Should I get Seramas or Japanese Bantams?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Petra Pancake, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    In addition to my normal sized layers behind the house I would like to get a pair or trio of decorative Bantams in a kind of huge cage with several levels in it on our veranda. If possible, I would like to breed them a bit as well, broody hen based, without an incubator.The chickens would have to be weather hardy to a degree (they would be under the veranda roof though and have solid walls on two sides of their housing). They'll not be able to free range - we've got lots of feral cats here and the road is too close. They shouldn't be too loud, including the roo.

    What would be the better choice for these conditions -
    * confinement, no free range
    * partial weather exposure (hot and dry in summer, cold and wet in winter)
    * should be relatively quiet,
    * rooster shouldn't bite my hand off,
    * should not drop dead suddenly (Serama problem)
    * should multiply reasonably (I know, both breeds have a problem with lethal genes that make part of the offspring die and Seramas sometimes aren't fertile)
    * their offspring should be sell-able and help me finance their acquisition and upkeep a bit - Both Seramas and Japanese Bantams are rather expensive here (Israel), a pair of Seramas costs about 150 $, a pair of Japanese Bantams costs about 85 $.
    I have to add, there are no official breeders here, so it's not easy to find quality birds - a lot of the ones that are available often don't look like true Seramas or Japanese Bantams.

    What should I get - Serama or Japanese Bantam? I like them both.
    Bunch of budgies instead? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  2. Good question. I've been kicking around the idea of adding to the 4 little bantams I have now and I think I've looked at just about every type of banty available and keep coming back to practicality.

    I love the look of the Japanese bantams and yes the Seramas also. I also love the Sebrights but looking at the problems with fertility, hardiness and lethal genes I keep going back to what I have, Old English Game Bantams. I have a source for Sebright eggs, Japanese Bantams and Seramas are obtainable around us but we also can have dry hot summers and cold wet winters. Many say that as long as they have a good warm coop with proper ventilation, they will do well, but my OEGBs are really hearty little birds and easy to care for. I can also get all the eggs I want from one of our Amish neighbors.

    Still I really like the look of the black tailed Japanese bantam.

    Hopefully somebody will have some good advice for both of us.
  3. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've read a bit about Old English Game Bantams - seem to be a nice breed. Unfortunately they are not available here - never seen anyone having them or selling them. The available Bantams here are Pekins (too poofy for my taste), Seramas, Japanese, very rarely Sebrights, Silkies (also not my taste) and often simply small mixed breeds.
  4. That's really interesting. There are other Israeli (I hope I'm using the right word) members here on BYC and I've never thought to ask if there are hatcheries there where you can buy chicks like there are here in the US or if you have to go with private breeders.

    If that is the case and I had a choice, I think I would choose Japanese. I was reading about them last night still trying to see which I would really really really like to get and stumbled upon this:
    "The Japanese bantam is friendly and docile and has a lifespan of 13 years if properly cared for. It is certainly one cute chicken."

    I found this information here:

    I mean seriously. If you are getting a small bird might as well get one that has a chance of not falling over in 3-5 years! Right?
  5. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    @microchick thanks for the link about the Japanese Bantams - very interesting. A longer life expectancy is certainly a good point. I've seen two or three other Israelis here on BYC but at least two of them had Baladi chickens (mixed breeds with traditional Middle Eastern heritage) like me. As far as I know there is only one professional hatchery in the country that sells to private people and they breed only 6 or 7 specific breeds. Everything else goes via yad 2, the biggest second hand website of the country where you can find anything from meal worms to full grown horses and from second hand shoes to whole apartment blocks. They have a "chickens" sub-category that gets updated continually - the people offering their chickens there are usually hobby breeders and backyard flock owners. I got my 6 chickens via that website from two different hobby breeders - they all turned out good and healthy [​IMG]
  6. So the Baladi is the breed of the hen in you avatar, Petra Pancake? She's a doll.
  7. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    oops, technical problem
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  8. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    @microchick thanks - yup, she's Baladi - it's not a recognized breed, more a regional type of chicken. In the avatar photo she was still a sweet little pullet. She's grown up since and maybe lost a bit of her good looks but she is now my best winter layer - a real trooper.


    But I can see that we still didn't get any further input to the Serama vs. Japanese Bantam question.
    Well, now in the middle of winter probably isn't the best time to buy chickens anyway. People are obviously more likely to have chicks and young birds for sale in spring. I'll prepare in the meantime the big veranda cage, build in extra levels and ladders and a nice nesting box and keep my eyes open for good Bantams just in case...
    By the way, what's the better idea - getting Serama or Japanese Bantam pullets and cockerels or rather a mature established pair for starting to breed?
  9. Well, you are going to pay a lot more for started birds and when you get chicks, you are assured of their age and hopefully pay a lot less. On the bad side of the coin, getting chicks you are going to be playing the 'is it a he or she' game. Many don't like doing that but frankly I think that is half the fun of getting chicks, LOL!

    Your Baladi is a cutie. You said regional mix. Do you know what goes into the mix or is it like we say, baker's choice meaning not even the breeder knows for sure.
  10. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, it is sort of fun. I already have two 9 weeks old Baladi youngsters of unknown gender - they seem to play tricks on me. One week they look more like cockerels and the next week they look like pullets again... Regarding Bantams, the problem with the "he or she game" is that I want to get only 2-3 of them, meaning one or two hens and a rooster. With very young chicks I could end up with all hens or all roosters and then I would have to sell one or two and start searching again right away. Maybe though I can find half- grown ones where it is already possible to tell the gender.

    Someone asked me about Baladi chickens in a different thread a week or two ago, I'll just copy what I wrote then, with a few additions:
    "Baladi" is an Arabic word and it means "from the village". In Israel and the surrounding Arab countries this word is used for a type of chicken that was traditionally kept in the region for centuries. It is not a standardized or recognized breed and in modern times it has been mixed with European and American breeds (among others with Barred Rocks and RIRs). I myself saw someone crossing them with Brahma roosters "to make them bigger"). But still a certain type got somewhat preserved: they are small to medium sized dual purpose birds, lay about 4 white or light colored eggs a week, some of them go broody, they are rather good flyers, great foragers and diggers, escape artists, most frequent colors are buff with a darker pattern on top, black with some golden neck feathers or gray incompletely barred. The traditional "original"comb seems to be a pea or rose comb and legs slate gray, but as it is not a standardized breed and got mixed with others, there are also a lot of single combs and yellowish legs among them. One could say, baker's choice with Middle Eastern flavor.
    1 person likes this.

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