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Does it pay to keep bantams for eggs?

A reader asks, "Does it pay to raise bantams for eggs? What is the best breed of bantam for egg production?"

Bantams have not been bred for egg production to the extent of the commercial Leghoms and Rhode Island Reds, and naturally their eggs are smaller. Nevertheless, many bantams do a respectable job of producing eggs. Add this to their smaller space requirements and easy keeping-most bantams are very good foragers-and they can be very good egg producers for the homesteader.

Generally speaking, the bantams of the American breeds, that is, the Wyan- dottes, Rhode Island Reds, and Rocks, would be most satisfactory as egg producers. Along with higher production, the eggs are likely to be somewhat larger than those of the smaller breeds such as Sebrights, Games, etc.

Be aware that the common or "barnyard" bantam might or might not be a respectable layer. As with any class or breed of fowl or anirnal, these "unknowns" can be among the best, or the worst, depending on their genetic makeup.

If you're interested, you can select for egg production through your own breeding program, although even then you can save a lot of time and money by starting out with stock that at least approaches your desired goals. 2
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Title Annotation:bantam chickens
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Nov 1, 1993
Previous Article:Chickens: the most common homestead livestock.
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