Dutch Holland Bantam Chicken
You may wonder why an American breed of chicken is called Holland Bantam Chicken. The answer lies in the ancestry of the breed. It is also know as Dutch Bantams. Breeders began with light-weight stock originally imported from Holland, and mated it with White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire, and Lamona. Through careful selection the White Holland was created. Simultaneously, the Barred Holland was created by mating White Leghorn, Barred Plymouth Rock, Australorp, and Brown Leghorn. The breed was admitted to the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection in 1949.
Dutch Holland Bantam Chickens have earned a good reputation as being ideally suited to farm conditions. They are good foragers with calm temperaments. The breed is fairly cold tolerant, though during periods of extreme cold the males may suffer some frostbite to their single combs. The hens can become broody and will sometimes raise their own offspring. Hollands also tend to have a slow to moderate growth rate. But this fact must be weighed against their ability to rustle a significant portion of their own food.
Characteristics: Dutch Holland Bantam Chickens are well adaptable to confinement or free range. Calm and good tempered. Very cold hardy and can be a good setter.
- Standard Weights: Cock-34 oz; Hen-30 oz; Cockerel-26 oz; Pullet-24 oz.
- Varieties: Barred, White
- Skin Color: Yellow
- Egg Shell Color: White
- 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.