Australorp Bantam Chicken
The name of the Australorp Bantam Chicken is an abbreviation of Australian Black Orpington and was claimed by Mr W Cook to be the origin of the Orpington having gone to Australia and later returned as a more utility bird. The Australorp Bantam Chicken came back into Britain in 1921 and remain a very docile utility bird the main differences being a tighter / flatter feathering than the Orpingtons and a longer body shape.
Characteristics: The Australorp Chicken is a medium weight, active bird laying a tinted egg and is a valuable bird for those who like eggs without sacrificing too much value in meat quality. A deep long bodied very placid bird with a full breast compact wings and very pronounced eyes within a clear un-feathered face. White soles to the feet and white toe nails.
- Standard Weights: Cock-4 pounds; Hen-3-1/2 pounds; Cockerel-3-1/2 pounds; Pullet-3 pounds.
- Varieties: Black
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: Tinted/Brown
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: Australia
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.
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.