Bantams, Bantams, Bantams!

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

21 July 2014

australorp bantam chicken in backyard chook coop

Bantam options are perfect for a smaller backyard. If you don’t have a lot of room for a large-sized flock, then Bantams can be a great solution to your poultry problems! Backyards around the world have enjoyed the benefits of bantam chicken breeds - they truly are an adorable edition to any chicken keepers flock.

What eggs-actly are bantams?

A Bantam is essentially a miniature version of a particular range of chicken breeds. Not every breed has a Bantam counterpart, but most do. For example, you can have a standard-sized Brahma chicken, which generally weighs around the 5.4kg mark, and then you also have a Brahma Bantam, which weighs 0.8-1kg (more on this breed below!)

Bantam chicken breeds are often a good solution to chicken keepers who may not have a lot of room in their yard. Bantam chicken breeds still lay eggs, which are equally as delicious, however a smaller bird means smaller produce. Most standard-sized chicken breeds have a bantam version.

Are there any other differences between bantam and standard chicken breeds?

Because bantam chicken breeds are smaller, they don’t eat as much, and they don’t need as much room as standard sized chicken breeds. Again, the egg they produce is also smaller - but they should still lay as many golden yolks of goodness as their larger counterpart. Plus, there isn’t any difference in the taste.

The best Bantam chicken breeds for your backyard

So if you’re thinking that bantam chicken breeds might be the way to go for your flock, here are some tried and tested bantam chicken breeds for the backyard that have been known to thrive in smaller environments - and are absolutely lovely!

Belgian d'uccle mille fleur bantam chicken

Belgian Bantam

The Belgian Bantam comes in a variety of beautiful hues, and is a lively edition to any backyard. They are friendly creatures that stand strong and proud - plus you’ll definitely see the personalities developing in each individual chicken!

Unfortunately Belgian Bantams are good fliers, therefore will need a good chicken run to ensure they don’t end up somewhere they shouldn’t!

pekin bantam chickens in backyard

Pekin Bantam

The Pekin Bantam (also known as Miniature Cochins or Cochin Bantams) is a popular Bantam breed that is a fixture in many gardens across the globe. They are a fun loving, adorable breed that love to keep their owners company in the garden - and can even be a little cheeky! They are very family friendly and a joy to own as a backyard pet.

Pekin Bantam’s weigh between 570-680 grams, and will lay approximately 80 eggs per year. They come in a beautiful array of colours - black, blue, columbian, partridge and more.

dutch bantam chickens in backyard

Dutch Bantam

The Dutch Bantam is another breed available in a delightful rainbow of colours, and is also particularly hardy against the elements. The Dutch unfortunately, in spite of its height, is a good flyer - so a good chicken run will be needed.

They are mainly kept for ornamental and exhibiting purposes, and come in a beautiful array of colours - gold partridge, black, blue, lavender, silver and more!

The Dutch Bantam is one of the few chicken breeds that is actually a true bantam - meaning they only come in a smaller size, and have no standard counterpart. They are known to be friendly around children and make lovely little backyard pets.

This breed is active and loves to forage and chat with their fellow flock. They weigh between 400-550 grams, and lay approximately 200 eggs per year - not bad!

colourful Japanese bantam in backyard

Japanese Bantam

The Japanese Bantam is another popular Bantam breed, and is widely regarded as one of the easiest breeds to keep. It is another of the chicken breeds that are available in a wide array of gorgeous colours and combinations - black, lavender, red, partridge...the list goes on!

What’s even better is the Japanese bantam’s appetite is about as small as they are - so they won’t cost you a fortune to feed! (But you should still ensure they have plentiful access to food!)

Japanese Bantams weigh between 400-600 grams, and lay somewhere between 10-100 eggs p/year - but most people don’t keep these birds for their egg-laying capabilities. They keep them because of their friendly personalities and delightful appearance!

brahma bantam chicken in backyard

Brahma Bantams

Brahma Bantam chickens are renown for being friendly and sweet - some even call them the perfect city chicken! They come in a number of rich colour variations - from dark, to gold, to buff columbian.

These are egg-stremely tame and gentle birds that are tolerant to cold conditions, and their fluffy round body is just perfect for cuddles - even their feet are covered in feathers!

Brahma Bantams weigh between 0.8-1kgs, making them perfect for residential backyards.

sebright bantam chickens in backyard

Sebright Bantams

The Sebright are another sweet natured Bantam chicken breeds that is renown for its beautiful feathers. Plus, they have the unique feature of male and female chickens having egg-sactly the same feathering!

These little guys aren’t spectacular egg-layers but they are genuinely lovely birds - they are a tad more active than other bantam chicken breeds, so they’ll definitely liven up your backyard!

So if you’re a little short on room for a full-sized flock that needs a lot of space to flap its wings, why not go Bantam? They take up a quarter of the space, are adorable to look at and the chicken breeds above have proven to be beautiful backyard pets!

Despite the fact they are small and adorable, Bantam chicken breeds still have all the needs of standard-sized chickens (like roosting and nesting spots) and therefore need a suitable coop! Check out our Taj Mahal - the perfect size for a little flock of Bantams, or The Penthouse if you want more room to mix and match your chicken breeds!

Sources and further reading

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