Pet Chicken: 6 Best Pet Chicken Breeds, Plus Name Ideas

Dreaming Of Your Own Pet Chicken? Try These 6 Friendly Breeds

February 26, 2021 Updated June 16, 2021

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Thanks to the popularity of rural pop culture figures like Chip and Joanna Gaines and Ree Drummond (AKA “The Pioneer Woman”), homesteading has become a rising trend. People are learning how to compost. They’re making their own soap and pouring candles. And, yep, they’re getting chicken coops. But if you’re among the many mamas thinking of adding a pet chicken to your brood, you’re going to need some intel on raising poultry as pals.

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Of course, it can be — and is quite frequently — done. In recent years, celebrities like Tiffani Thiessen, Brian Austin Green, Amanda Seyfried, Reese Witherspoon, and more have shared their love for chickens. Jennifer Garner even calls herself a proud “chicken lady.” So, how do you know where to start in the world of chicken parenting? Hold on to your tailfeathers — we’re going to walk you through some of the basics.

Best Pet Chickens: Breeds

It’s true — some chickens are simply better suited to the pet lifestyle. They boast dispositions that lend well to being held, sitting on your lap, and eating out of your hand. Some even “purr” when happy! Who knew?

Silkies

There are many reasons people choose silkies as pets, and one major reason is their distinctive look! Cute little fluffballs — this bantam (or mini-chicken) has a “pom-pom” of plumage on its head. Its body is covered in feathers so soft and silky (hence their name) that it feels like a long-haired feline’s fur. Although silkies are not great egg layers, their temperament makes them a wonderful choice for companionship. They’re calm, friendly, and happy around people.

Polish

You can’t get much quirkier than the Polish chicken! These charmers have big poofs of feathers on their heads that give them an unmistakable look. Again, they aren’t the most prolific egg layers, but they are beautiful and docile in equal measure. They’re so docile that they can get picked on by other breeds. This gentle nature makes them an excellent choice for kids since they seem to enjoy being held and cuddled.

Cochin

You know what you should do? Get yourself a chonky chicken. And when it comes to chonky chickens, cochins are right there at the top of the list. These fluffy guys and gals are described as being covered in “head-to-toe feathers,” giving them a rather impressive (and floofy) appearance. We’re particularly partial to the big fluff ball surrounding their tails. Cochins are known for their mellow disposition and have earned a reputation for being perfect lap chickens. They’re also famous for their fantastic mothering skills, sometimes caring for chicks that aren’t even their own.

Brahmas

If you have a big yard and want a big chicken to match, the brahma might be right up your alley. Dubbed the “King of Chickens,” brahmas are large. And while their size might intimidate people who aren’t familiar with chickens, they truly are gentle giants. They’re calm, docile birds that, despite not being great egg layers, are good mothers. Plus, they have cute feathered feet!

Buff Orpingtons

Considering they’re called the “golden retrievers” of the chicken world, you can count on these chickens being good family pets. Appearance-wise, this breed is your quintessential chicken — plump, puffy, and stately. Buff Orpingtons are a large chicken, often bred for show. But in addition to their striking good looks, they have delightful temperaments. They’re a breed famed for being calm and cuddly. Oh, and they’re good egg layers!

Speckled Sussex

Just a heads up: This chicken is huge. As in, the speckled Sussex can weigh up to eight pounds. If that isn’t enough to convince you that you need one, you should also know that they’re beautiful and really sweet. You won’t be able to stop staring at their gorgeous red and brown feathers, which have “speckles” of black and white. We could stop there, but we can offer even more motivation to make these chickens your next pet. Speckled Sussexes love affection, being held, and long talks (seriously, they’re a captive audience). They may be too big to keep inside, but they’ll be fine outside too.

How Long Do Pet Chickens Live?

Chickens may seem like fickle creatures, but they have an impressive life span. They can live up to three to seven years and with adequate care, may live even longer, like 10 to 12 years. Some have even reported their pet chickens living up to 20 years! So, to keep your pet clucking for years to come, give them the proper feed, cut down on treats, and protect them from predators like cats and dogs. Make sure they always have a clean bowl of water and keep their bedding dry to prevent disease.

Keeping Pet Chickens

Having a pet chicken is very different from owning a dog or cat. However, your goal should always be to make your pet feel safe and comfortable in your home.

  • Pet chickens aren’t really made to be indoors because they can’t be housebroken. So, build a coop for them outside, close to your home. If you have a backyard, they can roam around there, but be mindful of foxes and raccoons in the area. Make a strong enclosure so your chicken has a safe place to run to.
  • Water and food should be available to them all day.
  • Build their bedding with straw and keep a light in their enclosure to help them stay warm.

Punny Pet Chicken Names

Listen, if you get pet chickens, they need to have some epic names. And, if you ask us, punny names reign supreme. Granted, your little ones might win this battle, in which case you’ll wind up with a coop full of chickens with names like “Sparkleface” and “Mr. Chicken Bock Bock.” But if you do get some input in the naming process, here are a few solid (and hilarious) suggestions.

  • Albert Eggstein
  • Amelia Egghart
  • Annie Yolkley
  • Bradley Coop-er
  • Chick-a-las Cage
  • Chick-ira
  • Chick Jagger
  • Cluck Norris
  • Cluck Vader
  • Dolly Pardhen
  • Dora the Eggsplorer
  • Edward Scissor Beak
  • Eggie Van Halen
  • Eggie Vedder
  • Feather Locklear
  • Goldie Hen
  • Gwyneth Poultry
  • Hennifer Aniston
  • Henrique Egglecias
  • Hen Solo
  • Hilary Fluff
  • Jaba the Hen
  • Kim Kardashihen
  • Layla Ali 
  • Liam Hensworth
  • Lindsay Lohen
  • Liza Henelli
  • Loretta L’Hen
  • Mary Poopins
  • Meg Ryhen
  • Meryl Cheep
  • Optimegs Prime
  • Oprah Henfrey
  • Reese Featherspoon
  • Stevie Chicks
  • Princess Lay-a
  • Yolko Ono

More Chicken Names

Attila the Hen
Beaker
Big Bird
Buck Beak
Chick Norris
Chickadee
Chickaletta
Chicken Little
Cluck Rogers
Cluckles
Colonel Sanders
Dixie Chick
Eggbert
Egghead
Elvis
Fabio
Flappy Bird
Foghorn Leghorn
Gandalf the Gray
Goldie Hen
Hedwig
Heidi Plume
Henny Penny
Henrietta
Iago
Little Foot
Mordecai
Mother Clucker
Peter Pecker
Peter Pecker
Phoenix
Pidwidgeon
Pox
Rex/T-Rex
Robot Chicken
Salmon Ella
Zazu