Unlocking the Benefits of Broody Bantam Chickens for Your Flock

In the world of poultry keeping, having a small flock of three or four bantam hens can significantly enhance self-sufficiency. These petite powerhouses, known for their brooding instincts, serve as exceptional surrogate mothers for various domestic poultry species, including chickens, ducks, pheasants, and turkeys. Here’s why "Broody Bantam Chickens Add Huge Value To The Flock!"


Nature’s Perfect Incubator and Brooder

How to Choose the Best Broody Hens for a Self Reliant Flock - The Self  Sufficient HomeAcre

Bantam hens are nature’s perfect incubators, egg turners, and chick brooders—all in one compact and dependable unit. The beauty of bantams lies in their self-sufficiency; they require no utilities or power to operate. For both on-grid and off-grid enthusiasts, they are a game-changer.

Expanding Your Flock

One of the most hassle-free ways for homesteaders to expand their small production or laying flocks is by using bantam broodies. Fertile eggs from your best-producing birds can be placed under bantam broodies, offering a low-cost and highly successful method for increasing your flock size.

Multitalented Mothers

Bantam hens are not only great at setting and incubating eggs but also excel at taking care of the chicks once they hatch. They have a reputation for going broody, sometimes multiple times a year, making them a reliable choice for nurturing your poultry.

Space and Efficiency

Compared to their standard-sized counterparts, bantam hens are small, usually less than half the size. This smaller size means you can house them comfortably in a smaller coop or run. Plus, many bantams, having been raised as pets, tend to be friendly and easy to manage.

Economical Feed Consumption

Their smaller size not only saves space but also leads to lower feed consumption compared to standard-sized fowl. Some bantam breeds, such as Silkies and Cochins, are renowned for their broodiness and excellent mothering skills.

Size Comparison: Standard vs. Bantam

To illustrate the difference, consider Cochins as an example. A standard Cochin hen should weigh around 8 1⁄2 pounds when mature, while a bantam Cochin hen weighs only about 26 ounces. Despite their size, most bantam hens can successfully incubate four to six larger eggs during their brooding.

The Charm of Bantam Roosters

Don’t forget about bantam roosters! Despite their small stature, they are known for their vibrant personalities and bravado. They’ll defend their territory against much larger males without hesitation, crowing proudly to assert their dominance.

Broodiness: A Valuable Trait

In the past, broodiness was considered a hindrance to egg production, leading to the culling of broody hens. However, this genetic trait persisted in many bantam breeds because they were often kept as pets rather than for commercial purposes. This makes them a valuable resource for those looking to harness the power of broodiness.

Space-Saving Coop Design

Bantams don’t require much space—a small flock can comfortably live in a coop with a floor size as small as 4-by-4 feet and a pen or yard of 4-by-8 feet. Ensure that waterers and feeders are accessible to the chicks while being cautious not to create hazards.

Protecting Your Flock

If you’re keeping bantams for raising chicks, secure your coop with wire mesh to prevent chicks from escaping or falling prey to predators. Sturdy construction and small-hole wire mesh are key to keeping your flock safe from unwanted visitors.


In conclusion, "Broody Bantam Chickens Add Huge Value To The Flock!" Their natural instincts, compact size, and reliable broodiness make them an invaluable asset for small-scale poultry enthusiasts. Whether you’re a homesteader looking to expand your flock or simply seeking efficient and self-sufficient poultry care, bantam chickens are a remarkable choice that truly adds value to your feathered family.

Challenges and Solutions

Is a bantam chicken better than a broody hen?

Bantam chickens excel at hatching bantam-sized eggs due to their smaller size, allowing them to comfortably cover about ten eggs in a clutch—a number similar to that of a full-sized hen. But, when deciding between a bantam chicken and a broody hen for hatching and raising eggs, the choice depends on various factors. Let’s explore the question: Broody Hen or Incubator: Which is Better? Below, we break down the considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  • Bantam Chickens: Ideal for hatching bantam-sized eggs. Can cover approximately ten eggs in a clutch.
  • Broody Hens: Offer a natural approach to incubation and chick-rearing. Provide a nurturing environment, but may not be as space-efficient as an incubator.

Ultimately, the choice between a bantam chicken and a broody hen depends on your specific needs and preferences when it comes to hatching and raising eggs.

Are broody hens a burden or an asset?

When it comes to broody hens, are they a burden or a valuable asset to your chicken flock? The perspective varies based on your goals and outlook. A broody hen is a chicken eager to incubate and hatch a clutch of eggs. If you have no intentions of expanding your chicken flock, broody hens may seem like a drawback, leading to reduced egg production and potentially unhappy hens.

What does a broody hen mean?

What exactly does a broody hen signify? The answer depends on your poultry-keeping goals. For those with no intentions of expanding their chicken flock, a broody hen may translate to a decrease in available eggs and the potential for an unhappy hen. However, for homesteaders seeking to cultivate a self-sufficient chicken flock, the sight of a hen diligently incubating her eggs is a cause for celebration.

Can broody chickens hatch and raise their own chicks?

Can broody chicken breeds successfully hatch and rear their own chicks? Indeed, they can, and this method stands as one of the most effective ways to maintain a self-sustaining chicken flock. Broodiness is particularly prevalent in heirloom chicken breeds, where this valuable trait has been inherited across generations. It’s worth noting that in the present era, the majority of chicks are raised using incubators, and the inclination to "go broody" has diminished in many modern chicken breeds.

What are the benefits of a broody hen?

  • Predator Protection: One of the notable advantages of a broody hen is her natural instinct to protect her chicks from predators. This added layer of security can help reduce losses due to threats like rats.

  • Foraging Prowess: A broody hen is an excellent forager and ensures her chicks learn to forage effectively. This helps in teaching self-sufficiency from an early age.

  • Easier Rotation: Managing young chicks alongside adults can be challenging. A broody hen simplifies the process by taking care of her brood, making it easier to rotate pastures and manage different age groups.

  • Reduced Work: With a broody hen in charge, you’ll find that chick-rearing requires less intervention and effort on your part. It’s a more hands-off approach to raising chicks.

These are some of the benefits that come with having a broody hen in your flock.

What do you do with a broody bantam?

If your bantam hen remains broody despite your efforts, consider the following steps:

  • Isolation in a Cage: Remove her from the coop and place her in a cage with a wire bottom. This cage can be a spacious dog or cat carrier with chicken wire flooring, allowing her to move freely. Ensure she has access to food and water within the cage, but avoid using bedding.

Isolating your broody bantam in this manner can help break her broodiness and encourage her to return to her normal behavior.

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