There are two types of bantam chickens: regular and miniature. Birds of this type typically range in size from one-half to two-thirds larger than familiar birds. Over 400 species of bantam chickens can be found on the American Bantam Association’s website.
It is derived from a seaport in Bantam, Indonesia, where the word Bantam derives from. They were astonished to discover the local chickens were smaller than those back home when they stopped at the port for fresh food and water supplies. Bantam chickens became a generic term for small chickens when Bantam became Bantam in general English.
Bantam Chicken Types
Bantam chickens come in three different varieties:
- The ‘true’ bantam chickens have no counterparts among the larger birds. They are naturally occurring without human intervention. There are three breeds of Nanking: Sebright, Rosecomb, and Nankin.
- Common bantam breeds such as Rhode Island Red, Cochin, and Orpingtons were miniaturized.
- A developed bantam breed is a small breed that has been designed with some human assistance. Because they have been around so long, it’s difficult to pinpoint their origins. Belgium-type dogs, Pekin (Cochin)-type dogs, and Japanese-type dogs are examples.
It can be not very clear to see so many different Bantam breeds developed. This breed was developed by cross-breeding two (or more) original bantam breeds, so it is also a developed breed. The Barbu D’Uccle, for example, is a true bantam, as there is no large fowl counterpart.
Small Scale Homesteading
The animals you keep in your yard or on your small acreage require some careful consideration when homesteading. The space you have and possible local ordinances may limit your ability to do certain things. They choose smaller animals equally effective as their larger cousins can give you a greater degree of flexibility.
A bantam chicken counts as one-half of a whole chicken according to most zoning laws. Bantam chickens may be allowed in some areas twice as often as full-size layer hens. If your local ordinance prohibits you from keeping more than six chickens, you can double your flock size by choosing Bantams (check with your municipality before purchasing, however).
How To Care For Bantam Chickens?
The smaller chickens are also at greater risk of predators at night, in addition to requiring less roosting space. Because Bantam chickens are about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of full-size chickens, backyard coops for Bantams take up much less space than ones for full-size chickens. You should surround your Bantam chicken coop with a covered run if you want to keep them safe.
The smaller size of these birds makes them easy targets for aerial predators, including birds of prey like hawks, owls, and eagles. The advantage of raising Bantam chickens is that they require less chicken food and do not produce as many droppings in the coop.
Those who only keep laying hens in their coops to lay may be able to coexist nicely. Problems may occur when there is a disagreement over the pecking order. Compared to bantam hens, full-sized birds have a significant advantage in size and weight. It may be challenging for chickens of a smaller size. Keep an eye out for fights and disputes among the flock, and remove the Bantams if necessary.
If a full-sized rooster is included in the flock, the same run shouldn’t be used for bantam chickens. In some cases, a giant rooster can hurt a small hen by attempting to mate with her. A bantam rooster struggles to survive in the presence of a big rooster.
What Are The Best Bantam Chickens?
There are many breeds of bantam chickens. I ordered an assortment of species of Bantam chickens when we first received them. While trying to determine what breed of Bantam they were, it was fun to watch them grow and develop. Many Bantam breeds are available, including Silkies, Cochins, Brahmas, and ornamental species. A Bantam chicken that can also be a muscular layer, the Golden Sebright is a good choice.
According to my experience, our Cochin Bantam hens laid well for two years before giving up. The egg was occasionally found, but not regularly. The point at which this didn’t matter was long ago. They had become a favorite at the farm since they were strutting their heavily feathered legs about. We consider them to be chicken royalty on our farm as they have raised many clutches of chicks hatched on our farm during the past two years.
Bantam Frizzles are a fun mix of Bantams. It has happened to us a few times in the past. Rather than curl into the chicken’s body, the feathers curve outward to give it a ruffled, fuzzy appearance. You can also choose Rhode Island Reds, Partridge Rocks, or White Crested Black Polish. When it comes to fancy chickens, Japanese Bantams or Old English Game Bantams are an excellent choice.
Most of the time, bantams do not need anything special compared to standard breeds. They have a high metabolic rate since they are small, so they feel cold more than larger hens due to their size. Bantam breeds, especially Japanese and Dutch, are known for not being tolerant of freezing temperatures.
There are still two basic requirements for housing, dryness and draft-proofed. It is necessary to provide poultry housing that is sized appropriately for the number of birds it will house. As a reminder, large fowl need a coop space of 4 square feet and a run space of 8 square feet per bird. There is a slight difference in space requirements between Bantam and dwarf cats. Several publications state that coops should be two square feet per bird, but large runs should be four square feet.
What Are The Downsides Of Bantam Chickens?
Some regard broody hens as the greatest invention since sliced bread, but others prefer fresh eggs. Silkies and Cochins are perfect momma hens and tend to brood. Below are some more facts about Bantams that can help you determine if they would be an excellent addition to your backyard or homestead.
- Eggs are smaller, which means 2 or 3 times more eggs are needed for the same recipe.
- You may need to separate the bantam flock from the full-sized hens if you have a full-sized rooster or a pecking order issue.
- There are no differences in the attention needed to keep bantam chickens. It is still necessary to check on the food, water and clean up daily.
- My search for sexed bantam chicks has never led me to any stores. Straight runs are most often sold. If you breed bantam roosters with chickens, you risk getting cute little Bantam roosters. If you are planning to order, you may want to consider what you will do with the roosters if that is a problem for you.
- In addition, both Cochins and Brahmas are not reliable layers longer than two years, despite their adorableness. Try to find other breeds available in Bantam sizes if your goal is to have chickens that lay eggs for more extended periods.
You should be aware of what to expect when you receive new poultry or waterfowl so that you can prepare the best space for them. Your bantam chickens will delight you with their delicious eggs and devoted service for many years to come.