A Bantam is a small variety of chickens. The Bantam name originates in Indonesian.
Bantams are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam Breeds of hens are also used as laying hens. Just like their counterpart, they lay and will hatch as well. The eggs are only about as half to one third as big as a standard breed chickens but taste the same.
Some Bantam breeds will lay as many as 150 eggs per year. The size and eggs are pretty much all that is different about the Bantam breed. Many of the standard of the breed will basically be the same colors and have the same features as it’s bantam counterpart.
The Bantam breed eats the same food as a normal chicken. Thier diet is the same as a standard size bird. It just doesn’t take as much feed or space for this breed. They are very popular with the Urban and City Chicken owners because many of them make good pets also.
The Bantams breeds are wonderful show birds because they are smaller and have more varied and exotic colors and feather patterns than other chickens. Breeds such as the Sebright, Dutch, and Pekin are particularly popular show birds, and true bantams. This is a good thing to know if you are looking for a small show bird!
The Bantam rooster is often called a “Banty” in the rural United States. They have a puffed up look that people like. The term, “He fights like a banty rooster”, comes from the puffed out stance and fearlessness of many of these roosters. Many of them have defended their flock to the death against much larger “predators” without and fear.
Many bantam hens are renowned for hatching and broodiness. They are very protective mothers and will attack anything that gets near their young. So, if you have young children you do not want chicken pecked, don’t let them around a nesting or Bantam with chicks! For that matter, don’t let them around any hen with new chicks!
Bantams thrive well in the Back Yard and do not have a high mortality rate when they are kept as backyard pets. Since they are smaller than your average chicken, they are easy targets for hawks, cats, foxes, or any other small predator. The average backyard free range bantam lives 1-3 years.
Of course, there are many more Bantam Breeds out there just like the standard breeds. It would be near impossible to make it reasonable to list them all on one page and do a description of each one. We have linked the list of Bantams above to articles about them for your convenience.
Many of the old timers as we called them here will label just about any kind or type of Bantam as a Banty because of it size. So, if you are ever out and about the stock sales or the swap meets and hear someone say, I have a nice Banty I would like to sell or trade, you can just about bet it is a Bantam Breed of some kind.
For many years the farmers raised them for the looks of them. They are no doubt a beautiful bird and they are feisty and the roosters fuss with each other a lot! They are a pleasure to watch and own. Don’t forget just because they are smaller does not mean they do not need protection just like your larger hens. They need a chicken coop and netting over the run just like all the others. Actually most of these can and will take to flight much faster than the standard size chicken so to keep them in, netting or a tall fence is a must!
You can purchase many of these Bantam Breeds at hatcheries. There are several on the web that carry these wonderful birds and they are very accessible. You can find all kinds of common breeds and exotic breeds available on some of the sites.
I am not endorsing these sites as I always prefer to purchase chickens from a reputable local dealer as I can see what I am buying. Many folks do not have this option and a hatchery is the only source they have. I have heard many good things as well as not so good things about hatcheries.
So, that being said, here is a list of some of the more prominent hatcheries online.
I know there are several others out there and we want you to feel free to list your favorite in the comment window below. This can help others find a good trustworthy Hatchery. Please be sure to list the good, the bad and the ugly! We all need to be kept in the light about who we are buying from.
Be sure to leave us your thoughts and favorite breeds in the comment section below.
We hope you have enjoyed our article on the Bantam Breeds of Chickens!
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