Cubalaya Bantam Chicken
The Cubalaya Bantam Chicken is a beautiful multi-purpose chicken first developed in Cuba prior to its US introduction in 1939. The pea-combed breed combines the traits of the Oriental game fowl brought to Cuba from the Philippines with the more ornately feathered game fowl of Europe creating an elegant-looking chicken. The primary breed characteristic is the unique lobster tail. This attribute features a downward-angling tail with lavish feathering making these birds difficult to confuse with any other breed of chicken.
Cubalaya Bantam Chickens come in many different colors. The most commonly seen are black-breasted red cocks with wheaten hens (wheaten Cubalaya Bantam Chicken’s are a darker cinnamon shade of wheaten which usually lightens with age) and both cocks and hens solid black. There have been a few whites, and the most favored traditional color in Cuba seems to have been the blue-red wheaten, which they refer to as “ashen” (cenizo). A distinctive trait of the Cubalaya Bantam Chicken is a lack of spurs, which was favored during the breed’s development. This lack of spurs prevents young males from injuring one another during struggles for dominance.
Characteristics: Very rare. The trait most favored in this breed is their tameness. Many of the chicks are friendly from the day they’re hatched and will eat out of the owner’s hand even with no previous handling. These birds have a generally brave disposition and, as chicks, may not fear predators unless caution is learned from their parents or other experienced birds.
- Standard Weights: Cock-26 oz; Hen-22 oz; Cockerel-22 oz; Pullet-20 oz.
- Varieties: Black, Black Breasted Red & White
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: Cuba
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.