Raising chickens can be just as fun for children as it can be for adults!
Allowing children to help with chicken care teaches responsibility, increases empathy, and broadens perspective.
This year, to get your child excited, allow them to pick out a few chicken breeds from the Hoover’s catalog! Any breed of chicken has the capability to become friendly. However, there are some breeds that really excel with children! They are known for having a gentle, calm demeanor.
Here are some of the very best breeds for children!
Large, cold-hardy, broody, and often the most tame chickens! They come in a variety of colors, including buff, lavender, white, and black.
In addition to being AMAZING egg producers, ISA Brown chickens have always been super friendly and easy to tame at my house!
A less well-known breed, S.S. are beautiful light gray chickens with dark gray speckles. They are also naturally very curious and very easy to make friends with. Out of my mixed flock, it is always a S.S. that befriends my daughter first.
In addition to having a very unique barred feather pattern, Dominique usually are bold birds. They usually aren’t shy and make great companions for children.
Silkies are a small breed of chicken, that look like they are covered in fluffy fur! The “fur” is actually just very thin feathers, making them look more like a kitten than a chicken. Silkies are easy to tame and very trusting of their owners.
Here are a few tips to get tame chickens!
- Spend lots of time with them as chicks.
Encourage your child to pull up a chair and spend time with the chicks. Watch and observe! The chicks will begin to grow more curious of your child and will no longer see him/her as danger. Let your child hold the chicks, one at a time, in their lap. Under adult supervision, teach your child how to have gentle hands. When holding a baby chick, your child can see all the up close details of those sweet chicks!-and who doesn’t love holding adorable baby chicks!?
(Always remember to never put a chick near your face and wash your hands throughly after each interaction.)
- Give treats.
One definite way to make friends with your baby chicks is to bring them goodies. Let your child help pluck grass and clover. Have them sprinkle it around the brooder box and watch the chicks go crazy! This gives the chicks some enrichment and is super funny to watch! Some of the chicks will be interested in the grass, and others will be totally petrified of it! Chickens have different personalities, and seeing this firsthand will help your child learn empathy. Kitchen scraps, cracked corn, and live crickets are also a great treat for your growing flock!