Raising chickens in your backyard when there are other houses nearby can be difficult. Most cities and suburbs will allow you to keep chickens, but only if they are quiet. Besides, you don’t want people complaining about your chickens making too much noise. Fortunately, there are plenty of quiet backyard chicken breeds for you to consider.
Keep in mind that the noise chickens make will depend on their personality, but some breeds are generally more quiet than others. Here are 13:
1. Buff Orpington
First on the list is the ever-popular Buff Orpington. While all Orpingtons are considered a quiet breed, the Buff color variety seems to be a bit more quiet than its cousins. The Orpington is popular for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are easy to find, being that they are so well-loved. Secondly, they are easy to handle, as they tend to like people.
Orpingtons are a dual purpose breed that can be used for both meat and eggs. Although they are not prolific when it comes to laying eggs, you can expect around 3 a week. Since hens tend to get broody, they make excellent surrogate mothers to those chickens from less attentive mothers.
If you are looking for a large, beautiful chicken breed that tends to keep to themselves, consider the Buff Orpington.
Considered a relatively new breed (first admitted to the American Poultry Association in 1984), the Ameraucana gained rapid recognition as a backyard bird and has continued to find its way into the hearts of homesteaders around the world. You can find Ameraucana chickens in a variety of colors. However, the main draw to these birds is not how quiet or beautiful they are. It would be the blue eggs that they lay.
If you want 3-4 blue eggs per week to add to your basket, then the Ameraucana is for you.
The breed is generally quiet and serene, but if they feel threatened they will raise their voices. However, so long as you provide them with a calm and safe environment, there should be no issue.
Originating from Australia, the Australorp has been a recognized breed since 1929. In the US, you will find that only black is approved, but in Australia, Australorps also regularly come in white and blue. Weighing between 6.5 and 8.5 pounds, these are not very small chickens. That said, they are peaceful, friendly, and cuddly. You can easily pick up an Australorp chicken and give them a hug — they won’t mind at all.
Due to their size and weight, Australorp chickens cannot fly. That makes them the perfect candidate for free ranging, as well as companionship.
Aside from being a quiet backyard chicken breed, Australorps are prolific egg-layers. You can expect at least 250 eggs per year (maybe closer to 300 eggs). And don’t worry, the Australorp lays all through the winter.
Arriving in the US from China, the Cochin breed saw immediate popularity among homesteaders. Their gorgeous plumage and feathered legs and feet was partially responsible. Since Cochin chickens are covered head to toe in feathers, it does enhance their hardiness in cooler weather. Known for being calm and docile, Cochin chickens barely ever raise their voices. They do not mind confinement either.
Cochin chickens are not very productive, as they lay about 140 eggs per year. However, the broodiness of Cochin hens makes them an ideal choice for raising abandoned eggs.
Known as the gentle giants of the chicken world, the Brahma is among the largest and quietest chicken breeds. Brahma chickens provide delicious meat and 3 eggs per week (averaging around 140-150 eggs per year). They also continue laying eggs throughout winter, giving you eggs when other chickens are not. This makes them a smart addition to any flock. Furthermore, there is no denying that a Brahma chicken is eye-catching. With their dense and colorful plumage, the Brahma chicken certainly looks like royalty.
Let’s also not forget how companionable these birds can be! Surely, you will want to add a couple Brahmas to your flock.
6. Plymouth Rock
Admitted into the APA in 1874, the Plymouth Rock chicken has plenty of history and renown. You can choose from an assortment of colors, including white, barred, buff, silver penciled, and partridge. These chickens are beautiful to see in person, and they have winning personalities that make them a favorite among children. Plymouth Rock hens are very gentle and will love a chance to sit on your lap. The roosters, too, make excellent pets.
Plymouth Rock chickens lay around 200 brown eggs annually. They like to forage but also handle confinement.
When the Delaware chicken was first introduced in the 1940s, it was meant to be a broiler. But then the Cornish Cross was developed, and the Delaware was relegated to the back burner, which, when you think about it, gave this breed a chance to shine in other ways. The Delaware is an extremely fast-growing breed that gives you 4 jumbo brown eggs a week.
Both Delaware roosters and hens are known for being gentle and calm. You will have to do a lot to startle one of these chickens. Robust in appearance, the Delaware is not the most gorgeous of breeds, but they are low maintenance, making them very beginner-friendly.
The Wyandotte is among the most beautiful additions to this list, for they come in a wide variety of colors. The typical full grown Wyandotte is between 6.5 and 8.5 pounds. A bantam version also exists, and they are just as quiet as the standard version. This breed is dual purpose. Expect around 200 tan eggs per year, including eggs in the wintertime. Wyandottes are also friendly and tolerant enough to attend exhibitions.
This is a good breed for beginner and intermediate chicken keepers. They take to confinement well, and they are not incredibly high maintenance.
Many chicken keepers will recommend the Faverolle for a backyard. This dual purpose breed is known not for its meat or egg-laying abilities, but for its appearance. The Faverolle is one of the few breeds of chicken with a beard made of feathers. Plus, they have muffs and feathered legs to complete their fluffy ensemble. Unique to the breed is their salmon coloring, which will make them the gem of any flock. Topping off their cute appearance is their gentle temperament.
Faverolle chickens — roosters, included — are known for their docile ways. They tend to do well in mixed flocks, even larger ones, since they can hold their own in the pecking order. Hens provide around 4 eggs a week, averaging around 200 eggs per year.
10. Mottled Java
The Java is known as one of the oldest breeds. Instrumental in the creation of many other quiet breeds, including the Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock chickens, the Java is a great choice for the backyard. Since they grow more slowly than other breeds, they are the perfect chicken to raise for meat. Furthermore, Java chickens thrive when they can forage. They lay around 150 eggs annually, regardless of the weather.
Hens tend to weigh around 7.5 pounds. Roosters can be 9.5 pounds.
Also known as the Pilgrim Fowl or Dominicker, this chicken is a delightful addition to any flock. Being a dual purpose breed, the Dominique chicken is hardy and serene. Dominique hens grow up plump and lay around 3 eggs a week. They get a little broody, so you can use this breed to foster ducks, turkeys, and chicks from other clutches as well.
One thing to keep in mind is that only the Dominique hens are quiet and friendly towards humans. The roosters are a bit more mouthy and aggressive. Therefore, if you want a flock of Dominique hens, consider getting a more gentle rooster.
There are three different variations to the Sussex breed: Light, Red, and Speckled. Most people prefer the Speckled look. Admitted to the APA in 1914, the Sussex has become a popular homesteading breed, because it is a quiet, amicable bird. Adult Sussex chickens weigh between 7 and 9 pounds. Inquisitive and calm, the Sussex chicken will go about its day, relatively at ease. They also tend to like following around their humans for fresh produce.
Sussex hens lay around 200 eggs per year. Great for free ranging, these birds are built for hot and cold temperatures.
13. Rhode Island Red
Among some of the more famous breeds of chicken is the Rhode Island Red. Developed in the United States to be super egg-layers, this breed was recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1904. Roosters tend to weigh around 8.5 pounds, and hens reach 6.5 pounds. A bantam version is also available.
Although Rhode Island Red chickens are known for being docile, they tend to prefer the company of other chickens to people. This does not mean they are unfriendly; it just means that you will need to socialize your chickens if you want a companion or two. The roosters, however, do sometimes have an aggressive streak, though this has been bred out of many strains.
Rhode Island Red hens are capable of laying around 250 large eggs per year. Not only that, you can also use them for meat.
Tips For Keeping Quiet Chickens
Do you want to ensure that your chickens don’t cluck louder than a whisper? Your goal should be to keep them happy and healthy. Chickens tend to get a little loud when they are not comfortable. Therefore, consider these helpful tips for a content and quiet flock:
- Keep your larger chickens low to the ground (perches should be no more than 12 inches high).
- Clean out the run regularly, so your chickens stay clean.
- Ensure that your chickens are safe from danger. When they feel secure, there will be less of a reason for alarmed crowing and squawking.
- Provide plenty of space to move around, as well as other ways to keep the flock from growing bored.
- Let them dust-bathe. When chickens can bathe in dirt and dust, they seem to become very content and will be more quiet than when they are frustrated.
Finally, you can watch this video, where you can see in motion most of the breeds from the list above:
Final Thoughts on Quiet Chicken Breeds
Backyard chickens have become increasingly popular recently. However, people still love some peace and quiet, meaning they will not be too pleased with loud crowing around the clock. The good news is that quiet chicken breeds exist, giving you a chance to raise chicks, get fresh eggs and meat, and the companionship of chickens without any of the clucking or crowing. Which breed will you be adding to your flock?
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.