Chickens come in all shapes and sizes, colors and patterns, personalities, and dispositions. Like most animals and people, there are nice ones, grumpy ones, mean ones, happy ones, etc. So which breeds are the most friendly chicken breeds?
I’m sure if you asked ten chicken ranchers, you would get ten different answers. And they would all be right because, after all, the friends we have are the ones we choose, or that choose us. And speaking of choices…
In the old days, the father of a hen would get a shotgun if he caught you in the hen house and choose you to go see the preacher… well, wait a minute, I’m getting off track. Anyway…
What Is It That Makes Up A friend?
A friend is someone who is always there for you when you’re feeling blue. A friend is someone to laugh with, to lean on when you need a hand. Friends can be tough on you when you need someone to tell you the truth! A friend is someone who is nice to you 99.9% of the time.
What does this have to do with chickens? Nothing. I just thought you might want to know what a friend is.
Silkies Are So Nice
I personally think that Silkies are the cutest funny-looking birds in the backyard flock. With their crowns upon their heads, they emit a sense of royalty and regality.
They are a bantam breed in the U.S. while there are standard-size versions of the Silkie in other countries.
The Silkie is known for its docile, friendly nature and is often used for showing due to its lovely puffy, silky good looks.
They don’t just have unusual feathers which are silky smooth and fluffy. They have some other attributes that might be considered odd compared to other chickens. Their skin and bones are black. They have five toes on each foot compared to most chickens that have only four. And they have blue earlobes.
The Silkies’ greatest attribute is their friendliness. They are loving and caring and they are often used to sit on other chickens’ eggs. I imagine you have guessed that they are quite broody. They are.
They are so broody that they will sit on all kinds of eggs including duck eggs, goose eggs, and quail and pheasant eggs.
How are they as layers you ask? About 160 per year or 3 per week. The eggs are typically cream-colored and small in the bantam size.
Silkies originated in China and probably made their way west to the U.S. in the 1800s. They are a fantastic addition to any flock where friendly chickens congregate.
What About Brahmas?
You bet! Brahmas are one of my favorite breeds of chickens. They are big and, as such, are well-qualified to be called a dual-purpose bird. They lay around 150-200 brown large eggs per year. They are quite calm with a sweet temperament.
With a sound structure and feathers on their feet, they are pretty easy to pick out of a lineup. And cold hardy? Yes, they are.
Brahmas have what is known as a pea comb. A pea comb is a mutation in chickens that reduces the size of their combs and wattles, thus reducing heat loss from the chicken. They also have dense down and, of course, feathered feet, all designed to make Brahmas a great chicken choice for colder climates.
One drawback to the feathered feet is that when they get wet and muddy, they stay that way for a while. Imagine wearing socks instead of going barefoot. You get the picture. This can lead to foot issues like frostbite if you’re not careful.
Brahmas are calm and friendly. Because they are large, they can be a little intimidating, but there’s no need to be afraid of Brahma since they are docile chickens and are not aggressive to people or other chickens.
That doesn’t mean that they are going to run up to a stranger and greet them like they would their tender. Once you get to know them, though, they will become your friend.
Let’s Talk About The Plymouth Rock
You’ll find the Plymouth Rock chicken quite easy to take care of. It’s an early-feathering breed that can handle cold weather pretty well and it even makes for an excellent sitter. This delightful bird is a friendly companion that doesn’t show any signs of aggression towards people or its fellow chickens.
The Plymouth Rock is an American breed. It was kept in flocks in Massachusetts in the nineteenth century. For much of the early twentieth century, the Rock was the most widely kept chicken breed in the United States. It is a dual-purpose bird, raised both for its meat and for its brown eggs.
When you look at it, you’ll notice it sports a single comb with five points, all of which, including its wattles and ear-lobes, are a vibrant red. Its legs, which are unfeathered, and beak are colored either yellow or a shade of horn. The back is long and broad, complemented by a fairly deep breast.
In the United States, there are seven recognized color varieties of the Plymouth Rock available. These include the striking barred, soothing blue, warm buff, majestic Columbian, rustic partridge, intricate silver-penciled, and elegant white. You’re sure to find a color variety that suits your fancy!
One More For The Rhode
Corny, I know, but I had to, I just had to. I’m like an overweight broody hen sometimes. I just have to crack a yolk!
I’m going to get some pushback here, but I feel that the Rhode Island Red is a happy, friendly, active, and hardy chicken that has gotten kind of a bad rap because some roosters can be aggressive, and broody hens can be protective of their clutch.
Well Dave, you just described an unfriendly chicken! I know, I know, but all the hens I have known have been wonderful, so I have to wonder if it’s a socialization issue that makes some of them grumpy. What I am saying is that I have never had a mean Rhode Island Red chicken.
Anyway, Rhode Island Reds are a breed that comes from Rhode Island in the U.S. They were developed for utilitarian purposes to provide both meat and eggs, so they are a dual-purpose chicken.
They are terrific foragers that ask very little of their tenders in the way of care. These birds are very self-sufficient and quite hardy.
As far as egg laying goes, these girls know how to get it done, laying in the 200-plus per-year column. The eggs are light brown and range from medium to large, getting larger as the chicken ages.
Are You Feeling Left Out?
I’m sorry. If I didn’t mention your favorite friendly chicken here, it’s because there’s only so much one can read in one sitting. There are many friendly chicken breeds to choose from to build out your backyard flock. I have only mentioned a few.
If you feel slighted somehow, I’ll make a deal with you. Tell me about your favorite breed in the comments below, and I will write about them. Okay? Deal?
Sounds good to me. Until next time, enjoy your chickens, and thanks for taking time out to read my blog.