Leghorn Bantam Chicken
The Leghorn Bantam Chickens original breed came from Italy, but its varieties originated or were developed in England, Denmark and America. the first imports of the Leghorn Chickens arrived about 1870 from America (white) and the brown a few years later. They had Malay and Minorca blood added to increase body size in the whites.
Characteristics: Leghorn Bantam Chickens comprise a group characterized by great activity, hardiness and prolific egg-laying qualities. The females are non-sitters, very few of them exhibiting a tendency to broodiness. The standards are the best egg layers of the pure breeds. It featured strongly in the production of the hybrid laying birds that are now used commercially. Leghorns are prolific layers that rarely go broody and are non-sitters unless left undisturbed. Eggs are white and of good size and are laid throughout the year. Chicks are easy to rear. They feather up quickly, are fast growers and mature quickly. The comb is large so care needs to be taken in cold, frosty weather to avoid frostbite. They can be left to roam freely but are just as happy in a run. They are sprightly, alert birds and can be tamed but not enough to allow handling and prefer to remain rather aloof. They can be rather noisy and will roost in trees given the chance.
- Standard Weights: Male – 1.75 lbs./Female: 1.5 lbs.
- Skin Color: Yellow
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: Italy, newer varieties Great Britain
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.