Bantam Chicken Breeds - Great for Beginner Keepers!

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 18 July 2020

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!

Take some time to consider which breed is best for you. Deciding to become a chicken parent is the easy part. The hardest is choosing the best chooks for you! It can be eggstremely overwhelming to find the perfect fit for your family. From looks, to traits to egg-laying talents - where should you begin?

Cluckily, our friends over at Chickenpedia have created an amazing Chicken Breeds Course. This extensive online course shares useful advice on choosing the right chickens for you as well as size & frequency of eggs laid. You will even learn about their individual personalities, and be able to use their family-friendly compatibility scale through this well-structured program. It really is a great way to find your perfect backyard buddies which is why I highly recommend them to all of my readers!  The courses are beginner-friendly and filled with vital information to help you raise a happy, healthy flock.

As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have a full range of comprehensive online courses that cover everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, get the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens like an eggspert!

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. So, no need to wing it, become a confident chicken keeper. Click here to check out Chickenpedia today!