A banty rooster or bantam rooster is a miniature or smaller version of a regular rooster. It can be about a quarter to half the size of a standard chicken.
These birds are most suitable for backyard chicken keepers who have a small backyard where space is premium.
Two bantam chickens can easily fit into the space needed by one standard chicken. Since they like to fly, raising your coop will accommodate them well. Although they are small birds, they are bursting with happiness and personality.
If you are thinking of adding a bantam rooster or hen to your backyard flock, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss everything you need to know about bantam chickens. We will explain the different types of bantams, their egg-laying ability, care for them, and more. Keep reading to learn more.
Benefits Of Raising Bantam Chickens
Here are a few benefits that come with raising bantam chickens.
They Require Less Food and Space
As stated earlier, bantam chickens are miniature versions of regular chickens. Therefore, they take less space in the backyard and consume less food. Since they take less food, they will also produce less waste. Their poop is also less smelly compared to that of a standard chicken. If you are a beginner, these birds are ideal as they will not stress you much.
They Are Less Noisy
One of the reasons why some chicken keepers go for bantams is because they make less noise than standard chickens. A bantam rooster crow is not as loud as a standard chicken. Therefore, a bantam chicken can be a great choice if you have neighbors close by or are living in an urban environment.
They Are Easygoing and Adorable
Generally, bantam chickens are more submissive than standard chickens. They are pretty fun, easygoing, and friendly even when they are so docile. If you are looking for a pet in a chicken, you can consider these miniature birds.
They are full of vigor and energy. Therefore, they will provide an endless source of entertainment for your family. You will enjoy watching them fly higher and run faster than standard chickens.
Hens Go Broody
Bantam hens will go broody at some point in their lifespan. Therefore, you will not have to hatch your eggs in an incubator if you want to raise chicks. This is a great benefit to beginners who may not know how to raise their chicks.
History Of Bantam Chickens
The history of these adorable birds goes back to Bantan, Indonesia. European sailors stopped at the nearby port in the region to gather food and water. They noticed that the chickens in the area were much smaller than those in their home country.
The birds fascinated Europeans, prompting them to ask the locals about them. They managed to arrange for some to take to their home country. They are named after the town where they were first discovered in. However, the name was corrupted to a different pronunciation and spelling.
Breed Standards Of Bantam Chickens
The America Poultry Association recognizes three types of bantam chickens and over 400 varieties. The types are miniaturized bantams, developed bantams, and true bantams.
A true bantam chicken is usually naturally smaller without any intervention from humans. These birds do not have large fowl origins. The popular breeds include Resecomb, Sebright, and Nankin.
Miniaturized bantams were created from breeding standard chickens, such as Rhode Island Red, Cochin, and Orpington.
Developed bantams are smaller breeds humans have specifically bred to create a new type. They have been around for so long that their origins and background are unclear. Some of the developed bantam breeds are Japanese bantam, Belgian, and Pekin (Cochin).
The appearance of bantams usually depends on the variety and breed. However, most of them share the standard appearance of a short and round body with a tilt in their walk. Roosters normally show dominance by dropping their wings and throwing their heads back.
Adult bantam chickens hardly weigh more than a pound. This is about a quarter the size of a standard chicken. Their color will vary depending on the type. For instance, Pekin chickens have a mix of beautiful colors, including red, white, lavender, buff, and black.
Personality And Temperament
These birds are feisty. Some backyard chicken keepers have described them as having a tiger’s spirit in a small body. Because of their strong personalities, they usually make great mother hens when they hatch.
They are known to have no patience for intruders. They will rarely flee if they feel threatened. Instead, they will fight back to protect their environment, mates, chicks, and eggs.
Bantam Egg Laying
Generally, bantams are good egg layers. Under good care and proper nutrition, a standard bantam hen can lay 3 to 4 eggs a week. This translates to about 200 eggs a year. However, some bantam breeds may lay as little as 50 eggs annually. These include the Sebright, Pekin, and Japanese bantam.
They mostly lay cream-tinted eggs. However, some varieties, like the Easter Egger bantams, lay colorful pastel eggs in different colors. Once they start laying eggs, they will continue doing so for about four to six months. After that, they will stop laying eggs and start molting. You do not have to worry about your birds losing feathers at this stage, as they will eventually get a new set.
Their eggs are smaller than the average (approximately half the size). If you have a rooster in your flock, your hens will likely lay fertilized eggs. Broody hens will sit on their eggs for about 21 days until they hatch. They will keep their baby chicks under their wings to provide warmth until their main feathers develop.
Health Issues And Care
Bantam chickens will eat about one pound of feed per month. This is much less than the average backyard chicken. You can supplement their feed by mixing vitamin and electrolyte powder within their food. They will also need grit and calcium in their diet to aid in the formation of strong eggshells.
You can also offer them leftover table scraps to provide extra nutrients. Since they are good foragers, you should allow them to move freely around the backyard to free-range. They will also need plenty of clean water in their coop.
Your bantam chickens may be prone to chicken parasites like other chicken breeds. Since they have feathers on their legs, they can be prone to scaly leg mites. You can prevent this by ensuring the coop remains clean all the time. In addition, you will need to ensure that their legs are clean. If you notice any parasites, you must treat them as soon as possible.
Bantams are healthy and robust chickens. However, that does not mean they are not susceptible to poultry diseases. One of the more fatal conditions among these birds is infectious coryza or pip. The common signs of this condition are nasal drainage, a drop in egg production, swollen eyelids drainage, facial swelling, and sneezing.
To treat a bird with infectious coryza, you first have to isolate her in a warm and clean room. You can offer them water and plenty of wholesome foods like milk, bread, and fresh veggies.
You can confine your bantam chickens in a coop or raise them as free-range. Free-range means your birds are allowed to roam the property as they want and are offered shelter or a coop to keep them safe from predators and various harsh conditions. For confined birds, they are housed in a coop that has a run to allow them access to the outdoors safely.
The coop should be sturdy to give your birds a place to seek shelter from predators and harsh weather conditions. It should include a hay-based floor or sawdust with a ladder-type setup of different heights for roosting.
It should also include boxes with hay inside for your birds to nest in. An ideal backyard chicken coop for your bantams should also have a door on it. The door should be closed in the evening to prevent predators from accessing your birds. In addition, the coop should have proper ventilation.
Since mites and other poultry parasites can harbor in the waste, it will be important to ensure your coop is clean at all times. You can keep it clean by using a rake or shovel to remove the dirty floor material. A clean coop will keep your bantam chickens happy and less stressful.
You will need to secure the chicken run and coop at the bottom where the fencing touches the ground. If not secured, some predators may lift the fencing and get inside the coop. While bantams are territorial and will fight to protect their chicks, eggs, and themselves, some predators may overpower them.
If you were asking yourself what a banty rooster is, you are already answered. It is a smaller version of a regular rooster. Bantams are suitable for beginners and backyard chicken keepers with limited space. Like other breeds, your bantams will need good nutrition and care to live a long and more productive life.