New to the Chicken Scene...looking for breed advice

Amberly98

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 14, 2015
27
18
92
Orangrvale, CA
Hello-
I am new the backyard chicken scene and am having a trough time narrowing down the breed choices. I MUST has birds that are gentle in nature and good with kids. Our chickens will be pet and be a big part of our family. They will be kept in a run with roost when we are at work and then allowed out into the back yard to hang out with the family when we are home. We are trying to decide between standard size and Bantams....other then the size I am not sure if there is any other differences. We would like to keep a small flock of maybe 3-4 birds (although we may add more down the line when we figure out what we are doing). ;-)

Personality and friendliness is the number 1 criteria in breed selection. Egg production is a plus, but in saying that we don't have to have breeds that are only "high producers". We will have a covered run but would like to let our girls our in the backyard where we have 6 foot fences...so birds that are not great flyers are preferable.

So, these are the breeds we are considering (I am of course open to suggestions):
Easter Eggers
Barred Plymouth Rocks
Faverolles (I know this breed does not come in bantams)
Silkie "sizzles" (because my daughter loves them)

Any advice or suggestions.....I am all ears!
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,027
27,585
1,077
St. Louis, MO
There are lots of personality differences between breeds.
I always offer the following two links for breed selection charts.
http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html
http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf
You'll likely want to look for breeds that are characterized as docile and that handle confinement well.
There are so many wonderful breeds that I'm reluctant to suggest any, lest one overlook a great one.

Barred is only one variety of Plymouth Rock. There are at least 7 other colors.
Faverolles do come in bantams.

Bantams allow more birds in the same space and are more efficient in feed conversion to egg output. That said, I like LF cause I don't like small eggs.
If you want a colorful egg basket, you may want to consider Welsummers. They don't handle extreme heat though.
Actually, few chicken breeds handle extreme heat well.

Predators are everywhere and they all like the taste of chicken. A covered run is nice but a predator proof building with excellent ventilation are more important at night.
I'd like to mention that silkies and other crested breeds are very susceptible to predation, especially to hawks or other aerial predator.
Another thing about silkies is that they go broody often so you'll have to plan on an elevated cage to break them from broodiness.

Your challenge will be to find a single bird of each of your selected breeds.
 
Last edited:

Birdrain92

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 7, 2013
4,038
622
306
Idaho
Hello-
I am new the backyard chicken scene and am having a trough time narrowing down the breed choices. I MUST has birds that are gentle in nature and good with kids. Our chickens will be pet and be a big part of our family. They will be kept in a run with roost when we are at work and then allowed out into the back yard to hang out with the family when we are home. We are trying to decide between standard size and Bantams....other then the size I am not sure if there is any other differences. We would like to keep a small flock of maybe 3-4 birds (although we may add more down the line when we figure out what we are doing). ;-)

Personality and friendliness is the number 1 criteria in breed selection. Egg production is a plus, but in saying that we don't have to have breeds that are only "high producers". We will have a covered run but would like to let our girls our in the backyard where we have 6 foot fences...so birds that are not great flyers are preferable.

So, these are the breeds we are considering (I am of course open to suggestions):
Easter Eggers
Barred Plymouth Rocks
Faverolles (I know this breed does not come in bantams)
Silkie "sizzles" (because my daughter loves them)

Any advice or suggestions.....I am all ears!
Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined the flock.

Ameracauna, Easter Egger, Araucana, Marans, and Welsummers will give you more than just regular white or brown eggs. Of all the breeds and chickens I've raised I've only had one mean rooster and he was a Golden Cochin. All of those breeds you've listed I've never had one being aggressive. Silkies are known for going broody. If you want chicks from your own flock and you have a Silkie she will probably hatch out some chicks for you. Black Australorps are my favorite. Black Australorps are docile, easy handling, can handle extreme temps, amazing egg layers too and roosters can be used for meat. You don't have to use Australorps for all of those purposes but they're options. Here's pictures of my Black Australorp flock and eggs.
1000
As you can see not afraid to get close to people.

1000
Here's my rooster. He's super friendly.






















Them as chicks
 

MadamPoofyBrow

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 15, 2015
1,699
1,722
286
Out of your list, as far as friendliness goes, I would deffinately suggest Silkies.
BUT
Suggestion time!

by far, the sweetest breed I've ever had, are Seramas. They are sooooo sweet, with great personalities. They aren't hard to house, they don't eat a whole bunch, and they have tiny little easy to clean up poops (Added bonus
lau.gif
) If you live in a warm enough place, they're really easy to care for and very sweet :)
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,207
491
Long Beach, WA
Easter Eggers are lots of fun. You never know what color those chicks will grow up to be or what color egg they will lay. They do have a larger margin of sexing errors than other breeds. Hatcheries get those 'pullets' sexed wrong more frequently with Easter Eggers than they do with other breeds.
Rocks, of any variety, are inquisitive, personable birds and great producers.
Faverolles tend to be very gentle and usually end up at the bottom of the pecking order, as a result.
Silkies and other bantams are not usually sold as sexed pullets, so you need to be ready to deal with rehoming cockerels.

If you absolutely are not allowed to have any male birds, due to regulations or local ordinances, I suggest getting black or red sexlinks.

Keep in mind that most chickens will not be lap birds. Most do not enjoy being handled or touched. Do not expect your birds to want to jump in your lap for cuddles.

You will need a predator-proof coop for them to spend nights in. Raccoons are everywhere, and they love to eat chickens. Chickens have poor night vision, and while roosting they do not wake easily. They are pretty helpless, and need a secure shelter to protect them for those nighttime hours. FYI chicken wire is great for keeping chickens in, but terrible at keeping predators out. Hardware cloth is the way to go.
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,437
438
Montana
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Given your criteria I would suggest going with one of the breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (good lap pets) such as Australorps, Faverolles, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Sussex, Silkies, and Cochins. If high egg production is important to you, Australorps are the best layers on this list and Silkies and Cochins are the poorest (although they are excellent brooders and mothers). Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breeds you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
138,613
270,963
2,027
Out to pasture
If you kids want silkies, one thing for sure, they won't fly over your fence. The silkie wing feather type doesn't do well for flying. They can jump fairly well but not fly - which makes them a sitting duck for predator attacks. They would be best in a secure, covered run. They are pretty good sports about being lugged around by children, or dressed up and put in a stroller.
 

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