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 typical 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 food and water products, 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 little chickens ended up being called bantams.
Bantam chickens have 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.
Many bantams’ tiny size and docile nature make 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 ideal for small backyards where area or space is valuable, like in the cities. You can quickly fit two bantams into the extent needed by one regular bird, and considering that they like to fly, building up will accommodate them well.
Advantages of Raising Bantam Chickens
While you may believe larger is much better, that’s not the case when raising bantams. These birds use lots of benefits to newbie and more knowledgeable chicken keepers alike.
Not just do bantam chickens take in less feed. However, they’re cheaper to keep and likewise produce less waste. There’s less of whatever making bantam chickens a terrific choice for city environments where you might be tight on area.
Bantam chickens tend to be more docile, too, and even when they aren’t, their small size makes them an excellent option for children. A lot have a good time, relaxed characters.
These birds aren’t generally raised for meat. However, they can still produce eggs. It takes about one and a half to 2 bantam eggs to equate to a full-sized egg. However, otherwise, the two are precisely the very same.
Bantam chickens have entertaining characters and are filled with life and vitality. They are excellent family pets and offer a lot of home entertainment to run faster and fly higher than essential big chickens.
The hens of bantam types tend to go broody at some time or another. This is useful if you do not wish to handle an incubator to hatch your eggs. Plus, bantam hens tend to be terrific moms.
Here’s another frequently unacknowledged advantage of raising bantam chickens– they tend to be way quieter than bigger chickens. This is particularly real of the roosters, whose crows are determined at 60 decibels instead of 90!
How To Breed Bantam Chickens
Identify what your chickens will be appropriated for. Bantams are popular as show birds and as family pets, so understanding what you plan to utilize the chickens 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 to succeed. Consult with a skilled show breeder to discover the standards and find an excellent show bird quality.
Build a cage or coop for your birds. Many chicken coops are assembled 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.
Please make sure 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 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 cage to make your new chickens as comfortable as possible.
Bantams are not picky eaters and will readily 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 with the coop. Your rooster will flaunt to your hens, ruffling his feathers and vocalizing to them 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 for nesting behavior. If the breeding is practical, your hen will lay anywhere in between one and four eggs, resting on them for 21 days before the chicks are all set to hatch. The hen might end up being uneasy and move the eggs around as they are hatching to assist the chicks out.
As soon as the eggs have hatched, examine the chicks for any indications of disease or defect, eliminating any eggshells or otherwise dirty bedding.
Tip: Watch on your chickens when you initially present them to the coop. Chickens are 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 products in your cage to avoid your chickens from consuming them.
Warning: Never chase or otherwise over stimulate your chickens. Bantams are incredibly social birds. However, they can quickly end up being scared if you attempt to force them to be petted or held. Chasing after a frightened bird will make it that a lot harder to interact with.
The Most Popular Bantam Breeds
If you are thinking about including bantam chickens in your yard flock, you may wish to think about among these most popular bantam types.
Old English Game Bantam Chicken
Game bantams are gamefowl chickens in mini. There are all kinds available, consisting of black-breasted red fowl. These chickens are gorgeous and have close-fitting, shiny plumes that make them appear even smaller-sized than they are!
Silkie Bantam Chicken
When many people consider bantam chickens, they usually consider Silkie bantam chickens. These birds are beautiful and are likewise excellent around young kids.
Silkies differ from any other chicken type because they are covered in fluffy plumes that look more like down. They have a difficult time keeping themselves warm in the winter season and cool in the summertime. However, they aren’t hard to raise.
Silkie chickens enjoy being held and are understood for being docile– yes, even the roosters! They do not lay lots of eggs– usually just about 100 annually– however, the hens are terrific moms.
Belgian d’Uccle Bantam Chicken
Belgian d’Uccle chickens are most convenient to determine by their tufts and birds. They are extremely cuddly and can be noticed in all sorts of colors, consisting of blue, millefleur, mottled, white, cuckoo, black, and lavender.
These chickens are excellent layers and produce approximately 200 eggs each year.
Cochin Bantam Chicken
Cochin Bantams get along chickens that lay up to 200 little brown eggs each year. They enjoy being around human beings and are exceptionally cuddly and smart. They have feathered feet and weigh about 2 pounds.
Serama Bantam Chicken
Another real bantam type is the Serama bantam. This chicken type is the tiniest in the whole world. Native to Malaysia, Serama bantams are most quickly recognized by the little stature, vertical wings, and puffed-out chest. These chickens lay up to 160 bite-sized eggs each year.
Polish Bantam Chickens
Polish bantams get along with cuddly little chickens that have adorable pom-poms of plumes atop their heads. These chickens enjoy being held, making them terrific options if you are interested in decorative or exhibit chickens. They also lay up to 150 eggs each year.
Dutch Bantam Chicken
Dutch bantams are recognized in several varieties, consisting of lavender, black, partridge, blue, silver, and more. This chicken was established in time as peasant farmers were just permitted to keep little eggs, as the bigger eggs came from the landowner.
Dutch bantams aren’t usually raised for egg production today. However, they are instead raised for their appeal. Typically kept as decorative chickens, Dutch bantams are sturdy when it concerns winter and other extreme conditions. They can be flighty and lay up to 200 eggs each year.
Sebright Bantam Chicken
Sebright bantams are gorgeous chickens with laced plumes and increased combs. They can likewise be seen in numerous colors. However, silver-laced is the most popular variation. These chickens are tiny, with even roosters weighing less than 2 pounds.
A real bantam type, the Sebright bantam, was developed in the United Kingdom.
Sebright roosters are noted for being aggressive. These chickens are likewise rather hard to breed as males tend towards infertility. They lay about 80 eggs annually, so they aren’t leading on the list when it pertains to production. However, they are gorgeous nonetheless.
Japanese bantams are a few of the most popular bantam chickens. They are manageable to keep and have extremely short, heavy legs. They lay approximately 150 eggs each year and can be seen in recognized colors like red, lavender, black, and partridge.
A frizzle variation of this chicken type is likewise available.
Cornish bantams were first presented in 1887 as Indian-Game bantams. These chickens just lay about two eggs each week and are in some cases raised for meat, too. Despite their small size, they have decent-sized breasts.
Belgian bantams come from, as you may think, Belgium. These chickens can be seen in all types of colors and are thought-about rarer than a few other types on this list. Not just are they friendly, however, they are also considered real bantams– they have no full-sized equivalent.
Belgian bantams are excellent fliers, so you will need to ensure you have a high fence and a safe cage. This will also keep predators out. Belgian bantams lay up to 150 off-white eggs each year.
Native to China, Pekin bantams resemble other varieties of bantams because they have feathered feet. They were among Queen Victoria’s preferred chicken breeds and are known for their docility.
These chickens produce a meager 80 eggs each year. The hens are noted for their inclination to go broody. You’ll soon have the ability to hatch your chicks!
Wyandotte Bantam Chicken
If you yearn to raise a bantam chicken that will offer a couple of more eggs for you than average, you may want to think about raising a Wyandotte bantam. These chickens were established in New York and are a few of the most winter-hardy bantam types you can raise. They can lay up to 220 eggs each year!
Like its full-sized equivalent, the Brahma bantam can be found in light buff, white, black, and dark color variations. These chickens have feathered feet and were first accepted into the American Poultry requirement in 1946.
The Brahma Bantam is a beautiful egg layer with a mild, relaxed chicken type, producing as many as 200 brown eggs each year.
How to Take Care of Bantam Chickens
If you’re currently experienced at raising standard-sized chickens, raising bantam chickens will not be much different. These birds are smaller sized, so their metabolic process is more remarkable, and they might need to be fed more often to remain healthy.
They will not consume rather as much as their bigger equivalents.
Bantam chickens can be raised practically throughout which you would raise full-sized chickens, with one exception– they often have a tough time getting rid of the cold. Both Dutch and Japanese bantams do inadequately in the cold.
Otherwise, you can keep your bantam chickens warm by ensuring that their housing is waterproof and dry.
You do not need rather as much area when you’re raising bantam chickens. While with big chickens, you will require a minimum of 4 square feet of cage area per bird and 8 square feet in the run, bantams need one to 2 square feet in the cage and 4 in the run.
You can build your cage precisely for a bantam chicken as you would for a primary type. You might require to offer lower perches, as their legs may be much shorter. This isn’t real of all bantams, though -some like to fly and choose high perches.
Do some research into your bantam type of choice before you set this up in your cage.
It is possible to raise bantam chickens with full-size birds, too. You will desire to keep a close eye on the flock characteristics to ensure the huge young boys aren’t choosing your little people. They tend to be at the bottom end of the chain of command.
You might want to prevent presenting bantams to recognized cages of standard-sized birds. Despite their small size, bantams aren’t always aware of their constraints and will be just as bullish as the bigger birds. This can get them into some difficulty, as you may imagine!
The typical bantam chickens will live for around 5 to 7 years, which has to do like standard chickens.
In the majority of circumstances, bantam chickens do not usually need anything different from regular birds. Considering that they are small, they have a higher metabolic rate, so many of these little birds feel the cold more than bigger chickens.
Japanese and Dutch bantam chickens particularly are kept in mind as not being cold tolerant.
The typical requirements for housing stay the same; dry and waterproof. All poultry need a sized coop for the variety of birds that will be residing in it.
If you keep in mind, large birds require 4 square feet of cage area and 8 square feet of run/ per bird. Bantam chickens need a 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 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 since of their small size.
It would be best if you mixed 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 in the area. When the location is dry enough, try seeding with grass and plant many shrubs if you have the area.
In the early spring, we typically include 2 or 3 big mulch containers in the area around the doors. These 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 feathering. We inspect our birds on the night when they go to roost. Inspecting them once a month is enough.
Health Considerations of Bantam Chickens
While many bantam chickens are just as healthy as their basic equivalents, there are few exceptions to this. Bantam chickens are most likely to be sablepoots, which indicates they have feathered feet.
This is a lovable and friendly purpose for a bird to have. However, sadly, it suggests that your birds’ foot plumes can quickly end up being crusted-over and stained if the pen is not without mud. You will require to watch out for damp locations to assist your bantams to remain healthy.
If their feet do end up being damp and unclean, you might require to provide a foot bath. All you need to do is stand the bird in warm water and pull carefully at the plumes to launch the filth.
These foot plumes can trigger other issues, too. For one, the plumes break fast and can initiate bleeding when they do. They can also be prone to flaky leg mites, so make sure you inspect your birds routinely for these sorts of issues.
Bantam Chicken Broodiness, Egg Production, and Disposition
You can instantly raise bantam chickens for eggs. However, they aren’t the very best birds to raise for meat.
Bantam eggs are much smaller sized than those of their basic equivalents. Otherwise, all other egg production purposes are precisely the same for the most part– this depends upon the particular kind of bantam– your production will be just as constant as if you were raising basic types.
They might slow off or closed down in the winter season. However, this is not particular that is unique to bantams.
It’s essential to keep in mind that bantams originated from standard-sized fowl might lay somewhat bigger eggs on a more routine basis, specifically compared to real bantams. The yolks in bantam eggs appear to be much larger than the albumen, which might indicate you require to change your dishes.
While the meat of a bantam chicken does not taste much different from a standard-sized chicken, you aren’t going to get much of it. Many individuals do not raise bantam chickens for this function, choosing rather to raise them as animals or for decorative purposes.
Bantam chicken eggs are naturally smaller sized than the standard eggs; approximately half the 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 excellent mothers– not even bigger hens will mess with a bantam broody! Many folks keep a couple of bantam broodies to hatch out their standard eggs because they are 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.
Obstacles You Need to Keep in Mind
There are lots of advantages to raising bantam chickens; however, just like anything, there are some downsides, too.
Bantam chickens are fantastic foragers, and they are likewise preferably mobile. They run faster and fly higher than basic types. This can be troublesome when it pertains to your cage’s design and run, especially regarding your fencing.
Lots of bantams can quickly fly over a fence that would effectively include a bird of a bigger type.
This not just makes them harder to handle, however likewise more prone to attacks by predators. The roosters will not do a terrific task at securing the flock, nor will they have the ability to signal you to the existence of a burglar. Bantam roosters offer out a little bit more than a squeak.
While bantam chickens are excellent if you are short on area or cash, they aren’t the most cost-effective option if you attempt to raise production chickens. This is particularly real if you are restricted to 6 or fewer chickens by the town you live in.
6 chickens are plenty for most people when it pertains to egg production. However, 6 bantam chickens will not be as efficient.
A final word of care when raising bantam chickens? They usually are much simpler to deal with. They are so little that you have actually to be bothered about stepping on them.
They aren’t as flexible of the cold, either, so you’ll require to take note of the conditions in which you are raising them.
Some hatcheries likewise do not offer sexed bantam chicks. You will have to acquire them straight-run.
Are Bantam Chickens Right for Me?
Bantam chickens are usually kept for decorative or exhibit purposes, and they’re usually picked as pets. They most likely aren’t the most acceptable option if you desire a high-production chicken that will lay lots of eggs or produce lots of meat for you.
If you do not always appreciate the eggs and meat, then a bantam chicken could be ideal. It is economical to keep, so you’ll have the ability to conserve a little bit of cash as you are discovering the ropes of raising backyard chickens, too.