Chickens come in a variety of sizes. The average sized chicken found in most breeds, the huge chicken that can probably feed a home for two days, and then there’s the small chicken bantam.
Bantams are naturally small. You can compare them to other small chickens in size, but these guys are special because they don’t come any bigger. Bantam chickens will only get as big as twenty-two ounces.
So what’s the big thing about these bantam chickens? They don’t make for very good meat providers, and even if they produce a lot of eggs, the eggs are probably puny – not even enough to satisfy one person. What good are they?
Chicken bantams make for decent pets
Here’s the thing; Bantams are small. Their small size and elaborate plumage put them in pretty much the same level as other pets. They strut around and look good without really doing anything, and people love them because they’re cute.
Bantams are also good-natured creatures, which makes them safe for the kids.
Let’s talk a little more on the plumage. Bantams usually do have really elaborate plumage. Sometimes, the feathers are so exquisite that bantams have become champions in chicken breeding competitions time and again.
Take the bantam breed called the Sultan. This chicken doesn’t look at all like a chicken, thanks to the poofy pompadour head of hair it has that hides its wattle and comb. This little guy is the Elvis Presley of chickens, bantam or not.
Another curious chicken bantam breed is the Silkie. This bird has the curious distinction of looking like a cloud of cotton, having five toes (as opposed to the standard four), and black flesh with blue skin. It is a very docile animal that despite the sparse amount of meat it offers, is considered a gourmet delicacy in mainland China.
Bottom line is that bantam chickens may be small creatures, but these little guys have some of the most interesting breeds in the chicken kingdom. People who aren’t interested in keeping chickens as livestock might be wise to consider getting a bantam instead. Or if you’re a beginner who’s just after the experience, bantams are easy to take care of.
Chad B. is an advocate for backyard chicken care and has been involved in raising chickens since he was a little boy back in 1986. Find out more about chicken bantams and sign up freely for a 10 lesson crash course on backyard chicken care by visiting Chad’s blog at http://RaisingChickenSecrets.com