I recently asked this question of a friend of mine who keeps Polish hens.
His response was "They have to have good temperaments and be docile because of the big crests, they can see almost nothing and would die of a heart attack every time somebody picked one up if they weren't always happy and chilled out"
Are bantams more friendly than large fowl?
The current accepted opinion is that the smaller the chickens the more friendly they are and bantams seem to be more people-oriented and quite friendly, and some people choose to own them as pets.
The general consensus among my chicken keeping allies is that bantams are definitely more friendly and make better pets and the true bantams are they best of all.
I know myself from visiting poultry shows and auctions that the bantams are always more engaged with the people and seem as interested in them as the onlookers are of the birds.
Below: Bantams and chicken keepers often start their lives together like this and being raised from chicks makes birds more friendly.
Bantams are more friendly than large fowl chickens because they are more likely to be raised from chicks by hand and have been selected over the years to be more compliant in the show ring.
Below: Silkies eating out of the chicken keepers hand.
My own personal feeling is that bantams are more often raised as hatched chicks that bought as fully grown birds means they develop more of a bond with their human keepers than hybrids raised in large numbers in huge sheds for example. This means they are handled more often and have much more contact as they grown up.
It is important to remember that having friendly chickens has as much to do with how they are raised and looked after as well as their temperament. It is perfectly possible to have bantams that dislike people and avoid them or are even aggressive.
Bantams are considerably smaller than large fowl which makes them appear much less threatening as well.
Many people raise or own chickens for eggs and meat, but you can raise a chicken as a pet or for showing and it's this category that bantam chickens fall into. Rearing is a fantastic hobby you will, without a doubt, fall in love with. Bantam standout as the friendliest chickens you can own, especially if you pick the right breed.
Bantam can be classified into two types:
- The miniaturised version of the large fowl chickens, the developed bantam chicken,
- True bantam chickens with no large fowl counterpart.
If you want friendly bantams then here are different breeds or types of bantams to raise:
- Japanese Bantams - These are amazing little birds that do have a few drawbacks but are so easy to keep.
- Silkies are the most adorable and sweet types of bantam chickens.
- Polish chickens - Widely considered as the perfect backyard chickens as they are friendly and personable.
- Pekins or bantam Cochin are delightful but have feathery feet.
- The Mille fleur d’Uccle bantam are beautiful and showy. In fact any of the Belgian or Dutch bantams fit this category.
- Both the bantam Orpington and the and the small and beautiful Brahma bantam share the large fowl tendency to docility and friendliness.
- Sebrights - See some video of mine below. These make such good company.
Are Bantams More Friendly than Large Fowl Chickens?
When we say bantams are friendly, it is indeed true, and several reasons will attract you to these chickens. Here are a few things you should know. Friendliness in poultry is not always about size, I have always found turkeys to be very friendly, even the boys.
Bantams are adorable: Most types of bantam chickens are quite adorable, cute, and beautiful, and you will definitely love them. They are quite interesting, especially when they are chicks.
Below: Beautiful little Dutch bantam hen is interested in a complete stranger taking pictures.
You will like them in your backyard, and even feel happy to introduce them to your friends.
Bantams are great for kids: Children love bantams, and your children will love playing with them in the backyard. Children will be able to easily handle the chickens and care for them. They are not that heavy, and children will love carrying them around.
Below: Friendly birds like this make great family pets.
Bantams are into lighter and small dishes and drink less water too, and it is easy to care for them. Your children will be happy and eager to care for your chicken every day.
Perfect for small backyards: Bantams friendly are great for your smaller backyard, and you will love to keep them close to your home. Your small space in your yard will accommodate different types of bantams. You can keep any type of bantam you love or your children fancy.
Below: I have a Silver Sebright cockerel that follows me around like a puppy.
You don’t have to worry about buying a big piece of land to keep bantams. You can keep a variety of Bantams from the Serama and Sebright to the true bantams. The miniature breeds like bantam Cochins, and bantam Rhode Island Red.
Great for eggs: Bantams may be small but some breeds produce more egg for their size and the amount of feed they consume than large fowl chickens do, sometimes they actually win in the productivity stakes.
Bantams are friendly chickens and adorable, and so are their eggs. Bantams also lay eggs like any other type of chickens.
Bantams have big personality: Bantams have a specific kind of quirkiness and are quite hilarious. They are entertaining and friendly to your backyard.
Below: Bantams seem to have more personality, or they have just learned that they get more attention if they behave in certain ways.
To Sum Up:
Go for the friendly bantams, and you will have made a wise investment decision. Feel free to try out the different breeds in the market, and you will enjoy great experiences raising these chickens in your backyard.