What is a Bantam
First of all, a bantam is a size of chicken, not a breed. They are divided into true bantams, which includes Pekins, Sebrights, Serema, Dutch and Booted bantams amongst others. True bantams have no large fowl equivalent. Many large fowl do have a bantam equivalent, these are roughly a quarter of the size of the large fowl version. There is a bantam version of Wyandotte, Brahma, Leghorn, Sussex, Rhode Islands, Faverolles, Welsummer, Araucana to name a few.
An interesting fact regarding the Pekin and the Cochin which causes some confusion when viewing Facebook groups which have many nationalities as members. A Cochin has no bantam equivalent, however chicken keepers in the USA call Pekins a Cochin. As ever, the Americans are often at odds with the way we name stuff. A Pekin has no large fowl equivalent.
8 Reasons why we don’t keep bantams
- They are a quarter of the size of a regular chicken and they might not mix well in a large fowl flock. Sometimes bantam sized chickens can suffer with bullying when in with the bigger girls.
- They can have a “Napoleon Complex” which can actually show aggressive tendencies much bigger than their size in a mixed size flock.
- They are usually very broody. Broody hens can be aggressive with other hens and also their keepers. Broody hens won’t lay eggs.
- They have repeated attacks of broodiness throughout the year and it’s often difficult to get them over it. Broodies can die from malnutrition or dehydration in particularly warm periods. The broodiest by reputation are Silkies, Goldtops, Pekins and Wyandottes.
- Their eggs are too small for your average chuckyegg. They need very small dippy soldiers to fit. Bring on those proper sized eggs!!
- They are no more easy to handle than large fowl even for children.
- The numbers of eggs are poor because they have repeated bouts of broodiness.
- They are more at risk of danger when a cat is involved or larger birds of prey.
We only stock Large Fowl – However……
Large fowl and very large fowl can be just as friendly and cuddly as bantams. The largest chickens are fluff balls which are easy and calm to handle. They are not prone to panic running about as some bantams are. There is nothing standard about a chicken however as they all reserve the right to be individual characters, just like us.
We Relented and we got Silkies – Ahem
It has to be said that we have always had a bit of a downer on Silkies. On a whim I got some USA Silkie hatching eggs with the sole purpose of just selling the chicks. After having kept them, I decided to breed them and now I have a little flock of fluffy nodding Silkies that I actually do like – a lot. I did not expect them to lay very well, but they have laid when none of the rest were laying and I hatched loads. They do have a downside however, they are very easily spooked because they have so much facial fuzz and poor vision. Those small eggs are a deal breaker though but they do have a surprisingly large yolk.