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Mixing big chickens and bantams?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello,

We are planning to get mostly laying hens of heavy breeds. We also thought to get 1 or 2 roosters to maybe help warn the hens of hawks. Not really planning on breeding at this point.

I wonder what would happen if the roosters were bantams? Would they still warn the hens? Would the hens hurt them because they are smaller? Or do bantams have to be separate from big hens?

I saw some bantams at a fair yesterday and they are just so CUTE and active, very nice small chickens. We might also be able to get a bantam rooster and a couple of bantam hens, and keep them in a separate house, but would that rooster still warn all the hens of hawks? I don't think we can have a lot of big hens + their roosters, and also a bantam rooster and his hens. That's probably too many for us right now.

Thanks!

~*Sakura of Kingdom Hearts*~

My heart's a battleground with Angels in flight
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~*Sakura of Kingdom Hearts*~

My heart's a battleground with Angels in flight
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post #2 of 9

I've kept bantams and standards together off and on for almost 10 years, and have never had any problems. The bigger ones have never picked on the smaller ones, and the rooster bantams do just as good of a job as the standards.

post #3 of 9

I think alot of it has to do with the establishment of the pecking order.  Most roosters are at the top.  I think if the bantam rooster was the first in your flock and you added the full size birds later as older chicks you shouldn't have any problems.  My firend's flock has 5 bantam hens and she later introduced a buff orpington and a australorp(they were chick mates together) to the flock and the bantams were dominate over these full size birds.  Some flocks that don't have a rooster a alpha hen will take on that position and I have heard will stop laying.

post #4 of 9

I would never put any bantam hens with a standard rooster.  He could hurt her or worse trying to mate.

Carla
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Carla
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post #5 of 9

But you could add a couple of say, Easter Eggers to the two banties I have already? I have a breeding pair of what are supposedly Nankings. As long as I don't add large roos? Will the banty roo mate with the larger hens? Thanks.

Marie

Blue/Black/Splash Silkies , Bantam Salmon Faverolle
Eggs for sale when available!
For feedback: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=42632
NPIP
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Blue/Black/Splash Silkies , Bantam Salmon Faverolle
Eggs for sale when available!
For feedback: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=42632
NPIP
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post #6 of 9

If the EEs are hens, the roo will try to mate them (unless he doesn't like them).

Carla
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Carla
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post #7 of 9

I would recommend bantam roosters. I have a blue splash bantam cochin rooster with my standard size hens and they have a great relationship. Piccolino, is a wonderful bird, friendly, beautiful and quiet. The larger hens bully him once in a while but overall they are friendly to eachother. Piccolino once saved his "girls" by charging the neighbors dog as he enterd the yard, he jumped at the dog giving the hens enough time to escape. I thought he had been killed but he wandered back after an hour or so unharmed. There are many bonuses of keeping bantam roosters.

1. They are small and light so the hens' back feathers don't get damaged.

2. The roosters are less likely to injure the hens or their keepers since they are smaller.

3. Bantam roosters are much quieter (although some breeds have a higher pitched crow).

4. Breeding stadard sized hens with bantams can result in higher egg production and better broodiness in hens.

Pick a breed that is not too small so injuries don't result. I recommend any of the sized-down bantam breeds (aka smaller versions of standard size) like bantam cochins, rocks, RIR, wyandottes... I would really recommend the bantam cochins though - they are real sweathearts.

post #8 of 9

I have been wondering about keeping standards and bantams together. I think I would like to have a couple of bantams just for fun!

post #9 of 9

Sometimes it doesn't work. Depending on how nice your chickens are, it varies. Sometimes, they don't even want to pick on them. It's just, well, too big. I have a GIANT mix breed chicken and it doesn't notice other bantam chickens around him. He just walks through them, pushing them around.

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