Banties vs standard chickens

mamakane(z5 WV)September 21, 2005

I only have a few standard chickens left now. Since I don't want an abundance of eggs (Please, no selling extras!) I thought some fancy banties might be the answer come spring. But I have a few questions.

My chickens free roam during the day through the barnyard and fields. I've never had a problem with the larger chickens coming in the fenced house yard with the dogs. With the banties being smaller they MIGHT be able to squeeze thru the fence, but would they have sense enough not to with the dogs in the yard.

Also, I've heard tales of mean banty roosters. But from a quick glance at this forum, it sounds like there are at least some sweet ones out there.

Any advice on a Banty purchase come spring would be greatly appreciated.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Banties are wicked clever, but a chicken is a chicken and I'd fence them off from the dogs--better to do this than beat yourself up afterwards with "I should have known better". :) After all, you can't blame the birds if there are irresistable goodies such as dog food over there!

Also, since banties are smaller and lighter, they can usually fly pretty darned well. You might want to keep their wings clipped to reduce losses over the fence and roosting in trees.

I wouldn't say that banty roos are any more or less mean than standard size birds, but they ARE more uppity and usually have a perkier personality. If you check out and other web pages and pick a sweet breed, you can reduce your chances of getting a mean roo. You might think about getting Silkies, they are well known for sweetness and not flying...cochins and MilleFleurs are more docile breeds. The closer you get to the 'jungle fowl' type banty, they wilder they will naturally be.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 1:11PM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

my bantam silkie hens are the sweetest, tamest birds - i just love them. but my buff silkie rooster is the meanest rooster i've had yet! who would have thought? i have to carry a stick or bring my dog in with me to keep him at bay.

until this spring, i've only had bantams - the only way to keep them inside the fence is as velvet suggested - clipping their wings. our white-crested black polish hens used to fly up to the overhead power lines! we still think that must be a world record for bantam flight! this trait got them their names - Orville (a hen w/a guy name) & Amelia. once we learned the wing-clipping trick, we found out how resourceful chickens are - they'd find the smallest places to slip UNDER the fence. or, they'd jump up on something to get some height, then jump up & land on the chicken coop roof, and jump down on the freedom side of things. so, check your fencing to make sure it's secured at the ground & elsewhere. i've never had a full-grown bantam squeeze through the fence-wire itself, tho.

in the bantam category, check out barred rocks, pencil rocks, cochins & silkies of all flavors, and if you don't mind wing-clipping try the polish - they're characters and good layers of large-ish white eggs. i like our bantam rhode island reds, too - good layers & friendly.

this spring, i added some standard-sized chickens to the flock: dominickers, rhode island reds & buff orphingtons. everyone gets along just fine - and that crazy rooster keeps his distance from them :)

good luck!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 6:07PM
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erinluchsinger(z4 - Upstate NY)

I had 2 different bantam roosters. One was a bantam game bird (looked like a bantam Jungle red)named Henry and the second was a very hysterical bantam barred rock cochin named Murray. Murray was sooooooo feathery he could barely walk. He couldn't get out of his own way... no joke. He was soooo tame it was sad. Henry was also very sweet. Not very tame, but VERY sweet. The only mean rooster I've ever had was a gold laced wyandotte and he wasn't even nasty, but I didn't trust him 100% and he was the first rooster that I owned that I felt that way about. I've had super good luck w/ the bantams. You'll LOVE them... and their tiny little eggs are hysterical! I do kow that most of the hatcheries only sell them straight run, so be prepared to get rid of lost of roosters! But they're so damned cute you probably won't have a tough time doing that w/ a good ad.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 6:35PM
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pinetown(z7 Sierra)

I'm also a fan of bantams. I let my chickens free range and when I had full size chickens, they would scratch up mature plants. The bantams scratch enough to help me weed out unwanted seedlings.

I have a gray silkie rooster that is a real sweetie. I had a chick that was rejected by the hens. The rooster took care of him during the day and at night I could tuck him back under the hens.

My chickens right now are crosses of Silkie, Cockin and bantam Aracauna. I think they are the perfect backyard chickens. I also like getting the green eggs.

in the Sierra

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 8:22PM
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undercover_owl(8 Pac.NW)

Bantam chickens are sort of cuter somehow. You do have to think about the entertainment factor with a small flock of chickens.

I got "Jackie" (named after Jackie Kennedy in the pillbox hat) because this silly looking chick was born with a hat!
I laughed at the black baby chick wearing a white hat. Jackie got no respect from the other chickens, either. Jackie has become a gorgeous Polish Crested rooster.

A Golden Seabright named "Quantess" was purchased to be Jackie's pal. We are lucky to have 2 Golden Seabrights. They are tiny, with pretty feathers, and big brown eyes, and a great capacity for flying.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 5:44AM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

my white-crested polish didn't get any respect, either :)
had to raise them up apart from the others until almost
full-grown. as adults, one of them crowed like a rooster. crazy bird, lovable breed.

my very first chickens in my backyard flock were silver seabrights. and yes, their flying skills were a bit problematic here in my close city quarters :) once i acquired new breeds and had something to compare them to, i thought the seabrights were more "nervous" than others, too. really pretty birds, tho, and they were great moms!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 8:07AM
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Does anyone have info on how large (approx. oz.)the different varieties of banties may dress out for the table.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 10:50AM
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