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Dutch Bantam Hens
Small but mighty on the farm. Who are we talking about? Our Dutch Bantam hens, of course. They may be small in size but make up for it with their big personalities. The Dutch Bantam chicken originally came from the Indonesia area. Why is it called the Dutch Bantam then? Dutch sailors who were employed by the East India Company brought the birds through the Netherlands. The sailors found their small size easier to contain on a ship for food and eggs.
Legend has it that these birds were popular among the lower working classes because they were allowed to keep the smaller sized eggs. All larger sized eggs had to be turned over to the landlords and wealthy gentry. Our Dutch Bantam hens at Chrisholm lay very small creamy white eggs. See picture below compared to our Easter Egger's egg.
Dutch bantams are a true bantam breed and therefore don't have a large standard relation. They are one of the smallest breeds in the US. Because of their small size and exposed comb, they do need more protection during the winter than our other chickens on the farm.
Even though they only weigh around 18 – 20 ounces, our hens are very entertaining. They are always the first to greet us at their door, not ashamed to beg for treats and love to sit on our laps for attention. Come on out and see for yourself.
Have you tried to run like a chicken? Chickens can run up to 9 mph which is nothing to be ashamed of considering their short legs. Humans can generally run up to 3x faster, so why is it so hard to catch a chicken? Since this family is comprised of ground-dwelling birds such as turkeys and pheasants, they are faster on foot than flying. To avoid being eaten by predators, they don't run in a straight line, but rather in a zig- zag pattern. Play a game of tag in one of our grassy fields in the park. See if it is easier to tag the person if you are both running in a straight line or in a zig-zag line?
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