Breeds that are good with children


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 31, 2010
Can anyone recommend a breed that is good with children? (I have a 6 and 4 year old.) I was leaning towards Rhode Island Red but read that they can be aggressive. I was wondering if Ameraucana will be a better choice? I prefer standard size and hardy breeds as this will be my first attempt at raising chickens. Thank you.
I wouldn't get a Rhode Island Red for a kid. They are known to be aggressive. My Americaunas are really flighty and not the cuddling type either although the different colored eggs are fun for the kids.
I would suggest a Buff Orpington. They are one of the friendlist breeds I have heard. Good with kids:) Good luck.
My Ameraucanas are flighty. My Brahmas are really sweet and let anyone pick them up. They are very large though.
Are you wanting chickens that will be treated like pets (picked up and handled a lot), or just less agressive breeds that won't go after your kids? We have three Rhode Island Reds that are quite friendly, but they've been handled almost daily all their lives. Our kids will pick them up and pack them around the yard. They'll also come peck on the french door leading to our deck, when they want attention/treats. I've known other people whose RIRs are less friendly, but they're not handled much at all.

Our Silver Laced Wyandotte is very sweet, will sit on your lap and beg for treats. Our Black Australorp and Barred Rocks are friendly, too - they'll follow you around the yard, hoping you'll give them treats or start digging a hole so they can hunt for bugs and worms. Our Black Sex Links are sort of neutral - not agressive, but not as friendly or liking being picked up. They just prefer to do their own thing. All of our chickens get to free range in our big back yard, and all come running as soon as they hear the screen door open.

I've heard Delawares and Buff Orpingtons are calm, friendly, non-agressive birds. I'm looking to add a few of each to our flock this year. I think all of these breeds are considered hardy - ours did great this past winter in an insulated coop in Utah's high altitude winter.

We used to have a couple of some sort of white leghorn, but they were so flighty and very agressive towards the other chickens (but not to our kids). They were impossible to catch if they got out, very hard to handle if you had to pick them up for anything - they'd go absolutely berzerk. I wonder if all leghorns are that way. I was almost relieved when they died.

Good luck in your choice - it's hard to decide when there are so many cool breeds to pick from!

edited to add - you may want to be careful if you plan on getting a variety of breeds, and make sure they're all about the same for agressiveness. Otherwise some of your gals will end up being picked on mercilessly.
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I have 8 and 6 y.o. boys, we have a RIR, and she isn't aggressive, but doesn't like to be handled a much as our Gold Sex Links do. We also have a Barred Rock and a Buff Orpington (they are 3 weeks old) and the BO is SOOO mellow, she will just sit in your hand calmly. The BR is a little more squirmy and noisy....but none of my chickens have been aggressive towards my kids.

Hope this helps a little!
Old English Game Bantam hens. They are soooo sweet. My little boy was raised with them. The girls are so much fun to be with. Now the roos can sometimes be very nasty towards little ones.

Dang.... you want standard breeds. We had good luck with the buff Orpingtons and barred Rocks.
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I have a Barred Rock pullet who my 5 y/o nephew can pick up and pet, she comes right up to the fence to see him. She does not peck him, even though he wants her to (guess he is curious how it feels lol).

I also have an EE pullet who is friendly with me, and anybody as long as they are outside the pen. I am the only one who can pick her up though, she completely freaks if anybody else goes to pet her. She is kinda dramatic.

All in all, I hear BO are VERY friendly. I am totally happy with my Plymouth Barred Rock girl though. Hopefully going to get some SLW/GLW in the future and I heard they tend to be friendly and docile.

My advice? BO, Barred Rock, Cochins, and Wyandottes as friendly breeds.
My buff orpingtons and barred rocks will hop onto my lap (or my arm...or my back...) - invited or not! Very gentle and seem even solicitous of affection (which is not a behavior I expected from chickens!). Not so Americanas - only one of mine can be easily handled. Polish crested as well - forget it! Cochins seem quite docile as well - my banty cochin loves a good snuggle.
Several of my Delaware hens will sit in my lap. My Del rooster will jump up on my leg or knee and perch for a while. I think they would be good with kids once they get past the mouthy stage- as adolescents, they seem to want to taste everything.

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