New Hampshire Red Bantam Chicken
The New Hampshire Red Bantam Chicken developed over a period of years beginning around 1915 from a foundation of Rhode Island Reds, first brought into New Hampshire from Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts. culminating in 1935 with shows. There are no records of outside blood being introduced and the breed was developed by farm poultry men of New Hampshire by continual selection of breeding stock for early maturity, large brown shelled eggs, quick feathering, strength and vigor during its evolution. The New Hampshire Red Chicken is a favorite production breed of chicken native to New England, and the bantam sized version of the New Hampshire has all the best qualities in a smaller package.
Characteristics: Plumage, Brilliant reddish-bay to chestnut red, tail feathers are black edged in medium red. Under color light salmon but a smoky tinge is not a fault. Females should have neck hackles edged in black, Eyes bay. comb, face, wattles, ear lobes bright red. Legs and toes rich yellow. Males have a line of reddish pigment down sides of shanks. Females may lose leg color when in lay. Beak reddish brown. The New Hampshire Red Bantam Chicken is a friendly and placid bird, but are not good broodies.
- Standard Weights: Male – 1.9 lbs./Female 1.5 lbs.
- Skin Color: Yellow
- Egg Shell Color: Brown
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: USA
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.