Java Bantam Chicken
Java Bantam Chickens were developed in U.S. after being introduced from Java in 1835. Despite the breed’s name, which comes from the island of Java in Indonesia, it was developed in the U.S. from Chickens of unknown Asian extraction. It is one of the oldest American Chickens, forming the basis for many other breeds, but is critically endangered today. Javas are large birds with a sturdy appearance. They are hardy, and are well-suited for both meat and egg production, especially by small-scale farms, homesteads, and backyard keepers.
Java Bantam Chickens appear in three color variations today: Black, Mottled, and White. The Black has black shanks and beaks, though some yellow may appear in the legs. The plumage is a uniform black hue that has a dark green sheen in the light. The Mottled and White have mostly yellow skin, with horn colored beaks. The plumage of the Mottled is a black base with white markings on the tips of feathers, which imparts a spotted appearance.
Characteristics: The Java Bantam Chicken are well adapted to confinement or free range. A calm bird that tolerates confinement but some are fliers and some cocks can be aggressive.
- Standard Weights: Cock-36 oz; Hen-32 oz; Cockerel-32 oz; Pullet-28 oz.
- Varieties: Black, Mottled, White
- Skin Color: Yellow
- Egg Shell Color: Brown
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: Developed in the 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.