Bantams are an excellent choice for garden living
Q I’d quite like to get some bantams next year. Is there anything I need to consider?
Andy 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, being ideally suited to 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 can obviously be smaller and feeding stations and drinkers can also be less imposing 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 certainly need a roofed run as they are capable of taking to the wing and reaching the uppermost branches of a tree. Due to their shorter stature, the ground conditions need to be managed slightly differently and ideally should be kept as dry as possible. Breeds such as Japanese bantams, with their short legs, can mean wet conditions quickly result in the fouling of the breast feathers, while muddy ground will soon mat the feathering of feather footed varieties, such as Booted bantam.
Due to their size, bantam fowl can be kept in a much smaller space than large fowl and they tend to be the perfect choice for children too