Bantam chickens typically start laying eggs around 24-28 weeks of age (6-7 months). The exact age does depend on what type of bantam you have, of course. As well as some other environmental factors.
Bantams are basically miniature versions of regular chickens. They have soared in popularity in recent years due to this very reason; being small enough to fit in and adapt perfectly into just about any backyard setting.
If you pick the right breed, you can also have some great egg layers. Their eggs are a lot smaller than regular chickens, of course, but they’re equally as tasty and nutritious.
In this article, I’m going to help you get a better understanding of what bantams are, why people love them so much, and how many eggs you can expect:
How Many Eggs Do Bantam Chickens Lay?
This is difficult to answer with a number because bantams are not one specific breed of chicken, ‘bantam’ is the name for miniature chickens of any breed.
Each miniature breed tends to have a lot of the characteristics of the full-size chicken, too. So, some of the prolific egg layers, like Rhode Island Reds, Sussex, and Leghorns are also much better egg layers as bantams.
So, as a general rule of thumb, if it’s important to you to have a good layer look for a bantam version of a breed known to be a good layer.
It’s also a good idea to ask the hatchery or breeder you’re buying from if they know how many eggs the variety of bantam you’re interested in lay. They should have a pretty accurate idea.
What Color Eggs Do Bantams Lay?
Again, the color of the eggs a bantam will lay comes down to the variety of bantam. For example, Silkies and Hamburgs lay white eggs, while Rhode Island Reds and Leghorn bantams lay brown eggs.
There isn’t as much information about bantams and egg colors as there are for regular chickens. But, as a general rule of thumb, you can just check what color eggs the regular-size variety lay.
Bantam Eggs vs Regular Eggs
So what exactly are the differences between bantam eggs and regular eggs?
The first and most obvious difference is the size. Bantams are essentially miniature chickens, most of them weigh around 1-2.5 lbs which is just 25-30% the weight of the average regular chicken.
So it’s only natural that their eggs are a lot smaller. In fact, bantam eggs are typically around a third of the size of a regular medium to large chicken egg.
Taste-wise, eggs are eggs. The taste depends more on what the chicken that laid it was eating than anything else.
If you want the best possible tasting eggs, you need to feed your chickens a quality layer feed, and give them as much room to free range and forage for food as possible.
Another interesting thing about batam eggs is that in tests I’ve seen, the yolk to white ratio is higher than regular eggs.
By this, I mean that there is almost as much yolk, and a lot less of the white. This itself tends to make their eggs taste different, as it’s the yolk that has most of the flavor.
The bottom line - bantam eggs are delicious, you just need two or three of them to make up for one regular sized egg.
How Many Years Do Bantam Chickens Lay Eggs?
The typical life expectancy of a batam is in the range of 5-8 years. They will lay at their best in the first year, and this will taper off pretty quickly in the subsequent years.
Some History and Facts About Bantam Chickens
According to Wikipedia and some other reliable sources, the word ‘bantam’ comes from a seaport city called Bantam in Java, Indonesia.
These little chickens have this name because this is where they were first seen by European sailors.
Bantams are typically a half or two thirds the size of regular chickens. There are three main types of bantam chickens:
- True Bantams - These are varieties that do not have a ‘regular’ size counterpart.
- Miniature Bantams - These are bantams created from regular chickens to be miniature versions.
- Developed Bantams - These are varieties that largely have an unknown history and have been further developed by scientists and farmers.
Where To Buy Bantam Chickens, Chicks, and Hatching Eggs
If you’re wondering how much bantams cost and which varieties are available, the best place to buy poultry online is Cackle Hatchery.
Cackle Hatchery has one of the largest online selections of poultry, and at the time of publishing this had loads of bantam varieties. They had:
- White Japanese Bantams
- Black Silkie Bantams
- Blue Old English Game Bantams
- Splash Cochin Bantams
- Dominique Bantams
- Silver Sebright Bantams
- And loads more!
Prices start around the $3.55 mark for baby chicks, which is a great price. If you’re interested in adopting and raising bantams, I recommend checking out Cackle Hatchery.
Are Bantam Chickens a Good Choice for a Backyard Breed?
Bantams are awesome chickens and there is one very obvious advantage they have over other chickens - they’re miniatures!
This makes them a popular choice for backyard chicken owners in urban settings or if they’re tight on space.
They’re pretty cute, too, let’s be honest most smaller versions of things are.
They’re also great with kids, and for first time chicken owners that want less of the mess and maintenance, and just as much fun.
Whether you subscribe to the saying that good things come in small packages or not, it’s hard to find a downside to owning bantams!
Image credits - Photo by Sarah Halliday on Unsplash