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Best free range bantams

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by copper2, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was interested in a bantam that could sleep in the trees with few problems with predators, and can lay quite a few eggs, and won't peck each other?
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy copper2

    When you find some, can you please let me know [​IMG]

    I have six little banties that fly like bricks but maybe a game bantam? Sorry, I have no experience with bantams that fly well.

    I believe, as a general rule, most bantams would not be considered good layers; mine do not lay every day. Sometimes they might make three days in a row, but normally it is only one or two and then they take a day or two off.

    With regards to the pecking, again I do not believe size makes a difference, my banties will peck and squabble over food, nest boxes, prime dust bath spots etc. They all get along reasonably well and are an established flock but they still peck each other when the mood strikes.

    What type of predators do you have in your area? I believe any chicken sleeping in trees, regardless of size, is going to have issue with predators. However, I could be wrong which is one of the reasons why I am replying .. I am intrigued to hear others thoughts.
     
  3. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raccoons, fox, and owls/ birds of prey. Are there any that are good brooders?
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hhhhm, I live in Aus so do not have the same predator problems you do but I would not feel comfortable letting any chickens sleep in the trees with raccoons and owls etc around. My gals sleep in a coop where neighbourhood cats cannot get to them.

    A couple of the bantams I have are definitely good brooders but that also means they are not good egg producers; they spend more time broody than they actually do laying eggs.
     
  5. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not even Sumatra bantams?
     
  6. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :cd must fly!
     
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're asking for something that doesn't exist. While a number of bantams could sleep in the trees, they will be easy snacks for efficient predators such as owls and raccoons. Furthermore broody chickens don't lay eggs and bantams in general are not good layers. And in the case of those few bantam breeds that are good layers such as Leghorn bantams, their eggs will be small and they will rarely go broody. In addition, those bantams that are the best at free ranging and escaping predators (such as game bantams) are among the more aggressive bantams and will peck at each other. I'm curious why you would want bantams rather than standard sized birds if you intend to free range them. Not only would some of the standard sized breeds be much more productive layers (larger eggs at the very least), but their larger size would give them somewhat better protection against predators, although they would still be no match for raccoons and larger owls. If you are going to try free ranging chickens in an area with abundant predators of these kinds, I would suggest going with a standard sized breed such as an Anconas or Brown Leghorns. Not only are these breeds excellent layers of large brown eggs, but they are quick, and their colors are harder for predators to see. However, even with these breeds you are going to lose some chickens to predators if you free range. It will be up to you to decide whether or not those loses are acceptable. Whatever you decide to do, good luck with your flock.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  8. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Uh, I wanted a chicken that could fly well, I used to have silkie bantams but never got that experience, and they pecked each other. I did get the experience of broody chickens! What are the best flyers, that can naturally raise chicks and free range, with some grain?
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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  10. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bantam or standard?
     

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