What is a bantam egg?
The Bantam egg is the small egg laid by bantam or true bantam chickens. They vary in size from the tiny 1 oz eggs of the true bantams to the 2 oz eggs from my Light Sussex bantams.
Below: A selection of eggs from my bantams.
They are from - top right - Wyandotte bantam, Japanese bantam, Bantam welsummer, Orpington bantam, Large fowl Welsummer, Light Sussex bantam and Silver Laced Barnevelder.
At what age do bantam chickens lay eggs?
From 22 to 28 weeks of age depending on what time of year you raise them. It is unlikely that chickens raised late in summer will start to lay before the next spring. It also varies from breed to breed, Silkies are renowned for being slow starters.
Bantams also tend to be more seasonal taking a break from November to February
What colour eggs do bantams lay?
Bantams can lay all the same egg colours that a large fowl chickens produce. Chickens that lay coloured eggs are not generally the best layers.
Below: Most bantam chickens produce white or light brown eggs.
As a rule of thumb the darker or more coloured the egg the less a chicken will produce in a season. This is especially true in dark brown egg layers.
Silkies are exempt from this generalisation as it is their broody behaviour that makes them poor layers.
Are Bantams good egg layers?
Bantams are not bad producers but are not productive like laying hybrids. If it is pure egg quantity you are after then choose a modern egg producing hybrid.
Some of them have the tendency to be broody quite often and this effects their egg production.
In my experience bantams have fewer egg associated problems like egg binding than large fowl.
How many eggs do bantams lay per year?
Silkies are probably the worst layers because they go broody so often. I never expect more than 100 a year from mine.
From a productivity perspective bantam chickens produce relatively the same egg mass to body size if you use a ratio to calculate it.
On the other hand I have bantam light Sussex and they give around 200 per year.
Dark and coloured egg layers tend to lay less eggs per year.
Best egg laying bantams?
If you like the bantam size, but also want to actually eat a few eggs once a while then which breed should you consider.
My bantam Light Sussex, Black Rocks and my bantam Wyandottes are my best bantam layers.
Easter Eggers, EE's, are close behind along with my Barnevelders. They lay more than my bantam RIR, Cochins, Silkies and New Hampshire Reds.
My Wyandotte and Light Sussex bantams also lay the largest eggs.
Most orders of bantams come straight run only. If really want to be sure your getting hens you may be better off buying from a specialist.
What type of bantams lay white eggs?
My bantam Silver Spangled Hamburgs lay a white egg, as do my Wyandottes. Silkies lay a whitish eggs, anything from a porcelain white to a brownish pink colour.
Nearly all of the true bantams lay white eggs although I have a few Japanese bantams that lay cream to light brown.
Bantam breeds that lay blue, pink or green eggs?
I have a Welsummer that lays terracotta eggs with a few speckles, she averages about 4 eggs a week. She's not the friendliest bird, kinda mean to my ee these days. I knew Welsummers don't have the friendly reputation of other breeds, but I wanted variation in my egg basket too!
I have a Lavender Araucana and a splash Araucana so get blue eggs from these, 2 leghorns give me white eggs and then a variety of brown eggs from my other 7 hens of different breeds, I am hoping to take my Cockerel to my Maran to get an Olive Layer.
If you want tiny pink tinted eggs, Silkies lay those. Very pretty birds and very pretty eggs. Not only are they very unusual looking, they're extremely friendly and make amazing pets.
The bantam EE, or Easter egger lays coloured eggs. I have two EE girls and they are the sweetest, one lays blue and the other green. Note, one chicken will lay the same colour for their whole life. The shade may vary a bit, but a chicken will not lay a blue egg, and then a green egg.
Also note that if you get EEs and want coloured eggs, make sure they have a pea comb. If they have a pea comb there is something like a 97% chance they will lay a blue or green egg. If they have a different comb there is only a 3% chance they will lay a coloured egg.
Egg size in bantams:
Is hen size and egg size are directly related ?
Yes there is a relationship of hen size to egg size, the extreme examples are that robins are small and lay small eggs while ostriches are large and lay large eggs.
The birds sizes in between follow this general rule but you will see some variation between individual similar sized birds.
Bantams egg size comparison?
Does anyone know the average size if different bantam breeds? We love the bantams because they are more manageable size wise for our kids but would like to avoid bantams with really small eggs.
From the chickens I have Silkies, Light Sussex and Wyandottes seem to have decent egg size for bantams.
My bantam Brahma lays good sized eggs. I don't measure and weigh them but I would say they are medium. They stop laying pretty early in the Fall though, and only started laying again after the beginning of March so very seasonal.
One of the things that is nice about our "large fowl" Araucana is they are a nice smaller sized bird (approx 4-5 lbs) that lay a good sized egg. The only thing is the eggs are blue to blue/green in colour. They tend to be our way of avoiding bantams, but still being able to enjoy a different, nice sized and unique breed.
My New Hampshire bantams lay a 1.3 ounce egg which is quite small.