On a whim, I had purchased and set 6+ Dutch Bantam hatching eggs for my Easter hatch, but, alas, shipping was too hard on them and only one even developed for awhile. Still, they are a beautiful – and even practical – bantam chicken.The Dutch Bantam is an interesting breed. A true bantam, this bird is not a miniaturized version of another; there is no large fowl counterpart. Back in the day, Dutch farmers developed these small birds from chickens brought home from the East Indies. The story goes that they had to give all eggs of a certain size or larger to their landlords and so enjoyed keeping these small, productive chickens who lay such small eggs. I like their rebellious history! Dutch Bantams are tiny – just 19-21 ounces – and have a single comb, white skin, white earlobes, and slate blue legs. They come in many, many colors and are reputed to be exceedingly friendly little pets. They lay about 160 little white or tinted eggs per year and are good broodies. They are perfectly happy when confined but also range very well. I think they would make a fantastic homestead egg layer: They pay large dividends on a small amount of feed. Most half-feral village chickens in Asia and South America are small and light for just that reason.
Dutch Bantam links:
- The Dutch Bantam Site
- Dutch Bantams on Feathersite
- Dutch Bantam on Wikipedia
- “The Dutch Bantam: A True Bantam Breed” by Laura Haggerty in Backyard Poultry magazine
- Dutch Bantams Breed Thread on the Backyard Chickens Forum