Keep­ing ban­tams

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QI’m con­sid­er­ing keep­ing a flock of ban­tams, are there any con­sid­er­a­tions be­yond those for keep­ing large fowl.

AAndy Cawthray says: Due to their size ban­tam fowl can be kept in a much smaller space than large fowl and they can make an ex­cel­lent choice for the av­er­age sized back gar­den. Many of the breeds are per­fect for chil­dren too, ide­ally suited for small hands, and if a docile breed is se­lected they can make su­perb pets and a great in­tro­duc­tion to chicken keep­ing. The hen house size ob­vi­ously can be smaller, and feed­ing sta­tions and drinkers can also be smaller which, in turn, makes for a more af­ford­able hobby. At­ten­tion, though, should be paid to the perches and nest boxes within the house as these do need to be re­duced in size if the birds are to be com­fort­able in their home.

The more flighty breeds will most cer­tainly need a roofed in run as they are very ca­pa­ble of tak­ing to the wing and reach­ing the up­per most branches of a tree. Due to their shorter stature the ground con­di­tions need to man­aged slightly dif­fer­ent and ide­ally should be kept as dry as pos­si­ble. Breeds such as the Ja­panese ban­tams, with their short legs, can mean wet con­di­tions quickly re­sult in the foul­ing of the breast feath­ers, whereas muddy ground will soon mat the feath­er­ing of feather footed va­ri­eties like the Booted ban­tam.

What’s wrong with her

Ja­panese ban­tams

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