Chooks are the ideal pet for introducing kids to responsibility. If pet hens are not fed, their egg output drops. If the chicken coop isn’t locked up at night, a sad pile of feathers may be all that’s left in the morning. Chooks help kids to accept the realities of life.
Chickens will eat your food scraps and will help prepare garden beds by fertilising and turning the soil, however they can make a good old fashion mess too. Are you willing to go free range? Or do you have a designated spot picked out for their new home?
When thinking about having chickens around children, it's important to choose a breed that has a quiet temperament.
Here are 5 chickens that would make great pets for children...
Silkies are well known as one of the most affectionate, loving chicken breeds your little flock will ever come across. All people who own Silkies fall in love with their gentle nature and tendency to want to snuggle on your lap – adults and children alike!
They aren’t great egg layers, but these chicken breeds make up for it in being adorable, sweet pets that children will love to pat and play with. Plus, they will love touching their fuzzy feathers!
These heavy-set, fluffy and cuddly chickens are super friendly pets for kids. Their docile and curious natures make them the perfect backyard companion – happy to follow your kids around and assist on their garden adventures.
They have a beautiful silky coat that can come in an array of colours, and they lay an average amount of eggs – around 175-200 per year. They really do love to be held and petted, and are one of the more affectionate chicken breeds perfect for little hands to hold.
Pekins are docile and gentle-natured girls who are so cute! Their small stature makes them an adorable and easily handled pet for small children. Not to mention their beautiful full plumage which will delight young and old as they busily forage around the backyard.
They don't produce a huge amount of eggs, so you would choose a Pekin to enjoy their good looks rather than in the hope to do some baking.
4. Isa Brown
The Isa Brown is one of the chicken breeds that seem to just be perfect in every aspect. They have a friendly, calm personality, which means that they don’t mind children holding and petting them, and might even follow children around as they do the gardening. They are very inquisitive creatures!
What’s even better is that these chicken breeds are amazing egg-layers, and will produce over 300 per year! Which means not only do your children have sweet natured pets that they can run around with and (gently) hold, but that they will have a constant supply of fresh eggs that will keep them well fed at every breakfast!
The Sussex is a curious and friendly bird that are intrigued by humans – so much so that they often love to follow their owners around the yard. They love to be petted and held, and delight in foraging and exploring with their human friends.
They also are very good egg layers, so you can expect around 4 large brown eggs per week. The Speckled Sussex is particularly popular as it is one of the most beautifully feathered chicken breeds, displaying a beautiful spotted coat.
According to Burke's Backyard, pet roosters are definitely out; even the most placid bird will either become bored and nasty or overly protective of his hens. Roosters can inflict serious injuries so have no place around children.
Rules for kids:
- No chasing chooks.
- No teasing.
- Never carry birds upside down by their feet.
- Never leave small children unattended around chooks.
- Cover arms and legs before handling chooks in case of scratches.
I hope this inspires you to find the perfect chooks for your playground or backyard...