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Bantams Chickens Are Best!😍 Revealing The Big Deal About Tiny Chickens.

bantam chickens

I don’t need any convincing to big up bantams. They are small, but they are so very mighty.

These adorable pocket-sized poultry are the diamonds of chicken-land: a world of wonderfulness squished into tiny, but very precious packages. 

Bantams are so popular because of their smaller size and their premium-rate personalities. They’re the solution to any spacially-challenged chicken lover’s problems. 

You’re about to become a bantam boffin! 😍

Time to crack open the world of petite poultry: their eggs, their temperaments, their needs, their varieties, and of course…their size!

Perhaps Bantams are the reason they say that good things come in small packages? It’s very possible!

What is a Bantam Chicken?

Bantam chickens are small chickens. It’s that simple. 

Bantams aren’t a breed themselves; they’re either a small variety of a standard-sized chicken, or a chicken that is only available in a super-small size. More on that in a mo!

Other than their size, bantam chickens are no different from regular-sized chickens. They have no superpowers (other than being crazy cute), or weird health issues, they’re simply smaller. 

Bantams still have breed-specific physiques, colorations, temperaments, and egg-laying tendencies. 

What Does Large Fowl Mean?

To differentiate regular-sized chickens from their bantam varieties, the larger variety are often called standard-sized, or large fowl. 

Don’t let the term large fowl throw you though: some are diddy, just not as diddy as their bantam varieties. Standard-sized Silkies are recognized in the UK as large fowl, but they only weigh 3-4 lbs! Nobody is going to convince me that’s large!

How Big Are Bantam Chickens?

bantam chicken weight size comparison

Bantam chickens weigh 400 - 1100 grams. That’s about a third of the average size of a large fowl. They’re tiny.

The size of a bantam varies on breed and gender, Sebrights and Seramas are only little shorties at 6-inches tall, but miniaturized bantams are often up to a foot in height. 

Which Is the Smallest Bantam Chicken?

The Malaysian Serama bantam is the smallest bantam chicken, weighing less than 17 ounces and standing at just 15-25 cm tall. 

The runner-up, at just 18 ounces, is the Dutch bantam, followed closely by fellow featherweights the Seabright at 20 ounces and the Belgian D’Anver bantam at 21 ounces. I cannot handle this cuteness!

What is a Micro Chicken?

micro chicken

Micro chickens are teeny tiny bantam chickens – the smallest of the small - with males weighing no more than 13 ounces, and females no more than 8 ounces.

Check out these micro Seramas. You could put them in your pocket and sneak them into the office, no problem! And yes, they all lay eggs, just smaller ones!

Are Bantam Chickens Suitable for Beginners?

Bantams are very beginner friendly! They’re a lot less daunting than some of the larger breeds, and you’ll need less of everything to get started. 

Are Bantam Chickens Friendly?

Bantam chickens make fabulously friendly and affectionate pets. Bantams mirror the personality traits of their full-sized breed buddies, but also appear to be a tad more sociable overall. Even bantam roosters are soft centered, and make for cuddly, pint-sized, poultry pets.

Why Are Bantams So Friendly?

The reason that bantams tend to be so sociable is down to nurture rather than nature. They’re cuuuutttee, so we cuddle them more. 

Bantams tend to be selected as ornamental pets rather than production birds, seeing as what they do best is be so damn adorable. As a result, they’re raised on hugs and handling, and they get used to their human parents early on. But… they do lay eggs, plentiful eggs, just smaller than your standard golden globes. 

Are Bantam Chickens Good for Kids?

Bantams are the perfect chicken choice for children! They are tame, easy to handle (with little hands), affectionate, and not too noisy. Plus, their cute appeal is bound to woo even the grumpiest, most animal-averse teenager!

Which Bantam Chickens Are the Friendliest?

Ask this question in a room full of doting bantam breeders and you’re sure to start a scrap! There isn’t one breed that stands out in the crowd as the friendliest bantam, but there are a few varieties with a great reputation for being family-friendly birds:

  • Silkie bantams
  • Pekins
  • Australorps bantams
  • Serama bantams 
  • Cochin bantams 
  • Wyandotte bantams

How Big Are Bantam Chicken Eggs?

Bantams lay either tiny or small eggs🥚. Well, you can’t egg-spect her to jiggle out a jumbo!

Bantam eggs are generally classed as small: that’s any egg ranging from 1.25 - 1.75 ounces. Eggs are classed as tiny if they weigh anything up to 1.25 ounces, though they don’t often make it at less than 1 ounce. 

True bantams like Silkies lay the tiniest eggs, whilst miniaturized bantams lay larger eggs…not large, small eggs, but larger. You know what I mean.

Some bantam varieties of large-egg layers like the Sussex might tip into the medium range. Ouchies!  

All-in-all, it basically just means that you need (or have an excuse) to have more girls in your flock to ensure you get your bounty of eggs for the week. 

What Color Eggs Do Bantam Chickens Lay?

Bantam chickens lay eggs in all colors. The color of their eggs will mimic that of their breed. A mixed flock of bantams can make your egg basket look like you’ve poured in a packet of mini Easter eggs.

How Many Eggs Do Bantam Chickens Lay?

Bantam chickens lay between 50 and 200 eggs a year. Just how many compact creations they will bless you with depends mainly on their breed and as always, climate and health. 

Remember that bantams are not a breed of chicken, they’re varieties of other breeds, so their egg shades and stats mirror those of their full-sized feathery families. Their eggs are just smaller.

Which Bantam Chickens Lay the Most Eggs?

If you’re going to have all your eggs in one bantam-sized basket, then these are the best bantams for egg production:

Brahma bantam 

Cochin bantam 

Easter Egger bantam 

Leghorn bantam

Sussex bantam

Bantam chicken egg facts and stats:

bantam chicken egg facts

Belgian Bantam


Off white




Brown or white










Naked Neck




Dutch Bantam




Japanese Bantam




















Barbu d’Uccle








Easter Egger


Brown, blue, green, or pink





Are Bantam Chicken Eggs Edible?

Bantam eggs are just as yummy and nutritious as larger eggs…perfectly edible and perfectly delicious. If you're a yolk-worshiper, the yolk to white ratio is higher in bantam chicken eggs. You just might prefer them! 

Can I Cook with Bantam Chicken Eggs?

Of course, you can cook with bantam eggs! Recipes are always based on medium or large eggs, so you’ll just need to do the maths on how many dinky eggs to crack open depending on their weights and sizes. Or, you can let us do it for you… download our Egg Baking Conversion sheet here.

How Many Bantam Eggs equal one Medium or Large Egg?


What’s The Difference Between a True Bantam and a Miniature Bantam?

Batman chickens are classified as either miniaturized bantams, true bantams, or sometimes developed bantams. Here’s what that all means:

Miniaturized Bantam VS True Bantam?

Miniature bantams were selectively bred from standard-sized chickens to achieve the desired mini-me chicken nugget.

The Rhode Island Red bantam, Light Sussex bantam, and Maran bantam are some of the most popular miniaturized bantam chicken breeds.

True bantams are naturally small breeds, not a miniaturized version of a standard-sized chicken breed. They are just naturally petite poultry. Lucky them!

There are 26 varieties of true bantam chicken, the most popular including the Belgian d’Anver bantam, Booted Bantam, and Japanese Bantam Chicken.

The 26 True Bantams: 

Barbu d'Anvers (Antwerpse Baardkriel)[1]

Barbu d'Everberg (Everbergse Baardkriel)[1]

Barbu d'Uccle (Ukkelse Baardkriel)[1]

Barbu de Boitsfort (Bosvoordse Baardkriel)[1]

Barbu de Grubbe (Grubbe Baardkriel)[1]

Barbu de Watermael (Watermaalse Baardkriel)[1]

Bassette Liégeoise[1]

Belgian Bantam (Belgisch Kriel, Naine Belge)[1]

Bleue de Lasnes[1]

Booted Bantam[2]


Dutch Bantam[2]

Japanese Bantam[2]

Mericanel della Brianza


Naine du Tournaisis[1]

Nankin Bantam[2][3]

Nankin Shamo[3]

Pekin Bantam[2]








Waasse kriel (Naine de Waes)[1]


What is a Developed Bantam? 

Developed bantams are chickens that only exist in their bantam variety, and selective breeding is the intentional cause of their new, smaller size. 

Lots of bantam boffins screw their nose up at this classification of batams, as you could argue that they are the same as true bantams, in that they have no large fowl equivalent. 

Seabright bantams and Old English game bantams are examples of popular developed bantams. 

How Many Varieties of Bantam Chicken Are There?

There are 274 bantam varieties recognized by the American Poultry Association which you can see here, but many more of these pretty little things are acknowledged amongst keepers and in other countries. 

Which Are the Most Popular Bantams?

I’ll introduce you properly to some of these lovely little ladies in a bit, but for now, here are 10 of the most popular girls in class:

  1. Silkie Bantam
  2. Pekins Bantam
  3. Barbu d'Anvers Bantam
  4. Cochin Bantam
  5. Barbu /Belgian d'Uccle Bantam
  6. Sebright Bantam
  7. Japanese Bantam
  8. Nankin Bantam
  9. Rhode Island Red Bantam
  10. Buff Orpington Bantam

Which Is the Rarest Bantam Chicken?

The Burmese bantam is the world’s rarest chicken and was thought to be extinct at one point until a surviving flock was discovered in the 1970s. Phew.

Do Bantam Chickens Fly?

Bantam breeds are more flighty than large fowl. They need to stretch those wings and will need a taller coop than less flighty chickens. If they can’t be contained, or you are looking to free-range them, you might need to clip their wings. Unless of course you rereferring to the Silkie or Pekin bantams, these ladies do not fly!

Do Bantam Chickens Go Broody?

Bantam hens seem to get quite broody, which doesn’t always help with their egg yield. They’ll even plonk their dainty derrieres on their coop-mates full-sized eggs. Bless them. 

Are Bantam Roosters Aggressive?

Bantam roosters are only aggressive when they feel their ladies are at risk, which is fair play! They aren’t aggressive in general, and keepers say that bantam roos make for great pets.  

Are Bantam Chickens Noisy?

Bantams are a quieter chicken option: smaller birds – less noise. This is another reason that bantams are a great choice for urban neighborhoods where you don’t want to ruffle your neighbor’s feathers. The roosters even crow quietly. 

How Much Space Do Bantam Chickens Need?

Bantam chickens need about 2 square feet of coop, and 4 square feet of run space. That’s half the space of a bigger bird! Although bantams are flighty, so they will need taller coops to allow them to stretch those wings and will appreciate higher roost bars.

Are Bantam Chickens Cold Hardy?

This all depends on their breed. Ameraucana bantams, Barnevelder bantams, and Wyandotte bantams are very tolerant of colder conditions. Rain won’t worry the Wyandotte bantam one bit, whereas the Serama bantam is too tiny to tolerate any puddles at all. 

Are Bantam Chickens Suited to Hot Climates? 

Certain breeds lap up the sunshine! Belgian Bearded d’Uccle and Frizzles prefer the heat, and don’t do drizzle at all! Houden and Japanese bantams are sun worshipers and prefer a hotter climate.

How Long Do Bantam Chickens Live?

lifespan comparison of bantam chickens

Bantam chickens live for 4-8 years, though some itty bitty biddies make it to 15 years with lots of TLC. 

Their life expectancy isn’t dissimilar to standard-sized chickens.

How to Care for Bantam Chickens

Bantams are relatively easy to care for, in that they have no specific health issues and need less of everything (apart from love❤️ – they need lots of that!)

The only thing to note is that bantam chicken breeds have a higher metabolic rate because of their shorter stature, so they suffer the effects of the cold faster than large fowl. They’ll need heaters.

Their size can also make them more vulnerable to predators, so you’ll need to plan carefully to protect them against bullies. I’d recommend taking a pekin at this course on how to protect your flock from predation.  

What Do Bantam Chickens Eat?

Bantams eat the same food as standard-sized chickens, but they’ll ask for smaller portions. Where standard-sized chickens tend to get through ¾ of a cup of pellets a day, bantams will only eat half of that. 

On top of pellets and water, they enjoy a treat as much as the next chicken. Find out more about chicken dietary requirements here.

Should I Say ‘Bantam’ Before or After the Breed of the Chicken?

‘Bantam Brahma’ or ‘Brahma bantam’ are both fine! Don’t sweat the small stuff about these small chickens.

There’s no rule as to which comes first: the word bantam followed by the breed, or the breed, and then the variety of bantam. 

It’s more common to hear the breed before the variety (as in Silkie bantam), but you won’t be sent to grammar jail if you introduce your new pet ‘variety first’ (as in bantam Brahma), just like you would a Gold-Laced Wyandotte.  

An Introduction to 8 Popular Bantam Breeds:

Japanese Bantam

japanese bantam

  • True bantam
  • Popular for looks and showing
  • Ornamental use
  • Great Show birds. Stunning looks, with lots of color varieties including black, red, and lavender.
  • Poor layers – 75 tiny eggs a year
  • Hens 1lb and roosters 1.2 lbs

Silkie Bantam

silkie bantam

  • True bantam
  • Very popular as a pet and for showing
  • Ornamental use
  • Very broody and can be used to hatch other chicken’s eggs
  • Hens 32 ounces
  • Roosters 35 ounces
  • Poor layers – 100-120 cream eggs a year

Cochin bantam

cochin bantam

  • True bantam
  • Also called Pekin bantam in Europe
  • Popular pet and for showing
  • Only 20-30 cm tall! Little shorty
  • Decent layers for a bantam – 200 brown eggs a year
  • Look bigger than they are as they’re so fluffy. You can barely see their feet.
  • Hens 28 ounces
  • Roosters 32 ounces

 Serama Bantam

serama bantam

  • True bantam
  • Smallest chicken in the world!
  • Lovely temperament
  • Popular for pet 
  • Decent layers for a bantam – 160 – 180 cream eggs a year
  • Only 6 - 10 inches tall
  • Hens 8-19 ounces
  • Roosters 13-19 ounces
  • So small they have four size classes, including micro, which weigh just 8 ounces!

Booted Bantams 

booted bantam

  • True bantam
  • Also known as Sablepoot bantams
  • Famous for their feathery feet
  • Popular for pet 
  • Decent layers for a bantam – 120 tinted/white eggs a year
  • Hens 27 ounces
  • Roosters 30 ounces

Belgian Bearded d’Uccle Bantams 

belgian d'uccle bantam

  • True bantam
  • Beautiful plumage!
  • Popular as pets
  • Very Broody hens
  • Conservative layers– 100 eggs a year
  • Hens 22 ounces
  • Roosters 26 ounces

Buff Orpington Bantams

  • Miniaturized bantam
  • One of the largest bantams 
  • Lovely temperament
  • Popular as laying bantams and pets
  • Broody hens
  • Decent bantam layers– 150 eggs a year
  • Hens 38 ounces
  • Roosters 34 ounces

Rhode Island Red Bantams

  • Miniaturized bantam
  • One of the largest bantams 
  • Lovely temperament
  • Popular as laying bantams and pets
  • Broody hens
  • Decent bantam layers– 150 eggs a year
  • Hens 38 ounces
  • Roosters 34 ounces 

What Are the Pros & Cons of Keeping Bantam Chickens?

pros and cons of keeping bantam chickens

Petite Poultry Pros:

  • Bantams look so cute. Do you need another reason?
  • Bantams are cheaper to keep as they eat less and mess less.
  • Bantams need less room than standard-sized chickens, making them a better fit if you’re short on space.
  • Bantam breeds are kid-friendly and easy to handle
  • Bantams have great temperaments and make loving pets
  • If you have less space but want more eggs, two small bantam layers can deliver more eggs than one standard-sized hen. Food for thought?

Petite Poultry Cons:

  • Bantams can be susceptible to predators and aren’t the best bird to keep free range.
  • Ultimately, their eggs are smaller, and they aren’t the best production bird
  • If you’re looking for a meat bird you are waaayyyyy off looking at bantams!
Do your teeny bantams own a big spot in your heart?
Share your petite-poultry pics here…

It’s been an absolute pleasure to introduce you to these teeny, tiny chickens with whopper personalities. I have no doubt you’re off to get some pronto. Especially as you can bring them home in your henbag. 

Even small chickens are a big responsibility. Issues like heat strike and parasites will impact a small bird faster than a standard bird. Prepare yourself before you purchase your poultry pals.

Chickenpedia is the perfect way to learn fast, so you can still go shopping tomorrow. Their step-by-step course, blogs, resources, and expert advice are the easy way to get quick answers to chicken conundrums. Check it out here.

Jo Smith


I’m Jo. Busy Mom to two little girls, one soppy, Labrador Retriever and too many chickens to ever confess to (I’m hoping the hubby has lost count). I love to chat and I’m chicken crazy, so I really love my job: chatting chickens with you! 💕

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