When people think of chickens they think of eggs or meat.
However chickens are now used as emotional support animals and indoor pets.
Of all the various breeds of chickens there are a few that stand out as pet and lap chickens.
These breeds just love to spend time with their keepers.
Each breed on our list has been chosen because they are calm and friendly. Most will adapt very easily to an apartment or house with minimal fuss.
It is these chickens we will discuss today…
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Barbu D’Uccles are true bantams.
Given their small size they are easy to pick up and carry around and many will be happy to sit on your hand or shoulder.
These delightful chickens are very friendly and talkative. They like to fly up to your shoulder and sit there chattering away. They have a sweet personality and it is almost impossible not to fall in love with them.
This is a curious hen that will be active and interested in you.
If you want your lap chicken to lay eggs these are not the chickens for you (they are not great layers).
There are several different color varieties to choose from include: black, porcelain, lavender, white, blue, mottled and a few others.
The most popular color is the mille fleur and they are great for beginners.
Mille fleur means thousand flowers in French and the plumage is a beautiful combination of white, black and gold giving the appearance of a thousand flowers in the plumage.
They have beards, muffs and booted feet which makes them even more appealing – who can resist all that plumage!
The Silkie has long been a favorite of children as they are very docile and friendly.
They have been around for hundreds of years and were even mentioned by Marco Polo on his adventures.
Silkies originated in the Far East and are covered in feathers that appear fur-like.
The feathers actually feel rather silk (hence the name) so they make fantastic lap chickens.
But what makes them really different is their melanistic trait. Underneath those feathers is a bird that has black skin and organs and is one of very few chickens to have this. Silkies come in a variety of colors including: white, blue, black, buff and partridge to mention a few.
They are a very docile and friendly bird.
Given time they will become very devoted to their owners and even follow them around and talk to them.
The beloved Buff Orpington is a gentle and friendly hen that originated in England back in the 1880s. These birds are calm and docile making them perfect family pets.
Buff varieties are the friendliest and most productive Orpington so they are rightfully the most popular.
They are loved by children because of their gentle nature and fluffiness.
This hen was initially bred as a dual purpose breed but many folks prefer them as a quiet companion animal.
As they are quiet they make a great urban chicken.
They do not like to roam too far from home and are happiest when they are next to the feeder or in your lap. As they like to eat they can be prone to obesity so you will need to watch their diet carefully.
As an added bonus to their fluffiness they are good layers and will give you five brown eggs each week.
There are several different varieties of Faverolles but the Salmon Faverolles is undoubtedly the favorite.
They have become a great favorite with children and many adults for sheer entertainment value alone – not to mention that they love cuddles and lap time.
This is an eager, friendly, curious and somewhat comical chicken. They seem to do everything in a hurry just in case they miss something else. They are talkative too so you wont ever find yourself lonely.
If you are looking for a chicken to stroke this is a winner.
They have a dense fluffy feathering which is a beautiful honey/salmon color.
Certain varieties of the Faverolles remain on the threatened list of the Livestock Conservancy, but the Salmon Faverolles has become very popular recently with homesteaders and folks looking for gentle pet chickens.
They are good layers and come in two sizes (standard and bantam). Both are equally delightful and friendly.
Cochins are the fluff balls of the poultry world.
The excitement that they created when they were first introduced to the Western world started a craze known as hen fever in the mid-1800s.
They are so fluffy because they are prone to frizzling. This is a condition where the feathers curl up and away from the body instead of lying flat against the body. It is a genetic trait and makes this feathery bird look even more adorable.
The Cochin is an enchanting bird.
She is super friendly, very calm and docile. They do very well with children and can easily become a very tame and mellow companion.
Cochins are rotten fliers so they can easily be contained by a small fence. In fact they are unlikely to stray too far from the feeder. They are lazy birds and have a propensity towards obesity since they like to eat but do not like to exercise.
Their weight should be monitored as obesity in hens can be very problematic for their health.
There are several plumage colors: black, white, buff, blue, brown, partridge, silver laced, gold laced and barred.
The buff color is the most usual color seen.
Just about everyone is familiar with the friendly Easter Egger, but did you know they can easily be house chickens?
Their loving personality makes them the perfect companion pet.
They are lovable, low maintenance birds that love cuddling and lap time. They are gentle and do well with children.
One of the reasons they are so popular is their ability to lay different colored eggs. Easter Eggers can lay blue, green, olive, pink, brown or tinted eggs.
Whatever color egg they lay will be the only color it lays – some folks expect a different colored egg every day!
As for their appearance you never quite know what you are getting until they grow their adult feathers.
There is really no set color and they can range from white to black.
As an added bonus they come in two sizes (standard and bantams).
The Polish chicken is probably one of the oddest looking chickens you will ever see!
Hens have a huge pom-pom hairdo which often obscures their vision while the boys look like punk rockers on a bad hair day. Their unique appearance is certainly one of the things that attracts folks to this adorable chicken. Another thing is their calm, docile and friendly nature.
They love their people.
Polish chickens are curious and will like to follow you around and investigate what is going on.
This is an ancient breed that has been around since before the fifteenth century.
You may have heard them being called a Tophat or Paduan.
They come in standard and bantam sizes and a huge variety of colors including: gold, black, white, silver, buff laced, white crested blue and Tolbunt. Tolbunt is a beautiful combination of brown, black and white.
Just remember with this chicken you will need to trim their head feathers.
Their vision is impaired by lots of feathers and it can make them nervous and flighty simply because they cannot see predators. If you do not trim the feathers always let your bird know you are approaching. Call, sing or whistle so they are not startled by your sudden appearance.
We saved the best until last!
Do you want a chicken that is head to toe feathers with a sweet and friendly personality that is sure to start a conversation?
This fascinating breed has it all in the appearance department.
They have a head of fluffy feathers that cascade around the head rather like a helmet. They even have beards which add to the full rounded look of the face.
The legs are feathered with vulture hocks and they have quite a long tail!
Sultans are very calm, friendly and gentle. They enjoy being a lap chicken and become very tame and content in a warm and comfortable environment. They are not cold hardy nor do they really like to go out and forage.
If you do happen to keep them outside then make sure it is covered as they are good fliers.
The Sultan comes in three colors: black, blue and white (white being the easiest to obtain).
If you raise them from chicks they will become much more lovable and easier to cuddle. Also in general it is better to have hens as pets rather than roosters since the boys can be a bit unpredictable.
These chicken breeds all make fantastic lap chickens and will just love spending time with you.
Even the larger birds such as the Orpington and Cochin come in bantam sized bird so can fit into smaller areas.
Although many people let their birds wander around their house (and even sleep with them), it is a good idea to have a dedicated area for the bird to call home.
Let us know about your pet chicken in the comments section below…