these chickens endure small spaces well

Best 5 Chicken Breeds For Small Spaces

Not all of us have giant yards so our chickens can enjoy lots of space to run around. Does that mean we can’t have our very own backyard chickens? Not at all! These chickens would love to be your very own small backyard chickens!


Silkies on a backyard lawn.
Silkies on a backyard lawn.

We love Silkies. Their fluffy plumage, their gentle disposition… they truly are the best lap chickens. They don’t fly and they tolerate small spaces quite well, although they’re so adorable that they let them roam around the house like one more pet in Silicon Valley.

They’re not the best egg layer, laying less than 200 medium eggs per year, but they’re great mothers! Perfect to be the broody chicken in your flock. Check out other reasons to love them here!

Buff Orpington

One of our favorite chickens, the Buff Orpingtons are sweet and gentle, perfect for when you have kids interacting with the flock but you also want some great egg layers. They lay around 250 large eggs yearly!

The fact that they can tolerate small spaces and their gentle disposition makes them one of the top choice for backyard chickens. They’re so gentle in fact that, despite their size, they can get picked on by other chickens, so make sure you don’t mix them with territorial breeds like the Sumatra. Or even better, get a whole flock of Orpingtons!


Who knew that one of the best egg layers also tolerates small confinements so well? They’re also great for free range and are quite winter-hardy so they’re truly one of the most versatile birds our there.

Laying around 300 eggs per year and being calm and gentle have earned them a soft spot in multiple urban farmers’ heart.

Since they enjoy free range you’ll want to get them a coop with an enclosed run if you’re keeping them in a small backyard. You can check this year’s best coops right here or build your own!

Plymouth Rock

Free range Plymouth Rock or Barred Rocks chicken walking on green grass outdoor

Plymouth Rocks are actually considered a rare breed, and an important part of American History. This is partially because they’re reliable chickens, easy to take care of and perfect for all spaces. If you have a smaller space you can always get the bantam version!

Like the Australorp, you’ll want to keep a run attached to your coop so they can roam around while keeping them safe from predators. One of our favorite tricks to keep chickens entertained in a small run is to lay down a small plank of wood inside the run. After a few days, lots of bugs would’ve crawled under it seeking warmth and shelter, so you can just remove it and place it elsewhere while you let your chickens go crazy!

Cochin Bantams

chicken comb
A Cochin Chicken with a Single Comb

Like Silkies, Cochin Bantams are amazing ornamental breeds with gorgeous feathers. Although they don’t look alike, they’re great broody chickens and they both originated in Asia! Since they’re covered in a thick plumage they also endure the cold pretty well.

You should get a Cochin if you’re looking for a good balance of an ornamental breed, a broody chicken and a fair layer that doesn’t need tons of space, specially with the bantam version.

You can get this fluffy chicken in lots of different colors, including barred, birchen, black, blue, buff, golden laced, partriged, red, silver, splash and white! Perfect to get a colorful flock of them.


  1. Linda Root May 16, 2019
  2. Linda Roberts May 16, 2019
  3. Sip lal June 20, 2019

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