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When it comes to rural living, it’s important to understand that a viable food source is recommended. The Bantam chicken may be one of the most useful for those living in rural areas.
They are tiny chickens that don’t require much space to produce a wonderful harvest of fresh eggs.
They have a lovely disposition and are not fond of moving around.
This is ideal for those looking to work with small spaces or who don’t have the land to build a chicken coop width-wise.
The Bantam enjoys jumping up and down, which allows them to survive in small spaces as long as they can jump around.
Out of all the official homestead breeds, the Bantam is the most energetic and friendliest.
These chickens are bursting with personality and are very curious about their environment.
We want to provide you with quality information about the Bantam breed of chicken, so we will talk more about its characteristics.
History Bantam Chicken Breed
Explaining what a Bantam breed is can be a bit confusing because, unlike most chicken breeds, the word “Bantam” refers to its small stature, and not of its origin.
These small chickens don’t have a complete known origin, but the name was originally introduced back in the late 1800’s in Indonesia.
Sailors who would stop by the port city would refer to the chickens as being “Bantam” chicken due to being unique to the port city of Bantam, Indonesia.
After this, the breed had become popular in other suburban areas of the world for their small and convenient size.
There are three types of Bantam breed: True Bantams, Miniature Bantams, and Developed Bantams.
The True Bantams are naturally occurring in nature and are just small in stature.
The Miniaturized Bantams are bred from either a standard breed of choice or a specific small breed of chicken.
The last type, the Developed Bantams, is small breeds that have been genetically enhanced through humankind’s techniques.
After much genetic breeding, the true standard of Bantam was born and spread across the world.
The chicken generally does well in most warm climates, which makes it a favorite around the world.
However, it can be mixed with other breeds of chickens to help give them dominant traits.
We understand that it’s hard to keep up with Bantam. So, we’ve done our research and have provided a full list of most Bantam breeds.
Here’s a small breakdown of the popular ones:
- True Bantams
- Developed Bantams
- Old English Game
- Belgian Bearded
- Miniature Bantam
- Light Sussex
- Rhode Island Red
As you can see, there are many different types of Bantam, which can be both good and bad.
Many of these allow for versatile breeding, but the genetic traits can be hard to pinpoint for the Developed and Miniature versions.
Bantam Chicken General Characteristics
With so many varieties, let us look into the characteristics that distinguish the Bantam breed in general.
Bantan Chicken Appearance
The appearance of Bantam can also be tough to explain due to their many genetic cross-breeds.
Some range from large birds with black or white specklings while others are brown and black.
Others result in crosses with warm-colored feathers such as white, cream, and red.
As you can see, they are very variable in genetics and looks.
The American Bantam Association has recently added over 400 different kinds of chickens to their Bantam Chicken Variety list.
This makes their appearance hard to describe.
That said, as mentioned earlier, what mainly distinguishes a Bantam breed is its small stature.
Many of the ones located in America are smaller than the standard size of chickens. These small Bantams weigh between 16 and 30 ounces and can be up to one half the size of a standard size six-pound chicken.
Some larger cross-breeds of Bantam, though, have started to become heavier.
The standard Bantam breed is either one third or three fourth the size smaller than the standard size breeds. This allows them to produce the same quality products without taking up much space.
With so many varieties, it should go without saying that these chickens can be used for plumage.
If you have multiple breeds of Bantam, you will essentially have plenty of different color varieties to choose from.
This can be good if you want to sell their feathers for some extra income.
Bantam Disposition and Behavior
As for the disposition of the Bantam breed, these chickens tend to be very friendly and overall have sweet temperaments.
They do well with other animals and are generally nice towards humans.
The roosters can be a bit aggressive towards each other and humans during mating seasons, but other than that, there are usually no problems.
Due to the large variety of the Bantam breed, we always recommend doing individualized research on the type you’re getting.
Genetics play a huge role when it comes to chicken temperament.
If you research the mixes accordingly, then you should have no problem in finding their individualized temperaments.
Many Bantam breeds are very agile and love to move around.
Physical activity is a must for these small, energetic chickens, so they need to be able to rustle their feathers and move around.
A majority of them enjoy flapping their wings and jumping around.
If you can provide a place for them to roam, they will gladly appreciate it.
Bantam Chicken Egg Laying Habits
Bantam eggs are smaller than the standard version of eggs.
This is, of course, due to the chicken’s smaller stature.
If we were to compare them to other breeds’ eggs, they would be around half the size.
Many Bantam breeds don’t start producing eggs until almost eight months into their lifespan.
Ones linked to standard breeds, they tend to produce larger eggs and also lay a bit sooner.
It varies from chicken to chicken, though.
On average, the Bantam hen will lay around four to five eggs every seven days.
Some of the Bantam get broody while others don’t. It’s highly dependent upon what parents the chickens had.
If they were sex-linked with two non-brooders, then you can expect non-brooding behaviors.
That being said, we recommend you to get an incubator just in case you plan on breeding them or using them as starter eggs.
Sex-linkage is very hard to pinpoint due to them having over 400 different mixes.
The True Bantams are either from Nankin, Sebright’s, or Rose Comb chicken breeds.
On the other hand, Miniaturized Bantams were genetically enhanced with one parent chicken.
The common breeds for this are the Rhode Island Red, Orpingtons, or even the Cochin breeds.
As for Developed Bantams, they range in sex-linked genetics and parents.
Pinpointing which breeds are used is nearly impossible.
Nonetheless, we’ve tracked some of the common ones which were used in other countries to create the Developed Bantams.
These breeds are either the Cochin, Japanese, or Belgian chickens.
Common Health Issues of Bantam Chickens
The lifespan of most Bantams ranges from four to five years if kept healthy.
Many of the Bantam breeds are susceptible to either mite and lice and other diseases, but many health-related issues are due to poorly kept coops rather than genetics.
To ensure that they have good health, you must have the best nutrition plan for chickens and provide a portion of decent food and water source while also keeping their coops clean.
They also need to be kept in a warm coop; otherwise, they can easily get sick.
Many Bantam pass away from unknown illnesses.
Even professional poultry management has a hard time identifying any symptoms.
This could likely be due to recessive genetics or birth defects that were undetected.
The video below also discusses differences between bantams and standard chickens.
Is It Right for Your Homestead?
If you’re looking for a small chicken that can produce a steady flow of eggs, then you will be pleasantly surprised with the Bantam breed.
But if you’re looking to have a high egg producer, you may want to skip out on this breed.
They are good for suburban areas due to their small size, but this also yields smaller eggs and less nutrition.
For a homestead, they can be good if you’re limited on land.
We believe, though, that the large variety of looks and temperament can be useful if you find a few varieties with ideal traits you’re looking for in chickens.
Their price point isn’t that bad either, which can come in handy for beginners.
Best Bantam Chickens
The Bantam chicken range in genetic factors and temperaments.
It is ideal for small spaces or suburban areas, so if you’re limited on space or want to add a small chicken coop to your homestead, this breed can help you achieve those goals.
Overall, these are cheerful and energetic chickens that can brighten up any space.
With enough room, they can easily produce up to four to five eggs per week.
This is enough to support most families, but you will need to remember that the eggs are smaller than standard breeds.
When it comes to dealing with Bantam breeds, we’d have to recommend to do your research before purchasing any. Delaware Chicken
It’s important to understand what type of Bantam it is and what breed the parents were.
This will give you a better idea of how the chicken will act and if you’re providing it with the necessary care.