Bantams or standards in suburban back yard? (Western WA area)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PurpleGizmo, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. PurpleGizmo

    PurpleGizmo Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    Enumclaw, WA
    I'm planning to order my first batch of chicks this spring (finally!) and am trying to decide between 3 standard-sized pullets or up to 5 bantam pullets. I know both have their merits—and fans!

    What would you recommend?

    I'm having a hard time deciding. Here are a few background details:

    My 3.5 year old daughter would like to be involved, so the most important thing is that our chickens be friendly, non-aggressive, and easy for her to handle.

    We live in a suburban neighborhood next to pastureland, so distant farm sounds and aromas are not unusual. Still, I'd like to keep the noise and odor down. Are bantam pullets noticeably quieter and tidier than their full-sized cousins? As for odor, I'm building the coop with the deep litter method in mind. Maybe this is a non-issue. [​IMG]

    I'd like to let them free range in the yard with supervision, but need to also keep damage to our vegetable garden under reasonable control. Maybe I'm asking too much. [​IMG]

    Our annual temperatures typically range between the mid-twenties and the eighties. This year was unusual. Temperatures dipped into the low teens. Will both bantams and standards do well in those temperatures considering that the run will be covered?

    Lastly, I'd like some eggs. Doesn't need to be much—I'm not expecting to completely replace grocery eggs—but it would be fun to collect some rent while they're young. [​IMG] On the other hand, if I had to choose happy pets (and kids) over eggs, I would in a heartbeat.

    Any advice?
  2. BJ

    BJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2007
    There is so much to consider...some bantams can be very high strung and flighty. Also, sebrights, for example, are not as hardy in cold climates. You should really take time to research temperaments since you have a young daughter. Yes, bantams poop a lot less than standard size. I love my D'uccle, but she is very docile and this breed would get picked on if you pick the wrong standard-size breed to cohabitat. Orpingtons are very sweet and friendly. A lot of folks here like Americanaus, but I don't have experience with this breed.

    Here's an idea. Go to and they have a tool you can use to help choose. They also describe temperaments, cold weather hardiness, and photos of most breeds.

    Best of luck!!
  3. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    I choose bantams! You get to have more...and who ever dies with the most chickens wins!!!
  4. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
  5. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    We started out with a couple of Wyandottes and a bantam rooster. The rooster was squirrelly and he had to go back to where we got him from... He was good at keeping after the hens but was thinking of making lunch on my wife's foot (we have cats too). So now fast forward 9 months and we have a bantam cochin hen and rooster. We love them, they are easy to corral and very sweet. We literally pen them up at night and then once they go upstairs into their coop can pick one up in each arm and carry them to our winter coop in our basement... We have 2 week old bantam cochin (blue and black mottled) babies and we're starting them off right by handling them many times a day. They're getting used to it fast - some so much so that they keep coming back for more (aaaawwwwww).

    Good luck deciding. You want something that you can turn your back on - bantam cochins would be just right, being you have young children.

  6. PurpleGizmo

    PurpleGizmo Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    Enumclaw, WA
    Wow, that was fast! I didn't expect so many responses so soon! [​IMG]

    I'm planning to get bantams or standard-sized chickens; we won't be mixing the two. Of the standard breeds, I have buff orpingtons, barred rocks, speckled sussex, australorps, and sex-links on my list of possibilities, amongst others—more possibilities than I can possibly have!

    Do bantams have the same general disposition as standards of the same breed?
  7. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Bantams are usually friendlier so if I had kids I would go with them. That being said, I only raise large chickens now.
  8. ghulst

    ghulst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    If I was you i would get 3 Isa Browns ( red sexlinked).They will fill all your needs plus fill you most of your egg needs.
  9. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    I haven't heard anybody mention bantams flight abilities. Our two little ones can easily clear a 6' fence. Our heavy breeds have trouble getting much more than 3' of altitude. Our field fence around our acreage is about 4 1/2' high. We have never had anything except the Bantams make it to the other side. I would go with some nice Orpingtons. They will take much less handling than the bantams to get friendly with, less likely to fly over to visit your neighbors and lay you some nice sized eggs. I really like my BOs and they will be at the top of my list when we add to our flock.[​IMG]
  10. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I would say Silkies. They are small, very friendly, and they cant fly. Perfect for a suburban back yard. bantam cochins are also nice, but they can fly.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by