You know, every time I get to thinking I've got a clue about this chicken-raising thing, I find myself feeling like a total newb. Here we go again. I just found out TODAY that one of my new birds is a bantam. We adopted a group of 5 pullets from a neighbor who was down-sizing her large flock a few weeks ago. While we were there, she offered to part with her black silkie, who was attached to my daughter (and vice versa). She had a couple of silkies already, and we immediately jumped at the chance. The other birds were about 6-8 weeks at the time, but in the back of my mind, I heard her tell me that the silkie was about 5 months old, but it never registered. I was just too excited to have a black silkie coming home with me soon. Always wanted a silkie... Now, 3+ weeks later, the other birds are looking pretty big, and the silkie - who had been larger than the others - is still a tiny thing, and smaller than the Ameraucana pullets. And it hits me - she's a bantam, isn't she? I emailed the neighbor, who confirmed that she is indeed a bantam. (Guess I missed that part of the conversation, too.) I've never had one of those before. OMG! She's a sweet-tempered bird, and the only one of the new lot that actually allows us to pick her up and hold her without a battle. So far, she's settled in with the other girls - the 2+-year-olds and the 2-month-olds alike - and gets chased off as much as any of the new girls, no more and no less. In fact, she's pretty bossy with the younger ones. But should I be on the lookout for any unusual nastiness from the older birds? I'm hoping that if I haven't seen anything yet, I won't. They've had time to adjust to each other, but once they figure out that little Julia isn't getting any bigger, will they care? At this age, seems like she might start to lay really soon. Bantams are on the same laying schedule as standards, I trust? Anything I need to know about the eggs? I assume they're just as edible - and tasty - as the standards' eggs, just... small. How do you cook/eat such tiny things? And - GULP - what about my rooster?!? He's a Polish, and rather incompetent at love, but he tries pretty hard. Once Julia "comes of age", will he be courting her as he does the others, or will he always think she's jailbait? Any physical issues with him consummating the relationship, or is it basically one-size-fits-all? I can't believe I'm even asking this question. Life was so much less complicated with only a handful of birds.