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thinking of switching to bantams

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sandrachx, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Songster

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    i am thinking of giving my heavy breed girls to a friend and taking a flock of bantams. does anyone have any advice or can you tell me pros and cons of switching? i already know eggs will be smaller but that's about it.
  2. Dewey101

    Dewey101 Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    you will have fun with the roosters cockiness, there very entertaining and eat less feed. I Love them
  3. barnkat

    barnkat In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2008
    Western Mass
    Pros: Bantams eat less (less poop!), need less coop space (you can fit more in!), yet still produce a decent size egg. They're easier to hold/handle if you want them as pets, or if you've got small kids. Roosters are much smaller in comparison to standard roos, and some (my cochins) have quiet, pleasant crows that are easy on the neighbors.

    Cons: If you sell their eggs, you'll have to explain about the size, and maybe people would prefer to buy larger eggs. If you're ordering bantam chicks from hatcheries, they don't sex bantams, so you have to order straight run. Some roos (my japanese) have high pitched, screechy, (some would say) obnoxious crows.

    I'm pretty sure bantams convert feed to egg in a more efficient ratio than heavy breeds, who would eat more and make less egg in relation. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here.
  4. OffSpring

    OffSpring In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2007
    United Kingdom
    I have a mixed flock of heavy breeds and bantams!! (about 50 birds in total)

    They produce much smaller eggs as you already know and they also tend to eat less often as well.

    You'll also find the poo bantams produce is much smaller and seems to be less often!

    Overall my bantams seem to fit in well with the heavy breeds, but I wouldn't confine them all together in a pen/run. Some of the heavy breeds do try to pick on the bantams and stop them from eating etc. So if you do plan to keep both together, make sure you have plenty of space and plenty of food and water in several locations.
  5. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    I used to raise bantams for 4-H and loved them. They are better at free-ranging (well, my OEG and mutts were, the cochins not so much) eat less, and the little roos have lots of personality. They are more likely to run off and hide nests from you, you think they are eaten and then 3 weeks later... peep, peep, peep (hence all the mutts). Actually, some of my favorite chickens were large breed/bantam crosses.
  6. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Songster

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    thank you everyone for your input. i really appreciate it. i had heard that they fly more than the larger breeds - does anyone trim their flight wings or just let them fly? will i need to lower my nesting boxes (6) or create a transitional area so they can get up. they are currently approximately 2.5 feet off the ground. i like the idea of less feed - do you give them layer ration or just plain chicken ration and oyster shell at will? if i am switching completely do i need to do anything special to the coop/run before they arrive? i just disinfected the area last week.
  7. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    H Sandra!

    We have a Bantam-only flock, and love them! Ours are excellent fliers (except for the Silkies). We don't clip their wings and tried to make their hoop run with flying in mind.

    Our nest boxes sit on the floor as there was no easy way to attach them to a wall. Their 2 by 4 roosts are approximately 2 and a half feet high and they have no trouble flying to get up on them.

    We feed our banty girls layer pellets, with shell available to them at all times. The boys get finisher/grower daily, since they don't need the extra calcium. Banty eggs are smaller but they are the best for baking, in my opinion. [​IMG]

    Hope this helps!

  8. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    You shouldn't need to lower the nest boxes. They fly very well. We never clipped wings, many did fly over the 8ft fence but they were very good at taking care of themselves. I had one little OEG that decided she wanted the highest "roost" in the coop and so flew up to sleep on a big nail 6" from the ceiling of the coop!
  9. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    Are you in to getting eggs?

    If so I'd suggest that you keep some standards also...
    because one bantie egg is like half a standard egg.
  10. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    A friend just gave us 10 bantys They are really cute the roosters are beautiful and don't seem to be as aggressive towards each other as standards but boy can they fly!!!!!! We put them in a run with a 10 foot fence around it and they flew out of it and into the woods. Thankfully they came back to roost that night because you can not catch them they are very fast little buggers.They have a 6 foot tall roost that has three levels and they fly up to the very top One girl sits on the top of the 4x4 post.

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