12 Quiet Chicken Breeds to Consider Raising

City dwellers, rejoice – just because you live in a crowded area, it doesn’t mean that you can’t begin to homestead. Many suburban and city neighborhoods have voted to allow residents to keep just a few chickens as backyard livestock. While this opens you up to a whole new world of opportunities, these allowances often come with some restrictions.

Generally, most cities and suburbs will allow you to keep a handful of chickens, but only if you have quiet hens – no roosters allowed. Hens tend to be quieter than most other pets, letting out only the occasional cackle or chirp as she goes about her daily work. That being said, there are some varieties of chickens that tend to be naturally louder than others. Therefore, you may find yourself searching for the quietest chicken breeds to keep in your backyard.

What Are the Loudest Chicken Breeds?

While any kind of poultry can be loud at times, there are some chicken breeds which are known for being some of noisiest regardless of the circumstances.

Easter Eggers, for example, are a breed that tend to be incredibly broody. These are sweet, non-aggressive chickens, but tend to make a lot of noise at all times (particularly when they are getting ready to lay eggs).

Polish hens make unique noises and they tend to be noisy at all times but particularly if they are angry. These birds are known for their bouffant crest of feathers, and while this is a gorgeous feature, the birds can act erratically since their line of vision is obstructed.

Finally, Cornish hens, renowned for their meat production, tend to be quite noisy as well. This is because they have more finicky needs that always need attending, with poor cold weather tolerance and a number of health problems. They are active birds and tend to make more noise than other varieties, too.

What are the Quietest Chicken Breeds?

Each chicken will vary in noisiness depending on its personality, but generally, these are the quietest breeds of chickens you can keep.

Buff Orpington hen and chicks

1) Buff Orpingtons

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Easygoing

These golden-colored birds offer a nice personality and winter hardiness. Originating in the United Kingdom in the late 1800s, there are several varieties of Orpingtons, with the Black, White, Blue, and Buff Orpingtons all available. They tend to be larger in size and have extremely soft feathers.

The Buff is most recommended for backyard chicken keepers seeking a quieter breed – these varieties offer a calm temperament. They are one of the few breeds of chickens who will allow you to pick them up and pet them. Buff Orpingtons tend to keep to themselves, but are not aggressive or nervous around others (including humans) making them a good choice if you are seeking a calm, quiet breed.

Australorp chicken

2) Australorps

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Peaceful

This breed originated in Australia and usually comes in a coal-black color, although blue and white varieties also exist in Australia. The breed is most notable for its egg-laying abilities, having set the record for most eggs laid in a year. Australorps have very quiet, peaceful personalities and can lay up to 250 eggs per year.

Wyandotte rooster

3) Wyandottes

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Friendly

If you live in the suburbs, the Wyandotte may be your best all-around-bet for a quiet, productive chicken breed. These chickens offer vibrant coloring, including those that come in shades of blue, silver, and gold. With striking plumage and a docile personality, these chickens are some of the most popular at 4H shows. They are dependable layers, providing a good supply of eggs even during the colder months. They are friendly and hardy, holding up well to more challenging conditions. They lay large tan eggs and are a great choice for any flock, but particularly one in a suburb or city.

Blue Ameraucana Cock
Royale Photography [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons

4) Ameraucana

Purpose: Eggs

Temperament: Cautious

A goofy-looking breed, the Ameraucana chicken has a beard and muffs instead of normal ear tufts. These birds are docile and easily handled, but will be cautious if they feel they are being threatened. These chickens are large, weighing up to seven pounds on average (and that’s in hens!) and laying medium-sized blue eggs. They have multiple different colorations, including wheaten, blue wheaten, brown red, buff, silver, black, blue, and white.

cochin

5) Cochins

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Relaxed

The Cochin is a large, high-quality heritage breed that is quiet as well as affable. These birds are often kept as pets, and while they aren’t phenomenal egg layers, they have great maternal skills and a quiet, easy going nature that make them ideal for backyard farms. These birds are beautiful to look at it, with fluffy feathers and a rounded appearance. They come in a number of colors, including blue/black and light golden brown, with all varieties exhibiting gorgeous plumage.

While these birds are typically raised for exhibition, they are also great egg layers. They lay large, tinted eggs, even in the winter months, and are such good sitters that they can even hatch the eggs of other species, like turkeys and ducks. You can also raise cochins for meat, with the final product being rather coarse and dark in color.

bantam chicken

6) Bantams

Purpose: Eggs and show

Temperament: Docile

Bantams are one of the smaller chicken breeds, coming in a variety of dark colors and offering dependable egg production without all the noise. One of the most popular show breeds, these chickens lay small white eggs (usually half the size of a standard chicken egg) and have phenomenal flocking and mothering instincts. This means that it is easier to keep a larger number of these birds in a smaller space. It should be noted that even if you aren’t planning on keeping a rooster (which isn’t allowed in most areas that place noise restrictions on backyard chickens), these birds are phenomenal sitters, hatching their own eggs in most cases.

7) Barred Rock Plymouths

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Outgoing

Laying large brown eggs even when raised on a small amount of property, these quiet chickens are outgoing and friendly at the same time. They interact well with humans and other animals, and hold up well to cold conditions. These birds are easy to find at your local farm and garden store, and they lay large, frequent eggs. One of the benefits of raising Barred Rock Plymouths is that you can sex them at birth by looking for single white dots at the tops of their heads – this is a nice characteristic if you are trying to remove any roosters from your backyard flock.

8) Rhode Island Reds

Purpose: Dual (meat and eggs)

Temperament: Evasive

These chickens aren’t quite as friendly as other types, like Buff Orpingtons, but if you’re looking for a low-maintenance breed, the Rhode Island is the way to go. While this dual breed is most well-known for its ability to provide delicious meat as well as eggs, many modern strains have been bred specifically for their egg-laying abilities. Hens tend to be about six pounds, and can lay two to three hundred eggs per year.

 

9) Mottled Javas

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Shy

There are several types of Java chickens. This heritage chicken breed is one of the oldest in the world, raised for both meat and for eggs. They are dependable layers and were used in the establishment of other popular breeds, like the Barred Rock Plymouth. They like to keep to themselves, preferring a smaller flock size, but also offer minimal noise making.

10) Speckled Sussex

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Introverted

This English breed is gaining rapid popularity around the world. While the Sussex comes in many colors (including white, silver, red, light, lavender, brown, and buff) the Speckled is one of the most popular as well as one of the quietest.

brahma chicken

11) Brahmas

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Quirky and friendly

If you decide to raise Bantam chickens, you will likely be the popular new attraction among your neighbors, who will no doubt wonder what the funky-looking birds you have in your backyard are. With a range of colorations and fuzzy ankles, these birds are fun to look at as well as to raise. Brahmas are available in light, partridge, dark, and buff varieties. These large chickens grow to massive sizes – it is not uncommon for them to weigh over eighteen pounds, with hens weighing in at over fourteen pounds.

Known colloquially by many chicken keepers as the “Kings of Poultry,” these birds are incredibly hardy and can also lay a reliable supply of white eggs. Probably due to their size and their ability to hold on to extra weight throughout the year, these chickens are recognized as some of the best winter layers.

delaware chicken

12) Delaware

Purpose: Dual (meat and eggs)

Temperament: Docile

This American breed is valued for its ability to produce both meat and eggs. They tend to be inquisitive, always curious about what the other chickens (or other animals…. or humans!) are getting themselves into. They are friendly, yet also quiet, with a vibrant white and black coloration.

Faverolles cock and hen

photo by stephen jones from uk – [1], CC BY 2.0, Link

13) Faverolles

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Gentle

These friendly birds have one of the most bizarre appearances, with fluffy beard and muffs as well as feathered legs. They come in a salmon color (a unique feature of the breed) as well as others, like black and gold, and have five toes instead of four. They are very quiet and gentle, making them a good choice for a larger flock.

What Kind of Noisemaking is Normal in Even Quiet Chicken Breeds?

All chickens will make noise – they are animals, after all. In a flock that is devoid of a rooster, one of the hens will usually take over leadership of the flock. She will call out to the other chickens when necessary, such as when treats are being given, food is near, or when danger is afoot. She won’t be as alert and as noisy as a rooster, but her altering clucking will normally be louder than her go-about-the-day clucking.

Hens will also start to make noise when they are preparing to lay their eggs. It’s not just the laying hen that will make noise – usually, once the first hen starts, the others will join her in their egg-preparation serenades. Luckily, the quieter breeds we included on our list tend to be less enthusiastic about their “egg-singing” than others, so this is less likely to be a problem. Providing plenty of room for your chickens to lay their eggs, as well as clean, well-ventilated nest boxes, can help reduce some of this noise as well.

How to Keep Even Loud Chicken Breeds Quiet

You might not have been lucky enough to select your own chicken breeds, for example, if you were given the birds as a gift or got them on sale as chicks. You might find that even your “quiet breed” is noisy, too. Fortunately, you are not entirely out of luck. You can influence the noisiness of your chickens in a few simple steps.

The environment your hens live in plays a huge role in how loud they are. If you allow your birds to free-range, they will not be bored as they are mentally and physically stimulated. This will reduce their desire to squawk and carry on at all hours. This will also help to reduce your feed bill.

If you have noisy chickens living in a run, they may need more space. The same goes for if your coop is too small or too short. Allow for at least five feet of space per bird – ten feet whenever possible.

Every flock will have its fair share of quieter and more boisterous hens, but it’s important to notice that you can add some boredom busters to keep them contained. A free-ranged flock is always ideal, but if this is not ideal, you can add features to your run or coop to keep them entertained. Consider hanging a couple of swings or add a dust bath to the ground. You can easily make “toys” out of cinder blocks, saw horses, balls of baling twine, or other DIY methods.

The most important thing to keep in mind? Each chicken will have a unique personality that will determine its noisiness more accurately than its breed. While each breed will have its chatty members, the breeds we listed – particularly when kept under the ideal conditions – will be the quietest overall and the most well-suited for noise-restricted areas. Consider adding one (or all!) of these breeds to your flock to try your hand at backyard chicken-rearing.

Quiet Chicken Breeds pin

Spread the love
  • 8.3K
    Shares

4 thoughts on “12 Quiet Chicken Breeds to Consider Raising”

  1. I have Australorps and Barred Rocks. Barred Rocks are very friendly and smarter than other breeds, except when it come to self-preservation. My Australorps are in charge of flock security when the dog isn’t around. They’re more observable. Barred Rocks would walk off with a Fox.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *