Best Beginner Chicken Breeds

So you’ve decided to jump into the game of chicken keeping. First off, welcome! It’s a wonderful pastime. This blog post aims to help you pick the best beginner chicken breeds for your own special flock so that both you and your chickens are happy. Whether you’re battling raccoons, space issues, or lack of chicken know-how, we’re here to make sure you get started on the right foot—or left. All that matters is that you get started.

Why Choosing the Right Breed Matters

Selecting the right chicken breed can be more important than choosing your first car. Seriously. Chickens come in all shapes and sizes, and your choice needs to be compatible with your living situation. Some breeds need more space; others are divas in the cold.

The best beginner chicken breeds also impact your egg or meat production goals. Ready to meet my top picks?

Top 5 Chicken Breeds for Beginners

Rhode Island RedRhode Island Reds -

General Characteristics

Rhode Island Reds are the Jacks-of-all-trades in the chicken world. They’re medium-sized, come in gorgeous shades of red, and have a friendly temperament.

Although they are friendly, they are not very cuddly. They are independent foragers that will bless you with a good supply of eggs.

Egg-laying Capabilities

You can expect about 5 to 7 brown eggs per week. Talk about a breakfast bonanza!

They are great for beginners because they are reasonably cold-hardy, forage well, save you money on feed, and lay plenty of large to extra-large brown eggs.

Plymouth Rock (Barred Rock)

Plymouth Rocks -

Rhode Island Reds are known for being hardy and generally low maintenance—perfect for newbies.

Plymouth Rocks are black and white-striped beauties with a laid-back personality.

General Characteristics

Egg-laying Capabilities

Expect around 4 to 5 brown eggs a week— not too shabby!

Why They’re Great for Beginners

They’re versatile, friendly, and don’t mind being cooped up (pun intended).

SussexSussex -

General Characteristics

Sussex chickens come in various colors and have a docile nature. Think of them as the golden retrievers of the chicken world.

Egg-laying Capabilities

They deliver around 4 to 5 large brown or tinted eggs per week.

Why They’re Great for Beginners

Sussex chickens are docile and good foragers, making them low maintenance.

LeghornWhite Leghorn Chickens -

General Characteristics

Leghorns are the sprinters of the chicken world—energetic and agile. They might be a little too flighty for some people.

Egg-laying Capabilities

These gals lay like there’s no tomorrow—expect 6 to 7 white eggs a week.

Why They’re Great for Beginners

Leghorns are low maintenance and superb egg layers. What’s not to love?

OrpingtonOrpingtons -

General Characteristics

Orpingtons are fluffy, cuddly, and come in several colors.

Egg-laying Capabilities

Expect 3 to 4 brown eggs per week, making them more of a weekend brunch kind of bird.

Why They’re Great for Beginners

Friendly and cold-hardy, Orpingtons are perfect for those chilly winter mornings.

The Rooster Conundrum: Do You Need One?

Ah, the age-old question. Roosters offer fertility perks but can also bring a lot of noise and sometimes aggression. Check your local noise ordinances and neighborhood vibes before adding a male to your harem.

Want my advice? If you only want eggs, do not get a rooster. If you want to incubate your eggs occasionally, get a rooster, and believe me, one will be more than enough for a small flock.

Health and Safety Considerations


Each of these breeds is inherently hardy. A high-quality layer feed is all you will need during normal times. All breeds can use extra protein while molting.

Leghorns are one of the best layers you can get. Make oyster shells available for these ladies, or mix crushed eggshells with their daily feed. In fact, All laying hens can use some extra calcium to harden those eggshells.


Space per chicken and nesting box requirements are typical for these breeds. Two to four feet per bird in the coop will be fine; Four to 10 in the run.

Final Thoughts

There are many, many breeds of chickens to choose from. These five are pretty easy to find and care for as well. Noticeably missing from this group is the Silkie. Silkies are one of the easiest-going birds you will ever come across and should definitely be in this top-five list, but the breeds listed are much more common, so I went with them.

We’ve waded our way through the top breeds for chicken beginners. It’s time to pick your feathery friend and take the plunge.

Additional Resources

Ready to take it to the next level? Why not visit these two hatcheries to see if they have what you are looking for? Check out Cackle Hatchery and My Pet Chicken. And for the health and well-being of your little ones, after you get them, the Chicken Care Guide is a great resource for all your chicken queries and curiosities.

Thanks for visiting.


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