What are Bantam Chickens?
A bantam chicken is a small version of a regular chicken. They can differ from one half to 2 thirds the size of regular birds. According to the American Bantam Association, there are over 400 different varying breeds of bantam birds. The word ‘bantam’ originated from the seaport of Bantan, Indonesia.
When the sailors stopped into the port for fresh products of food and water, they were impressed by the local chickens which were smaller than the chickens back home. The word– Bantan– was changed into Bantam in basic English and so small chickens ended up being called to as bantams.
Bantam chickens have actually turned into one of the most popular chicken breeds worldwide. They originated from the little jungle nasty native to Southeast Asia, the term bantam now describes any small type of chicken kept as either pets or livestock. The little size and docile nature of a lot of bantams makes them an exceptional starter chicken for those new to raising birds. Reproducing and breeding bantams does take a little effort and time, however a healthy clutch of chicks will be well worth your undertakings.
Bantam Chickens are most ideal for small backyards where area or space is valuable like in the cities. You can quickly fit 2 bantams into the area needed by one regular bird and considering that they like to fly, building up will accommodate them well.
How To Breed Bantam Chickens
Identify what your chickens will be utilized for. Bantams are popular as show birds and as family pets, so understanding what you plan to utilize the chickens for is needed for great outcomes. Family pet bantams can be any mix of breeds, however show birds need to be purebred. Show chickens should likewise comply with a requirement of size and structure in order to succeed. Consult with a skilled show breeder to discover the standards and what to try to find in a great quality of show bird.
Build a cage or coop for your birds. A lot of chicken coops are constructed out of fine link chicken wire and consist of a small house to safeguard your chickens from predators and some elements. You require a minimum of 4 square feet per chicken to avoid fighting and overcrowding, so construct your cage appropriately. Make certain to include a variety of nesting boxes for your hens to lay their eggs in. These boxes can be made from wood, metal or plastic and ought to be bedded with soft, tidy straw to assist secure and insulate your eggs.
Contact a bantam breeder to acquire your stock. Breeders frequently have chicks and adult birds readily available, so pick according to your breeding strategies. If you want your own chicks as quickly as possible, then adult birds are an excellent option. If you choose to buy young birds, you will require to wait a minimum of 6 months before they will be ready to breed.
Present your bantams to their new coop, separating your rooster from your hens for a couple of days. Put fresh food and water in the coop to make your new chickens as comfortable as possible. Bantams are not choosy eaters and will easily consume a commercially ready chicken scratch. You can also supplement with cracked corn for extra weight gain if you intend on showing your birds.
Allow your rooster free access to your hens once they have all have become familiar about the coop. Your rooster will flaunt to your hens, ruffling his feathers and vocalizing to them in an effort to impress them. When a hen ends up being responsive, the rooster will get her neck plumes in his beak and mount on her. While this might appear they are fighting, it is all part of the breeding procedure. Do not disrupt your birds or your rooster might grow hesitant to mate in the future.
Observe your hens carefully for nesting behavior. If the breeding is effective, your hen will lay anywhere in between one and 4 eggs, resting on them for 21 days prior to the chicks are all set to hatch. The hen might end up being uneasy and move the eggs around as they are hatching in an effort to assist the chicks out. As soon as the eggs have actually hatched, examine the chicks for any indications of disease or defect, eliminating any egg shells or otherwise dirty bedding.
Tip: Watch on your chickens when you initially present them to the coop. Chickens are extremely curious animals and can quickly get stuck in or wiggle out of any spaces in your cage. Ensure there are no little bits of wire or other hazardous product in your cage to avoid your chickens from consuming them.
Warning:Never ever chase or otherwise over stimulate your chickens. Bantams are extremely social birds, however can quickly end up being scared if you attempt to force them to be petted or held. Chasing after a frightened bird will just make it that a lot more hard to interact with.
How to Take Care of Bantam Chickens
In majority of cases, bantam chickens do not usually need anything different from regular birds. Considering that they are small they have a higher metabolic rate, so a lot of these little birds do feel the cold more than bigger hens. Japanese and Dutch bantam chickens particularly are kept in mind as not being cold tolerant.
The typical requirements for housing stays the same; dry and draft proof. All poultry need a coop that is sized for the variety of birds that will be residing in it.
If you keep in mind, large birds require 4 square foot of cage area and 8 square foot of run/ per bird. Bantam chickens need smaller area or space. Numerous sources state 1sq. ft/bird, however 2sq. feet is better in the coop with 4sq. ft in the run.
It goes without stating that they require the suitable food and water. Supplements would consist of vitamin/electrolyte powder monthly, grit and calcium, plus any ideal scraps for them.
A bantam will consume approximately 1lb feed/month– you are saving money on your feed costs drastically.
Bantam chickens are normally good flyers! If you prepare to keep them in a coop, ensure they have high perches and places they can fly as much as if they want to. If you want to keep them restricted or confined to that area the run will require to be covered. This will likewise prevent predation by hawks or owls.
If you choose to blend your bantams in with other bigger breeds, ensure they aren’t getting teased or bullied due to the fact that of their small size.
You should mix them with the correct standards. We find bantam chickens to be extremely skilled at averting and maneuvering in between the bigger hens. They will easily fly up and out of the way if they feel threatened in any way.
These small bird creatures can live up to 10-15 years, however usually their life span is around 5-7 years.
Modifying the base of the run can be fairly simple. If it is susceptible to muddiness, include some pebbles or building sand to the area. When the location is dry enough try seeding with grass, plant a number of shrubs if you have the area too.
In the early spring, we typically include 2 or 3 big containers of mulch to the area around the doors etc. This things will break down well, supply some ‘scratch worthy’ dirt and keep feet a bit cleaner.
If the feet get crusted with dirt and poop, a foot bath is in order. Standing the bird in warm water and carefully working at the plumes can be relaxing for the bird and you. Keep in mind, these are small birds so it should not end up being a fumbling match as it does in some cases with the bigger birds!
The foot feathers can also get broken relatively quickly and can trigger bleeding. Fortunately some baking powder or styptic and some firm pressure on the area the bleeding will stop.
Feather footed birds are likewise susceptible to flaky leg mites. These nasty little bugs can set up rapidly and stay undetected for a long time due to the fact of the feathering. We inspect our birds on the night when they go to roost. Inspecting them once a month is enough.
Bantam Chicken Broodiness, Egg Production and Disposition
Bantam chicken eggs are naturally, smaller sized than the standard eggs; approximately half the size of standard eggs. The ratio for utilizing them in cooking is 3 bantam eggs for every 2 standard eggs.
Bantams tend to get a bad rap for laying. Undoubtedly it was about eight months before our bantam chickens began to lay, however they have been pretty consistent ever since. This past winter season we have certainly had more bantam eggs than standard– thankfully!
Bantams of standard birds tend to lay a little larger eggs and are more respected than the true bantams.
Some go broody others not, however the broodies protect their eggs and chicks fiercely and they make exellent mothers– not even bigger hens will mess with a bantam broody! Lots of folks keep a couple of bantam broodies to hatch out their standard eggs because they are so reliable.Obviously a bantam can not cover as many eggs, but that does not imply they will not try!
They typically have a sweet character and are friendly to humans and chickens alike. Bantam roosters can be sweet, however some can also be a bit aggressive especially during the mating season.
As always, some types of bantam roosters are better than others, so research your selected breed carefully.