17 Best Small Chicken Breeds (Ranked by Size)

Small chickens can make a lovely addition to your flock.

Lots of them lay adorable little eggs.

Also because of their smaller size, they need less space and food. This can help you save money if you are on a budget. If you are looking to expand your flock but have limited room, raising bantams is a great option to maximize the number of chickens you can keep.

There are so many breeds of small chickens out there.

Keep reading to learn about the 17 most popular small chicken breeds and why you should consider adding them to your flock.

Related: 11 Perfect Chicken Breeds For Small Backyards

Why Raise Small Chickens?

True bantams are chickens that are naturally small. They only come in small sizes.

You also have other chickens that were bred to be small copies of an already existing breed. The littler version of the breed is distinguished from the original standard-sized version by adding bantam to the end of the breed’s name.

Raising small chickens is an experience that brings much joy to many families.

Did you know that there are more than 15 small chicken breeds?

Breed Height Weight Size Rank
Serama 6-10 inches Hens (1lbs) Roosters (1.20lbs) 1 (Smallest)
Japanese Bantam 8-12 inches Hens (1lbs) Roosters (1.25lbs) 2
Marans Bantam 8-12 inches Hens (1lbs) Roosters (1.25lbs) 3
Dutch Bantam 8-14 inches Hens (1.1lbs) Roosters (1.25lbs) 4
Sebright 8-14 inches Hens (1.25lbs) Roosters (1.35lbs) 5
Sultan Bantam 9-16 inches Hens (1.25lbs) Roosters (1.35lbs) 6
Belgian d’Anvers 8-14 inches Hens (1.3lbs) Roosters (1.50lbs) 7
Belgian d’Uccle 9-15 inches Hens (1.3lbs) Roosters (1.60lbs) 8
Cubalaya Bantam 8-14 inches Hens (1.3lbs) Roosters (1.6lbs) 9
Nankin Bantam 8-14 inches Hens (1.35lbs) Roosters (1.5lbs) 10
Old English Game Bantam 8-14 inches Hens (1.35lbs) Roosters (1.5lbs) 11
Pyncheon 9-15 inches Hens (1.35lbs) Roosters (1.5lbs) 12
Rosecomb Bantam 8-14 inches Hens (1.35lbs) Roosters (1.6lbs) 13
Booted Bantam 10-16 inches Hens (1.65lbs) Roosters (1.85lbs) 14
Pekin Bantam 8-14 inches Hens (1.65lbs) Roosters (1.85lbs) 15
Silkie Bantam 8-14 inches Hens (2lbs) Roosters (2.25lbs) 16
Brahma Bantam Up to 22 inches Hens (2.1lbs) Roosters (2.3lbs) 17 (Largest)

Many bantam breeds are beautiful. This makes many of them great show birds. If you are interested in showing, a small breed is also easier to transport and handle.

Lots of small chickens are known for being friendly and affectionate too.

The majority of the breeds listed in this article can develop enough fondness for their human companions to make exceptional family pets.

A practical benefit of bantams is that they take up less space. This makes them an ideal choice if you do not have much of a backyard but still want to keep your own flock.

Smaller chickens also eat less feed than larger chickens.

Bantams tend to eat half as much feed as larger chickens so your feed cost will be roughly half too.

17 Types of Small Chicken Breeds

Belgian d’Anvers

Belgian d’Anvers Rooster and Hen

The Belgian d’Anvers is one of many small Belgian breeds.

This is a true bantam breed which means they only come in a small bantam size.

You might come across the name Barbu d’Anvers too. This is the same breed but the American Poultry Association (APA) formally uses Belgian Bearded d’Anver, while the British Belgian Bantam Club prefers Barbu d’Anver.

These tiny chickens come in many different color varieties.

Hens are known for being friendly and well-mannered. They are a great choice as a family pet if you have kids. They also produce about 150 light brown eggs a year.

Be careful though as some roosters can be a bit aggressive.

  • Weight: Hens (1.3lbs) Roosters (1.50lbs)
  • Height: 8-14 inches
  • Personality: Friendly

Belgian d’Uccle

Mille Fleur d'Uccle Close Up

The Belgian Bearded d’Uccle is another true bantam breed.

This breed is well known for their adorable appearance.

They have fluffy beards and muffs, feathering on their feet and outer toes that only add to their charm!

You can also find them in lots of stunning colors.

Belgian d’Uccles are inquisitive, affectionate, and comical.

Although they are small they have a huge personality.

They love to explore their surroundings and are known to ride on the shoulder of a trusted human companion. Once they warm up to your family, they are very caring chickens who love to receive attention.

One thing to be aware of with this breed is that mud and snow can easily get stuck in the feathers in their feet and cause problems if not cleaned.

  • Weight: Hens (1.3lbs) Roosters (1.60lbs)
  • Height: 9-14 inches
  • Personality: Playful

Booted Bantam

Booted Bantam

Booted Bantams are a true bantam breed that weigh under 2 pounds.

These little chickens have short, compact bodies.

They are called booted because they have feathers on their legs, which makes it look like they are wearing boots. Although Booted Bantams look similar to the Belgian d’Uccle they do not have a beard and muffs. Booted Bantams are also slightly bigger.

Booted Bantams are calm and docile.

You can expect them to lay around 3 tiny eggs per week.

This is not the hardiest breed out there. They do not handle cold winters well, and the feathers on their feet need extra care at times.

  • Weight: Hens (1.65lbs) Roosters (1.85lbs)
  • Height: 10-16 inches
  • Personality: Calm

Brahma Bantam

Brahma Bantam

Standard Brahmas are well known for being giants.

So it might come as a surprise to learn that Bantam Brahmas exist!

Although they are on the larger side compared to most bantam breeds, it is incredible that small Brahmas weigh less than 2.5lbs. Regular Brahmas can weigh up to 10lbs.

Brahma bantams come in three different color varieties: buff, light, and dark. All varieties have black tail feathers and black striping in their hackle feathers, as well as feathered legs.

These chickens are generally healthy and hardy.

They have a calm and peaceful temperament and lay 3-4 brown eggs a week.

  • Weight: Hens (2.1lbs) Roosters (2.3lbs)
  • Height: 22 inches
  • Personality: Relaxed

Cubalaya Bantam

Cubalaya

Cubalaya Bantams are miniaturized versions of the more common standard-sized Cubalaya.

These regal chickens have an extravagant appearance.

There are three recognized color varieties (white, black, and black-breasted red), but roosters of all color varieties are known for their especially vibrant and shiny feathers. Males have a unique “lobster tail” where their long tail feathers all curve to point downward.

They have a very slender build too which contributes to their elegant appearance.

Cubalayas are very well-mannered and can lay 4 or 5 green-tinted eggs per week.

However, they do not handle confinement well so they need lots of space to free range.

  • Weight: Hens (1.3lbs) Roosters (1.6lbs)
  • Height: 8-14 inches
  • Personality: Curious

Dutch Bantam

Dutch Bantam

The Dutch Bantam is known for being petite.

Even at maturity hens only weigh 1.1lbs and roosters weigh 1.25lbs.

Dutch Bantams are a beginner-friendly breed known for their calm and docile temperament. This makes them easy to handle as show birds, as well as being kid-friendly. However, due to their large wings, they are excellent flyers. Some individuals may be flighty at first, but they are known for being easy to tame.

They do well both when free-ranging and when confined.

Hens will lay a moderate amount of small white eggs.

This breed is also very friendly and affectionate towards their human companions once they have established a trusting relationship.

  • Weight: Hens (1.1lbs) Roosters (1.25lbs)
  • Height: 8-14 inches
  • Personality: Caring

Japanese Bantam

Japanese Bantam

Japanese Bantams are a small true bantam breed.

Most Japanese Bantams are kept either for exhibition purposes or as pets.

High-quality Japanese Bantams have low-set wings whose tips may drag on the ground. It is recommended to keep their living area clean, so that the wings do not get dirty.

Hens are known for being extremely gentle and affectionate.

They are prone to frostbite in cold weather due to the size of their comb and wattles, so they need extra care in the winter to prevent this. Additionally, they are good flyers who can easily escape their coop and run if it is not covered.

  • Weight: Hens (1lbs) Roosters (1.25lbs)
  • Height: 8-12 inches
  • Personality: Gentle

Marans Bantam

Marans Bantam

The Marans Bantam is a small and quiet chicken.

Although they come in lots of different colors, the black copper is the most popular color in the United States.

Hens are known for laying chocolate colored eggs – you can expect them to lay 3-4 tiny eggs each week.

This breed is known for being healthy and hardy. Due to their dense feathering, they are more cold hardy than most other bantams.

Marans are friendly and interactive, but not affectionate. They know how to be independent and stand up for themselves when they need to. This breed is ideal for your family if you would love to own a calm, quiet chicken that produces uniquely colored eggs but do not have much space.

  • Weight: Hens (1lbs) Roosters (1.25lbs)
  • Height: 8-12 inches
  • Personality: Friendly

Nankin Bantam

Nankins are a rare true bantam breed.

There is only one color variety that these heritage bantams come in. They have red bodies and a black tail, with females being a more muted, ginger shade of red while males are a vibrant chestnut red. However, this breed is unique in that the breed can be divided into rose comb and single comb varieties.

This breed is known for being extremely broody and throughout history they have even been used to hatch the eggs of other avian species.

Nankins are easy-going chickens that are easy to handle.

Within your coop you will notice that your Nankins tend to flock together and stay away from larger breeds. Safety in numbers allows them to protect themselves despite their small size.

  • Weight: Hens (1.35lbs) Roosters (1.5lbs)
  • Height: 8-14 inches
  • Personality: Motherly

Old English Game Bantam

Old English Game Bantam

Old English Game Bantams are tiny versions of the standard-sized Old English Game chicken.

Both the hens and the roosters weigh under two pounds. Their overall size is not the only small thing about them. They have small wattles and combs too.

Although these chickens have been domesticated for a long time, their body shape remains similar to wild jungle fowl.

Historically, Old English Game chickens were used for fighting in Britain for many centuries. It was only once the practice was banned in the 19th century that they took on their new safer role as show birds. Soon after this the bantam version was bred.

They are very active chickens that need space to free-range.

Old English Game Bantams are loud and can quickly become territorial and aggressive. This is a beautiful breed that requires an experienced keeper.

  • Weight: Hens (1.35lbs) Roosters (1.5lbs)
  • Height: 8-14 inches
  • Personality: Vigorous

Pekin Bantam

Pekin Bantam

The Pekin Bantam is a bantam version of the Cochin.

They appear quiet big because of their feathers. However, underneath all of the fluff, they are smaller than you might guess.

As for their feathers, they come in a wide variety of colors ranging from lemon blue to birchen.

Hens are quiet, calm, and friendly. They are a great pet for families with children due to their gentle and loving nature. However, some roosters can be aggressive and want to protect their flock.

Due to their size, Pekins can fly.

You need to keep this in mind when designing their enclosure as they might fly out if it is not covered.

  • Weight: Hens (1.65lbs) Roosters (1.85lbs)
  • Height: 8-12 inches
  • Personality: Affectionate

Pyncheon

The Pyncheon is a true American bantam.

They are one of the rarest bantams and have an adorable little tuft of feathers that stick out behind their comb.

Their most common color is mille fleur, which is a chestnut base color with black and white speckling. There are other color varieties such as porcelain, but these are even rarer.

Many are noted for having a single comb that flops over in an S-shape.

Little is known about their personality due to their rarity.

We do know that they are cold hardy and they are also decent fliers.

  • Weight: Hens (1.35lbs) Roosters (1.5lbs)
  • Height: 9-15 inches
  • Personality: Proud

Rosecomb Bantam

Rosecomb Bantam

Rosecomb bantams are another true bantam breed.

They are proud and cheery little chickens that will be sure to brighten your day.

Rosecomb bantams are best known for their special rose comb. It is a beautiful red color, just like their wattles. This breed also has enlarged earlobes that are strikingly white.

They can be found in many different color varieties, but black is a favorite.

Although they are small they have mountains of personality within them.

They are known for being bold and courageous.

This means the hens are extremely outgoing and the roosters can be aggressive.

  • Weight: Hens (1.35lbs) Roosters (1.6lbs)
  • Height: 8-14 inches
  • Personality: Bold

Sebright

Sebright Chicken

Sebright chickens are small and compact with delicate-looking feathers.

They are independent and are not afraid to venture off by themselves. They are incredibly active and love to forage. They can fly short distances, which can make containing these restless spirits a challenge at times. There are too many interesting things going on outside for them to sit still for long.

Sebrights come in two varieties: Silver Laced and Golden Laced.

Each has dark outlines around the edges of their feathers that give them their striking ornate appearance.

These chickens are friendly but not over affectionate. They enjoy a little attention, but once they get their fill they will leave to do their own thing.

  • Weight: Hens (1.25lbs) Roosters (1.35lbs)
  • Height: 8-14 inches
  • Personality: Independent

Serama

White Serama Chicken

Seramas are the smallest breed in the world.

You can even find micro Seramas that weigh less than 0.5lbs and stand only 6 inches tall. It is incredibly difficult to breed and raise Micro Seramas due to their extremely tiny size.

This breed is known for being prideful. They love to puff out their chest and posture. Do not mistake this for aggression though, as often they are just looking for extra attention.

Seramas are one of the best lap chicken breeds.

They are small enough to easily keep indoors, and they are extremely fierce and loyal when it comes to their human companions. These chickens can be chatty at times but they are not any louder than your average chicken.

Expect them to lay 4-5 eggs each week. The eggs can come in a variety of colors, from white to brown. However, each hen will lay the same color throughout her entire life.

  • Weight: Hens (1lbs) Roosters (1.20lbs)
  • Height: 6-10 inches
  • Personality: Proud

Silkie Bantam

Brown Silkie Chickens

These tiny Silkies stand at a height of only 8 inches.

Bantam Silkies have fur-like feathers. This occurs because their feathers lack barbicels which work to keep the feather fibers neatly organized. Without them, the feathers become soft, fibrous wisps.

These are gentle and affectionate chickens.

They love to give and receive attention which makes them amazing lap chickens that get along well with children.

Silkies need extra care in cold and wet weather as their unique feathers cannot repel water, which makes them more prone to getting soaked and chilled.

  • Weight: Hens (2lbs) Roosters (2.25lbs)
  • Height: 8-14 inches
  • Personality: Gentle

Sultan Bantam

Sultan

Sultan Bantams are miniature versions of the standard-sized Sultan.

Over the years Sultans have been bred to have a regal and refined appearance.

They have an elegant crest, full muffs and beards, and powerful vulture hock feathering on their legs. They also have a tiny V-shaped comb which is well-hidden under their crest.

Sultan Bantams are mainly kept as a show bird because they tend to be poor egg layers.

However, they make up for it with their personality as they are super docile and easy to handle.

  • Weight: Hens (1.25lbs) Roosters (1.35lbs)
  • Height: 9-16 inches
  • Personality: Calm

Summary

Small breeds are not just practical; they are also beautiful.

Their small size gives them a cute appearance and also makes them much easier and safer to handle than a larger chicken.

Smaller chickens can also fly short distances, which is fun to watch.

While it brings many chicken keepers joy to see their free-ranging bantams happily roosting in a tree, it can also be a terrible headache if they constantly fly out of their run. Make sure to predator proof your run and coop.

You also need to remember that these small chickens tend to be either heat-sensitive or cold-sensitive. Which way they lean will depend on the environment where their breed originated.

Before adding any breed to your flock make sure you take the time to prepare for all the unique quirks that come with that breed.

Let us known your favorite small chicken in the comments section below…

Chris Lesley Bio Picture
Chris Lesley has been Raising Chickens for over 20 years and is a fourth generation chicken keeper. She can remember being a young child when her grandad first taught her how to hold and care for chickens. She also holds a certificate in Animal Behavior and Welfare and is interested in backyard chicken health and care.

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