We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Bantam?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Bantams are chickens which are known for their unusually small size, often around one fifth the size of an ordinary chicken. In some cases, bantams are selectively bred from standard chicken breeds, so they could be considered miniature versions of larger breeds. In other instances, bantams have no large-breed counterpart, so they are considered to be “true bantams.” True bantams are highly diverse and they are prized as pets, ornamental chickens, and of course for their eggs and meat.

The bantam originates from the small, plucky chickens raised across Southeast Asia. When sailors started traveling in this region, they often picked up local chickens to have live fowl on deck for fresh eggs, and they quickly grew fond of these chickens, which they called “Bantams” after a city in Indonesia. Even today, bantam chickens are famous for their equanimity and ability to deal with a wide range of circumstances, which would have been useful on a ship, and the chickens are also very expressive, intelligent, curious creatures, which would have undoubtedly provided some entertainment on long sea voyages.

In addition to being generally small, bantams are known for being very bold and assertive. Bantam roosters especially tend to strut around as thought they are full sized, which can be quite a comical sight, and in many regions of the world “bantam” or “banty” is used as a slang term to describe someone with a puffed up, aggressive ego. Bantams are also excellent brooders; in fact, bantam hens are so determined to sit on eggs that they were famously used to brood eggs from the endangered Takahe of New Zealand when these eggs were carried out of a remote valley by backpackers.

These chickens are often very brightly colored and festive, with the roosters having famously long, arched tails. Bantams may be black, brown, golden, greenish, white, and anything in between, with many bantam breeds have brightly colored contrasting plumage. The plumage of bantams can vary considerably, from the bizarre-looking bantam frizzled Cochin, which looks like it has traveled through a wind tunnel, to the striking Seabright bantam, with white or golden plumage edged in black. Many bantams have feathered feet, like the stunning Dutch Booted Bantam, and Cochin bantam breeds are famous for having very fluffy plumage which causes them to look bigger than they are.

A few bantam breeds have some very unique characteristics. Silkies, for example, derived from a larger Asian breed, have feathers which are like down, being very soft and fluffy. Silkies are also notable for having black skin, regardless as to the color of their plumage. The Japanese Bantam has distinctly angled wings, while the Dutch Bantam is the smallest of the bantam breeds, making it the smallest chicken breed of all.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.