Family-Friendly Chicken Breeds for Eggs

Fresh eggs are amazing and having chickens as pets can be a fun way to get them. However, not all chicken breeds are necessarily very people friendly… In this post, I have put together some of the highest-rated chicken breeds for temperament and egg production!

What I took into account when selecting the breeds on this list: High egg production, low maintenance and exceptionally docile, friendly temperament. For this reason, I excluded feather-footed breeds, breeds that do not lay much and breeds that are reputably skittish and/or aggressive. I included breeds that lay well, are fairly hardy, fairly low maintenance, have reputably good temperaments and are somewhat common (easily obtainable). However, some of the chickens on this list are ‘hybrids’ and are thus, not recognized by the American Poultry Association.

Above: Dusty, one of my Orpington hens (Buff colored)

Orpington Chicken Breed

Orpingtons are Exceptionally mellow, easy-going chickens. They also come in a variety of cool colors.  Some of those colors are: Chocolate, Jubilee, Black, White, Lavender, Blue, Partridge, Barred and even Crele. However, Orpingtons are most commonly are sold in Buff. Orpingtons are curious and friendly. However, they are sometimes a little nosy (even if they mean well). The Orpington pictured above loved sitting on my shoulder and preening my hair as a pullet However, Orpingtons can get pretty big so she quickly outgrew my shoulder. ☺️ A healthy Orpington hen will lay 150-200 tan/cream-colored eggs per year (for the first few laying years)… (Read more)

Above: Abby, one of my Black Australorps

Australorp Chicken Breed

Australrops are exceptionally mellow tempered and gentle. They originated out of black Orpingtons. Australorps are also exceptional layers. A healthy Australorp will lay 200-300 light brown eggs per year (for her first few laying years)… (Read more)

Above: Abby, a partridge colored Easter Egger hen

Easter Egger Hybrid Chicken

Easter Eggers (EEs) are hybrids that carry the genes for blue or green eggs. They are most commonly crossed with Amaraucanas (a popular, somewhat more difficult to obtain, green/blue egg layer breed). Easter Eggers are commonly sold under the name ‘Americana’ or another miss-spelled variation of Amaraucana. This is largely responsible for the confusion surrounding EEs and Amaraucanas. Since Easter Eggers are hybrids, there is no guarantee exactly what color of eggs an EE hen will lay when she matures.  Physical characteristics are also somewhat variable. Easter Eggers are sweet, gentle, friendly chickens. Although they can be a little shy a times, they are lively, comical, fun to watch and easily handled. Easter Eggers usually lay green or blue eggs. However, since they are hybrids, some EEs lay cream/tinted or light brown eggs. Easter Eggers lay ~200-300 eggs per year… (Read more)

 

Above: Cookie, A Barred Plymouth Rock hen

Plymouth Rock Chicken Breed

Plymouth Rocks are beautiful chickens that were named after the Plymouth Rock monument. They are generally docile, sweet, gentle and easily handled. Plymouth Rocks are also superb layers and avid nesters. They average healthy Plymouth Rock hen will lay 200-250 light brown eggs for the first few laying years… (Read more)

 

Above: Henry, a Welsummer rooster
Above: Donna, a Welsummer hen

Welsummer Chicken Breed

Welsummers are beautiful chickens that originated in Welsum, a dutch village. They are well-known for their gentle, sweet (sometimes slightly shy) temperaments. Even the roosters are gentle and peaceable. Welsummer hens lay pretty dark brown, speckled eggs, which adds variety to the nest box. A healthy welsummer hen will lay about 150-200 eggs for the first few laying years… (Read more)

Image above of speckled Sussex hen from cacklehatchery.com

Sussex Chicken Breed

Sussex chickens are very friendly chickens that are also hardy. Sussexes come in a variety of colors (the hen pictured above is the speckled variety). Sussex hens lay about 250 eggs annually (for the first few laying years).

 

Above (Left-to-right): Gold Sex-Link hen, Black Sex-Link hen and Rhode Island Red hen

Sex-Link Hybrid Chicken

Sex-Link hybrids are chickens that can be gender-identified by color at any age. For this reason, they are an excellent choice if you can’t afford to get a rooster. Sex-Link hybrids are usually achieved by crossing Barred Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Rhode Island Whites and/or New Hampshire Reds. Different types of Sex-Link hybrids are sold under different names. Some of the most common are: Cinnamon Queens, Red Buffs, Gold Stars or Black Stars. Sex-Link Hybrids generally have inquisitive natures. They are also very intelligent and friendly toward people. However, they have short attention spans and are avid foragers. For these reasons, they often dislike excessive cuddling and do best free range. Sex-Link hybrids lay ~300 light brown eggs annually for the first few laying years. This puts them among the best egg laying chicken breeds.

 

Above: Marion, a Golden-Laced Polish pullet (immature female chicken)

Polish Chicken Breed

Polishes are very sweet chickens that come in a large variety of colors. However, their most notable feature is their ornate crest. Polish chickens are exceptionally tolerant and generally easy to handle. However, they are smart, active and like to play. For this reason, they can be tough to catch when they are in the mood for a good chase. 😉 A Polish hen will lay ~150-200 small/medium white eggs for the first few laying years… (Read more)

 

Above: Young Crevcouer Hen

Crevcouer Chicken Breed

Crevcouers are French chickens. In fact, the name, ‘Crevcouer’ (pronounced ‘krev-coor’), means ‘broken heart’ in French. Crevcouers have ornate crests (like the Polish). However, Crevcouers come in solid black (with solid black crests). Polishes do not. Crevcouers also have slightly smaller crests that are more usually more smoothed back. Crevcouers are very friendly chickens. In fact, even the roosters are generally docile and quiet. Crevcouer hens lay ~150 eggs annually (for the first few laying years)… (Read more)

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