15 Small Chicken Breeds Perfect for Pets and Homesteading (With Pictures)


There are several types of small bantam chicken breeds all around the world.

Although they are small in nature and may not yield much meat, they surely have other amazing qualities.

When you take a good look at the small chicken breeds in this article, you will definitely find out how amazing they are.

Furthermore, there are many upsides to raising these little birds.

Ranging from their appearance to their egg-laying capabilities, to their endearing temperament.

Small chicken breeds will definitely make a perfect match for a small backyard farm.  

Therefore, if you are considering raising one, here is a good list to choose from.

List of 15 Small Chicken Breeds with pictures

Listed below are 15 Small chicken breeds you can raise.

They include;

  1. Silkie
  2. Sebright
  3. Belgian d’Anvers
  4. Booted Bantam(Sabblepoot)
  5. Cochin Bantam
  6. Sultan Bantam
  7. Belgian Bearded d’Uccle
  8. Japanese Bantam
  9. Buff Brahma Bantam
  10. Dutch Bantam
  11. Serama Bantam
  12. Rosecomb Bantam.
  13. Appenzeller Bantam
  14. Old English Game
  15. Cubalaya

#1. Silkie

  • Temperament: Friendly and easy to raise.
  • Maximum Size:2-3lbs
  • Meat: Not raised for meat but considered a delicacy in Asia
  • Eggs: About 120 eggs in a year.
silkie chicken breed

Just as the name implies the Silkie chicken is covered with silky fur-like feathers.

It stands out as one of the most adorable small chicken breeds you will ever find. 

Due to their beautiful appearance, these chickens make great ornamental breeds in the United States.

It is essential to note that silkies are raised in Bantam size only in the United States.

However, its full-size breed is mostly raised in other countries other than the US.

Amazingly, these little lovely birds also come in a variety of cool colors.

They are quite docile and easy to rear.

Apart from being fluffy and cute, Silkies can lay up to 120 eggs in a year.

Inside its amazing exterior lies black skin, meat, and bones.

In Asia, black meat is believed to have medicinal and curative properties.

Furthermore, these small chicken breeds tend to go broody very often.

Hence they are used by farmers to hatch a valuable number of eggs.

Finally, if you are looking for a fluffy pet, then you should go for the Silkie chicken.

#2. Sebright

  • Temperament: Friendly and Chatty
  • Maximum Size: less than 2lbs
  • Meat: Minimal
  • Eggs: About 160 eggs in a year.

The Sebright chicken is popularly known as a true Bantam, which means it has no full-size counterpart.

 It is one great small breed chicken to add to your backyard farm.

These birds are mostly used for ornamental and show purposes.

Due to their miniature size, they do not make good foragers as they can easily fall prey to predators.

Nevertheless, they are quite easy to nurture.

These chickens are friendly and get along well with children.

Although they are not excellent egg layers, they can lay about 160 small white eggs in a year.

Furthermore, Sebrights have large wings and can take to flight when frightened by an external force.

If you live in very cold climates then these small chickens could be the right choice for you. 

Because they are cold hardy birds and can easily survive in cold weather conditions.

However, the Sebright chicken hardly goes broody and does not make great mothers.

#3. Belgian d’Anvers

  • Temperament: occasionally Aggressive
  • Maximum Size: less than 2lbs
  • Meat: Minimal.
  • Eggs: About 160 eggs a year.
Belgian d'Anvers small chicken breeds

Another true Bantam breed is the Belgian d’Anvers.

These chicken breeds are mostly bred as ornamental breeds.

The Belgian d’Anvers originated from Belgium.

They tend to have a dominant personality when kept with other chicken members.

Nevertheless, they love being around humans.

Although they are not prolific layers, these small chicken breeds can lay up to 160 tiny white eggs in a year.

Furthermore, they can be quite noisy and therefore not ideal for lovers of a serene environment.

These small chicken breeds also come in a variety of beautiful colors such as black, splash, quail, etc.

#4. Booted Bantam (Sabblepoot)

  • Temperament: Docile
  • Maximum Size: less than 2lbs
  • Meat: Minimal
  • Eggs:  about 150-180 tiny white eggs in a year.

In the world of true bantams, the Booted Bantams are the oldest true bantams you can find.

Although they are rare, these birds have broad backs and large wings.

They also have six-inch-long feathers that cover their hocks and feet.

These are the attributes that gave them the name Sabblepoot in Dutch.

They make great pets and good backyard chickens.

Furthermore, Booted Bantams lay approximately 150-180 eggs in a year.

However, these eggs are so tiny that they are not normally suitable for eating.

Nevertheless, these small chicken breeds make excellent mothers.

If you are new to raising backyard chickens, then you need to be extra careful about these birds.

This is because Sabblepoot can be prone to diseases and fluctuations in climate.

#5. Cochin Bantam

  • Temperament: Broody
  • Maximum Size: Less than 2lbs
  • Meat: Decent 
  • Eggs: About 160 eggs in a year.

The Cochin Bantam is not a true Bantam.

This means it has a full-size counterpart. 

Primarily they are raised as ornamental breeds because of their beautiful appearance.

They come in a variety of colors such as buff, black, white, barred, red, etc.

Also, they are known for their broody nature and make excellent mothers.

You can expect a Cochin Bantam to lay at least 160 eggs in a year.

Furthermore, apart from being one of the small chicken breeds, it is also a lovely sight to behold.

They love being fed, are easily tamed, and also love to be cuddled. 

Because they are quite easy to tame, Cochins will spice up your backyard farm and give desirable benefits.

However, because of their small size, they are easily prone to predators.

Therefore they require a well-protected environment.

#6. Sultan Bantam

  • Temperament: Loving and easily approachable
  • Maximum Size: 1.5lbs
  • Meat: not very good quality.
  • Eggs: Not more than 60 in a year.
white sultan small bantam chicken

The Sultan chicken is also one of the small chicken breeds in the world. 

These chicken breeds are naturally lovely and approachable in nature.   

They are primarily raised as an ornamental chicken breed.

Amazingly, these unique breeds are covered with feathers from head to toe.

These feathers are normally poofy and the chickens are usually white in color.

Literally, as an ornamental breed, Americans love the Sultan Bantam.

However, the Sultan Bantam is not an exceptional egg layer.

Therefore do not expect them to lay more than 60 tiny eggs in a year.

Another interesting feature of the Sultan Bantam is its possession of five toes instead of four.

These little birds have a calm and loving disposition which makes them good for pets.

#7. Belgian Bearded d’Uccle

  • Temperament: Broody 
  • Maximum Size: less than 2 pounds
  • Meat: poor quality
  • Eggs: about 100 eggs in a year

The next small chicken breed on our list is the Belgian Bearded d’Uccle.

From its name, we can guess these chickens have beards.

They also have muffs, a stock neck, and a broad back.

In addition, they have a prominent tail and feathered feet.

These birds are indeed good foragers.

Furthermore, their hens go broody easily and can lay up to 100 eggs in a year.

Some other color varieties Belgian Bearded d’Uccle can appear in include; lavender, white, silver, quail, etc.

#8. Japanese Bantam

  • Temperament: Shy
  • Maximum Size: less than 2lbs
  • Meat: minimal
  • Eggs: less than 60 eggs in a year 
Japanese Bantam Small chicken breed

Apart from its size, the Japanese chicken breed has short legs.

This makes them appear as if they are in a squatting position all the time.

Also, the Japanese Bantam stands out as one of the true bantam chicken breeds in the world. 

These chickens can come in different color varieties.

Furthermore, they are made up of outstanding fanning tails that normally spread out in the rooster.

Although these small chicken breeds can lay eggs, they are not considered excellent egg layers. 

Nevertheless, they make great mothers.

#9. Buff Brahma Bantam

  • Temperament: Active and Friendly
  • Maximum Size: Less than 3lbs
  • Meat: Minimal
  • Eggs: Minimal

If you know the popular Brahma chicken, then you will agree with me that they are one of the largest chickens in the world.

However, the Buff Brahma Bantam is the smaller version of the Brahma chicken breed.

These chickens are really friendly and active and are mostly raised for exhibition.

Because of their friendly nature, they make good pets for children and families.

Most importantly these chickens are also hardy birds.

They do well both in hot and cold climates.

So no matter the climate condition you live in, the Buff Brahma chicken will definitely thrive well.

Furthermore, these small chicken breeds are buff-colored and have feathered feet.

They are neither excellent egg layers nor meat producers.

See also: 17 Largest Chicken Breeds in the World (With Pictures)

#10. Dutch Bantam

  • Temperament: Nervous but friendly
  • Maximum Size: less than 20 ounces
  • Meat: poor quality
  • Eggs: about 100 eggs in a year
Dutch bantam hen

Dutch Bantam are small birds that weigh less than 20 ounces.

They are considered to be very nervous chickens.

Nevertheless, they are quite friendly.

These are one of the small chicken breeds that are also a true bantam.

Dutch Bantams have a single large red comb and white earlobes.

In the 17th century, these little birds were used as trade animals in Holland.

However today they do well in confinement and are decent egg layers.

You can expect the Dutch Bantam to give you up to 100 eggs in a year.

#11. Serama Bantam

  • Temperament: Quiet and Friendly
  • Maximum Size: 19 ounces
  • Meat: poor quality
  • Eggs: About 160 in a year.
serama small chicken breeds

The next small chicken breed on our list is the Serama Bantam.

Interestingly, these chickens are incredibly small and are often referred to as the smallest chicken in the world.

They come from Malaysia and usually stand erect.

In addition, they are easy to cater to and quite docile.

This particular small chicken breed comes in a variety of amazing colors.

However white is the only color that is recognized by the American Poultry Association.

This breed is known to be quiet and friendly and can lay up to 160 eggs in a year.

As low-maintenance birds, they come in handy as pets.

#12. Rosecomb Bantam

  • Temperament: Nervous
  • Maximum Size: less than 2lbs
  • Meat: Minimal
  • Eggs: About 50 in a year

The Rosecomb Bantam chicken is another true bantam breed.

They make great ornamental chickens.

However, apart from that, they don’t really produce much.

Therefore do not expect a Rosecomb Bantam to lay plenty of eggs for you.

Furthermore, looking at their size you would know that they are not designed for meat production.

Nevertheless, these chickens do not let their shortcomings weigh them down.

They come in a variety of beautiful colors and can be friendly.

#13. Appenzeller Bantam

  • Temperament: free-spirited
  • Maximum Size: less than 2lbs
  • Meat: Minimal
  • Eggs: Decent

Another small chicken breed you should know is the Appenzeller Bantam chicken. 

Although they are rare, these birds are free-spirited and lay a good number of medium-sized white eggs in a year.

These birds dislike confinement and love to fly.

Therefore if you own one you should give them some space to be free.

#14. Old English Game

  • Temperament: Active
  • Maximum Size: less than 2lbs
  • Meat: Minimal
  • Eggs: Minimal

Once upon a time, the old English Game chicken breed was used as a fighting chicken.

Yes, you can never know the power that lies within that small structure.

However today these breeds are mostly bred for ornamental purposes.

Nevertheless, the roosters are still known to be aggressive but the hens are calm and docile.

These hens also make great mothers.

It is good to note that these little birds do not love confinement.

#15. Cubalaya

  • Temperament: friendly and flashy
  • Maximum Size: less than 2lbs
  • Meat: decent
  • Eggs: decent

The Cubalaya Bantam is a rare chicken with a lobster tail that makes it glamorous.

These chickens can be quite flashy and friendly.

One outstanding thing about this breed is that it can be used for three purposes.

These purposes include egg laying, meat production, and game chicken.

Why Should You Raise Small Chicken Breeds?

As I mentioned early on, there are cool advantages to raising a small chicken breed.

Here are some of the reasons you should consider raising a small chicken breed.

  • They are less expensive to raise.
  • You only need a small coop or living environment.
  • Small Chicken breeds consume less food.
  • Most of them make great pets.
  • They are amazing ornamental breeds.
  • Although not the large breeds, they still lay eggs.


If you are a little breed lover, then you will surely love these small chicken breeds on our list.

Despite their small size, we hope you are able to see that these chickens are not entirely useless.

Therefore if you are interested in raising any, you should ensure to keep them safe from predators.

We hope this article helps you make an informed choice.

Thanks for reading.

Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Can Small Chicken Breeds live with Regular Chickens?

    Interestingly, the answer is yes!Small chicken breeds can live with regular chickens.Nevertheless, you need to ensure you choose their companions carefully.

  2. Are Small Chicken Breeds Flighty?

    Yes, most times small chicken breeds tend to be flighty when scared.However, take note that there’s a difference between being flighty and being a flier.They once that fly are known as fliers and are better kept in a roofed environment.

  3. What is the Life Expectancy of a Bantam Chicken?

    Basically, the life expectancy of a Bantam Chicken is affected by a lot of factors.These factors range from their living environment to feeding and health conditions.Nevertheless, depending on the breed, a bantam chicken can live up to four to ten years of age.


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