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Friendly, patient chickens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by congdon476, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. congdon476

    congdon476 GaLLiNa LOcA

    Dec 31, 2008
    Pueblo Area
    OK- so I have always wanted backyard chickens (for their eggs) and finally found a way to let my DH know we're serious about it.... I dragged my kid into it. [​IMG] We are starting him in 4-H this spring and I thought chickens! Small, fun, and always something I wanted to do... and if my son doesn't like it in the end, you know who's cleaning the coop anyway right?

    So for child-friendly birds the MyPetChicken recommends Rhode Islands, Wyandottes, Brahmas, Orpingtons, and New Hampshire Reds. Does this sound right to experienced back-yarders? Are there other "pretty" breeds that would be docile enough for children (7 yrs). I know nothing is every guaranteed.... but some chickens are more prone to patience than others.

    Keep in mind we live on the prairie. Hot summers (110) and cold winters (0-30's) with prairie winds abound. In the summer the winds are warm, in the winter they are warm or cold. But when they blow... it's around 20 mph with gusts of 40-60 mph. About once a week. I'm already working on converting out shed into a fully closed coop to help them avoid these.

    All that in mind-- any suggestions? It's sooooo hard to wait for my faves the wyandottes and brahmas. Nobody is carrying them until February! And no backorders! Argh!
  2. jaybme

    jaybme Songster

    Hello in Colorado!

    I think the breeds you mention are very good for kids.

    We have silkies, which are pretty passive and boy do they train easy to come when called. I enjoy them because they are sooooo fluffy, and my kids like them too.

    I also have Marans, but I have no information on their temperament. Mine are 7 weeks old and scared to death of me, but to be fair so were my silkies at that age.

    Chickens are very warm, so the only think you have to worry about is frost bite on their waddles and comb- something to think about.
    Smaller might be better.

    Heat is another matter- I understand they need lots of water and even ice jars, but I do not really know. Where I live it is pretty temperate, so i haven't read up on it.

    Good luck, and pick ones YOU want, as they will be yours really [​IMG]
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    New Hampshire reds are great, no trouble birds with great egg laying performance.....big, shiney, dark brown eggs! I have one that kind of hangs around me when I'm working outside...sort of purrs at me! Her name is Copper and she is sweet!
  4. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Personally I would not recommend a RIR roo for kids because they can be aggressive, especially the hatchery versions. But the hens can be very sweet. Plymouth Rocks can be really great birds, too, very sweet and docile. I keep buff Rocks and really, really like them!

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  5. Rhode Island Reds ALL the way! [​IMG]

    The hens are very nice, the roosters can be quite mean though.
    And they lay lots and lots of eggs!
  6. ghillie

    ghillie Hen Pecked

    Nov 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs, Co
    Cochin, Australorp, Sussex, Barnevelder, Langshan, EE should all be fine also. Use the breed selection tool on mypetchicken. My dad lives in Pueblo West. Welcome from Colorado Springs!
  7. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I've done the RIR's, Wyandottes, and Orpingtons. As far as getting a friendly, docile breed of chicken goes, you won't do any better than the Orpington breed. They are so friendly and don't mind being pet or held. The RIR's are friendly, but don't want to be touched. My Wyandotte is very stand-offish and never wants to be touched. You really won't go wrong with an Orpington. [​IMG]
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I don't see anyone voting for the Brahmas so I'll cast a vote in that direction. And, since you like the Brahmas, I think they would be great for you.

    No experience with Wyandottes and New Hampshires but would be willing to go along with what others say about all the birds on your list.

    It has been years since I've had them but for the reasons you state, I think that "you won't do any better than the Orpington" is very true.


    edited to say: You know, when I was a kid, I like our Brahma, too. We only had one but it was the only chicken with a name in the farm flock. I got 35 of them later in life. A kid might choose a Brahma first.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  9. kees

    kees Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    Orpingtons are very friendly and follow you around and don't mind being petted. Silkies are extremely friendly and seem to relish attention and are great for children. The only thing with Silkies is that, when it's hot, they need a sprinkler so that they can cool off or they'll expire. I lost six of them last year to heat prostration.
  10. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Howdy neighbor! Did you get dumped on last night?

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