Bantams in a 3' by 4' coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TimM, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Hi all. I seem to check in here about once every few months with a question, and I am SOOO grateful to you generous experts for always having an answer (or 20) for me!

    I built a little coop a few years ago (https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/timms-member-page) and I've had success with three hens in it for several years. They are a cross between Rhode Island Red and Leghorns, excellent layers (far more eggs than we could eat) when younger, and well behaved. No problems of any sort.

    But now they are ready to retire to that great grassland in the sky, and make room for newbies.

    Here's the issue. I am really curious about Bantams. They are so cute, and I figure I could fit a few more than three in this little coop. I'd get less total egg mass from them, but a little less is fine. However, a friend who knows a little bit about chickens strongly discouraged me. She said that Bantams have vile temperment, fight amongst themselves in a small enclosure, and are very poor layers. I hope to soon order some chicks by mail and try my hand at brooding them (I bought pullets before).

    So here's the question. Am I crazy to depart from the simple success I had before? Is brooding Bantams tricky? Will they fight in a 3' by 4' coop (plus 3' by 8' outside run)? How many could I safely fit in there? Will egg production really drop off from what I'm used to? (Some dropoff is fine.)

    Thanks for any advice!

    TimM
     
  2. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    TimM

    I love my bantams, but I have a large coop and the bantams are kind of 'extra' just for me because I love them.

    In Ohio, my bantams have typically stopped laying in November and don't resume until March. So, that is much different than the typical winter drop off for me for the large fowl.

    I think you need about half as much space or a little less for bantams than large fowl. If they are all females (which is very hard to get sexed bantams) I have not found them to be nasty in temperament. The males I had trouble with and have had to re-home them on Craig's list. I have multiple old English game, 2 silkies, a golden sebright (poor layer), and some mille fleur d'uccles.

    I hope this helps. I personally LOVE the bantams, they are awesome, we only name our bantams, as the large fowl are much more numerous and subject to culling (in theory). I have an old English game name "gwen" that is a real doll, I can walk around and just pick her up without ever having a problem. She brooded some eggs last year and was a great mother to some large RIR and Light Brahma babies (even when they dwarfed her in a few weeks).

    Good luck.
     
  3. atira

    atira Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2012
    southern Ohio
    I have bantams...6 of them...they sleep in a plastic playhouse which belonged to my granddaughter...it is only like a 3'x4' and 3'H. I have added another coop-ette which is a 3'x3'x4'H shipping crate converted...I put 2 nesting boxes in it and there are 2 nesting boxes in the play house. I just added the wooden coop-ette because the plastic one went like Dorothy's house in the Wizard of Oz during near tornado strength winds last summer...the chickens were still in the pen, the house was over the fence...
    As for temperament...each of mine are their own...I handle them each day, rocking them, I talk to them just like they were cats/dogs...I have not had any problems with them...They each have a name and they come to it when I call them...they are well trained...but like I said, I do handle them every day...makes for a better bird in my opinion and easier to check for any problems...I like/love my bantams...
     

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