Wyandottes are an excellent quiet chicken breed

Best Quiet Chicken Breeds That Won’t Annoy Your Neighbors

If you want to start urban homesteading, then you need quiet chickens. After all, you want to keep the peace when you’re surrounded by neighbors. But, is there such thing as a quiet chicken?

Absolutely. There’s also such thing as a cackling, incredibly annoying chicken that drives both you and your neighbors crazy. This is why choosing the right chicken breed is essential, whether you’re in the city, the suburbs, or on a sprawling homestead.

Normal Chicken Noises

Chickens are social animals, and they’re always communicating with other members of their flock.

Your chickens are going to make noise whether they are in a run or they’re allowed to free range around your property. They’ll cluck when they find something good to eat, they’ll squawk when they feel threatened or see a predator, and they’ll sing, sometimes loudly, before or after they lay an egg. There’s also going to be an occasional squabble between hens as they compete for food, the best nesting box, or a higher spot in the hierarchy.

All this noise is normal chicken behavior, and even the quietest breed is going to communicate with the rest of her flock from time to time.

Quiet Chicken Breeds

Every chicken keeper is going to have a slightly different opinion on which breed makes the quietest chicken. It’s important to remember that, just like people, all birds are different. So, while many people might agree that a particular breed is quiet, you could wind up with one that loves to sing and cackle!

Below, I’ve listed five quiet chicken breeds that I have direct experience with, and two breeds that you might want to avoid because they’re so noisy.

1. Orpingtons

Lavender orpington chicken
One of our Lavender Orpington pullets.

If you’re looking for a quiet, docile chicken breed, you can’t do much better than Orpingtons. We have several Lavender Orpingtons and they are, hands down, the quietest birds in our flock.

Orpingtons are one of the best chicken breeds for kids and urban homesteaders because they’re not skittish, flighty, or moody. If you and your family handle the chicks early on, they will turn into delightful family pets that love to be picked up and cuddled. They’re truly a joy to have around because they’re sweet, and best of all, they don’t make a peep. Really, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard our Orpingtons make anything more than gentle clucks when they’re out foraging.

Keep in mind that Orpingtons are known to go broody from time to time. If you decide to set up a flock with this breed, make sure you know how to break a broody chicken so the broodiness doesn’t spread to other birds. You’ll also want to keep on eye on any bullying. Because Orpingtons are so laid back they often get pushed around and bullied by more aggressive birds.

If you’re counting down the days until you get fresh eggs, you’ll also have to be patient with this breed. Orpingtons don’t usually start laying until they’re 24 weeks or older. However, once they start laying you’ll get around 200 eggs per year from them.

2. Wyandottes

Blue Laced Wyandotte chick
One of our sweet Blue Laced Wyandotte pullets.

We have two Blue Laced Wyandottes in our flock and they’re almost as quiet as the Lavender Orpingtons. And, like the Orpingtons, Wyandottes make an excellent urban homesteading breed because they’re so sweet and docile. However, unlike Orpingtons they don’t tolerate being bullied by other birds. They’re more than capable to standing up for themselves!

Wyandottes are rarely ruffled by loud noises or commotion. If you have neighbors that are constantly in and out this might be a great breed for you. Wyandottes aren’t quite as human-focused as Orpingtons, and generally like to keep to themselves. However, if you decide to get Wyandottes don’t get just one. This quiet chicken prefers to hang out with others of the same breed, so get at least two or three so they have a companion.

Wyandottes come in a wide variety of beautiful colors and patterns including Silver, Blue, Buff, Gold, Red, and many more.

Wyandottes are also consistent layers and will produce around four eggs per week.

3. Rhode Island Reds

Rhode Island Red chicken
Judy, one of our Rhode Island Red chickens.

Rhode Island Reds are one of the most popular breeds for backyard flocks, and some say they are the most successful chicken breed in the world. What makes Rhode Island Reds such a great bird?

First, Rhode Island Reds are docile, low-maintenance birds. They have a steady, no-drama, dependable personality that’s just nice to have around.

Of course, because they’re on this list you can probably guess that they’re quiet. Our Rhode Island Reds don’t cackle or sing an egg song at all. That said, The Happy Chicken Coop says that her Rhode Island Reds are loud. Again, every chicken has its own personality! Some breeds are known to be quiet or loud, but you really never know what you’re going to end up with until you bring them home and start your flock.

Rhode Island Reds are not overly friendly birds. They don’t seem to crave human companionship like some other breeds. However, don’t let think that Reds are aggressive or standoffish, because they’re not. They’re just good chickens that like to hang out with other chickens.

Rhode Island Reds are also excellent layers. They lay up to 250 to 300 eggs per year, which is 5 or 6 a week, and they start laying eggs early, at around 16 weeks.

4. Plymouth Rocks

Plymouth Rocks come in several varieties: Barred, Silver Penciled, Columbian, Blue, Partridge, Buff, and White. They come into lay at 22 weeks, and will provide around four eggs per week.

Like the Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks are an all-around quiet, dependable breed to have around. We have Barred Rocks in our flock and they are mellow, peaceful birds that are quite curious. If you handle this breed early on they will become a very friendly family pet. They’re also excellent layers and will give you around 280 eggs per year.

Keep in mind that Rocks tend to be good flyers and they won’t think twice about hopping a fence to go explore. If you have a neighbor that really doesn’t want an escapee in their yard, you might want to go with a different breed. You can also clip their wings to discourage flighty explorations.

5. Silkies

silkie chickens

Silkies are a sweet and unusual looking bird that seems to be entirely made of downy fluff. They have fluff on top of their heads, and their body is just one big poof.

Because of their sweet and laid back personality, Silkies make an excellent quiet chicken breed to have around when you have kids. When handled early they can make a delightful family pet. However, don’t get a Silkie if you’re looking for a large amount of breakfast eggs, as they lay only 2 to 3 eggs per week.

Keep in mind that Silkies are very sensitive to wet conditions. If they get wet they can easily get chilled and even die if temperatures are moderate to low. A wet Silkie needs to be towel or blow-dried before she goes back out to the coop!

Silkies are also known for being broody, but if you have some fertilized eggs to put under her you might find that she is a great mother.

Loud Chicken Breeds to Avoid

So, just as there are quiet chicken breeds there are also some breeds that are considerably louder than others. However, take these guidelines with a grain of salt. Every chicken is different!

1. Speckled Sussex

Speckled Sussex chicken
One of our Speckled Sussex chickens.

I’ll be honest with you: my Speckled Sussex hens are the loudest and most annoying birds in my flock. I’ve seen them listed as a quiet breed, but mine are anything but.

Here’s an example. Right now, as I write this, one of them, Big Momma, is a few feet away from my office door. She’s making this constant, high pitched whistling sound that she likes to do whenever she’s hiding in the forsythia bush. It drives me bananas.

They sing an atrociously loud egg song before and after they lay an egg. And, they keep up with this hideous cackling and screeching until one of the roosters comes sprinting to collect her from the coop. They seem to love being dramatic, and they always make a loud fuss over every little thing. Even when they’re foraging they make a frequent long, screechy call to alert the rest of the flock of their position. I’m always threatening to turn mine into chicken dinner because of the noise

Don’t get me wrong. Speckled Sussexes are gorgeous birds, and if you’re looking for a uniquely feathered bird you’ll be happy with this breed. They’re also fairly consistent layers and will give you 4 or more peach colored eggs a week. Another unique aspect to Sussexes is that their feathers get more beautiful as they age. I’ve definitely noticed more turquoise coloring in my hens as they’ve gotten older.

But if you’re looking for a quiet chicken, do yourself a favor and keep walking when you see those Sussex chicks for sale.

2. Ameraucana

Belle, one of our Ameraucanas.

If you’re looking for gorgeous, blue colored eggs you might be thinking about getting an Ameraucana. These breeds lay beautiful blue eggs that are a delight to look at. We have several Ameraucanas and their eggs bring a splash of springtime color to our egg basket every day. This breed also has beautiful, ornately colored feathering.

However, if you’re looking for a quiet chicken breed then the beautiful eggs and feathers might not be worth the grumblings from your neighbors. Ameraucanas are loud. They’re not as loud as the Sussexes (by a very thin margin,) but they still make a lot more noise than other breeds.

For example, if something disturbs them while they’re laying they will shriek and hiss like a Pterodactyl. And good luck if you decide to reach into the nesting box while she’s in there…you might come out missing a finger or two.

All joking aside, Ameraucanas are not vicious birds by any means. But they are noisy and dramatic.

Final Word

We have a wide variety of chicken breeds in our flock, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that they’re all very different. Some breeds, like the Sussexes, I won’t be investing in again. However, I’m definitely going to add more Orpingtons and Wyandottes to our flock next year because they’re so pleasant to have around.

I’d love to hear back from you. What questions do you have about finding a quiet chicken breed for your neighborhood?

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