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5 Best First Chickens for Kids

Two children viewing a baby chick

A child’s initial experience with chickens is often the most memorable. To ensure that the youngster’s introduction to chickens is pleasant and fun, consider these qualities when choosing the best first chickens for kids:

  • They are calm in disposition
  • They are friendly with people
  • The breed is appropriate for small hands
  • The chickens enjoy hugs
  • They don’t easily startle
  • They are not aggressive toward other chickens
  • The breed does well in confinement
  • The chickens are easy to care for
  • They are easy to train

The following five breeds share these characteristics, making them among the very best first chickens for kids.


Silkies top the list of best first chickens for kids. They are small, weighing 2 pounds or less, and naturally friendly. They lay small, kid-size eggs and come in numerous plumage colors to choose from.

Silkies don’t spook easily and don’t move fast enough to appear scary. Their fur-like feathers and round shape, the pom-pom on their head and feathers on their feet, plus their Charlie-Chaplin gait are sure to induce giggles.

These chickens are easy to handle, not just because they are small, but also because they simply enjoy being cuddled. Silkies are truly the teddy bears of chickendom.

Easter Egger

Easter Eggers are another fun breed that delights kids. Their main attraction is their eggs, which they lay in a wide range of shell colors from pink, to brown, to blue, to green, and sometimes even white. Every day becomes an exciting Easter egg hunt.

Easter Eggers are friendly, gentle, and easy going. They come in both large and bantam size. The large hens weigh about 5½ pounds. For a smaller size chicken that lays smaller eggs, bantam Easter Egger hens weigh only 31 ounces.

The Easter Egger is not a standardized breed and is not selected for any particular feather color or pattern. Therefore every Easter Egger chicken is unique.


Cochins are another kid-friendly breed with a sweet temperament. Like Silkies, they are slow moving, have feathers on their feet, and come in many different color varieties.

Bantam Cochin hens weigh only 26 ounces, making them especially suitable as first chickens for kids. But for older kids, or any child who goes for things in a big way, large Cochins are equally calm and friendly despite their size. Mature hens weigh 8½ pounds, but with their abundant feathering they appear much more enormous, making them amazing first chickens for kids


A Brahma hen weighs about one pound more than a Cochin hen, but is just as calm and docile. Brahmas do not startle easily and are not aggressive toward other chickens in the flock.

If the large size is too intimidating for young children, opt for bantam Brahmas, weighing only about 2 pounds. Both large and bantam Brahmas have feathered feet. Both are naturally inquisitive and extremely easy to train.


Rounding out our list of best first chickens for kids is the Orpington, another big chicken that comes also in a diminutive size. The large hens weigh about 8 pounds; bantam hens weigh 36 ounces. As with Cochins, the loose feathering of the Brahma makes it appear much bigger than it actually is, although Orpingtons lack the Cochins’ foot feathers.

Orpingtons come in a few different color varieties, of which buff is by far the most popular. Because of its golden color and its gentleness around children, the lovable Orpington is often called the golden retriever of chickendom.

All of these five breeds are perfect as first chickens for kids. Whether you select one, or mix and match, you can’t go wrong.

Helpful Links

10 Things to Know Before You Get Chickens

8 Chicken Facts that Surprise First Time Owners

10 Reasons to Keep Bantams

And that’s today’s news from the Cackle Coop.

Gail Damerow has written numerous poultry-keeping books, many of them available in the Cackle Bookstore.

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