Are you looking to start your poultry but a little restricted with space? Well, look no further as we have the answer to your dilemma. Below we have listed a few small chicken breeds that would be perfect for small pens and coops.
They may be small, but do not underestimate them. These small breeds have big things in store for you!
Here are eight small chicken breeds that will show you that they are just as lovable and wondrous as their bigger counterparts.
1. Belgian Bearded D’Uccle
First up, let us talk about the Belgian Bearded D’Uccle. There is no doubt that they are one of the most petite breeds out there, only weighing less than two pounds. However, it is a small chicken with big potential.
Our first one is, no doubt, a charmer. This breed will first lure you in with its looks. They are generally known to be ornamental chickens, after all. With their beautiful colors and patterns, they often catch people’s attention and fancy.
They will then hook you in with their sweetness. There is no doubt that D’Uccles are one of the friendliest and calmest birds on this list. They are docile, and unlike some other bantam breeds, they would love your company. They are also quite talkative. Chances are, they would have dozens of stories to tell you when you come by. We hope you know how to speak chicken!
It does not stop there. These critters do not just have their good looks and attitude to offer. While they are not the best table birds around, their egg production makes up for that. They are capable of laying more than 100 small eggs each year.
Furthermore, you could also say that they are economical birds. They are known foragers, which means if you let them roam and do their thing, then you will spend less with their feed.
They are also a healthy breed, and most of the time, the only thing you will have to look out for is the common health concerns. Read more about Belgian Bearded D’Uccle.
2. Silkie Bantam
Up next on this list is an adorable walking furball – The Silkies.
This breed only weighs around two pounds. However, it is not the only thing that gathers attention to them. Aside from their size, their appearance is also unique. They are one of the most unusual-looking chickens you will probably ever see! They come in different colors, and as their name implies, their feathers feel a lot like silk.
Aside from looking like a chicken equivalent of a teddy bear, this breed is also lovable as they are friendly. They can get along with other birds and humans well. They are calm and docile enough to trust them around your kids. They would most likely welcome hugs and cuddles!
They are a multi-purpose breed. Despite not offering much meat, the Silkies are considered a delicacy in some parts of the globe. This is because of their black skin, meat, and bones.
Furthermore, their muscle is also used in some Chinese medicines because the belief is that they have anti-aging properties. Lastly, they are also good egg producers as they can produce up to 120 eggs each year.
They are a healthy breed. However, because of their feathers, they need some extra tender loving care. Every now and then, you would need to trim their feathers for various health concerns. However, do not worry. They would most likely repay you with lots of love in the form of following you and cuddling with you often.
If you want a multi-purpose chicken, then consider adding some Silkies to your flock! Read more about Silkie chickens.
Next up, we have the Sebright.
They weigh less than two pounds and are one of the most beautiful birds on this list. Its beautiful colors and patterns will surely be recognized by poultry enthusiasts anywhere.
Aside from their natural beauty, a lot have been charmed by their fun and amusing traits.
For starters, they are a friendly breed. They are also quite sociable and can be chatty.
Furthermore, this breed is quite the explorer! They are curious critters, and they would mostly do and try anything to satisfy that curiosity.
They are mostly just ornamental birds and do not offer much meat or egg. They can only produce around 80 small eggs each year which might be partially attributed to the fact that often, males are infertile. Additionally, only a few of these eggs survive as this breed has a high mortality rate.
Furthermore, this breed requires more TLC than others as they are prone to Marek’s disease.
They are not the best birds to begin with if you are looking to go into ornamental birds, but if you are willing to put in the effort, we believe it would be a rewarding experience, and this breed will most probably repay you in its own way.
As a bonus, you would wow chicken aficionados when they see these beauties in your flock. Read more about Sebright chicken.
4. Dutch Bantam
Here we have the Dutch Bantam, which weighs less than two pounds and sometimes even less than a pound. They are, without a doubt, one of the tiniest breeds out there.
Despite its size, it stands tall and proud. They hold some kind of grace and elegance that some other breeds do not have. Additionally, one thing that immediately catches the attention of many when they first see them is their tail which perfectly adds to the elegance they seem to exude.
However, despite holding such air, the personality of this bird is quite the contrast. They are known to be quite sweet but nervous. They are undoubtedly friendly enough to be handled by even children. However, they need to be handled with care as they easily get startled.
They are not the best table birds out there, but their egg production makes up for it. They could produce up to or more than 160 eggs each year. Furthermore, they are also known to be good setters which means they are great mothers.
They are neither hardy to the cold nor heat, so that might pose a little problem. Furthermore, they could fly quite well, so you might need to consider that as well.
However, they are endearing critters, and we believe providing them extra care would be a breeze.
5. Sultan Bantam
Next, we have the unusual-looking but beautiful Sultan Bantams.
This breed does not offer much meat or eggs. On average, it can only produce around 50 small eggs each year. They are mostly known to be ornamental chickens, a title they live up to.
Sultan Bantams weigh less than two pounds, but that is not why they catch the fancy of many. They do not look like most chicken breeds out there, and at first look, you might do a double-take and ask if they are actually chickens.
Their unusual look seems to be one of their best features. It has put them in the spotlight, and in the world of poultry shows, Sultan Bantams have become one of the top favorites. I mean, do you know any other bird who can rock a hairdo like that?
Furthermore, they can be wonderful pets. Despite looking all suave and cool, Sultan Bantams are calm and friendly. It would not be surprising to see one approaching you, willing to give some hugs and cuddles.
They may not be good resources for food as they are not productive fowls, but the Sultan Bantams make up for what they lack with love. There is no doubt that the Sultan Bantam would be a good choice for those looking for a lovely pet. Read more about Sultan chicken.
6. Cochin Bantam
Right here, we have another furball – the Cochin Bantams.
They weigh around two pounds, but they look bigger than that because of all the fluff. Don’t you just want to hug them? Well, you will be delighted to know that they would most probably want that hug!
Cochin Bantams act how they look. They are friendly and sweet creatures that would enjoy any kind of interaction with you. It would not be surprising to find one or two trying to initiate contact with you. They could follow you around or even try to perch on your shoulder.
This friendliness is not limited to their owners. In general, they enjoy human company, even crying babies! On the flip side, since they can be protective, you will have to take some time introducing other breeds to them. However, more often than not, they will get along with other birds as well.
They are not that hardy, but they are considered a healthy breed. They would not need any special treatment aside from attention!
The Cochin Bantams’ looks and attitude are just the tips of the iceberg. They could also be a decent table bird. Furthermore, they are also great egg producers. They are capable of giving you up to 200 small-sized eggs yearly.
This breed has a lot of following and is undoubtedly a favorite of many. It seems you cannot go wrong with a Cochin Bantam!
7. Serama Bantam
Of course, this list would not be complete if we do not talk about the Serama Bantam – it is the smallest chicken breed, after all.
Serama Bantams are so small they usually weigh less than a pound! Despite their size, they are not one to be underestimated. One of the most prominent features of this breed is its strut. It is different from the walk most chicken does. They walk with their chests puffed up, just like they are calling for your attention and requiring you to look at them.
These birds are calm and docile, and you will not have any problem with them. They are also quiet, have a good tolerance for confinement, and require little feed.
Furthermore, they are quite a healthy breed, and most of the time, the only thing you will have to worry about is the normal health problems. You could say beginners would be alright with them as they are easy to handle.
While they would not be the best table birds out there largely because of their size (no pun intended), their egg production makes up for it. They are great egg producers. Serama Bantams need a much shorter time for hatching and can lay up to 200 small-sized eggs each year!
Whether you are looking for stunning chicken or a great chicken buddy, we feel the Serama Bantams will not fail you either way. After all, they can be both! Read more about Serama Bantam.
8. Buff Brahma Bantams
Over here, we have the Buff Brahma Bantams. Yes, you read that right, Buff Brahma Bantams.
Maybe you are familiar with the Buff Brahma? Well, then you might be surprised and delighted to know that it has a bantam size! Miniature versions are almost always adorable, after all.
The Buff Brahma Bantams are the biggest on our list but still smaller than the average. It is more than two pounds, but less than three pounds.
They are not a productive breed. They are not table birds, and they can only offer a few eggs a year. They are not the best choice if you are looking for a high-yielding fowl.
However, they make for excellent pets! They are friendly, and they are gentle enough to be trusted around your kids. If you are taking a standard-sized Buff Brahma, then you can get your little one the bantam size to let them get a first-hand experience of taking care of such wondrous critters. You know what they say: Start them young.
They are also hardy and can withstand different climates, which means they do not need much and would be easy to take care of. If you are looking for a family pet, then you might want to consider these adorable critters.
While there are still a number of small chicken breeds we have not discussed here, we hope these eight small chicken breeds have been enough to illustrate and demonstrate the amazing traits and characteristics of the smaller birds.
While they surely cannot fight when it comes to size, they are more than capable of offering you produce or love just like their bigger counterparts. We believe that there is no chicken too small or too big not to love, after all!
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.