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Family-friendly breeds

Children are drawn to the wilder- and wackier-looking breeds, yet most are docile in nature. Here are some suggested chicken breeds that are especially good for children:

Buff Orpingtons: The Buff Orpington breed could be the Labrador dog of the chicken world. They’re docile, people-friendly, and good foragers.

Cochins: Cochins are a favorite with the children because they’re showy and have feathered legs. They’re also good foragers.

Houdans: Houdans have a docile nature with an extra bonus of wild-like ornamental feathers and an aggressive foraging ability.

Polish: The Polish breeds are beautiful and usually comical with that mop of feathers on their heads. Sometimes they’re at a real disadvantage in the garden, simply because they can’t see very well with that headdress. Give them a trim to help them see well.

Silkies: Silkies are very docile chickens that make good pets. They’re reminiscent of Persian cats. They’re quite different in appearance from other chickens, with their fluffy plumage, dark blue flesh and bones, and five toes on each foot (all other chickens have four toes on each foot). They can be a good free-ranging breed for a garden if you can keep them dry and out of inclement weather.

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