La Fleche Bantam Chicken
La Fleche Bantam Chickens have been bred for many years in the Valley of La Sarthe, where the town of La Fleche is located. The La Fleche Bantam Chickens originated from crossing of Black Spanish, Crevecoeur, and DuMan blood lines as evident by its high carriage, activity, large white lobes, V-shaped comb and the trace of crest on its head, which crops out on specimens of the French breeds.
The whiteness and quality of its flesh is attributed to the rich pastures of La Sarthe, upon which La Fleche have been bred for generations, and to the system of feeding adopted by the French.
Characteristics: A very rare breed with a pair of spikes in place of a conventional comb. La Fleche Bantam Chicken are black, of medium size and very active. They are strictly ornamental fowl.The La Fleche is a good forager and is happy to free range but will adapt equally well to confinement. They are flighty and will fly over a 6 foot fence so fencing needs to be high to keep them contained. If allowed, they will roost in trees so it is a good idea to train them to return to their coops by feeding them before dusk. They are active birds but avoid human contact and will not generally allow themselves to be tamed. The hens are not known for being broody and chicks mature slowly but they are hardy birds and the hens will lay throughout the winter. They are good layers, producing around 200 white-shelled eggs per year.
- Standard Weights: Cock- 2 lbs; hen-1½-2 lbs.
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: Exhibition.
- Origin: France
Bantams are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam hens are also used as laying hens, with some breeds laying up to 150 eggs per year. However, Bantam eggs are only about one-half to one-third the size of a regular hen egg. The Bantam chicken eats the same foods as a normal chicken. In commercial situations they are fed grain-based foods because this is convenient and efficient for the producer. Chickens in the wild eat more insects and vegetation than grains.
Bantams have become increasingly popular as pets as well as for show purposes because they are smaller and have more varied and exotic colors and feather patterns than other chickens.
In contrast, the Bantam rooster is famous in rural areas throughout the United Kingdom and the United States for its aggressive, “puffed-up” disposition that can be comedic in stature. It is often called a “Banty” in the rural United States.
Many bantam hens are renowned for hatching and brooding. They are very protective mothers and will attack anything that gets near their young.
Bantams do have a higher mortality rate when they are kept as backyard pets. They are easy targets for hawks, cats, foxes, or any other small predator.