Helping Families Produce and Source Food at Scale

Helping Families Produce and Source Food at Scale

Helping Families Produce and Source Food at Scale

Clucking Newbies: Top Chicken Breeds for Beginners

Getting started with raising backyard chickens can be an exciting journey towards sustainability, food independence, and learning more about nature. However, it can also be a bit overwhelming due to the numerous breeds available. Some breeds are better suited to beginners, with factors such as temperament, egg production, hardiness, and maintenance needs coming into play. In this article, we'll explore some of the best chicken breeds for beginners.

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Reds are one of the most popular breeds for beginners. This breed is known for its hardiness, adaptability, and high egg production. A single Rhode Island Red can lay between 200-300 brown eggs per year. They are also quite sturdy and able to withstand a range of climates, making them an excellent choice for beginners. These chickens are typically docile but can exhibit a more assertive character at times.

Plymouth Rock (Barred Rock)

Plymouth Rocks, often called Barred Rocks, are another great choice. They are known for their calm, friendly demeanor and good egg-laying capabilities. On average, they produce about 200 brown eggs each year. They are also good foragers and can adapt to various climates. Their unique black and white 'barred' feathers make them a beautiful addition to your backyard.


The Sussex breed is renowned for its prolific egg-laying abilities and friendly temperament. They can lay up to 250-275 eggs per year, and these eggs come in varying shades of brown. Sussex chickens are friendly, curious, and easy to handle, which is a perfect combination for beginners. Their docile behavior and love for human interaction make them an excellent choice for families with children.


Originating from Australia, the Australorp is another fantastic breed for beginners. These birds are not only calm and friendly but are also impressive egg layers. They hold the record for the most eggs laid in a year by a single chicken: an astounding 364 eggs! On average, though, you can expect an Australorp to lay around 250-300 light-brown eggs annually.

Buff Orpington

Buff Orpingtons are often referred to as the 'Golden Retrievers of the Chicken World' due to their friendly, docile nature. They are not as productive in terms of egg-laying as some of the other breeds on this list, producing around 180-200 eggs per year, but their temperament more than makes up for this. Buff Orpingtons are also known for being good mothers, often going broody and hatching eggs themselves.


If you're focused on egg production, the Leghorn breed is hard to beat. These active and hardy birds can produce around 280-320 white eggs per year. Although they are not as docile as some of the other breeds listed here and can be somewhat flighty, their impressive egg-laying abilities make them a popular choice among beginners.

Easter Egger

If you're looking for variety, consider Easter Eggers. These chickens don't belong to a standardized breed but are named for their ability to lay eggs in various shades, including blue, green, and pink. Each Easter Egger hen will lay eggs of a specific color, making egg collection a fun surprise. They lay approximately 200-280 eggs annually and have a calm, friendly temperament.

When choosing your first flock, consider factors such as your climate, the space you have available, and your goals for egg production. Raising chickens can be a rewarding experience, providing a regular supply of fresh eggs, a method of pest control, and a new way to teach children about nature. With careful selection, your beginner's journey into poultry-keeping can be a smooth and enjoyable one.


How much space do chickens need?

What should I feed my chickens?

How can I keep my chickens healthy?

How often do chickens lay eggs, and when do they start?

What kind of shelter do chickens need?

How can I protect my chickens from predators?

Do I need a rooster for my hens to lay eggs?

How can I tell if my chicken is sick?

What's the typical lifespan of a chicken?

How do I manage and compost chicken manure?

How can I improve egg production in my chickens?

What can I do to prevent or treat common chicken diseases?

What is the best way to handle chickens?

How can I integrate new chickens into my existing flock?

How do I properly hatch and raise chicks?

How do I manage the pecking order among my chickens?

What are the regulations for keeping chickens in urban areas?