First of all, they are fun to raise and watch grow and come in all small shapes and sizes. The smallest are just a little over a pound and go to as much as three pounds.
Generally speaking, I would suggest that bantams be kept in separate pens/coops and away from the larger fowl. Keep in mind, however, that bantams are able to fly much easier than the large fowl and should have covered coops to prevent their escape.
As a rule, you can house 10 bantams in the same space that three large fowl would occupy. They are excellent in incubating their own eggs within pens to produce their own offspring.
Bantams lay eggs which are edible and useful just as those of the larger fowl. About three to four bantam eggs are equal to two large fowl eggs when using them in the kitchen.
The feed requirements of the bantam and the standard (large) fowl are basically the same — they both do well with a 16% protein layer feed. For bantams, a crumble or mash would be better than a pellet. They often enjoy grain to scratch for in their diet.
Bantams are much easier to handle because of their size and lend themselves to locations where you may not want larger fowl. The rooster’s crow does not have the decibels that the larger/standard bird might have and is easier to live with in more densely populated urban areas.
( Top of page is a a Red Cochin Bantam Cockerel.
A bantam is a small or miniature chicken. Many standard chicken breeds have a bantam counterpart, often referred to as a miniature. Miniatures are usually one-fifth to one-quarter the size of the standard breed. A true bantam has no standard-breed counterpart. Examples of true bantams include the Japanese, Dutch, Silkie and Sebright.
Two alert Sultan bantams
Photos by Dawn Kopp, Dryden,
By Lowell Sherman, American Bantam Association, Director, District 14
I suggest you try bantams. I believe you would be pleased with them.
To learn more about the American Bantam Association, visit: www.bantamclub.com; write: P.O. Box 127 Augusta, NJ 07822; call: (973) 383-8633