well as what you can provide for your newest flock member to find your perfect chicken match.
Which breed do you think is the friendliest?
Let us know in the comments section below…