A Banty chicken is another word for a Bantam chicken. I’m not sure exactly where the term “Banty” came from or where it’s most commonly used, but I have heard it used on occasion.
So, this leads us on to an obvious question …
What Is a Bantam Chicken?
A bantam chicken - or a banty chicken - is a smaller, or miniature version of a regular chicken. They are typically around a quarter to half the size of a regular chicken.
The original birds derived from Indonesia. Bantys were the preferred bird to be carried by ships porting in Indonesia as they were small and loads could be transported at once.
The name was taken from Banten Province, previously called Banten Residency, and changed to be spelled as Bantam.
Types of Bantam Chickens
As with any animals that are subject to selective breeding, there are different types of bantams. Broadly speaking, they are classified into three categories:
True bantams are their own breed and have no larger counterpart. A lot of bantams are like “mini-me’s”, but true breeds like the Rosecomb and Nankin are small breeds.
Developed bantams are breeds that have been developed by breeders over time. There aren’t always detailed records of who and when they were developed, so sometimes their origins are unclear.
Breeds like the Belgian, Japanese, are examples. Although often, as is the case with the Japanese, they do not have large fowl counterparts. So it’s also technically considered a true bantam.
Miniaturized bantams are the true “mini-me” versions of larger breeds. Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds are two of the most common examples.
Prepare for one of the cutest videos you'll ever see. Here is an awesome video showing 5 of the best bantam breeds:
What Are Bantam Chickens Good For?
There are a number of reasons why people opt for bantams over standard sized chickens. Some of the most common reasons are:
Limited space - This is probably the number one reason why people keep smaller backyard chickens - because they have a smaller backyard.
If you live in an urban area and space is in short supply, look into keeping bantams.
Cuteness factor - There is something cute about smaller animals, right? Just look at the micro or miniature pigs. Who would have thought a pig could be cute, but in a miniature form they are!
Great for kids - They are much easier for kids to handle and care for. It’s an awesome way to give kids some responsibility and teach them about the joys of owning a backyard flock.
Easier to care for - Looking after chickens isn’t a huge amount of work. Maybe I’m biased too, but I think it’s easier worth it. If you’re on the fence, however, getting started with bantams is a good way to find out if you’re cut out for it.
Eggs! - Whether you have regular-sized chickens or bantams, if you want to have your own fresh eggs either will do. Sure, bantam eggs are smaller. That just means you need more.
What Are Banty or Bantam Roosters Like?
Bantam roosters are just smaller versions of their larger fowl counterparts, the same as with the hens.
I always see backyard flock owners saying that banty roosters are more aggressive than their counterparts though.
I can neither confirm or deny this. Maybe it’s more a case of smaller person syndrome? Afterall, roosters take their job of protecting their flocks very seriously.
The smaller they are the bigger they need to present themselves to show they are capable of defending their girls!
Are Bantam Eggs Smaller?
Yes, bantams are smaller chickens so of course, their eggs are smaller. Everything about them is smaller, it wouldn’t be physically possible for them to lay a regular sized egg.
They are perfectly fine to eat and taste the same as regular eggs though. You just need to use more than you normally would.
If you’re planning on hatching bantams, expect tiny little bantam chicks!
Related content - How to get your chickens to lay bigger eggs.
Best Egg Laying Bantams
Just as you would expect with regular chickens, different breeds of bantys lay more or fewer eggs than others.
Two of the best laying breeds are bantam leghorns and barred rocks. Both of these breeds are capable of laying eggs similar to small eggs from regular sized chickens and on a similar schedule.
Raising Bantam Chickens
Raising bantams is fairly straightforward. If you have experience with chickens, you’ll find it a breeze.
There are a few differences though. Being smaller, they tend to feel the cold more. So, in the winter months, you should ensure their coop is free from drafts and kept as damp-free as possible.
They are also able to fly higher than regular chickens and a little more nimble. Providing extra roosts and perches is a good idea, you will see them hopping around and having some fun,
Outside of these things, they do all the same things as their bigger counterparts. They just need less space, eat less, and make less mess! All good things for someone looking to save a few bucks and not spend as much time cleaning out their coop.
In Summary - What Is a Banty Chicken?
Hopefully, I’ve helped answer this question for you and clear up any confusion.
A banty is the same as a bantam.
As well as clearing this up for you, I hope I’ve helped convince you that you should either consider adding a banty to your flock or get started with a backyard flock by buying some bantams!