What breeds might be suitable to have around the kids?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by echelon, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. echelon

    echelon New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2007
    Okay, I live in the UK, I've bought a pretty good book and have been doin' some research regarding what type of hens to go for. I was just wondering if any of you might know which breeds are renowned for being friendly and 'tameable' if you get what I mean. I'm not going to get a rooster because of the noise.

    I have two boys who're used to being around the pets, but I know that chickens can be a little tempramental if they want to be and I don't want to get a breed that's not good to be around kids.

    We have our fencing up and we're getting a new shed which will make room in the garden for the chicken housing.

    Does anybody know any good websites to order their housing from? I'm in the UK, so a UK site would be handy.
     
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I love Standard Sized birds because that's mostly all I've ever had. Leghorns, Polish, Minorcas and Andalusians are not very pettable... because they have a tendency to be flighty. The heavy breeds, like Orps, Rocks and Brahmas are more handleable. Because they more slower and are more easily caught.
    Right now, I have one Bantam. She's a Silkie/Cochin mix. She's very loveable and cuddly.
    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
    This is a good site for information on some of the different breeds.
    Even a good barnyard mix can be a good choice.
     
  3. Backyard Buddies

    Backyard Buddies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    The Henderson's site that Spotted directed you to was very helpful in my own decision making. I had hoped to find a good balance of friendly, quiet (we live in a regular neighborhood), ones that didn't mind being cooped up from time to time (again, the neighborhood thing), and provided a decent amount of eggs since we could only have a few hens. We were also limited to what we could buy locally. In the end, we ended up with two Rhode Island Reds and an Easter Egger. We got them when they were just days old and they were handled often as chicks, including being held by the kids. Of the three, the EE is the most skittish and wants to be picked up only in a particular way. If you do it her way, she'll sit in your lap forever and even fall asleep. But, for some reason, our son (age 12) can pick her up any old way that he wants.

    I suggest having the boys spend a lot of time with the babies when you bring them home. Have them help you when you clean out the brooder. Let them hold the chicks and feed them by hand. I have a friend who bought two RIRs from the same place that we bought ours. His chicks weren't held and hand fed and they're the most skittish things, cannot be held now that they're older, and are even fearful to eat out of hand. So, I think that if you start out with a breed with a friendly personality and then groom it to be people friendly, you'll be way ahead in the game. Best of luck to you!
     
  4. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Our Buff Orpingtons are just as sweet as they can be. I'd recommend them to anyone that wants an egg layer with personality. They don't mind being held and petted, and LOVE being hand-fed treats.
     
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    I agree...My Buff Orpingtons are the best around small kids.....
     
  6. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    Many breeds will be just fine around kids, as long as they're handled from an early age. Buff orpingtons are great. We have gold sex links and Ameracaunas. The gold sex links are lovely, but the Ameracaunas are far more 'pettable'. (Except when I have ANY food in my hands. Then it's like entering a mob scene! [​IMG] )
     
  7. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Buff orpingtons and Barred rocks are the sweetest and friendliest. I love mine and can pick up any of them including my roos. Not to mention they are supposed to be good layers.. don't know yet personally!!! STILL WAITING.

    As for the RIR's a couple of them are friendly... my roosters are the meanist little beepssss I have come across. Thank goodness I only have one left.

    Good Luck!!!!!!!

    Tes
     
  8. V Chic Chick

    V Chic Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Avoid the fighting type breeds (Shamo, Asil, OEG etc.) like the plague, as well as Leghorns, who have a reputation for being incredibly flighty.

    I'd opt for one of the breeds that has a reputation as being a gentle giant, or their bantam version, such as Cochins, Brahmas, Sussex and Orpingtons. I've never met a nasty Welsummer hen, but the most vicious roo I have ever come across was a banty Welsummer, who had two inch spurs and an attitude to match. True bantams - Pekins are popular pets, as are Belgian Bantams.
     
  9. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Buff Orp's are super sweet birds, very much 'lap' birds, even my two young cockerals. I also have a Gold Laced Cochin cockeral that is a wonderfully gentle guy. Most people don't think so, but I happen to think Polish are a great bird for personality, too. All of mine have been very friendly. They are a bit skittish, but mostly due to their sight being limited when their 'top hats' get long. I have a RIR pullet that became quite friendly kind of on her own at around 10-12 weeks old, before that she was quite leery of people. My Speckled Sussex pullets don't care to be around people, but my cockeral is very nice. Stay away from Leghorns! I've got 7 of the little bleepety-bleep cockerals and they are NO fun!! All of my birds are standards.

    Here's a pic of my son with some of our more friendly birds (Buff Orp's on his shoulders, WCB Polish & Buff Brahma in his lap, GL Cochin and another WCB Polish on his legs):
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007

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