10 Bantam Chicken Breeds
Bantam chickens are some of the smallest chickens on the planet. These chickens are way smaller than the average chickens. Nonetheless, Bantam chickens are similar to larger breeds in terms of function and look.
Their compactness, cute looks, and ability to lay eggs despite their miniature size make these chickens unique. Bantam chickens are also increasingly becoming popular farm animals and birds.
What are Bantam Chickens?
Bantam chickens are miniature chickens. The term Bantam chicken describes any chicken breed that is smaller than the average–sized breed. Bantam chickens, like the common breeds, also vary in size, height, and weight. Some Bantam chicken breeds are larger than others, while other Bantams are conspicuously tiny.
Popular Bantam Chicken Breeds
Like other chicken breeds, there are different types of Bantam breeds worldwide. Some are popular, while many chicken enthusiasts don’t know others. These are the top ten Bantam chicken breeds worth knowing in case you intend to raise Bantams in your home.
1. Cochin Bantam
The Cochin Bantam is among the most adorable Bantams to add to any backyard flock. It originates from Beijing, China, and has become popular in the West since the 1860s. Bantam chickens have fluffy and ball-shaped appearances that make these Bantams stand out from other Bantam breeds.
Cochin Bantams also have remarkably massive and extra soft plumage. Their excessive feathering gives an illusion that these Bantams are bulkier. Both female and male Cochin Bantams have single medium-sized combs.
Nonetheless, males and females have different wattles. Males have long and extensive pendant wattles, while females have well-rounded and tiny wattles. Cochin Bantams have a sweet and delightful temperament. They are calm, friendly, and docile.
These Bantams aren’t excellent layers, although they can lay between 150 and 200 tiny eggs yearly. Because they are miniature chickens, Cochin Bantams aren’t good meat producers. Hens are seldom broody but wonderful sitters.
2. Silkie Bantam
The Silkie Bantam is perhaps the most popular Bantam breed on the planet. Chicken raisers keep Silkie Bantams as ornamental birds. They have fur-like feathers that give the tiny birds a fluffy appearance. These Bantams are among the few Bantams with black skins.
They also have feathered legs, five toes, crests, walnut combs, and blue earlobes. Silkie Bantams come in multiple color varieties, including partridge, buff, blue, gray, and white. Some Silkie Bantams are bearded, while some of these Bantams are non-bearded.
Bantam Silkie chickens aren’t good meat and egg producers. Hens lay approximately 100 eggs annually, and they are pretty broody and make wonderful mothers. These Bantams are friendly and tamable. They are also active and love human company.
Nonetheless, Silkie Bantams are pretty docile and timid and, thus, not the best Bantams to raise with other aggressive breeds. Because of their feathered legs, chicken raisers must accord these Bantams special care to keep them clean and dry.
They aren’t the sort of chickens to keep in muddy and dirty coops. While they boast a cozy appearance, these Bantams don’t handle cold temperatures.
3. Buff Orpington Bantam
Buff Orpington Bantam is among the most popular Bantams in any Western backyard. This beautifully feathered Bantam has a bulky, broad body with a great low stance. Buff Orpington Bantam has fluffed feathers and a short, curvy back. Buff Orpington Bantams have smooth featherings, and their feet can be pink or white.
They have single, five-pointed combs. These chickens come in several color varieties, including buff, white and black. Buff Orpington Bantams are pretty stately and calm. They are among the most friendly and docile Bantams. They love cuddling and like seeking attention.
These Bantams are cold-resistant, thanks to their great feathering. They also handle warm climates perfectly well. Buff Orpington Bantams are some of the most reliable layers because hens produce between 200 and 280 eggs yearly. Roosters are equally decent meat producers, although they can’t match other larger meat-producing breeds.
4. Dutch Bantam
Dutch Bantams are among the oldest Bantams since they have existed since the 17th century. They are notably small than most Bantams. Thanks to their wonderful temperament, it is easy to handle and tame these chickens. Dutch Bantams are also affectionate towards their owners, particularly kids, an attribute that makes them wonderful pets.
Hens lay a reasonable number of between 150 to 160 tiny white eggs annually. Because these Bantams are miniatures, they aren’t efficient meat producers, including Dutch Bantam roosters.
5. Serama Bantam
Serama Bantams come from Malaysia. The Serama Bantams that most people keep today are a crossbreed of the Japanese Bantams and Ayam Kapans. People raise these Bantams as ornamental or exhibition pets. Serama Bantams are true Bantams, and they are the world’s smallest Bantam breed.
Serama Bantams have full breasts, upright postures, and vertical tails and wings. Most of these birds are either black or white, although some crossbreeds of Serama Bantams can come in various colors. Although Serama Bantams have a fierce appearance, they are among the friendliest Bantams.
They tolerate human handling, and thus people keep the Bantams as pets. Serama Bantams are dependable egg producers because they lay between 180 and 200 eggs yearly. Hens start laying at around five months old. Hens are doting mothers because they are pretty broody.
6. Japanese Bantam
Also known as Chabo in Japan, the Japanese Bantam is an ornamental Bantam known for its petite stature and short legs. Japanese Bantams are strictly for companionship and exhibition purposes. They are neither suitable for laying nor meat production.
Japanese Bantams have the weirdest appearance since they have large combs, extremely short legs, and arched tails that are almost as large as they are. They have multiple color variations, including blue-molted, black-molted cuckoo, and dark gray.
These Bantams are friendly, docile, and easy to tame. Their tiny size implies that these Bantams don’t need as much living space. However, these chickens don’t handle confinement and prefer to be free-range.
7. Sebright Bantam
The Sebright chicken is among the smallest Bantams. This Bantam breed has distinct plumage, making it a desirable addition to nearly all chicken flocks. This breed originates from England, and it’s among the oldest British Bantam breeds. Sebright chickens have huge, downward-sloping wings.
Their full tails spread like wide fans, while their combs have horizontal spikes. They come in two color variations, gold laced and silver laced. They have bright red wattles and purplish-red or turquoise earlobes.
These chickens aren’t layers, and their eggs are rarely available for supply in stores and households. Because the Sebright chicken has an aggressive and engaging personality, it is an excellent breed for shows and competitions.
8. Booted Bantam
The Booted Bantam is among the rarest and Oldest Bantams. Booted Bantams are small and hail from Belgium. These chickens make wonderful birds for poultry exhibitions because of their striking appearances. Although hens from this Bantam breed are dependable layers, their eggs are quite small.
Furthermore, these Bantams are too tiny for meat production. They have four toes and long and large wings that point downwards. They have five to seven-pointed single combs. Booted Bantams have red wattles and earlobes.
9. Australorp Bantam
Australorp Bantams are popular Bantams that originate from Germany. They are a miniature version of the standard Australorp chicken breed. These chickens come in multiple color variations, but black and white are the most common color varieties. Like the standard Australorp chickens, these chickens have an upright stance.
They also have a heavy soft feathering, making them cold-resistant and capable of surviving in cold environments. Furthermore, Australorp Bantams can handle warmer climates. Australorp Bantam hens can lay up to 160 eggs annually. Roosters can make decent table birds for smaller families because they weigh around 1.3 kg.
Hens aren’t dependable meat producers since most weigh about 1.3 kg. Australorp Bantams have a gentle and docile personality. They are social birds that attach well to their owners. Furthermore, they are easily tamable into excellent pets.
Australorp Bantams also tolerate confinement, although these Bantams are outgoing and hence prefer free-ranging.
10. Barbu d’Uccle
The Barbu d’Uccle is also among the smallest Bantams that originate from Belgium. Barbu d’Uccle Bantams are quite friendly, and they cope perfectly well with confinement. Because they are shy and docile, these Bantams don’t wander too far, making them perfect for smaller yards.
Because of their incredibly good nature, these chickens make wonderful companions for children. They have feathery legs like most Bantams, so chicken raisers should keep the birds in clean and dry environments. Although hens are great mothers, egg-laying isn’t their biggest asset.
They lay few eggs, and their eggs are pretty small. These birds have cream or white plumage with dotted spots. While Barbu d’Uccle Bantams are overly friendly, males can be aggressive, especially during the mating season. Barbu d’Uccle Bantams come in many colors: black, buff, white, Columbian lavender, blue fleur, and lemon splash.
There are countless Bantam breeds besides these ten. These breeds have different physical traits, personalities, sizes, and heights. Regardless of its popularity, the beauty of raising any Bantam species is that these chickens are tiny and thus require less space.
Although most of these birds have feathery legs, you can raise them with no issue if you raise them in a clean environment. Most importantly, many Bantam breeds are cold-hardy owing to their thick feathering that extends to their feet. Moreover, these birds are strikingly cute, making them fantastic ornamental birds.