The Best Backyard Chicken Breeds for Kids

A whole new generation of youngsters is falling in love with flocks of fowl and is eager to learn more about keeping them healthy and happy.


| December 2015



Australorp

The Australorp is curious, friendly, and outgoing.


Photo by Sally Smith/Alamy ©

Melissa Caughey, award-winning blogger and owner of Tilly’s Nest, makes it easy for kids to master the basics of chicken raising in her new book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens (Storey Publishing, 2015). The following excerpt is from Chapter 2, “Choosing the Best Chickens.”

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS STORE: A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens.

Here are the 10 chicken breeds that we have found work well for families and tend to be the most docile, friendliest birds. By no means does this list include all the possible breeds: There are hundreds of different ones out there! You can always do more research to find out about breeds that aren’t included here.

Australorp

• This Australian breed has black feathers that shimmer iridescent green in the sun. As the birds age, sometimes the tips of their feathers become a bit speckled with brownish gray.

• These hens often establish themselves at the top of the flock.

• They are homebodies and handle confinement well.

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