Monday, May 7, 2012

Why Bantam Chickens?

I'm the kind of person who believes that every animal on the farm needs to be practical and serve a purpose.  Chickens, in my view of my own farm, should be livestock (cared for livestock) and not pets.  We went to a chicken swap about a week ago with the intention of buying some new laying hens.  We did buy young hens; some pretty little Golden Comets (which are sex link chickens, so no more rooster surprise).  During our trip, I spotted a lovely little pair of Mille Fleur bantam ladies and an adorable, tiny little rooster.  I went nuts and bought pet chickens. For those who aren't aware, bantams are miniatures. 

Upon arriving home, I began to berate myself.  What had I been thinking?  Pet chickens??  Don't get me wrong, we love our chickens, but they are not pets.  What was I going to do with pet chickens?  They are pretty and their feathered legs are so dainty.  They don't exactly seem like hardy livestock.

I like to maximize my food to effort ratio and I like big, brown eggs.  The little bantam eggs seem silly in comparison, but an egg is an egg and they are tasty.  These bantam eggs are even amusing....

The egg on the right is a standard egg.

Most bantam eggs come out like the egg on the left; small, but relatively the same proportions.  This was the first egg little Millie Le Fleur laid for me.

Sometimes, though, bantams will produce a long, narrow egg like the one in the middle.  This was the first egg Minnie the Moocher laid for me.

So, eggs are good, and the little darlings are pretty, but there is another purpose this little trio serves.  Get a load of that adorable little rooster, Mr. Big.  Yes, he's going through a bit of a molt, but that's not what I'm getting at.  When this little guy crows, it is hilarious!  I get a good few laughs every day hearing his little "squeak-a-doodle-squeak"!  I had no idea how entertaining the little guy would be.  I'm sure he'd rather not be, but he is just sooo adorable!  And he works so hard to get that little crow out that I just can't help but laugh.

So, why bantams?  They are productive, they are sweet, they are pretty, and they provide some great entertainment value.  I'm really happy with my little pet chickens.

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