How to Raise Bantam Chickens

MOTHER's children article provides a guide on how to raise bantam chickens. Includes information on getting started, hatching bantam chicks, and care and feeding.

| January/February 1987

MOTHER'S CHILDREN: bantam chickens are fun to raise! 

MOTHER knows that many youths undertake interesting, original projects and start their own small businesses. To support these endeavors, we buy and publish well-written articles from children and teenagers concerning their efforts. However, we recommend that all young authors query (that is, send us a letter telling about the story they'd like to do) before writing a full article. Send your queries to Mother's Children, MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Hendersonville, NC. 

How to Raise Bantam Chickens

Hello! I'm Dan Barker, and I've been raising bantam chickens for three years. I keep bantams because they are small, friendly, and colorful. They give eggs for the table and manure for the garden. And they don't even need a lot of living space.

Getting Started

After you've purchased your bantams, take them home to your barn or shed or garage. The birds' area should have chicken wire on the sides and top. Put your new bantams in the wired-off area with plenty of feed and water. Add some apple crates for hens to nest in. Keep them penned up for about two days. After that, they'll consider that place their home and won't fly off if you let them out.

I keep my bantam chicken cage in a barred stall. If a stray dog tries to catch them, they can slip quickly through the bars into their safe stall. Some people trim their chickens' wing feathers so they can't fly off. I don't do this. That way if my bantams are in danger far from the barn, they can fly into a tree or onto a fence.

I spray some roost paint (available at a feed mill) on the chickens' roosts to prevent lice and other diseases. I also give the birds a large tray of hardwood ashes—which I clean out every two months. They take dust baths in that to "wash" off parasites.

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