Breeding bantam 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:
- A bantam rooster might not be able to reach a full size hen.
- A full size rooster my damage a bantam hen.
- You may get small eggs from large birds and large eggs from bantams that might kill her.
- The size results might be unpredictable.
- 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.