How are bantam chickens made?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by GimmeCake, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. GimmeCake

    GimmeCake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was wondering how bantam breeds are made. Like if I made a chicken mix, and wanted to create a bantam version, could I (I'm not)? How would this be done?
     
  2. happyhens1972

    happyhens1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some bantams are 'true bantams' which means they are naturally that size. They were made that size by nature in the first place and have no large fowl version, such as Sebright or Serama.

    Other bantams have been 'shrunk' by years of selective breeding and are smaller versions of a large fowl, such as Sussex Bantams or Wyandotte Bantams.

    This is basically done by picking good examples of the large fowl but those birds that are naturally smaller (not runty) and breeding them with other naturally smaller ones, then picking the smallest from that mating to perpetuate the smaller size. It's a bit like 2 five foot people having a baby, then that baby grows up being shorter and has a baby with another short person. It's more complicated than that and takes years of selection but that's the basics.

    As for 'can I do it?'....yes you could but I think it's pretty much been done already [​IMG]
     
  3. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Of the chicks I ordered I have one, a Black Langshan, which is half the size of all the rest despite being active and healthy. Since Ideal does not sell Bantam Langshans I have to assume that Nugget just happens to randomly have a mutation that makes her bantam-sized.

    She's not weak or "runty" -- she is one of the more dominant personalities in the coop so far. She even holds her own against the Big Red Boys. But she's so small that she can walk under the taller chicks just by ducking her head. She doesn't need to squat down.
     
  4. GimmeCake

    GimmeCake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, basically it's breeding the smallest ones of the flock with other smaller ones, until they produce very small chickens and just breed those? That sounds easy, but also lots of boring work......
     
  5. happyhens1972

    happyhens1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Exactly that...selective breeding. And yes, it can take years and years to achieve your goals. This is how we have ended up with so many different shapes and sizes of dogs and, to a lesser degree, cats and such a variety within so many different animal types.
     

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