Andalusian Bantam Chicken
The Andalusian Bantam Chicken is named after the Province of Andalusia in Spain and is one of the oldest Mediterranean breeds. They were developed from white and black birds imported in around 1846 also shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851. Blue Andalusian Chickens are credited with being natives of Andalusia, a province in Spain.
They originated from crossing a black fowl with one of its white sports, these two colors producing a bluish-slate fowl. In Cornwall and Devon, England, similar blue fowls were produced by crossing black and white sports. This was before Andalusian Chickens were imported into England. They resembled the earlier Andalusian Bantam Chicken in type and color. The incidence of Black birds was increased with crossings with the Black Spanish and Minorca which substantially altered their shape from that of the early birds The modern Andalusian Bantam Chicken should be symmetrical, graceful, compact, medium in size, and stately in carriage. The dull and uneven blue colored fowl of the past has been transformed into the attractive, laced breed of today by years of scientific breeding.
This was the breed that the early geneticist Gregor Mendel used in his experiments into color heredity. Show birds are blue with lacing, black and splash colors are also produced but are not permitted to be shown although the splash females are worth using within a breeding program.
Characteristics: Andalusian Bantam Chicken are small, active, closely feathered birds that tend to be noisy and rarely go broody. Andalusians are a typical example of the unstable blue color we see in the poultry industry. It is the result of a cross of black and white. When two blues are mated, they produce offspring in the ratio of one black, two blues and one white. These whites and blacks when mated together will produce mainly blues. Andalusian Bantam Chicken are beautiful when good, but the percentage of really good ones runs low in many flocks because of this color segregation. Hence, they are not widely bred and never in large numbers.
- Standard Weights: Cock-28 oz; Hen-24 oz; Cockerel-26 oz; Pullet-22 oz.
- Varieties: Blue
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: Spain
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.