“Bantam” refers to small or dwarf chicken in general but here only the booted (feathers on their feet) variety will be dealt with. They come in many different colours or mix of colours. When exhibiting them they must follow distinct colour patterns but for hobby keepers any colour that pleases the eye will do and new colours can be created by cross-breeding them. Bantams can be used to brood and rear their own young but are not very good foster mothers and are quite aggressive and territorial towards other birds. Especially the black & white variety are very noisy and do not mix well with other poultry. Due to their feathered legs housing must be kept meticulously clean or their feet will look awfully dirty and will become prone to mite infestation. When allowed to roam in the garden this should not be done immediately after heavy rains (same problem as above). Booted Bantams will be less destructive to flower beds than most other chicken breeds as the feathers impair their digging ability. They are good layers, too, and if eggs are not needed for hatching will provide for your daily needs with ease.
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