There is a lot that goes into raising bantam chickens. This is because bantam chickens are very different from other chickens in terms of size, how and what they eat and in terms of how they behave among other differences.
Pure Breeds versus Hybrids
Before you start raising these chickens, you must understand what they are and what they require. Bantam chickens are breeds that were among the first breeds of chickens to be domesticated. These chickens are small and they have unique features. Although there has been a lot of interbreeding, it is still possible to find pure breeds of bantam chickens.
The crossbreeding is carried out to produce superior breeds. The superior breeds are more resistant to harsh environment, disease, they lay eggs of a certain color, size, can withstand harsh weather conditions, etc. For this reason, it is important to find out if what you have is a pure breed or a hybrid.
What is Your Objective for Rearing Birds?
If you want to keep chickens as pets, then bantam chickens are a good idea. However, if you want chickens for commercial purposes, meaning chickens for their meat or eggs, you should consider getting other breeds because bantams are very small whereas you get paid depending on the weight of the chicken meat and they usually produce very small eggs due to their small size.
However, bantam chickens can take care of themselves better than other breeds of chickens in terms of looking for their own food – this is important when you want to keep free range chickens and you do not spend a lot of time at home because of work or other reasons. Bantam chickens are also important when you want to use chickens as natural pest control because they are very resourceful in catching bugs. They are also valuable in areas that have grasshopper problems.
Bantam chickens always need to be clean and they usually fill the waterer with dirt very quickly because they are very curious. For this reason, you should always give them a fresh supply of water. They are small birds and you should build the chicken coop in such a way that they will not have difficulties in reaching the food, water or moving to different places in the coop.
The alternative is to build a waterer in such a way that it is difficult for them to fill it with dirt. Bantam chickens do not have a thick cover of feathers and so you should protect them from extreme weather conditions such as extreme heat, extreme cold, snow, etc. This means their chicken coops should be weather proof and you should even think of artificial heat sources and/or artificial ventilation.
Protection from Predators
An important consideration when raising bantam chickens is the threat of predators. They are especially at risk because of their small size and their curious manner. You should surround the chicken run with a wire mesh perimeter fence that runs about a foot underground to prevent attacks from predators such as snakes and raccoons and you should consider a wire mesh on top to protect the chickens from hawks, owls and other aerial predators.