How to Care for Bantam Chickens
Bantam chickens require approximately one-third the amount of space that it takes to care for other, larger chicken breeds. They require less food and they also make a lot less mess. This makes caring for Bantam Chickens ideal for both urban-farming and homesteading. These birds are relatively small in size and very easy to care for. Best of all, many Bantam breeds lay eggs daily and even though these eggs are a bit smaller than the supermarket variety, they can still be used in the same way. It is also important to note that children love bantams. They are not intimidating, have a very calm disposition and they fit perfectly into small-sized hands. Following is everything you need to know about keeping and carrying for these small, yet undeniably adorable chickens.
Information on the Bantam Chicken Breed
Bantams Chickens, popular in the US, actually come in many different sizes and shapes. There are basically three types of bantams that you can keep. These include true bantams, developed bantams and bantams that have been bred from larger chickens to create smaller birds. Developed bantams and those bantams that have been bred from larger chickens are not true bantams, but they have been around for such a long time that they are now colloquially referred to as bantams. True bantams are generally among the smallest of these three and these birds are naturally occurring. Moreover, there are no similar types of birds that can be found among larger chicken breeds. Some of the less domesticated bantam breeds include the Serama, the Sebright and the Mile Fleur d’Uccle. Keeping a well domesticated breed will prove easiest, especially if you have never kept bantam chickens before. Among some of the true bantam breeds that you can invest in are the Rosecomb, Rumpless, Nankin and Tuko.
Special Considerations for the Bantam Chicken
Although raising bantam chickens is a lot like raising a group of larger chickens, there are a few differences that are well worth noting. Foremost among these is the fact while bantams can be easily mixed with other, larger chickens, there are often instances in which both groups of birds will fare far better if they are kept separately. This will prevent full-sized roosters from mating with much smaller bantam hens, which is not ideal. It will also keep your bantams safely out of the way of larger and more aggressive birds.
Other important considerations include feeders and waterers, which must be set at an appropriate height for optimal accessibility. This could be problematic if you are shopping for these accessories from suppliers who only accommodate buyers that are raising full-sized chickens. You will also have to account for their smaller size in your coop design for accessibility, safety and comfort.
Clipping Wings of the Bantam Chicken
The other major difference between bantams and typical chickens is the fact that these birds are regular escape-artists. It is not uncommon for them to successfully squeeze their way out of cracks and holes in fences and gates. They are also great flyers. For this reason, creating a run that is closed in could be best.
Some people opt to clip the wings on their bantam chickens in order to prevent them from flying away. Although this is effective, it also impairs the chickens when they need to escape from predators. With unclipped wings, they can always fly off to a tree or lodge on a fence post. Whether to clip or not clip is a personal consideration, but it is vital to carefully consider the environment, the inherent dangers of the living environment and whether or not there is adequate safety in the living accommodations.
Bantam Roosters And Bad Attitudes
Bantam roosters are notorious for having bad attitudes, perhaps to make up for a size complex. Fortunately, their diminutive stature makes it difficult for these birds to do any considerable amount of damage, in spite of their best efforts. The best way to calm roosters is by hand-feeding them and holding them early on and as much as possible. Fostering good behavioral qualities in bantam roosters is likely the most challenging and labor-intensive aspect of raising these birds.
Don’t Overfeed the Bantam Chicken
It is vital to note that bantams eat and drink approximately half of what a standard-size chicken do. Overfeeding can lead to illness and even death. Thus, if you are used to keeping larger chickens, make sure to cut portions in half and keep a close watch on your birds throughout the first several weeks of care so that you can adjust food and water supplies as necessary. Although these birds can eat the same feed as larger chickens, the lesser amounts that they require make them very economical.
Lung Inflammation And Molting in the Bantam Chicken
The importance of moderating food supplies is seconded by the need to maintain clean living quarters. Bantam chickens are prone to inflammation of the lungs. They can also be very uncomfortable while molting. During either of these times, make sure to keep them warm and well-fed. You should also place a rusty iron piece in their water dish. Pills made from mill and cayenne pepper can additionally be added to the food dish. With proper care of the bantam chickens they will be perfect as pets, for breeding or for consumption.