Which bantam breeds should I choose if I want them for eggs?

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Bantam eggs in general are quite small by comparison to what you see in the grocery store. That makes sense! Smaller birds lay smaller eggs. Below you see two cochins, one a bantam and the other a regular-sized large fowl cochin.

Of course the bantam cochins will lay smaller eggs. (They have smaller chicks, too!) Regardless, bantam chicken eggs taste the same as the eggs of larger chickens, and certainly if your birds have access to pasture, bantam or large fowl, the eggs will taste MUCH better than what you can get in a grocery store.

However, some bantams lay more eggs, and larger eggs, than others. Quail Antwerp eggs are teeny, tiny--and they don't lay very well! By comparison, the eggs of bantam barred rocks and bantam leghorns are sometimes comparable to "small" size eggs that can be purchased in a grocery store, so they are a good choice if you want bantams for eggs. (Most eggs sold in grocery stores are large or extra large, but occasionally you might find small or medium.) Bantam brahmas are another good choice--what sweet birds they are. Silkies also usually lay "small" size eggs, too, but they don't tend to make the best choice as a breed for eggs, since they go broody so often. When birds are broody, they temporarily cease laying. Seramas are teeny tiny bantams, a few ounces only. Beside Silkies, they make the silkies look like large fowl!

Frankly, bantam Easter Eggers may be my favorite: they normally lay "small" size eggs, too, and they are pretty and friendly. Plus, the eggs are unusual in that they are green, blue, pink, white, etc. I'm prejudiced, though: a bantam Easter Egger flock was what made me first fall in love with chickens. I took home two dozen small green and blue eggs that were almost to pretty to eat. Easter Eggers are notoriously poor winter layers, but it must be pointed out that most bantams don't lay through the winter as well as larger birds.

When you do get those first eggs from your bantam birds, remember that the first eggs laid by *any* chicken will be much smaller than the eggs she will eventually lay. Young birds may take a month or two to begin laying full sized eggs, and sometimes the size will even increase a little in their second year, after their first adult molt.

Curious as to how to cook with bantam eggs? See information about that in the related questions below.