When you’re just starting out in the world of backyard chickens, all of the different breeds, equipment, and new lingo to learn can be a LOT! These five breeds are classics in the world of backyard chickens, and for good reason. They have stood the test of time as some of the most well-mannered yet utilitarian breeds. Happy chicken keeping!


These fluffy chickens are some of the sweetest personalities you’ll ever meet. Of course, every chicken has a different personality, but these guys really do seem to be prone to being sweethearts! With their distinctive long, fluffy feathers and small bantam stature, they are a fantastic starter chicken.

Speckled Sussex

This beginner friendly breed is classic with backyard chicken keepers. An ancient heritage breed, they’ve been around for hundreds of years. These birds are famously resourceful and even quite cold hardy! Speckled Sussexes are also fantastic at free ranging, which is great for your garden and your wallet!

Buff Orpington

This dual-purpose breed is a favorite amongst backyard chicken keepers. An incredibly utilitarian breed, they will provide you with a solid number of eggs and even meat if you are interested in processing. They have a great temperament, usually quite docile and kid-friendly. Be warned, though: these birds are prone to broodiness! It could be good practice for chicken keepers interested in even broodier breeds down the line.


This backyard chicken breed is another classic. They’re known for their big, fluffy feet. Like most of the birds on this list, this breed is known to be quite calm and friendly. They are less productive than some of the other breeds on this list, only producing about 150-180 eggs yearly (still not bad).


Another dual purpose breed, Australorps are great for egg and meat production. This breed is actually famous for its egg production – it is said that an Australorp holds the world record for most eggs laid in a year! They are great for beginners with their gentle personalities and ability to withstand most weather conditions!

More Friendly Backyard Chicken Breeds: Honorable Mentions



Plymouth Rock



Jersey Giant