If you’re looking for chickens to raise for yourself then one of the first types you should seriously consider are the varieties of Bantam chickens. There are actually a large variety of different types of Bantam chickens, which have come to us from all over the world. These include feather footed varieties, Cochins and clean legged varieties.
Feather footed types of these chickens tend to be quite small though they come in a variety of different colors and patterns. They also have a very distinguishable feather covering over their feet which gives them their name.
The second type of the Bantam chicken breeds are the Cochins. These have heavy feathering over their entire body and can appear quite large because of this fact. These also come in many colors from white to mottled, barred, buff and even red. There are several different sub groupings of these types of chickens and also several different areas that they are known to come from. These types are generally known to have originated in China and were brought back by soldiers returning to England in approximately 1860. Originally known as Pekins (or Pekin Bantams) some still refer to these chickens by that name.
Clean legged varieties of these chickens are much smaller than either of the other types. They have more refined features and no feathers on their legs. They are also much smoother with feathers that tend to flatten to their body instead of spreading outward. This tends to create a more polished appearance for these chickens. As with the other versions of bantam chickens, clean legged varieties come in a range of different colors as well as different patterns. This means you’ll have a wide selection to choose from when you start your brood.
Keeping Bantam Chickens
Bantam chicken information is easy to come by, particularly if you are able to visit a poultry fancier’s show, or find a breeder who would also have Bantam chickens for sale. They’ll be only too happy to fill you in on what you need to know – probably too much too soon if you’re a novice! A lot of information at once can be overwhelming, so we’ve given some information below to get you started.
Keeping Bantam chickens is actually quite easy as well. These types of chickens enjoy eating fruit and vegetables which can be an excellent way to keep them healthy and to get rid of some of your excess leftovers. Raising them doesn’t take much after you understand the proper types of food (which include regular chicken feeds as well as kitchen tidbits) and once you understand the best ways to take care of them including building a safe and secure hutch for them to live in. After all, you don’t want any stray animals getting at your chickens when you’re not around to keep them safe. You may be fortunate and not have this happen, but for those it has happened to, it’s quite distressing as the chickens become valued pets.
“Bantam chickens are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds.”
Make sure you have a shed or garage where you can keep the chickens and then make sure that there is a wired off area prepared for the chickens from the moment you bring them home. You should have wire all the way around the outside as well as on the top. It is also advisable to have the wire buried securely someway under the dirt, as hungry foxes can dig well and deep. Make sure you put the chickens inside this coop and then seal it off. Do not let them out for a least a couple days. This is because you don’t want your chickens for fly off and until they understand that this is their new home, they may do just that.
Once your chickens have been kept in this pen for a few days they will understand not to fly away. At this point you can start letting them out of the pen for short stretches each day so that they can become accustomed to their surroundings and get back to their pen. Make sure however, that you have the pen in a safe place so that, while your chickens are able to get out, other animals are not able to get in. If stray animals or wild animals can get in to your chicken coop they’ll hurt or kill your chickens. Be sure also that you have roost paint sprayed over the entire area so that your chickens are protected from bugs and disease as well.
When you are ready to purchase your first chickens you want to make sure you’re prepared for them to come home. You also need to consider the fact that Bantams can sometimes be wild. You’ll need to take some time to get them used to you in order to calm them down more and keep them from going too crazy when you come close. Sitting with them for short periods of time can help with this acclimatisation process. Just be sure that before you get your first brood of Bantam chickens, you know what you need to expect from them and how to take care of them as well.