Despite being farm animals, chickens make very good pets. Not only do you get a big bird for pet, you also get a source of organic eggs if you raise your own chickens. To help you pick your first pair of pet chickens, here are the top ten most popular pet chicken breeds to choose from.
Considered as the lap kitty of the chicken world, the Silkie is the most popular breed of pet chicken. It’s not difficult to see why. Silkies have the softest, fluffiest feathers among all birds. Silkie chickens are like walking cotton balls in your backyard. And another unique characteristic of pet Silkies is that they’re the only chicken breed that has 5 toes instead of the common four! So no doubt they deserve the number one spot on the popular pet chicken breeds list.
2. Mille Fleur
Mille Fleur is French for “thousand flowers.” This bantam or miniature chicken breed is called so because they’re very colorful resembling a thousand flowers on their plume. They’re very affectionate and proud tiny chickens too – they’re full of character. Expect special attention from neighbors and passersby when you have Mille Fleur pet chicken in your yard.
If you think Cochin sounds like Chinese that’s because it’s Chinese. The breed was given to Queen Victoria of England by the Chinese on the 1800s, and since then the pet chicken has become popular. The pet Cochin chicken is the second fluffiest next to the Silkies. The black, blue, brown, grey, and white Cochin pet chickens looks good on any yard resembling more like a walking fur ball than chickens.
Sporting fluffy crests, Polish chickens are popular ornamental pet birds raised more for their aesthetic than their food value – fresh eggs that is. You don’t want to eat your pet chicken. The breed is friendly to people but you should not keep two Polish roosters in one pen if you don’t want to ruin their beautiful head tuft. Roosters will fight for territory, and Polish roosters are no cowards.
Ameraucana pet chickens are especially popular during Easter because they lay colored eggs in different hues of aqua, blue, and green. These pet chickens sport a fluffy beard and 45-degrees-angled tail feathers, a pea comb, and slate colored shanks and feet. Ameraucanas are large and heavy pet chickens, but they are pretty tame ideal if you have young children.
6. Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock or sometimes called Barred Rocks are uniquely colored pet chickens resembling more like zebra chickens in their famous black and white patterns, although there are black, brown, and white Plymouth Rock chickens too. The breed is a good layer and is more adjusted to small confinement than the other popular pet chicken breeds on the list.
For those who want not only a charming and tame pet chicken but want a constant source of fresh eggs with it, the Sussex is the best choice. Sussex lays eggs all year round, even on winter. They are speckled, making them great camouflage artist and adorable pets in your yard. They don’t wander very far in search of food, so you don’t have to worry about putting up high fence to keep your pet Sussex chickens.
8. Naked Neck
To those who prefer weird looking pet chickens, the Naked Neck is the recommended breed. The chicken breed resembles turkeys being naked on the neck, but they are rare in North America. They are more popular in Europe. The Naked Neck is susceptible to cold weather, too, making it difficult breed to care for in cold regions. But, they are very tame chickens good to people with young children.
Orpingtons are large chickens with full feathers making them ideal pet chickens in temperate regions. They are very good layers too, so you can expect a steady supply of fresh eggs if you raise a couple of Orpington hens as pets. Remember that hens lay eggs even if there are no rooster around; the eggs are just not fertile.
Australorps are the Australian version of Orpingtons. The pure breed is black in color with hints of green and purple under the right sunshine. Australorps are big pet chickens, good layers, and relatively tame too. So they made it to number 10 of the most popular pet chicken breeds in the world.