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All About Bantam Chicken Breeds

Add Bantam chicken breeds to your backyard flock! We’re going to tell you the pros and cons of bantam chickens and share some beautiful bantam breeds!

Choosing chicken breeds for your backyard flock is one of the toughest decisions you’ll make as a new chicken keeper. There are so many chicken breeds to choose from, so how do you decide what’s right for your flock?

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A bantam hen.

What are Bantam Chickens?

Bantam chickens are in a class all their own, and there’s a lot to know about these chickens before deciding whether or not to add them to your flock.

Bantam chickens in essence, are mini chickens, measuring at about half the size (or less) of a standard chicken. Some bantams breeds have always been smaller in stature, and some breeds were developed that way by chicken breeders over time. We’ll talk more about the differences between these two types of bantams below.

A bantam chicken standing on one foot on the grass.

Benefits to Bantam Chickens:


Coming in at half the size, bantam chickens take up considerably less space than standard chickens. This makes them ideally suited to urban and suburban chicken flocks that tend to have smaller coops and chicken runs.

Easy to Handle:

Their small size and shorter legs make bantam breeds easier to handle and much easier to catch when out free ranging. Bantam chickens are also a great choice for children, they’re basically kid-sized chickens!

Less Expensive

Bantam chickens require less space, less food, and less treats than their standard sized counterparts. This can save you a lot of money in the long run!

Cute as a Button!

There’s no denying it. Miniature versions of animals are just too cute for words. If you want a backyard flock that makes all your friends say, “awwww!” every time they visit, bantams are for you!

A Black Silkie Chicken standing outside.

Downsides to Bantam Chickens:

Mixed Flocks:

It is more common for bantam chickens to get picked on if you raise them in a mixed flock with standard sized hens. Their smaller size makes them a target for the larger hens. We’ve personally been raising a mixed flock of bantams and standard hens without any serious issues. Yes, the larger hens do tend to single out the smaller breeds, but the bantam breeds are agile and quick to evade any attacks.

Smaller Eggs

Bantam eggs are miniature, just like the chicken! Bantam eggs tend to be roughly half the size of a standard chicken egg. You do need to be careful when using these eggs for cooking and baking, as it takes 1.5 bantam eggs to equal one standard egg.

Predator Risk

Bantam chickens are more likely to get attacked by predators than standard chickens. This is of course due to their smaller size. We’ve heard of bantam chickens being carried off by hawks and eagles. They’re also slightly slower due to their short legs, which makes them more of a target for ground predators.

A bantam hen laying outside.

Common Bantam Chicken Breeds

Some bantam breeds are naturally smaller in stature and their breeds have been unchanged for hundreds, if not thousands of years. These are called true bantams.

True Bantam Breeds:

  • Belgian
  • Pekin
  • Dutch
  • Silkie
  • Sebright
  • Japanese
  • Rosecomb
  • Bearded d’Uccle

Developed Bantam Breeds:

Some other bantams have been selectively bred by people to be miniature versions of popular breeds. These types of bantams have a standard sized counterpart. For example, there’s the standard sized Wyandotte that can weigh 7-9 pounds, whereas the bantam Wyandotte weighs between 1-2.5 pounds.

Practically every breed of chicken has a bantam counterpart, so we’ll list just the most popular developed bantam breeds here.

  • Bantam Wyandotte
  • Bantam Cochin
  • Brahma Bantam
  • Bantam Orpington
  • Bantam Dominique
  • Bantam Easter Egger
  • Bantam Rhode Island Red
  • Bantam Barred Rock
A white silkie chicken.

We hope you’ll consider adding bantam chicken breeds to your backyard! These chickens are delightful, easy to care for, and less expensive than standard breeds. They’re the perfect breed for families with young kids or urban and suburban homesteaders.

Chicken Breed Guides

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John Bueglas

Sunday 19th of March 2023

I had a male and female pair that were very small and their coloration was multi coloured speckles on a white background. The speckles were a variety of yellow, red, orange, and I think blue.

They were beautiful but the place I got them from gave my whole an eye disease that eventually led to death of most of my birds.

I loved Polka and Dot but I’ve never been able to find the breed anywhere online. Any ideas?


Saturday 19th of December 2020

Hi I’m interested in purchasing mini chickens, two laying hens! I’m interested in brown chickens so I’m not sure of the name. But the biggest question is I live in Melbourne, so I’m not sure where your located to come see your mini chickens. I look forward to your reply! Regards Kristina


Monday 4th of January 2021

Hi Kristina! I'm sorry but we don't sell chickens. I just write about and share advice about chickens but they're not for sale. I'm sure you can find some if you call around to chicken hatcheries in your area, bantam chickens are very popular and pretty easy to find!