Breeding Bantam Chickens
Bantam chickens are one of the most popular chicken breeds in the world. Bantam chickens originate from Southeast Asia and were small jungle foul. The Bantam chicken is a great chicken to start with if you have not looked after chickens before as they generally have a docile nature. Breeding chickens does take time and effort but it is worth it when you get a healthy clutch of Bantam chicks. %%AFC-ADVERT%%
Bantam Chicken Breeding – How To
1. Think about what you will use your Bantam chickens for. You will find that Bantam chicken breeds make good pets and show birds so it is important that you know what you want to use the chickens for as show birds must be purebred. You will also find that show Bantams have to adhere to the standard size and structure to be successful. If you are considering breeding chickens for show then speak to an experienced show breeder to learn what to look for.
2. Next you will need to construct a chicken coop for your Bantam chickens. You will need to make your coop out of fine link chicken wire and allow for four square feet per Bantam chicken to avoid any fights breaking out. You should also include nesting boxes in your coop so your hens can lay eggs. If you are making nesting boxes then you can use plastic, metal or wood but they must be bedded with soft clean straw for egg insulation.
3. Consider how quickly you want your hens to lay eggs and then contact a Bantam chicken breeder. If you purchase young birds then you should expect to wait 6 months at least before they are ready to breed. You could also consider buying chicks if you do not want to hatch the eggs or fully adult birds for fast breeding.
4. The next step is introducing your bantams to their new coop you should do this by separating your hens from the rooster for a few days. Ideally you want your chickens to feel as comfortable as possible so you should place fresh food and water inside the coop.
5. For feeding you will find that Bantam chickens are not fussy. They are happy to eat a commercially produced chicken scratch which you can supplement with cracked corn for additional weight gain if you want to show your birds.
6. Once your hens have become comfortable with their new coop then you can allow your rooster free access. You will notice the rooster showing off to your hens, if a female Bantam becomes receptive to his behaviour he will get hold of her neck feathers with his beak and mount her. Make sure that you do not disturb the mating process as this could make the rooster reluctant to breed in the future.
7. Now you will need to watch your Bantam chickens carefully for nesting behaviour. If the chicken breeding has been a success then the hen will lay between one and four eggs, she will have to sit on them for 21 days before the Bantam chicks are ready to hatch.
8. You might notice that your Bantam hen becomes restless trying to move the eggs around as they hatch in order to help them out.
9. It is important after your Bantam chicks have hatched that you remove any egg shells and replace the bedding. Check over your Bantam Chicks for any signs of deformity and illness.