If you’ve never kept hens before, you might need some reassurance that the birds you choose are not going to be aggressive, or have delicate constitutions. In other words, you want chickens that are easy to look after. And hens that lay lots of eggs too, probably!
As far as aggression goes, any breed developed historically for laying eggs rather than fighting or simply looking good, is going to be fairly easy to look after and handle. Some breeds are moodier than others, but all the hens available for a standard garden or backyard coop are going to give you very little trouble.
Orpingtons are great chickens for beginners
The Most Docile Chickens
Beginners who feel nervous about handling hens - even when handling simply means retrieving the eggs each day and filling the food hoppers - will want to know who the real chicken softies are. The following breeds are super-duper tame, and produce plenty of eggs too:
- Barred Rock
- Easter Egger
- Plymouth Rock
- Rhode Island Red
A cockerel, or rooster - the male chicken - is not recommended for beginners. Not only can they be aggressive, but they also lay no eggs!