Small Chicken

Top 25 Small Chicken Breeds for Pets or Eggs

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breeds of Small chickens make wonderful additions to your backyard flock, particularly if your garden isn’t very large. These little birds are adored by children as well, who keep them as pets. Small chicken breeds, ideal for hobbyists and backyard enthusiasts, are often prized for their egg-laying capabilities.

Their compact size requires less food, but they may be more sensitive to outdoor elements, making them a popular choice for various reasons in poultry raising.

Top 25 Small Chicken Breeds

The following table features 25 of the cutest and smallest breeds of chickens, making them ideal for adding a flock of feathers to your backyard:

BreedSizeTemperamentEgg LayingUnique Traits
SeramaBantamLively & curiousModerateWorld’s smallest true bantam!
Japanese BantamBantamDocile & friendlyGoodPetite elegance with long, flowing tails.
Cochin BantamBantamCalm & gentleModerateFluffy feathered friends, great for children.
Australorp BantamBantamHardy & adaptableExcellentLay prolifically through winter.
Belgian d’AnversBantamActive & playfulGoodAlert and entertaining, known for crowing hens.
Wyandotte BantamBantamDocile & affectionateGoodBeautiful plumage with round, fluffy crests.
Rhode Island Red BantamBantamEnergetic & socialGoodClassic breed, friendly and productive layers.
Plymouth Rock BantamBantamCalm & reliableGoodDual-purpose breed, lays well and produces tasty meat.
Silk BantamBantamDocile & quietModerateSilky feathers and black skin, gentle layers.
Dominique BantamBantamFriendly & curiousGoodBeautiful spotted plumage, alert and active.
Delaware BantamBantamCalm & docileGoodCold-hardy and productive layers.
Jersey Giant BantamBantamGentle & curiousModerateLargest bantam breed, calm and friendly.
New Hampshire BantamBantamEnergetic & SocialGoodReliable layers, known for their winter hardiness.
Polish BantamBantamDocile & ornamentalModerateStunning feather crests, available in many colors.
Sultan BantamBantamCalm & quietModerateFluffy feathered “foot muffs,” gentle layers.
Booted BantamBantamLively & friendlyModerateActive & Independent
Appenzeller SpitzhaubenSmall StandardCalm & docileGoodDistinctive pointed crest, hardy and adaptable.
LakenvelderSmall StandardDocile & curiousGoodUnique black and white lacing on feathers, good layers.
Mille Fleur d’UccleSmall StandardDocile & ornamentalModerateStunningly intricate feather patterns, gentle birds.
BarnevelderSmall StandardFeathered legs add unique charm, and good layers.ExcellentProlific layers of beautiful brown eggs.
DutchSmall StandardDocile & friendlyGoodStriking black and white checkerboard pattern.
Old English GamefowlSmall StandardActive & SocialModerateAthletic and intelligent, not for beginners.
HamburgSmall StandardActive & livelyGoodElegant crest and colorful plumage, good layers.

What Makes a Small Chicken Desirable?

A little chicken also referred to as a bantam, might be preferred over a bigger standard-sized chicken for a variety of reasons. The following are a few of the most typical reasons:

Space Savvy:

Limited Yard: Compared to larger breeds, bantams need less room for living and roaming if you live in an urban area or have a tiny garden. They are therefore a good choice for people who don’t have much real estate.
Decreased Cost: It is often less expensive to build smaller coops and runs, and since they require less feed, food costs are reduced as well.

Mild-mannered Individuals:

Docile & Friendly: Bantam breeds are ideal for families with little children or those who are new to raising chickens because they are frequently noted for being peaceful, inquisitive, and manageable. Compared to bigger birds, they are less inclined to be territorial or hostile.
Reduced Noise: Because of their generally quieter disposition, they make less noise overall and when crowing, which makes them ideal for communities with noise limits.

Productive Layers:

Prolific Layers: Despite their diminutive stature, a large number of bantam breeds have a prodigious nesting season, which frequently extends into the winter. This guarantees a consistent flow of fresh eggs, even for little flocks.
Variety of Eggs: Certain breeds, such as Araucanas and Barnevelders, produce stunningly colorful eggs that enhance the aesthetic appeal of your breakfast table.

Entertainment and Visual Appeal:

Charming & Ornamental: A lot of bantam breeds may provide a beautiful touch to your garden with their gorgeous plumage, distinctive feather patterns, and fluffy crests. Their little stature might provide some joy and playfulness.
Incredibly Amusing: Both parents and kids may find endless entertainment in watching their fun interactions, inquisitive attitudes, and little pranks.

Extra Advantages:

  • Some breeds, like Silkies, can assist in hatching and raising the offspring of larger breeds since they make good moms.
  • Compared to bigger chickens, their diminutive size could make them less vulnerable to aerial predators.

But it’s crucial to keep in mind that not every little breed is made equally. Certain species, such as Old English Gamefowls, are energetic and may be hostile, therefore they need to be handled by someone with experience. It’s important to learn about the demands and traits of each breed before bringing new feathered companions into your property.

Top 25 Small Chicken Breeds That We Recommend

Here are 25 of our favorite small chicken breeds:

Silkie

  • Maximum Size: 2-3 lbs
  • Temperament: Docile and easy to train
  • Eggs: Up to 120 per year
  • Meat: Considered a delicacy in Asia, but otherwise not raised for meat

A distinctive and well-liked breed of chicken, silkie chickens are distinguished by their fluffy, silky feathers that mimic fur. Generally speaking, they are little animals; hens weigh around 3 pounds, while roosters weigh about 4 pounds. Because of this, they are categorized as giant fowl in certain countries and as bantam breeds in others.

Silkies have several other distinctive features, including:

  • Their flesh has a dark hue because to their black skin and bones.
  • Five toes as opposed to the typical four
  • Earlobes with turquoise or blue tones
  • a crest like a walnut on their heads

Because of their gentle nature and amiability, silkies are excellent companions for kids and households. Despite producing less eggs than several other breeds, they are nevertheless excellent egg layers. Nonetheless, their eggs frequently have a rich taste and a creamy white hue.

Sebright

  • Maximum Size: Less than 2 lbs
  • Temperament: Friendly but chatty
  • Eggs: 160 per year
  • Meat: Minimal

Again created and named by Sir John Saunders Sebright in the 1800s, this chicken is a real Bantam, meaning it has no full-size equivalent. This rose-combed chicken breed, which is intended to be an attractive chicken, requires relatively little care and is a wonderful choice for those who are new to rearing decorative breeds.

Although they might be a little boisterous, these hens are not butcher birds and can produce up to 160 little white eggs annually. They lay from about 16 weeks of age, which is a rather early start, and generate amazing plumage.

They are wonderful companions for small children and are a popular exhibition bird.

Booted Bantam (Sablepoot)

  • Maximum Size: Less than 2 lbs
  • Temperament: Docile
  • Eggs: 150-180 tiny white eggs each year
  • Meat: Minimal

Chicken aficionados love the interesting breed of Booted Bantam chicken, which is prized for its unique look. Known for having feathery feet, the Booted Bantam has a graceful and endearing personality.

With their quiet and kind nature, these little hens are great for backyard environments and are great companions for enthusiasts. Even though they are small in size, Booted Bantams add to the pleasure of owning poultry because of their attractive appearance and amiable nature.

Booted Bantam chickens are a favorite among people who value the diversity and beauty of chicken breeds because they bring a touch of elegance to any poultry flock, whether they are kept for their distinctive aesthetics or as entertaining pets.

Belgian d’Anvers

  • Maximum Size: Less than 2 lbs
  • Temperament: Occasionally aggressive
  • Eggs: Up to 160 per year
  • Meat: Minimal

The little and endearing Belgian d’Anvers chicken draws attention with its distinctive features. A petite bird with feathered legs and a characteristic rose comb, the d’Anvers chicken is prized for its small stature and lovely beauty.

These Belgian-bred bantam chickens are well-known for being amiable and submissive, which makes them wonderful additions to backyard flocks. The d’Anvers chickens are valued for their decorative attributes despite producing a meager amount of eggs.

They are available in a variety of colors, including Black, Blue Quail, Quail, and more. Small-scale farmers and poultry aficionados will find Belgian d’Anvers chickens to be visually appealing and friendly due to their friendly nature and striking characteristics.

Cochin Bantams

  • Maximum Size: Less than 2 lbs
  • Temperament: Broody
  • Eggs: Up to 160 per year
  • Meat: Decent

China is the birthplace of the fascinating and unique Cochin Bantam breed, which is well-known for its kind and gentle nature. These little chicks have a fluffy look and are covered with feathers all over their body, including their legs and feet.

Cochin Bantams are visually appealing because they come in a variety of hues, including Partridge, Golden Lace, White, Buff, Black, Red, and Mottled. Cochin Bantams are highly valued for their amiable disposition, which sets them apart as great options for backyard flocks and family environments, even outside of their aesthetic appeal.

They are well-liked by fans of fowl because of their easygoing nature and versatility, which offer visual appeal and friendly company amidst the wide variety of chicken breeds.

Belgian Bearded d’Uccle

  • Maximum Size: Less than 2 pounds
  • Temperament: Broody and good foragers
  • Eggs: Up to 100 per year
  • Meat: Poor quality

The Belgian Bearded d’Uccle, pronounced dew-clay, is a little chicken breed that you should take into consideration despite its challenging name.

The name Mille Fleur, which simply refers to the most color variation of this bird, is frequently used to describe it. D’Uccle chickens have a wide back, a stock neck, big beards, and muffs. Its feet are feathered, and its tail is conspicuous.

Although there are more color variants of this bird available, such as white, lavender, silver quail, and more, the American Poultry Association only officially recognizes seven of them.

Although Booted Bantams and these birds are sometimes mistaken for one another, the latter are distinguished by the lack of muffs or beards on the former.

These little, feather-legged beauties often weigh no more than 22 ounces.

They only produce about 100 eggs annually, so they aren’t very good layers, but they do lay all year round and can become broody pretty readily.

Sultan Bantam

  • Maximum Size: 1.5 lbs
  • Temperament: Approachable and loving
  • Eggs: Less than 60 per year
  • Meat: Poor quality

Imagine the Sultan Bantam as a little sultan, oozing with fluffy white finery! This majestic bantam breed is crowned by an enormous, snowball-shaped crest, has a fluffy bib around its neck, and has cheek muffs that resemble feathery ermine surrounding its face. Feathered “boots” adorning five-toed feet finish the image of splendor.

These gentle giants of the bantam world may not lay the most eggs, but they more than makeup for it with their serene demeanor and alluring beauty, which lend a bit of fantasy enchantment to any backyard flock.

Dutch Bantams

  • Maximum Size: Less than 20 ounces
  • Temperament: Nervous
  • Eggs: About 100 per year
  • Meat: Poor quality

Despite their image as neurotic hens, Dutch Bantams are fairly amiable But, you must exercise caution while engaging with them since even the smallest sound will make them flinch.

These hens are real bantams; the breed does not have a standard size, but it does have several variants, including Golden Duckwing, Blue Golden, Cuckoo, and Partridge.

These hens make exceptional moms who guard their young and are also good setters. They lay rather well, usually laying two pale brown bantam eggs a week. These are single-comb hens who fare well in captivity despite not being particularly heat- or cold-hardy.

Japanese Bantam

  • Maximum Size: Less than 2 lbs
  • Temperament: Shy
  • Eggs: Fewer than 60 per year
  • Meat: Minimal

Because they constantly seem to be squatting, Japanese bantams are intriguing to look at. These birds are real Bantam breeds with very small legs. They have stunning, fanning tails that stand straight up on a hen and spread out on a rooster in place of feathers on their legs.

This breed comes in a variety of colors, but the Black Tailed White Japanese Bantam is among the most popular. This chicken is white around the body, with graceful black feathers cascading down as a cascade.

Although they have a reputation for being a little shy, these birds are rather docile. They often only lay one egg each week, if at all, and these will be cream or colored. They are also fantastic mothers.

Buff Brahma Bantams

  • Maximum Size: Less than 3 lbs
  • Temperament: Friendly and active
  • Eggs: Minimal
  • Meat: Minimal

These chicks are little replicas of the well-known Brahma breed. Buff Brahma Bantams are a family-friendly breed of chicken that was acknowledged by the American Poultry Association in 1946. They are also frequently produced for the show.

They are buff in color with a black ridge along the neck, tail, and tips of the wings, and they have feathered feet. These hens can withstand extreme heat and cold pretty well because of their resilience. Despite not being intended for meat production, they are a wonderful species to nurture as a family pet despite laying a few eggs.

Rosecomb Bantams

  • Maximum Size: Less than 2 lbs
  • Temperament: Nervous
  • Eggs: 50 per year
  • Meat: Minimal

Rosecomb Bantams are independent hens who don’t let their little stature hold them down! These multicolored, amiable hens are simple to get up close to. Despite their tendency toward feistiness, these magnificent ornamental hens are nonetheless lovely.

With no bigger equivalents, these hens are truly bantams. This breed, which was first authorized by the American Poultry Association in 1874, is not recommended for inexperienced chicken owners. This is due to Rosecomb Bantam’s propensity for being temperamental and a little flighty.

They only lay approximately 50 cream-colored eggs a year, therefore they’re not very good egg layers. Furthermore, they are not made to be meat birds.

Serama Bantams

  • Maximum Size: 19 ounces
  • Temperament: Friendly and quiet
  • Eggs: Up to 160 per year
  • Meat:  Poor quality

It’s common to refer to Serama Bantams as the tiniest chickens in the world. These hens, who are native to Malaysia, stand straight and tall, their heads almost touching the feathers on their tails. Although they come in a variety of colors, the American Poultry Association only recognizes white varieties.

Even the roosters don’t yell all that much, and the chickens are peaceful and kind. They are often quite gentle and simple to handle and teach. Even though the chickens don’t lay very big eggs, they nevertheless lay a lot of them—up to four per week!

How to Care for Small Chicken Breeds

There is no distinction between raising a little or bantam breed of chicken and rearing a different kind of chicken. To properly rear little hens, though, there are a few size-related considerations you will need to make.

Be Careful During Incubation

It can be very challenging, if not impossible, to hatch some bantam breeds on your own. Smaller chicken breeds are more prone to become broody on their own, but many of them have an early hatching propensity (up to three days), which makes it difficult to hatch eggs in an incubator.

To let the eggs enter a teaching posture, you must remove the turner sooner than usual if you are hatching your eggs in an incubator.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

The coop and run area required by bantam chickens is around one-third that of full-sized breeds; nonetheless, it’s always beneficial to have extra space. But you do need to make sure your hens are well-sheltered from the elements. The majority of little chickens are highly vulnerable to sharp temperature changes, depending on the breed.

Certain little breeds of chicken, such as the Silkie, require extra weather protection. Their bodies are so small that it is hard for them to remain warm, and they have feathered feet, so they cannot get wet.

Ensure that your birds are safe from predators.

Small hens may find it difficult to escape from predators. It’s fantastic if your little chicken breeds have a propensity to become flighty; this will provide your birds with an extra layer of defense against predators.

But remember that these hens will find it more difficult to escape since they frequently have shorter legs and wings. Make sure your hens are well-protected; this might be as simple as having a super-aggressive bantam rooster or as complex as a towering fence or covered run.

Most Frequently Asked Questions!

1. Why choose small chicken breeds?

Because of their manageable size, tiny chicken breeds are perfect for backyard enthusiasts and hobbyists and work well in limited locations. They are typically good egg layers and are chosen for their decorative appeal.

2. Do small chicken breeds produce less meat?

Yes, rather than producing meat, tiny chicken breeds are mostly valued for their ability to produce eggs. Their small stature means they produce less meat.

3. Are smaller chickens more economical in terms of food consumption?

Yes, because they are smaller in height, smaller hens usually need less food. In terms of feed costs, this may help save money.

4. Are small chicken breeds more sensitive to outdoor elements?

Although smaller chickens could be more susceptible to severe weather, there are differences in their level of hardiness. Mitigating any sensitivity to outside elements can be achieved by providing sufficient shelter and care.

5. What are the benefits of raising small chickens?

It is beneficial for hobbyists and backyard keepers to raise tiny hens. Poultry flocks are made more aesthetically pleasing by their decorative features, which also typically demand less space and food.

6. Are small chicken breeds suitable for beginners?

Yes, novices may benefit much from a variety of little chicken breeds. They are simpler for inexperienced poultry keepers to handle and care for due to their controllable size and often docile temperament.

7. Do small chickens have specific health considerations?

Since little hens could be more vulnerable to high temperatures, it’s important to keep an eye on their surroundings. For them to remain healthy, enough nourishment and medical attention are also necessary.

8. Can small chickens be kept in urban settings?

Yes, little chicken breeds are appropriate for urban or cramped environments due to their compact size. But it’s important to remember about space constraints and local laws.

9. What are some popular small chicken breeds?

Known for their pleasant disposition and manageable size, popular little chicken breeds include Silkies, Seramas, Belgian d’Anvers, Booted Bantams, and Cochin Bantams.

10. Are small chicken breeds good as pets?

Indeed, a lot of little breeds of chicken make great pets. Families and poultry aficionados alike find them to be delightful companions because of their beautiful traits and gentle, kind temperament.

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