A bantam chicken is a miniature version of a regular chicken. They can vary from one half to two thirds the size of regular birds. If you haven't ever seen a bantam chicken or rooster, they're adorable. If I could do it all over again, I'd have flocks of bantams instead of larger birds.
They also have big personalities! These roosters may be smaller in size but they act and crow (higher-pitched) just like my huge "Barred Rock" roo. Chicken keepers don't think bantam roosters are a great fit for small children, though, as some are known to have "little man" complex. With that in mind, this can apply to any rooster.
What are bantam chickens?
There are two types of bantam chickens: true bantams and developed bantams. True Bantam chickens are chickens that are naturally small in stature and have no lookalikes in the standard breeds. Developed bantam chickens are miniaturized versions of standard breeds, such as the bantam Wyandotte, or bantam Orpington.
Yet, bantam roosters tend to have a big case of little man syndrome! Everyone I know with bantam roosters loves their tiny birds.
Why raise bantam roosters? What are the benefits of raising bantam roosters?
They're adorable and require less space
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Here’s my #oldenglishgamebantam . He can be a little #brat sometimes, and he thinks he’s just as big as the big boys in the yard, and is probably one of the noisiest #roosters I have, but he’s so #pretty and tiny I can’t get rid of him. He has no name, any suggestions?? . . . . #roostertuesdays #roosdaytuesday #chickens #bantamroosters #oldenglishgamebantam #littleroostersarenoisy #fallismyfavoriteseason🍁🍂🎃 #fall #sweaterweather #freerangechickens #petchickensofinstagram #petchickens @newburyfarms @steelspoonfarm thanks! :)
The Happy Chicken Coop tells us bantams need slightly less space than bigger birds.
"Large fowl need 4 square feett of coop space and 8 square feet of run per bird. Several sources state 1 square foot per bird, but 2 square feet is preferred in the coop with 4 square feet in the run. Bantams take a lot less room than their larger counterparts already! If you can provide lots of perches at different heights, maybe even a small tree and some bushes."
Their coop building can also be smaller!
Great for smaller backyards
If your neighborhood association doesn't allow 10 regular-sized chickens then I bet 10 bantams would be OK! Joking aside, many chicken lovers with small backyards have a few bantam hens and a rooster and they're very manageable given their smaller size.
Some say these bantam roosters have a size complex.
Community Chickens confirms that some chicken keepers say these little roos are stinkers.
"To be fair, I posted a question to our readers to see what your experience has been and it was about 60-40. With 60 agreeing that bantams tend to have a size complex and make up for it with a LOT of attitude. The good thing about a bantam is that they're so little that it's hard for them to do much damage, though, I wouldn't let a child around an aggressive rooster, bantam or not. So my advice is if you end up with a bantam rooster, spend a lot of time holding it, feed it by hand and hope for the best."
You'll save on feed
A bantam will eat roughly 1 pound of feed per month, so you're saving on your feed bill dramatically. I'd save a lot of money on feed if I had a flock of bantams! Also, bantams do better with crumble-size food rather than pellets.
Lots of variety
Some breeds are referred to as a true Bantam. This is a breed that is naturally small. Some examples would be the Sebright, Mile Fleur d'Uccle and the Serama. Smaller chickens of regular-sized breeds are also bantams. A bantam Rhode Island Red is a good example.
There is a large variety to choose from, and a Bantam to suit your taste.
"They are always interesting to watch, with some varieties such as the Barbu D'Uccles you can have whole conversations with!"
Raising backyard chickens is a passion and having different breeds is a large reason why I enjoy it so much! Our birds are free-range chickens which all chickens can benefit from whether they're bantams or regular-sized hens.
If you plan to have bantam chickens you need a bantam rooster. I wouldn't recommend a regular-sized roo mixed with small birds, as this can lead to dangerous scenarios.
There are many bantam breeds to choose from so the variety is honestly endless.
Developed breeds are Belgian bantams, Cochin bantam and Japanese bantam. Their crowing quieter and higher-pitched. One of the biggest advantages is when you don't have enough space but must have chickens!
Which chicken breeds are your favorites? Do you have any bantams?
Know someone who would like to add roos to their flock? Tell us in the comments below!