Getting To Know The Bantie
A small area in Indonesia once known as the city of Bantam gave way to naming the small fowl that was transported by European sailors for food on long sea journeys. They are said to be the oldest of all domesticated animals, with one breed called the Silkie thought to have a history 4,000 years long. The traditional Bantie is approximately ¼ the size of a standard chicken, although there are diverse varieties that may range in size, as well as coloration and appearance.
One comment frequently heard about this type of poultry is that the majority of the numerous different breeds are very docile. In fact, many people raise Banties as pets rather than as a food source. Each bird presents its own unique personality, a fact that endears these small feathered fowl to their owners. Innately active, these birds are constantly on the move; spending their days foraging for food, taking dust baths and keeping their feathers in pristine order by preening themselves frequently throughout the day. They also possess a natural curiosity in their surroundings; taking note of any and every movement around them and then communicating it with gusto through clucks and chattering to all around.
Despite their pet status with many owners, Banties do have nutritional value as well. Their tiny eggs are just as nutritious and edible as those produced by normal sized chickens, and the laying habits of these birds compare equally to other chickens. The meat of a Bantie is also equal in taste and sustenance to other poultry, although their small size often saves them from the dinner table.
Choosing a Bantie breed may prove to be the most difficult task as there are many different types. Varieties are available with beards, crowns, fully feathered heads, and fully feathered feet; choose from white to red to speckled to plain. There are true Banties and miniaturized versions of larger chickens that are considered to be their “bantam counterpart”.
The small size and amenable attitudes of Bantam chickens make them a good choice to keep even for those with small yards. They do have needs, however, so anyone who is interested in raising Banties must be familiar with their requirements before investing in the birds.
Benefits Of Raising Chickens
Because chickens eat small insects, you will likely have fewer insect problems around your home when raising Banties. In particular, they seem to enjoy grasshoppers and crickets, which can be harmful to the home garden and yard if their population is left unchecked. The chickens provide a useful and environmental means of disposing of most table scraps and in return will provide you with an on-going supply of fresh and wholesome eggs.
Many city folks yearn for the simplicity and serenity of the country farm to which Bantam chickens are usually associated, yet are unable to leave the hustle and bustle of city life. An alternative is to bring a bit of the country into the city by enjoying the company of these small, amiable feathered creatures called Banties.