1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Bantam Care

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by thaiturkey, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    We've just been given some young bantams and would appreciate basic advice on their care. We have kept turkeys and laying hens previously but this is the first time that we have had banties. The banties are for eggs and breeding. We aren't into killing them for meat.

    There's one young cockerel and three younger, immature hens. They came from a free range flock that roosts in trees, forages during the day and is given rice. Our four are now in the old turkey coop with food and perches. We were advised to keep them like that for a few days so that they can settle in and accept our land as their new home. They have been nervous during their first 24 hours but were roosting this evening and the cock was making himself heard. They haven't eaten yet or taken water.

    Once they are settled, we can offer them plenty of land to explore and a range of trees to roost in if that is their preference.

    I won't poke a camera at them until they have settled but the cock stands proud with beautiful red hackles and they all look healthy. I have no idea about their origin but most banties here descend from wild varieties. Vets. bills here are cheap but we were told that they won't need injections, unlike out previous turkeys.

    As I said, any basic advice for us novices would be welcome, please.
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,555
    121
    311
    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Treat bantams just as you would treat your large fowl chickens. Same food, and of course water. The only thing different is that they are more vulnerable to predators. I do take precautions with them because of this. Not sure what type of predators dwell in Tailand, but we have lots of different predators here in Ohio, in the United States.

    You can allow your bantams to free range, just like the large fowl, if that is what you want to do, but they are more vulnerable. I personally let my bantams out for a few hours, before it starts to get dark, then they get locked up for the night.

    My large fowl chickens and turkeys free range all day.

    Take care,
    Sharon
     
  3. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    Thank you for your reply, chickmom.

    The banties are walking around the coop this morning but are still nervous when we approach them. I think that they must stay in there for a few more days.

    Dogs can be a nuisance here and I need to check the un-walled boundaries where neighbours cleared and ploughed their land right up to the hedges. Snakes can also be a problem if the banties go walk-about but we have never seen much more than a rat snake or two on our land.

    I would like to lock then up at night but they come from free ranging stock that roosts in trees. Most chickens around here do that. They would be safe off the ground on our land. I'll see how it goes and, if they don't settle for indoor sleeping, will try to train the next generation to accept it. Ideally, I would like a flock that takes itself home every evening to a coop that's dog proof but I suppose that would be too much to expect!
     
  4. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    The banties are doing fine and, at the risk of seeming naive to you experts, I'll relate some of what has been going on.

    They were kept in the old turkey coop with food and water while they settled in to their new environment. Very soon they showed great interest in what they could see outside and managed to escape the coop when the door, not securely fastened it seems, blew open in strong wind. Since then, they have been free to peck and grub around the land. As dusk descends, they head for the coop and roost for the night. we leave the door open now and so they are back at work on the bugs very early. Rice is of no interest to them.

    The care taken of the young female chicks by the slightly older cockerel has surprised me. Perhaps he has some plan in mind for them in the future ([​IMG]) but he watches over them as mother must have done. Most of the time, they keep under the trees where, I guess, they are safe from predatory birds, in the shade from the hot sun and where most bugs are to be found. The boy has found a pile of old logs in a corner, rich in juicy bugs I imagine, and stands atop them announcing his presence.

    We had a tropical rainstorm hit the area two days ago. I drove home to check that the banties were safe and that the coop door hadn't blown closed. They were out in the open land, wet though and having a great time. Occasionally during these storms, winged termites will emerge from underground, make short flights and land, losing their wings. They make a great feast for poultry and that is why they were out in the storm. Getting soaking wet myself, I herded them towards the coop and left them by the door wondering, perhaps, whether to take shelter or continue the feast

    I thought, for many years, that cockerels exercised their lungs only from the crack of dawn. However, in our neighbourhood at least, there is a time from about 3.00 to 3.30am when they also sound off. Our chap is no exception and was in full voice during that time.

    So far, I'm very pleased that we took these little thing under our wing. How things will progress as they grow, produce eggs and offspring and the flock size begins to increase exponentially remains to be see.

    We ought to choose a name for the cockerel but nothing springs to mind yet. There's no point in naming his future harem until differences between them in appearance show.
     
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,756
    404
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    Hi, I live in Chiang Mai. Where are you? I have Japanese Bantams and also some ducks. The Bantams are real easy to take care of. They are great as they don't eat so much food!

    They will go broody easily and you will find the population increasing quickly if you don't eat all the eggs! I keep mine under the traditional woven chicken baskets and move them around the garden. When I am there to keep an eye on them I let them out to free range. They fly really well, and sometimes go out of the garden into the jungle at the back of my house, but they always know their way home.

    I have never lost any to predators as they seem very alert to danger and quick to fly away if something spooks them. My duck are very stupid and lazy and I have lost a lot to pythons.

    I would think the most dangerous predator for your bantams will be the street dogs. I used to have problems with them until I fenced all around my property.

    Have you got any turkeys for sale? I would love a pair as pets! I am a crazy animal lover lol.

    Enjoy your new arrivals. If you want to get them tame fast them offer them some mealworms from the pet shop. They will do anything for them.
     
  6. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    Hi Jak,

    We are near Korat about 2K from the 24 and 304 crossing.

    Thanks for the tips. I'll ask my wife if she knows where to buy mealworms.

    Dogs are a problem here but I don't think that they can see the banties. Our boundary is part walled and part fenced. When the people over the fences clear for planting, the protective undergrowth around the fences is lost. I have plans to deal with that. Snakes might be a problem in the rainy season.

    My friend who gave us the banties said that his sometimes wander off into the jungle and return to roost in trees on his land every evening. I have no problem with that apart from the dogs. On the other hand, there are so many chickens wandering around our village that our little things would be unlucky to be singled out.

    Is it the case that banty eggs don't stay fresh for long, would you say?

    We no longer have turkeys but neighbours here do and a friend has a large flock that he started from our birds. If you are interested, I'll make some enquiries for you. I suggest that you have at least on male and two females. Alternatively, have a few poults and give away some males if you find later that there are too many.

    I would like to introduce new blood to our small flock in due course. Would you sell some of yours? I'd happily swap unless you want to keep yours pure Japanese.

    We have an intention to get up to Chiang Mai this year. Perhaps we could sort this out then.
     
  7. mrsc1951

    mrsc1951 Chillin' With My Peeps

    301
    22
    123
    May 15, 2011
    Largo, Florida
    Bantam eggs will stay fresh as long as full sized fowl eggs, especially if you don't wash them until you are going to use them.
     
  8. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    Thank you. Straight in the fridge then.
     
  9. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,756
    404
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    Yes the eggs stay fresh for ages. I have collected some laying about well over a week old and then kept them in the fridge for many more days and they were still fresh! I normally don't do this [​IMG])

    You will have to put some pics of you birds up on here. All the bantams I usually see in my area are the Japanese Bantams. I also have some silky pullets too, but I have been having some health problems with them not gaining weight. You are welcome to swap some chickens with me in the future if you come to Chiang Mai. Many people keep bantams in my area and there are also some pet shops that sell them too.

    just let me know when you are about to come Chiang Mai and I'll sort something out. Oh, and enjoy the Songkran Festival too!
     
  10. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    33
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    I plan to take some pics. today. I'll have time on my hands because the electricity will be off for most of the day while new cables are installed in the area. All-electric houses are fine apart from the outages! The banties are still rather shy and slowly move away when I approach so the telephoto lens might have to be dusted down.

    I'll let you know when we have a date for heading north. We shall be using a red plate vehicle in about one month's time and will travel as soon as we can after we have the permanent plate and the first service is done.

    Would you like me to check on the availability of turkeys for you?

    You enjoy Songkran too! I avoid it these days. It's fun with the kids but those scooter boys take it too far. The traffic passing through the bypass here is something to avoid too. It's on the main route north east from Bangkok and Pattaya so you can imagine what it's like. The traffic lights are shut off and u-turns closed so the flow is non-stop. Also, it starts on Friday 13th this year so the motorbike will be off the road for at least that day!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by