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Treacodactyl

Bantams

If we were to consider getting chickens again would bantams be more sensible as we'll not have a huge amount of room for them?

If so are they any breeds that are ideal for a simple egg producing bird? I don't want anything fussy, likely to go broody every five minutes or something that only lays a couple of dozen eggs a year.
Cathryn

They are generally less destructive, simply because they are smaller in most cases I imagine. I can't actually recommend a hen though. I have an araucana bantam who is a good layer at the moment and good sized blue eggs but she has taken several years to settle down to this. She appears to need the company of other black hens before they arrived we never saw her. The wyandotte I have is always broody, handy for hatching but I cannot remember the last time she laid an egg! I have a maran bantam who lays occasionally. There are bantams that are peaceful and lay well though and I am sure you will get some suggestions on here. Wink
Bodger

The leghorn type of banties are a bit flighty and can fly almost like pigeons. My favourites would be Light Sussex or perhaps RIR's. Welsummers are becoming pretty popular too. After some rubbish incubator results, I've been toying with getting some LS as broodies.
Treacodactyl

I was thinking Sussex of some sort, light would be easiest to find but I have a soft sport for buffs or speckled. But then you mention broody...

And what about food rations. I would guess they would eat 1/2 to 2/3 what a full sized hen would? We've been buying some local bantie eggs and although small the yolks don't seem much smaller than a normal hens egg.
Cathryn

I have had both buff and speckled Sussex, you have reminded me. Neither went broody. I've never had a Light Sussex go broody either, bantam or large fowl. The bantams came from a place near Ludlow that's closed and the large fowl from Chez.
Bodger

Some strains of LS do go broody but perhaps not all. I had a mate who kept a load of them for that very purpose.
Chez

I agree with everything everyone up thread has said. They tend to be more seasonal layers, in my experience. I've got araucanas and welsummers and they've been in lay for a few weeks now.

There is a strain of anconas bred by a chap called Joe Stenhouse from Scotland that are supposed to be very good layers if you can get hold of them. A friend in Axminster had a cockbird off me a few years ago and still has the line I think. I got rid of my hens because knocking them down from the tree in the front garden with the broom became part of my night time ritual.

Welbars and Rhodebars are well established in bantam sizes and are supposed to have fairly good utility.
Bodger

but they are wild scatty little beggars Chez.
Treacodactyl

This is where I think being a man helps: I've cut down the tree in the front garden. Cool Laughing

But flightiness is a concern. Theoretically I can't keep poultry but as I get on with my neighbours I can't see a problem.... unless I have to go round at dusk asking permission to flush them down from their pergolas. The banties would be kept in a large pen but may be let out to roam occasionally.
Chez

As Bodge says ... . You haven't lived til you've knocked your hat off in the branches of the spikey tree, wielding a broom in the driving rain. Sean will agree Smile.

Would you have them in a roofed pen? I let mine out one day out of three and that seems to be ok - the third day you let them roam, they seem to try to sleep away.

Basically, the less flighty they are, the more prone to broodiness. You just have to decide where you want to be on the continuum between never out of the nest box and never out of the tree ...
Bodger

Laughing Laughing Laughing

When I showed game chickens, it was not unheard of for this dad to make his kids climb trees in the dark to catch them up the night before. Embarassed
Cathryn

I've been lucky. They haven't been very flighty and it's only recently that I seem to have broody ones. They've always been able to free range though. Perhaps they felt no need to fly anywhere when they could walk. Smile
leggy

My 2 cross breeds go broody and my serama are flighty Laughing
But I do like eating banty eggs.
I just wish I could squeeze some game bantams in.
Wonder if I could smuggle the seramas indoors Embarassed
Chez

I think you owe it to all of us to try, Leggy Smile
chickenlady



I'm a great fan of pekins....I have them wandering about the garden and they do hardly any damage and don't fly very high either. Get exceedingly tame too and come in a wide varieties of colours. Good layers. Go broody about once a year but can be persuaded not to quite easily if you don't want them to raise chicks. I raise a few every year - love little fluffies.
Chez

I find my pekins are *constantly* broody - it's all they ever want to do. I do love them though - their eggs are small even by bantam standards. And they have fluffy knickers. Smile
evie2

My preference is Sablepoot and Dutch bantams. They're pretty little birds, about collar dove size, they do no damage to the garden, have friendly natures and are good layers.
Treacodactyl

They would be kept in a roofed pen, too many cats around not to. If I had a choice I'd rather go with non-fluffy birds as well, just plain looking smaller hens.
Shan

I have 2 Hamburg bantams. Lovely little girls. They do go broody once a year but they are fabulous mothers and they lay quite well. I would say clip their wings because they have quite a stubborn nature and go exactly where they want to.... Oh and they are quite curious and unfortunately do like having a good old scratch. They are very friendly though.
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