Best Urban Chicken Breeds

Starting your first flock of chickens for your urban homestead is an exciting experience! But what backyard chicken breeds best-suit urban or suburban life? It’s important to pick the right breeds to fit your needs.

When choosing a backyard chicken breed, there are several factors to consider. Some breeds are great egg-layers, while others are better suited for meat production. Most urban homesteaders will only be looking for egg-production, so that is what we will focus on today.

Backyard chicken breeds come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Each breed has its own unique characteristics and traits. Some breeds are more docile and make great pets, while others are more active and require more space to roam.

It is important to do your research and choose a breed that fits your lifestyle and needs. With the right care and attention, chickens can provide a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family.

What To Look For in Backyard Chicken Breeds

When selecting the breeds to start your first flock of backyard chickens, there are a few key things you should keep in mind. You want docile, friendly birds.

Your family will likely spend quite a bit of time with them. No one wants aggressive breeds that will peck your hand off every time you reach in to collect an egg!

You need to consider how well the breeds you’re considering deal with small spaces. If you’re keeping chickens in an urban setting, chances are they won’t have a lot of room to roam.

Look for breeds that are content to spend most of their time in a coop or run, rather than constantly trying to escape.

Noise level is another key consideration. While all chickens make some noise, some breeds are much louder than others. If you live in a densely populated area, you want to avoid breeds that are known for their loud, persistent cackling.

This was one reason why I passed up on Leghorn chickens in spite of them being great egg layers.

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And of course, consider the breed’s egg-laying capabilities. While all chickens will lay eggs, some breeds are more prolific than others. If you’re hoping for a steady supply of fresh eggs, look for breeds that have a higher egg production.

In this article, we’ll focus on egg production, since most urban homesteaders don’t raise chickens for meat. Many on this list are good dual-purpose breeds, and if you have the ability are a good choice to provide meat and eggs.

You may also want to consider how likely a hen is to go broody. A broody hen will quit laying eggs, and may become aggressive. Unless you want to (and can) let a hen hatch eggs and raise chicks, you don’t want to deal with broody hens. But if you don’t have a rooster, you won’t have fertilized eggs for a hen to hatch.


The Ameraucana chicken is a unique breed that is known for its blue eggs and friendly personalities. They are a medium-sized fowl, with beards and muffs and have a wild, almost hawk like appearance. They come in many colors, including black, blue, splash (patterned), wheaten, white, and red.

One of the most unique features of the Ameraucana is its blue eggs. They are one of the few breeds that lay blue eggs. A hen will lay around 150 to 200 eggs per year. So if you’re looking to create a rainbow basket of eggs, an Ameraucana is an amazing addition to your flock.

Ameraucanas are also good foragers and hardy to cold climates, if not hot climates. They do well in confinement, though they  prefer to free-range. If you can, try to let them forage in the backyard occasionally or provide them with enrichment such as dust baths, perches, and toys to stave off boredom.

Ameraucana Chicken, a medium breed that lays 3 to 4 blue eggs per week

Black Australorp

Black Australorps are a popular backyard chicken breed that originated in Australia. They have black feathers with a green sheen, which gives them a unique and striking appearance. 

These birds are docile and calm, and have a good temperament. They are also good with children, making them a great choice for families.

Australorps are also good layers of large brown eggs, and can produce up to 250 eggs per year. They are also quite hardy, and can lay eggs in any weather conditions.

They are not generally very noisy compared to other breeds, and aren’t generally disruptive for the neighbors. And as long as they have sufficient space to move around, they deal with confinement well.

Australorp Chicken, a large breed that lays 4 to 5 brown eggs per week


Cochin chickens are the gentle giants of the backyard chicken breeds, often kept for their ornamental value. Many chicken keepers fall in love with their fluffy, feathered legs and docile temperament.

They are a large breed and come in a variety of colors, including brown, silver-laced, gold-laced, partridge, white, blue, black, and buff.

Cochins are not the best layers, laying only 100 to 150 large light brown eggs per year, but they are more likely to go broody. They will happily sit on a clutch of eggs and raise chicks!

These birds are a hardy breed that can tolerate cold temperatures well, as long as they stay dry. They do not do well in wet or humid conditions. 

Cochins are also known for being quiet birds. They don’t make a lot of noise, so they are a good choice for urban or suburban chicken keepers who don’t want to disturb their neighbors.

Due to their large size, it’s best to provide at least 8-10 square feet of space per bird in the chicken coop, and at least 15-20 square feet in the outdoor run.

Cochin Chicken, a large breed that lays 2 to 3 brown eggs per week

Easter Eggers

Easter Eggers are known for their colorful eggs, which can range from blue to green to even pink. They are not a specific breed, but rather a mix of different breeds, including Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and other blue or green egg-laying chickens.

They are a medium size bird, and come in a variety of colors due to their mixed heritage.

Easter Eggers are friendly and easy to handle, making them a great choice for families with children. They can be a bit flighty, so it’s important to make sure their run is secured so they can’t fly out!

They lay 150 to 200 eggs per year. While they are not a super productive breed, they are well worth keeping for their colorful eggs and vibrant personalities!

Easter Egger Chicken, a medium breed that lays 3 to 4 green, blue, or pinkish eggs per week
A single hen only lays one color of egg, but a flock of Easter Eggers has the potential for a lot of variety!

Olive Eggers

Olive Eggers are a cross between a dark brown egg laying chicken, such as a Marans or Welsummer, and a blue or green egg-laying chicken, such as an Ameraucana or Easter Egger.

The resulting chickens will lay eggs that are olive green or khaki in color. They are also known to be good layers, with some hens laying up to 200 eggs per year.

Olive Eggers are typically sweet tempered and make a good choice for families. Their size may vary depending on their parentage, but generally they are a medium size.

Their appearance varies, and they come in a range of colors and patterns, making for an interesting flock!

Providing they have enough space, Olive Eggers do well in an urban environment.

Olive Egger Chicken, a medium breed that lays 3 to 4 olive green eggs per week


We started our flock with Buff and Lavender Orpingtons, and their sweet personalities make them a fantastic beginner breed! They come in several different colors, including lavender, white, and chocolate and the common buff.

Orpingtons are large birds, and dependable egg-layers, with hens usually laying at least 200 large or extra-large eggs a year. Eggs range from light brown to dark brown. 

They are a popular breed and are perfect for families who want backyard chickens that are both friendly and productive.

In my experience, they’re fairly quiet through the day, except for their “egg song.” Which is common, even in quieter chicken breeds.

As long as they have enough space to accommodate their large size, Orpingtons make a great addition to your urban flock.

Orpington Chicken, a large breed that lays 3 to 4 brown eggs per week

Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock is known for its excellent laying ability and general hardiness. They are a medium sized bird with a calm, good nature.

Barred Rocks and White Rocks are common, but hatcheries may carry such varieties as Penciled, Partridge, and Silver Rocks.

They have a friendly temperament, and lay around 200-280 brown eggs per year. That’s four to five eggs per week!

Plymouth Rock chickens make a great choice for urban homesteaders looking for high egg production.

Plymouth Rock Chicken, a medium breed that lays 4 to 5 brown eggs per week

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red chickens enjoy human interaction and have a curious and inquisitive nature.

These medium sized birds have a deep, rich red color, with a black tail and a yellow beak.

Rhode Island Reds are prolific egg-layers, producing large brown eggs consistently, about 250 to 300 per year. They are hardy birds and will lay eggs even in colder temperatures.

Rhode Island Reds are relatively easy to care for. They are also hardy birds, able to withstand cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions.

Rhode Island Red Chicken, a medium breed that lays 4 to 5 brown eggs per week


Silkies are a bantam breed loved for their small size, sweet temperaments, entertaining personalities, and fluffy, fur-like plumage that feels like silk or satin.

They are not great egg layers, only laying around 100-120 eggs per year. They produce small creamy white eggs.

Silkies are a great addition to backyard flocks because of their gentle nature and their ability to get along with other breeds of chickens. They also make good family pets because of their sweet temperament and entertaining personalities.

Overall, Silkies are a fascinating breed of chicken that are sure to bring joy and entertainment to any backyard flock.

Silkie Chicken, a small breed that lays about 2 creamy white eggs per week


Sussex chickens are a popular breed for backyard chicken keeping. They are docile, friendly, and easy to handle, making them a great choice for families with children. They also have a great personality and love to follow their owners around the yard.

Sussex chickens come in a variety of colors, including speckled, red, brown, silver, white, and buff. They are a medium-sized breed, with a broad, round body and a short tail.

Sussex chickens have a high egg production, with hens laying around 250-300 eggs per year. They lay large brown eggs, making them a great choice for those who love to collect fresh eggs from their backyard.

Sussex chickens are easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. They are hardy birds and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and climates. They do well in confinement but also love to free-range, so providing them with a large outdoor space is ideal.

Overall, Sussex chickens are a great choice for backyard chicken keeping. They are friendly, easy to care for, and great egg layers. Plus, their beautiful colors and personalities make them a joy to have in any backyard flock.

Sussex Chicken, a medium sized breed that lays 4 to 5 brown eggs per week


Wyandotte chickens are a popular breed of backyard chicken that appeal to many for their beauty, hardiness, and excellent egg-laying abilities. They come in a variety of colors, including silver laced, golden laced, blue laced red, and black, and you just have to love their fluffy feathers and cute, round bodies!

Wyandotte hens lay around 200 to 250 brown eggs a year. They start laying eggs later than some other breeds, at around 25 to 30 weeks old, but they continue laying for longer, up to 3 or 4 years. This makes them a great choice for backyard chicken keepers who want a steady supply of fresh eggs.

Wyandottes are hardy birds and are able to thrive in a variety of climates. They are particularly well-suited to cold weather, thanks to their fluffy feathers and small combs and wattles, which are less likely to get frostbite than those of other breeds.

In terms of temperament, Wyandottes are generally friendly and docile, making them a good choice for families with children or other pets. They are also good foragers and will happily scratch around in the backyard for bugs and other tasty treats.

Overall, Wyandottes are a great choice for backyard chicken keepers who want a beautiful, hardy, and productive breed of chicken. Whether you’re looking for eggs, meat, or just a fun and friendly addition to your backyard flock, Wyandottes are definitely worth considering.

Wyandotte Chicken, a large breed that lays 3 to 4 brown eggs per week

Breeds You Should Avoid in Urban Areas

When it comes to raising backyard chickens in urban areas, there are certain breeds that better suit the environment than others. And there are breeds that you should avoid.

It’s important to note that you should generally avoid keeping roosters in urban areas due to their crowing which can disturb neighbors. In addition, some chicken breeds are more prone to making noise than others.

Breeds like the White Leghorn, which are commonly loud and have frequent egg-laying cackles, should be avoided.

Another factor to consider is the temperament of the chicken breed. Breeds such as the Ancona and the Polish chickens can be flighty and difficult to handle, making them less suitable for urban areas.

Interested in urban homesteading? Check out our blog for more tips and tricks on how to live a self-sufficient lifestyle in the city.

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