Bantams

For people with limited space, bantams are an ideal solution. Bantams are much more seasonal layers than large fowl and really only lay between March and October at best. However they do produce well during those months and make very pretty pets. They are also small enough for young children to handle easily.

Pekin Bantams are the largest of the bantams I keep. They are very fat and fluffy, with feathered legs and almost look like a walking tea-pot, plus tea-cosy. They lay small tinted eggs and they are very friendly, even compared with the other bantam breeds. I keep Millefleurs, which are speckled ginger and white, with a little black in them. They are actually miniature versions of the large-fowl breed Cochins.

With a few noteable exceptions, all bantams are miniaturised version of large-fowl that are bred for their looks rather than their laying ability.  Barbu d’Anvers are one of these exceptions and only exist in bantam size. They are tiny little birds about the size of a pigeon that lay little white eggs. They get extremely tame and need protecting from buzzards. Mine are ‘quail’ coloured, which are black and gold.

They are ‘true’ bantams, meaning that they have no large-fowl equivalent.