One of the most common questions a new chicken owner asks is: What are some good chicken breeds to raise around children?
You want your children have a positive experience with chickens. You want chickens that are more prone to being calm, gentle, and patient. The honest answer is, any chicken breed can be gentle and people oriented! The experience goes both ways. If the chicks are raised by gentle, patient children, they will most likely grow up to be friendly, calm birds.
Even though this may be the case, some breeds have consistently made the list of gentle chickens!
- Orpington (any color)
- Sapphire Splash
- ISA Brown
- Barred Rock
- Rudd Rangers (a meat breed)
- Polish ( feathered caps)
- Turken Naked Necks
- Bantam Breeds
Who doesn’t love getting to hold a little chickie? Show your child how to hold a chick. Use phrases like, “Soft fingers. Like you are making a little bed for the chick with your hands. Be gentle like a mama chicken.” With supervision and guidance, your children will be pros in no time!
Letting your child give the chickens treats is so much fun! It is a great way for them to all interact, and it also helps tame your flock. Let your child sprinkle healthy treats, like corn or kitchen scraps on the ground. After a few times of this, your birds will love to follow your child around! Your child will love this! (If feeding from your hand, just be careful. A chicken can accidentally grab a little one’s skin too hard.)
Encourage some quiet time for just sitting and watching the chickens. Set up a little, comfortable chair for your child near the action. Like people, chickens have different personalities! Observing their silly little habits and even coming up with creative names is such fun for a child! (and adult!)
Helping with Chores
Nothing brings a proud smile to my daughter’s face quite like when she brings in a full basket of eggs to the house! Let your little one help with simple chores, like collecting eggs, adding fresh pine shavings, and helping fill up feeders. They will have such a sense of well earned accomplishment!
Allowing your children to raise chickens teaches them empathy and respect for all creatures. It teaches patience and how to be calm and gentle. (A lesson often lacking in today’s culture.) Fun, fresh air, and a dash of responsibility; it’s a hobby that will likely grow and grow. Find some chicks from the list you like and that best suit your climate to get started!
Just remember to have fun and wash your hands!