Breeding bantam and large fowl chickens together

What happens if you breed bantams and large fowl chickens together.

Breeding bantams with standard size chickens:

What would happen if you breed a bantam with a large fowl chicken?

I have done it both accidentally and on purpose for show breeding purposes. 

It may and may not be possible for a small bantam male to breed successfully with a hen because of the size difference. And if it does work the short answer is you will get a mix of the two types you started with and it is difficult to predict whether they would be small medium or large.

Below: This is Brutus. Despite his small size he runs happily with a flock of mixed hens and will try his hand at any of the ladies with very little success.

In my case I tried to correct the feather pattern on a large fowl Silver Laced Barnevelder by breeding with a bantam version of the same bird.

And it failed completely as an experiment, the results were not good. It did not fix the patterning as I had hoped an just created a whole swathe of size based problems. And it introduced a measure of unpredictability that a show breeder can do without.

The problems are:

  1. A bantam rooster might not be able to reach a full size hen.
  2. A full size rooster my damage a bantam hen.
  3. You may get small eggs from large birds and large eggs from bantams that might kill her.
  4. The size results might be unpredictable.
  5. Birds can take longer to mature if you are hatching large fowl fertilised bantam eggs

I consider a bantam cock with standard hens an excellent situation. You get the same level of protection and leadership as with a standard cock, while using half as much feed. Plus, most bantam cockerels are ridiculously cute.

I have had True bantams (Sebrights) cross with a bantam Silver Laced Wyandotte and the result was lovely, pretty hen whose patterning was a mess.

My wife wants something a little larger for meat, so I was just curious. Would this make a medium sized chicken? Hopefully all of the traits of the Bantams with a little more meat.

Can a small rooster breed a large hen?

Not every rooster can mate with any hen. Sometimes the size difference is just too much. I have a Japanese bantam cockerel running loose with my egg flock and he spends a lot of time running after all the hens (he seems to have a thing for the larger lady) and he tries his best but he is never going to be able to mate with anything larger than a standard bantam.

The reverse is also true, One of my Orpington males is likely to completely squash any bantam hen he mounts so the chances of a successful mating there would be quite slim as well.

Can you mix Bantams with regular sized chickens?

Absolutely and it's not as difficult as you may think. I happily keep a mixed size flock for eggs.

Would it be better to breed a bantam rooster with the standard sized hens?

Or the standard sized rooster with the bantam hens?

Can a standard sized rooster even mate with a bantam hen? As the cockerels tend to be bigger than the hens it stands to reason a bantam rooster would have better success over a large fowl hen than the other way around.

The size difference is less between a bantam male and a standard sized hen than it is between a large fowl rooster and a bantam hen.

May be easier to do artificial insemination do to differences in sizes of the chickens.

Is this a good idea at all?

Unless you had a specific aim in mind it probably is not a good idea to mate bantam, true bantam and large fowl hens together.