Small Chicken Breeds 12082022

15 Small Chicken Breeds (An Ultimate Guide to Know)

When it comes to poultry farming, most farmers are used to the standard chicken breeds due to their meat and eggs produced and also because these breeds are widely available. But, imagine raising small chicken breeds? It would be damn right fun, right?

First, these miniature chickens are small meaning they won’t eat much of the coop space. They also eat less meaning you won’t hurt your budget when it comes to feeding them. Lastly, these bantam chickens lay eggs, with some going to as high as 150 eggs a year. To top it all, most of these chickens have interesting features that make them the best for exhibitions and shows.

Just like most chicken breeds, bantam chickens have a gentle and docile temperament. This feature makes them great pets and a perfect match for backyard farms. But, despite all the bells and whistles, how exactly are you supposed to get bantam chickens if you hardly know anything about them? Well, in this guide, we’re going to discuss 15 small chicken breeds that are available in the world.


Where Did Chickens Originate From?

The chicken is one creature that has a rich history. These birds were first evidenced in Southeast Asia around 7,000-10,000 years ago. Before their discovery, chickens used to roam freely in the wild foraging for food. According to DNA studies, chickens are believed to be close descendants of the Red junglefowl and the Grey Junglefowl.

After their domestication, chickens were used for various purposes such as meat and egg production, rituals, and cockfighting. Today, there are over 60 breeds and hybrids of chickens with each serving a specific purpose.


How Many Chickens Are There in the World?

Now, the total number of chickens in the world is approximately 30 billion. That’s way more than the number of humans that are alive. When it comes to chicken breeds, nearly 100 recognized breeds are available.

In addition to that, chickens can be categorized according to their uses and purpose. In most cases, there are just four different types of categories that are available ranging from egg layers, meat producers, dual-purpose breeds, and breeds raised for ornamental or exhibition purposes.


Top 15 Smallest Chicken Breeds in the World

1. Belgian Bearded d’Uccle

Average Size1.38 – 2 Pounds
TemperamentGentle but Occasionally Aggressive
Egg Production150 Eggs Annually
PlumageSplash, Black, Porcelain, Mottled, Mille Fleur, and Quail
Meat QualityMinimal

To those struggling to pronounce the last word, the correct pronunciation is “dew-clay”. Otherwise, these miniature chickens are a clear example of what we’re talking about when you hear small chickens. Apart from their fancy name, these birds have fascinating features that make them a smart choice for backyard farms.

For instance, these chickens are markedly friendly when raised alongside other birds. They’re also low-maintenance meaning you won’t have to spend a lot on them. But, just like other breeds, the roosters are quite noisy and aggressive.

Lastly, don’t get fooled by the small size of these chickens. You’ll be surprised to hear that these tiny birds are excellent egg layers that can manage around 150 eggs a year. In fact, other than being raised for ornamental use, most farmers raise them for eggs.


2. Booted Bantam (Sablepoot)

Average SizeApproximately 2 Pounds
TemperamentCalm, docile, and friendly (especially toward humans)
Egg Production150 – 180 Eggs Annually
PlumageBarred, Blue, Buff, Golden Neck, Lemon Mille Fleur, and Lavender among others
Meat QualityMinimal

The Booted Bantam is another chicken breed that has many fascinating features to explore. This chicken is very similar to the Belgian Bearded d’Uccle with slight differences in body shape. The Booted bantam has a U-shaped back while the Belgian Bearded d’Uccle has a body that stands upright.

The Booted Bantam is one of the oldest miniature chicken breeds in the world. They have 6-inch long feathers that cover their feet. These glamorous feet feathers are the reason why these birds have been nicknamed the Sablepoot.

Other than that, the Booted Bantams are great pets and excellent backyard chickens. They’re exceptional mothers and good egg layers with a yield of 150-180 eggs per year. These chickens are rare to find and are quite susceptible to fluctuations in climate making them very delicate.


3. Cochin Bantam

Average SizeApproximately 2 Pounds
TemperamentDocile, Friendly, and Highly Broody
Egg ProductionUp to 160 Annually
PlumageGolden Laced, White, Black, Buff, Red, Mottled, and Barred
Meat QualityMinimal

The Cochin Bantam is a small chicken that has an Asiatic background, most specifically China. This bird is not considered a true bantam as it has a full-size chicken variant that grows up to 9 pounds at times. Nonetheless, this bantam variety of the Cochin has been raised primarily as an ornamental bird thanks to some exclusive features.

One of them is the feathered feet that make it appear puffy. Another feature is the beautiful plumage that comes in an assortment of colors such as golden laced, white, black, buff, red, mottled, and barred among others.

About its temperament, the Cochin Bantam is an incredibly friendly pet that loved to be fed and cuddled. It’s also a naturally broody chicken and a good egg layer that manages 160 eggs per year.


4. Rosecomb Bantam

Average SizeApproximately 2 Pounds
TemperamentFlighty, Nervous, and Shy
Egg ProductionAround 50 Eggs Annually
PlumageWhite, Black, and Blue
Meat QualityMinimal

The Rosecomb Bantam is a true bantam breed, as it doesn’t have a full-size bird variety. As one of the smallest chickens in the world, the Rosecomb is easy to identify thanks to its spiky comb and flowy but erect tails.

To tie the whole look together, the Rosecomb has a beautiful colored plumage and huge, white earlobes that makes it a perfect ornamental bird. Now, away from its beauty, the Rosecomb is not a chicken breed for novice chicken keepers.

One, it weighs less than 2 pounds making it a worse choice for meat production. Two, it produces fewer than 50 eggs annually making it the worst egg layer. Three, this bird is quite flighty meaning you have to keep it in an enclosed run or else it will fly to unprotected areas.


5. Buff Brahma Bantam

Average SizeApproximately 3 Pounds
TemperamentActive, Friendly, and very Hardy
Egg ProductionAround 100 Eggs Annually
PlumageDark, Light, and Buff
Meat QualityMinimal

If you’re an enthusiast poultry farmer, then you’re aware of the large Brahma chickens. These birds are really large and are mostly raised for produce. However, there’s the bantam version of these chickens, which is the Buff Brahma Bantam. Since its small, this bird is not raised for meat or eggs but only as a pet or an ornamental bird.

To suit as an ornamental bird, the Buff Brahma has feathered feet and a beautiful buff color on the back, neck, tail, and wing tips. The Buff Brahma is a docile and friendly chicken that doubles up as a pet. It’s a hardy breed that bears both hot and cold climates.

The only issue with this chicken is that it’s a poor egg layer making it a poor choice when raised as a backyard chicken for meat and egg produce.


6. Appenzeller Bantam

Average SizeBetween 1.5 – 2 Pounds
TemperamentEnergetic, Flighty, and Exploratory
Egg ProductionAround 100 – 150 Eggs Annually
PlumageBlack, Silver, and Golden Spangled
Meat QualityMinimal

If I were to make a list of small white chicken breeds with mohawks, then the Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken would be a superb contender. Weighing just one lb and a half, the Appenzeller is a small chicken that has origins in Switzerland.

This breed is easily identified by its cool rockstar haircut and beautiful plumage that consists of black and white shades. As small as it appears, the Appenzeller lays a decent number of eggs that ranges from 100 to 150 annually.

This chicken breed is free-spirited and very energetic making it quite flighty. For this reason, farmers are advised to keep it in open runs rather than enclosed confinements.


7. Sultan Bantam

Average SizeApproximately 1.5 Pounds
TemperamentFriendly, loving, and Approachable
Egg ProductionAround 60 Eggs Annually
PlumageWhite Puffy Feathers
Meat QualityPoor

While most chickens are primarily raised for meat and egg production, the Sultan Bantam is quite an exception. This bird has been specifically raised for exhibition purposes thanks to its unique inspiring features. The Sultan is one of the breeds that are easily identifiable by just a single look.

Now, this bird has roots that date back to the Ottoman Empire where it was raised as an ornamental bird for royals to admire. About the looks, the Sultan Bantam has a unique style of feathering that consists of puffy white feathers from head to toe.

Interestingly, these chicken breeds have clean white beaks and have five toes instead of the usual four. Sultan Bantams have pinkish-red combs and are naturally gentle and approachable making them excellent pets.


8. Cubalaya

Average SizeApproximately 2 Pounds
TemperamentFriendly and Lovable
Egg ProductionAround 200 – 250 Eggs Annually
PlumageBlack, Black Breasted, Gold, Blue Wheaten, and Silver Duckwing
Meat QualityAverage

The Cubalaya is another chicken breed that has fascinating specifications. This chicken is a result of crossing three common chicken breeds that include Cuban, Filipino, and European chickens. The results are a bantam breed with glamorous looks and downright beautiful features.

One of these features is the long lobster tail that puts this chicken on the list of miniature small chicken breeds with extremely long tails. Perhaps the long tail is among the factors that allow this chicken to be considered an ornamental bird.

But, other than the looks, the Cubalaya is a chicken breed that triples up as a superb egg-layer and a chicken breed perfect for meat production. Some people go to the extent of using it for game fighting though its docile temperament sometimes denies it. The Cubalaya is not an original bantam as it has a full-size variant that weighs around 3.5 to 6 pounds.


9. Serama Bantam

Average SizeLess Than 1 Pound
TemperamentFriendly and Quiet
Egg ProductionAround 160 Eggs Annually
Meat QualityVery Poor

The Serama Bantam is another chicken breed we can’t afford to neglect. This chicken is considered the smallest breed in the world. To understand its size, both hens and roosters are believed to weigh less than a pound.

These chickens are available throughout the world but are hugely common in their motherland, Malaysia. About the appearance, the Serama Bantam has an upright body and a head that tend to touch the tail feathers when they stand erect.

These birds are gentle, polite, and very friendly. They’re also very quiet with roosters crowing with a maximum noise level of around 60 decibels. These chickens double up as good egg layers with a maximum yield of 160 eggs per year.

The Serama Bantam often serves as a good pet and it’s available in various colors with white being the official color recognized by APA.


10. Sebright Bantam

Average SizeLess Than 2 Pounds
TemperamentFriendly, Energetic, and Quite Loud and Chatty
Egg ProductionAround 160 Eggs Annually
PlumageSilver, Orange, and Golden with black Feathers
Meat QualityMinimal

While most chickens in this list have full-size versions, the Sebright is considered a true bantam as it doesn’t have a full-size counterpart. This breed didn’t exist until the 1800s when it was bred by one Sir. John Saunders Sebright.

One reason that explains why this chicken breed was bred was to feature an ornamental bird. In fact, other than being an excellent layer, the Sebright is only used for exhibition purposes due to its small size and beautiful plumage.

Speaking of the size, this bird hardly reaches 2 pounds making it a poor option for meat production. It lays 160 white-shelled eggs per year and it rarely gets broody. The Sebright is docile, gentle, and very friendly to humans, especially kids.

This chicken breed has some of the most stunning looks around that consist of golden, silver, and orange plumage with contrasting black colors on the edges of their feathers.


11. Silkie

Average SizeApproximately 2 – 3 Pounds
TemperamentFriendly, docile, easy to train, and broody
Egg ProductionAround 160 Eggs Annually
PlumageBrown, Blue, White, and Grey With White Being the Most Popular
Meat QualityMinimal Though Popular in Asia

Now, if I was to offer an award for the most beautiful chicken breed in the world, then the undisputed winner would probably be the Silkie. Though not a pure bantam, the Silkie is an outstanding chicken breed that has a lot to be admired.

One factor that qualities this bird as an ornamental breed is the cool fur-like feathers that make it resemble a walking fluffy ball. Its cute fluffy feathers extend from the head to the toes making the chicken adorable.

The silkie is available in a variety of colors with white and grey being the most dominant. With a weight of just 2-3 pounds, these small grey chicken breeds are rarely raised for meat production. However, in some parts of Asia, their meat is considered nutritious. Silkies are good egg layers and they often go broody. Black Silkies have black skin and bones, which is something most people are interested to know.


12. Old English Game

Average Size1.5 – 2 Pounds
TemperamentActive, Energetic, Docile (Hens), and Very Aggressive (Roosters)
Egg ProductionMore Than 100 Eggs Annually
PlumageBlack, White, Red, Blue, and Brown
Meat QualityAverage

Just as their name suggests, the Old English Game are chicken breeds that originated from England. By looking at their bold steps, it’s easy to note that these chickens have an abundance of energy and spirit. In fact, you shouldn’t get fooled by their slick-looking miniature structures as they have fighting instincts that once made them fighting chicken breeds.

Today, the Old English Game has squeezed itself into the fashion industry where it’s considered an ideal ornamental breed due to its inspiring looks.

Regarding their temperament, the roosters are considered overly aggressive while the hens are quite the opposite. In fact, other than being calm and docile, the hens are great mothers and can even double up as foster mothers.


13. Japanese Bantam

Average SizeApproximately 2 Pounds
TemperamentVery Shy and Timid
Egg ProductionFewer Than 60 Eggs Annually
PlumageCream or Golden Body With Black Tail Feathers
Meat QualityMinimal

The Japanese Bantam is another chicken breed that has amazing features. Despite having a small miniature size, this chicken has short legs that make it appear as if it’s squatting. It has an upright erect body and tail feathers that point upwards. The tail feathers are too erect to a point of almost touching the back of their heads.

Regarding their behavior, Japanese Bantams are extremely shy making it hard to keep them as pets. They’re timid and will always hide from humans, especially children when distracted. The Japanese Bantam is a poor egg layer and is available in a myriad of colors such as cream body and black tail feathers.


14. Dutch Bantam

Average SizeApproximately 20 Ounces
TemperamentNervous and Shy
Egg ProductionAround 100 Eggs Annually
PlumageBlue-Golden, Cuckoo, Golden Duckwing, and Partridge
Meat QualityVery Poor

Appearing quite late on our list is the Dutch Bantam chicken breed. Weighing around 20 ounces, this breed is among the smallest chickens in the world. Just like the Rosecomb and the Japanese Bantams, the Dutch Bantam is considered shy.

This bird is so shy that it can easily be startled by the slightest noises making it a poor pet for children. Speaking of the appearance, the Dutch Bantam has a single red comb, white earlobes, and an assortment of cool colors that consist of Blue-Golden, Cuckoo, Golden Duckwing, and Partridge.

About their egg-laying capability, the Dutch Bantam manages to produce around 100 eggs annually. They’re good setters and excellent mothers despite being susceptible to cold and extreme heat due to their single comb features.


15. Belgian d’Anvers

Average SizeLess Than 2 Pounds
TemperamentAggressive But Very friendly Towards Humans
Egg ProductionAround 160 Eggs Annually
PlumageSplash, Black, Quail, Mottled, Porcelain, and Mille Fleur
Meat QualityMinimal

The last breed of chicken we’re going to discuss is the Belgian d’Anvers. Originally from Belgium, this chicken is among the few breeds in this list that are original bantams. These birds are solely raised as ornamental birds though they can triple up as egg layers and for meat production.

However, due to their extremely light bodies (around 2lbs), the Belgian Bantams have a low meat production making them a poor option when raised for meat. But, despite that, these birds have gentle, curious, and friendly personality that allows them to walk with a proud and upright posture.

Their friendly temperament makes them excellent pets though they’re occasionally aggressive when they’re among other flock members. Belgian d’Anvers are extremely loud and noisy chickens that are a poor pick if you live in a cool, silent, and serene environment.


Advantages of Owning Smaller Chickens

Whether it’s a true bantam or just a miniature version, there are tons of reasons why you should raise miniature small chicken breeds. Having discussed 15 breeds that are available across the world, let’s now switch our focus to some of the benefits of owning these tiny beauties.

  • 1. Consume Less Feeds

The first obvious benefit of raising small breed chickens is the fact that you’ll spend less on feeds. Nowadays, the cost of animal feeds is getting higher by the day. Therefore, with these tiny cuties, you’ll generally spend half the cost of feeding full-size chickens.

  • 2. Require Less Space

Other than consuming less feeds, bantam chickens demand less space for them to thrive. So, instead of using too much material just to construct their coops, what you’ll need is just a tiny space that will appear enough for them.

However, you need to note that these birds are extremely light and quite flighty. For that reason, the coop should be special enough to contain them in case they intend to fly to unprotected areas.

  • 3. Easy to Handle and Manage

One thing we’ve learned with small chicken breeds is that they’re gentle and docile. They’re also friendlier making it easier to hold and groom them. Since they’re small, the coops of these chickens don’t get dirty as often. Most breeds are relatively quiet making it easier to raise them in cities or urban settings.

  • 4. Variety of Uses

Now, whether it’s white, blue, brown, or small black chicken breeds, bantams are generally beautiful and hence used for ornamental or exhibition purposes. In fact, most of the breeds we’ve discussed here have outstanding features that make them damn beautiful.

But, other than their beauty, some bantam breeds are excellent egg-layers while others are good mothers that get broody often. So, if you’re looking for a chicken that will triple up as an ornamental bird, an egg-layer, and a chicken that will give you decent meat produce, then a bantam is a superb pick.


Raising Care Tips for Small Chicken Breeds

Now, bantams are miniature chickens that are about half the size of full-sized chickens. Due to their small sizes, these chicken breeds demand special care for them to grow and thrive. In this section, we’re going to discuss some essential raising care tips for these breeds of chickens.

  • 1. Bullying

The first area you need to be keen on when raising miniature chickens is the issue of bullying. Now, due to their small sizes, bantams tend to be docile and very gentle. If you have a mixed flock consisting of bantams and other standard breeds, then they’re likely to be picked on by other chickens.

This is dangerous as it can result in bullying, which in the end, might cause serious injuries or even death to your bantam chickens. To avoid this, you should inspect your flock regularly.

  • 2. Predators

Now, chickens are believed to be at the bottom of the food chain. This fact makes them suitable targets for most predators, both on the ground and in the air. With this analysis, the bantam chicken is the most vulnerable as it has fewer defensive options.

So, if you’re raising bantams, then you need to keep them safe from predators by erecting high fences and keeping their coops/runs covered. Sometimes, the predator might be the larger chickens, especially the roosters when they’re trying to mate or when setting the pecking orders.

  • 3. Harsh Weather

Lastly, raising bantams means that you should watch out for extreme weather conditions. Some small white chicken breeds such as the Silkie, Booted Bantam, Cochin, Sultan, and the Belgian Bearded d’Uccle have feathered bodies and feet that cannot afford to be wet. Otherwise, exposing them to water during cold weather can cause hypothermia, which can result in death.

Also, due to their small sizes, these chickens require a small coop. Since most of them are not hardy, insulating the coop or adding heating elements is essential to ensure they stay warm.


FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Small Chicken Breeds FAQs 12082022

Q1. What Are Bantam Chickens?

Now that you’ve heard this phrase countless times in this guide, what exactly is a bantam chicken? A bantam chicken is a smaller or miniature version of a large chicken breed. Some breeds are considered true bantams, as they don’t have a standard chicken breed. So, if you have a small chicken breed that’s about a half or a third of a large chicken, then it’s automatically considered a bantam.

Q2. How Long Do Bantams Live?

Well, according to records, bantam chickens have a life expectancy of approximately 5 to 10 years. In most cases, their life expectancy is affected by various factors such as diet, health, breed, and living conditions.

Q3. Can You Mix Bantams With Large Chicken Breeds?

Yes, of course. In fact, most poultry farmers practice mixed-size flocks where they raise different breeds in the same flock. Now, when raising bantams, you need to understand that these birds are docile and very gentle. So, to keep them safe, you should pair them with other docile chicken breeds to maintain a happy and peaceful flock.


Final Thoughts

So, are you thinking of rising, black, white, or small grey chicken breeds? Well, whatever your decision is, these miniature chicken breeds have unique outstanding features that are too cute to resist. While some are purely ornamental, others double up as potential meat and egg producers.

The best thing about these chicken breeds is that they’re easy to handle. So, even a beginner will manage to raise them as they have fewer demands. However, you need to note that these tiny birds have delicate raising care tips.

So, before you decide to raise them, you should read and understand their demands very carefully to avoid messing up. That said, if you think bantams are too challenging to keep, then you should try raising quails.

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