9 Quiet(er) breeds of chicken for urban Homesteaders
Today I was out feeding the animals and the absolute cacophony coming from the barn was nearly deafening.
Well, okay maybe that was an exaggeration, but it was pretty dang loud. Because of the Newcastle disease quarantine on southern california right now, I actually don’t have that many chickens. About 25. And yes, I don’t have an exact number. They move around a lot ok? So judgmental.
Anyhow, back to my insanely loud chickens.
Now roosters are roosters, no matter the breed. They all like to crow and strut around like they are God’s gift to the world. One of my roosters loves to crow when I’m talking. He’ll sit there silently until I open my mouth and then he tries to drown me out. Successfully.
I don’t care what breed you get, roosters are going to be loud.
Hens on the other hand are not known for their noisiness. Sure we know all chickens cluck, but it’s roosters that are annoyingly loud. Right?
It was the hens today that were making the racket. See they had laid an egg.
Yes I’m serious. They were blowing out my ear drums and giving me a headache because someone had laid an egg. They have this hilarious, but enormously high decibel cackle whenever they have laid an egg. It sounds like they are proud and celebrating.
And it goes on…and on…and on…and on…Sometimes for twenty minutes.
Now like I said, I only have about twenty five chickens right now. About fifteen of them are hens so that not a lot of hens. However, consider 15 hens all laying eggs in one day and cackling for twenty minutes each. That’s a lot of cackling.
Luckily they don’t always celebrate. Oftentimes they lay eggs quietly like good hens and sometimes days will go by without a single cackle. Other days they. don’t. shut. up.
Fortunately, not all hens are as loud as mine. Some are quiet, docile little things which make them excellent for small urban homesteads, not to mention really amazing family chickens
We used to breed Australorps. They are amazing brown egg layers and pretty darn good meat birds as well. They were quite docile although I did have one rooster that attacked me. Still, you can’t judge an entire breed from one bad chicken. They have been described as peaceful and dignified and have a sweet and shy personality
2. Barred Plymouth Rock
I haven’t had this breed, but I have a friend who loves them. She says they’re very friendly with an easy going personality. They’re also good dual purpose breeds producing lots of large brown eggs and meat as well. Their personality is smart, plucky and docile
The Brahmas are good egg layers, about 3 per week. Their strength is in meat production which is what they were bred for. They are great mothers known for their quiet and tame nature making them excellent pets. Their fluffy and profuse feathers make them super huggable!
My very first chicken ever was a cochin and she made me fall in love with chickens. I don’t think I ever heard her make sound in her entire life, except some contented clucks. They became popular as a pet breed because of their amazingly friendly personality. They are peaceful, friendly and easy to handle.
Very calm and prolific egg layers while still producing good meat. The Delaware kind of has everything. They are quiet and friendly.
My favorite breed ever. Faverolles are always at the bottom of the pecking order because…well, they’re nice. Their personality is described as quirky and that’s really accurate. I can’t even explain why, they’re just weird. They are hilarious and I love them to death. They’re a bit shy and super easy going, calm and dignified. Even the roosters are sweet and don’t have an aggressive bone in them. Their personality is described as quirky, loners and submissive.
The orpington, along with the cochin, are probably the top two family chickens. Sweet, docile, friendly, love being handled, are quiet and best of all they are patient. You don’t have to worry about your child being pecked or scared by this breed.
The Sussex is pretty adorable. They are beautiful, excellent egg layers and they used to be the number one meat bird in England. They are quiet and friendly and they’re very curious. They’ll follow you around to see what you’re doing and beg a treat from you too. They’re confident and mellow.
Wyandottes are gorgeous. They come in different colors and some of them are amazing like the blue laced red wyandotte. Seriously the prettiest bird I’ve ever owned. They are easygoing and hardy in the cold, although a bit sensitive to the heat. They can be a bit bossy in the flock, but I’ve never had a mean one. I used to have a Wyandotte that would climb in my lap and fall asleep.
These are the breeds that have the best reputation for quietness. One of the breeds I raise, the Dorking, loves to talk and yell too lol. They’re a crackup, but they probably wouldn’t be good in a small urban yard. Any of the breeds listed above though would be amazing chickens to own. Great for beginners, great for families with kids and especially great if you don’t want to hear hens howling at the moon every time they lay an egg.