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Best Chickens for Beginners

Not long ago I wrote an article about the best chickens for laying eggs. And the past few posts have been on chicks. But if you’re interested in backyard birds and aren’t too concerned about eggs or meat, then I’ll tell you the best chickens for beginners.

You’ll still have to take where you live into consideration. That’s because it will affect the birds you choose. Therefore, if you a pick a breed that has a large comb and wattles, living in a warmer climate will be ideal. Likewise, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, then picking ones with smaller combs would be better.

Further, some of these chickens were mentioned before as excellent egg layers. But all of the ones on today’s list, including the previously mentioned ones, are easy going, simple to care for, and for newbie chicken owners.

Best Chickens for Beginners: Ameraucana

Black Ameraucana hen and rooster eat a banana from person's hand

Ameraucanas are my personal favorite backyard bird. I have the black and red brown varieties. And if hand-raised from chicks, they never forget you. But, even if they weren’t raised from chicks, they learn and adapt quickly. Also, they come in beautiful colors. In addition, they are

  • Dual purpose
  • Lay ~ 200 blue eggs per year
  • Friendly
  • Not generally broody if you’ve gotten them from a hatchery; although I had one red brown one who did go broody; and the one Black Ameraucana chick she raised goes broody annually
  • Have a pea comb, so they do better in winters and in cool climates

Best Birds for Beginners: Australorp

  • Come in 3 varieties
  • Also dual purpose
  • Lay ~ 300 light brown eggs annually
  • Friendly birds
  • Can go broody, so if you want chicks, this is the best brooder
  • Have a single comb, so better suited for warm climates

Best Chickens for Beginners: Barred Plymouth Rock

Barred Plymouth Rock hen
  • Dual purpose
  • Tame and good with children
  • Lay ~ 200 light brown eggs each year
  • Can go broody
  • Also have a single comb, so they do better in warm climates

Best Birds for Beginners: Brahma

close up picture of a black and white Brahma chicken
  • Gentle giants, came from China
  • Dual purpose–used to be what we ate before the modern broiler
  • Very well suited to Northern climate with the pea comb
  • Stands confinement well
  • Can go broody
  • Comes in 3 varieties
  • Lays ~ 150 medium brown eggs annually, producing most during the winter

Best Chickens for Beginners: Cochin

  • Also giant and from China
  • Produces eggs during winter
  • Suitable for northern climates
  • Extremely gentle, including even the roosters
  • Broody; roosters will also brood chicks!
  • Comes in 9 varieties
  • Lays ~ 180 brown eggs yearly

Best Birds for Beginners: Easter Eggers

selective focus photo of a black and brown hen
Photo by RODNAE Productions on
  • Dual purpose
  • Can be broody
  • Can come in a variety of looks
  • Lays ~ 250 colored eggs annually
  • Friendly
  • And combs and wattles will determine climate they’re best suited for

Best Chickens for Beginners: Orpingtons

  • Dual purpose
  • Come in 4 varieties
  • Lays ~ 160 brown eggs yearly
  • Calm and gentle
  • Broody
  • Has a single comb, so does better in warm climates

Best Birds for Beginners: Silkies

close up shot of a white Silkie chicken
Photo by Alex Arabagiu on
  • People primarily have Silkies for exhibition, though in Asia, their meat is considered a delicacy
  • Can go broody
  • Come in 6 varieties
  • Not a big egg layer, however they lay ~ 100 tinted eggs yearly
  • Have small walnut or cushion comb, so cold climates are suitable
  • Cuddly, lap chicken

Best Chickens for Beginners: Sussex

brown and white Sussex rooster on concrete surface
Photo by Engin Akyurt on
  • Dual purpose
  • Come in 3 varieties
  • Lays ~ 230 tinted eggs annually
  • Docile, gentle and friendly
  • Can go broody
  • And has a single comb, so warm weather is more suitable

In Summary

So you see there are a number of backyard birds that would be great for first time chicken keepers. Additionally, most of them still produce a lot of eggs. And they’re friendly. Some even look and act like they could be lap pets.

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this, please like, post a comment, share, and please don’t forget to follow!



I breed Black Ameraucana chickens and Easter Eggers that are Black Ameraucana mixed with either Cuckoo Maran or Barred Rock. And I donate eggs to people or organizations in need. Further, I've started chicken and other pet sitting in my area. Details are on my About page.

2 replies on “Best Chickens for Beginners”

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