Bantam Chicken Breeds - Great for Beginner Keepers!

by Kassandra Smith August 09, 2018

Bantam chicken breeds are a great choice for beginner chicken keepers. They cost less to keep, are easier to handle, take up less space and make great pets for kids! If you’re looking for a pet chook that is perfectly sized for a small backyard or you just appreciate their diminutive size, adorable nature and ease of handling, then bantam sized hens are the way to go!

three bantam chickens on roosting perch

What makes a bantam a bantam?

In the chicken world there are 4 types of chicken breeds available.

  • Purebred - chicken breeds that were developed through careful selection by small farms and breeders, or through natural intermingling between wild breeds.
  • Heritage - chicken breeds that are a subset of purebred chickens and the foundation breeds for most purebred lines.
  • Hybrid or commercial - chickens that developed through careful, scientific selection and genetic engineering in order to maximise traits that are desirable for commercial egg production.
  • Bantam - there are two types of bantam chickens
    • Smaller versions of standard sized purebred chickens or
    • ‘True bantams’ which do not have a standard sized counterpart

Have a peck at our breakdown of these chicken breed types right here to learn more!

Bantam chicken breeds are perfect for small backyards

You don’t have to have acreage to experience the joy of keeping chickens. Because they are smaller than your average hen, bantam chickens take up less space. With the right coop and essential accessories you can comfortably keep a few bantam chickens on a small suburban or inner city block, provided your council allows.

bantam australorp chicken in backyard chicken coop

Bantam chicken breeds are cheaper to keep

These little birds eat way less chicken feed than their standard sized counterparts, so your chicken feed bill will be considerably less! Add in some home grown chook favourites like fruit and veggie scraps and easy to make treats and you’ll find that it costs very little to keep a flock of adorable bantams happy and healthy in your backyard.

Bantam chicken breeds make great kids’ pets

All chicken breed types have lovely and unique personalities but there are some bantam breeds that are known for being especially docile and lovely to handle. Standard size chickens can be deceptively hefty, so the bantam breeds’ diminutive size makes it easier for little ones to handle and hug their hens!

bantam silkie chicken free ranging in backyard

Which bantam chicken breed is best?

Don’t be deceived by their size! These ladies can still lay an egg! The best bantam chicken breeds for egg laying are Australorp bantams, Leghorn bantams and Rhode Island Red bantams. These bantam breeds are all smaller versions of their egg-cellent laying rate standard size counterparts.

If you’ve got your eye on bantam chickens as the perfect pet for your kids then Silkie bantams are a crackin’ choice. These walking balls of feathery fluff are extremely docile and super cute, which make them a perfectly low maintenance pet for kids just starting out with animal care.

Find out more about bantam chickens with our guide here. New to the world of chicken keeping? A great place to start is with our Complete Beginner’s Guide!

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