Have you always wanted to keep a flock of chickens but you are worried about space or the load of work that comes with it. The bantam chicken is the best option for you. They make a cute, charming flock and are the most convenient size.
The miniature bantam breed is originally from Indonesia and is smaller than the normal chicken. Two of them are of the same dimension and weight as the normal sized chicken and the same goes for the eggs they lay. They can be accommodated by less space and are ideal for you if you are worried that your backyard is too small to keep a flock. Two of these birds will fit in place of a large one. The bantam breed is also such a delight to own especially for chicken lovers; their miniature size makes them perfect to keep and it will be blissful to have a couple of them running around.
Features of a Bantam Breed
To help you choose the best bantam breed, take a look at their various features.
There are many varieties of this miniature bird that you can choose from. You are not tied to just one type that is not the right one for you. Pick from the two main types of the bantam; true and miniature. The true bantam a breed in its original state is smaller while the miniature version is a breed that has been bred down from the normal chicken and is larger. The most popular true bantam breeds are the cochins and the Mile Fleur while the Silkies and Orpington are the most common miniature breeds. However, there are many other varieties from all over the world.
They are half the size of the normal chicken. Two or three of them would take up the same space that a normal chicken would. The layers lay fairly small eggs as well. Two eggs are equivalent to one average sized normal egg.
The chickens eat less compared to their larger counterparts due to their size. They can be served the normal pellets as well as snack on food such as bread from your kitchen. For breeds that are not good layers, stock their diet with a lot of calcium and proteins to boost egg-laying. You can never go wrong with serving them some vegetables and fruits from your kitchen as well. Plenty of clean fresh water is also ideal for them.
Why Keep a Bantam Breed
Their tiny size makes them ideal to keep because they occupy a small space even when they free-range. There will be ample room for them to exercise and feed in the open regardless of how small your compound is. Since two or three occupy the same space as a regular chicken, you can opt to keep more breeds. You can also coop them in a fairly smaller structure due to their light weight.
The miniature breed is much easier to maintain given its size. They consume less food and you will find it cheaper and easier to build their housing.
Most bantam chickens are great egg layers and it helps that the eggs are very delicious. Such breeds include; Leghorn and the Australorp. Some breeds lay up to 6 eggs a week and if you love to eat chicken, they are really tasty too. The fertilizer from the bantam chicken is also of high quality for those who love farming. For keepers who love to display their colorful chicken eggs, the bantam eggs come in a variety of colors you will love.
Bird lovers will be thrilled to keep them as pets. They are cuddly, fluffy and you can easily carry them around. These birds are great for entertainment and it will never be a dull day in your back yard. They are also perfect for children to play around with since they are not very aggressive. To create a bond between you and the chicken, try hand-feeding them occasionally, and they will be the best pets you ever had.
There is a wide range of breeds to choose from based on your preference. If you are looking for the smallest, the best layers or the perfect pets, you have a long list to choose from. It also helps that different chickens come with different personalities. Others are happier while others are broody and aggressive.
Keeping this type of birds is ideal if you are just starting up. Their ease of maintenance will provide you the ropes you need if you find it hard to keep a large flock. Start with a few as you slowly build up and soon you can manage the bigger breed.
Shows and Entertainment
You can sign up your chicken for talent shows if it is one of your hobbies. Given that they come in various colors, they make great shows; what an amazing way to see more bantam breeds all in one place. Do so as you make more friends.
Any owner will confirm that there is less mess from their waste. They eat less hence there is less mess to clean. Compared to the mess created by the bigger breeds, theirs is less frequent, more solid and less smelly. You don’t need to worry about all the messy clean-ups.
Care and Maintenance of Your Bantam Chicken
Their small size makes them an easy target for preys, hawks and other predators always lurk to devour them. Ensure that you build then a strong, safe and well-aerated structure that will keep them safe not only from predators but also from harsh weather conditions. Secure wires and locks will be ideal but free them so that they can exercise, eat and play. Their coop should also be neat especially if you are keeping them as pets. Their food is very important so be careful to serve it in hollow containers which are accessible by all. Always provide the nutrients they need as well as clean water.
There are hundreds of reasons why you should keep this breed. They are small, occupy a small space, are cheaper to maintain, make great pets and lay delicious eggs. It is just like rearing the normal chicken but in a smaller version. They are joyful and healthy birds and you can never regret keeping them.
However, watch out for the aggressive roosters. They are miniature but are great fighters. These are not ideal to keep as pets, especially for children. The birds are also great escapees so keep them close at all times. Their tiny self makes them escape through holes and cracks in fences. It will be so hard for you to try to track down such small birds. Some farmers prefer keeping the bantam together with the regular sized chicken to save on cost. This may be hazardous if the large sized chickens try to mate with the miniature ones. It is best to rear them in different structures.
The bantam is a great breed to keep, whether you want a pet or a layer that gives great eggs for breakfast. You can never go wrong with this type of breed.