Bantams are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam hens are also used as laying hens, with some breeds laying up to 150 eggs per year. However, Bantam eggs are only about one-half to one-third the size of a regular hen egg. The Bantam chicken eats the same foods as a normal chicken. In commercial situations they are fed grain based foods because this is convenient and efficient for the producer. Chickens in the wild eat more insects and vegetation than grains.
Bantams have become increasingly popular as pets as well as for show purposes because they are smaller and have more varied and exotic colors and feather patterns than other chickens. Breeds such as the Sebright, Dutch, and Pekin are particularly popular show birds, and true bantams.
In contrast, the Bantam rooster is famous in rural areas throughout the United Kingdom and the United States for its aggressive, "puffed-up" disposition that can be comedic in stature. It is often called a "Banty" in the rural United States.
Many bantam hens are renowned for hatching and brooding. They are very protective mothers and will attack anything that gets near their young.
Old English bantam roosters were commonly used for fighting in Europe. They were smaller and faster than normal roosters used previously.
Bantams do have a higher mortality rate when they are kept as backyard pets. They are easy targets for hawks, cats, foxes, or any other small predator. The average backyard free range bantam lives 1-3 years.
I am pretty sure some of you have heard my own personal Bantam Rooster story. I believe it is worth repeating.
When I was four or five years old my cousin won a crate of chicks at a MFA meeting. Granddad worked for Missouri Farmers Association many years.
Shirley was around 7 years old and assisted a magician at the event. She was proud of her little Banty chicks and they grew to be fine chickens. However, there was a cocky little rooster, among the hens, who would eventually rue the day he had a run in with my Granny, who was pretty good at protecting her own little brood.
One Saturday afternoon while Granddad was mowing the yard, he noticed the gate was open and asked me to run back and close it. Who knew what would happen as I approached the gate.
That bad Banty rooster jumped atop my head. I went screaming through the side yard and up the steps to the front porch, all the while being flogged by flapping wings. Trauma? You bet! As I approached the front door the screen door flew open and Granny reached out, plucking the little rooster from my head, which was spinning by that time…or at least I thought it was.
I never saw that rooster again. I don’t know his fate. I do remember, the following day we had the best chicken and dumplings ever!
J’s old metal milking stool, he actually used as it’s intended purpose. Here it acts as a lift for a pot of greenery in the center arrangement.
Heat and humidity have arrived in the Midwest, after our wonderfully lengthy Spring.
When Summer arrives at our house, our meals turn to the lighter or cooler side.
My plan was to make a 7 layer salad until I remembered I forgot to pick up cauliflower. Arkansas tomatoes have arrived in area stores, so I substituted tomatoes for the missing cauliflower. Other than the one substitution the salad is put together the same as a traditional 7 layer salad.
In a large bowl, mix iceberg lettuce torn into bite size pieces, chopped sweet onion, frozen peas, chopped tomato, 5 or 6 slices of crumbled bacon, shredded parmesan cheese. Top the layers with a dressing of mayo, sweetened to taste and additional cheese. Do not mix the dressing into the salad. Refrigerate several hours. Mix before serving.
This salad is so good and stands alone as a meal, served with toasted french bread and a glass of white wine.
This salad disappeared fast! The photo shows my serving. J ate the rest of the bowl and it was a pretty big bowl.
ON THE MENU MONDAY