19 Small Chicken Breeds: Ranked by Size

Small chicken breeds

When it comes to raising chickens, small chicken breeds can offer unique advantages, making them a popular choice for poultry enthusiasts with limited space.

Though smaller in size, these feathered companions are everything but lacking in personality. There’s much to learn about these tiny creatures, from their unique characters to their distinctive appearances.

This article will explore a variety of small chicken breeds, ranking them by size. Whether you’re an expert or just starting out on your poultry journey, these small yet charming breeds are bound to capture your interest.

19 Small Chicken Breeds

1. Serama

Height:6–10 in (15.2–25.4 cm)
Rooster Weight:0.8–1.2 lbs (0.3–0.5 kg)
Hen Weight:0.5–1.2 lbs (0.2–0.5 kg)
Temperament:Confident, calm, quiet
Egg Production (Annual):180–200 eggs
Meat Quality:Fair

Originating from Malaysia, the Serama is recognized as the smallest chicken breed in the world.

These tiny chickens, often weighing less than a pound, are distinguished by their upright posture, wide breasts, and vertical tail feathers, which give them an air of confidence despite their small stature.

They come in a wide variety of beautiful feather colors and patterns, including pure white, deep brown, and shades in between.

Seramas may be small, but their big personalities make up for it. They are friendly, sociable, and easily handled, making them ideal for families or individuals seeking companion birds.

My interest in small chicken breeds started when I adopted a Serama. As a small-scale chicken keeper, it was an obvious choice for me because of its distinct look and characteristics.

While they’re not the best at laying eggs, I primarily kept my Seramas for exhibition and as pets.

If you’re interested in seeing the Serama in all its beauty, watch the following video:

My Seramas | Tiny Chickens | Miniature Chickens

2. Japanese Bantam

Japanese Bantam
Height:8–12 in (20.3–30.4 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.1–1.3 lbs (0.5–0.6 kg)
Hen Weight:0.8–1.1 lbs (0.3–0.5 kg)
Temperament:Friendly, calm
Egg Production (Annual):100–160 eggs
Meat Quality:Fair

Belonging to the group of the most popular bantam chicken breeds, the Japanese Bantam, also known as Chabo, is a unique small chicken breed that hails from Japan.

This breed is easily recognizable by their characteristic short, clean legs and broad, upright tail, which often arches over their body.

Beyond their charming appearance, Japanese Bantams are known for their gentle and friendly temperament.

This breed is quite social, often doing well in mixed flocks, and is generally easy to handle. Chabos are friendly birds, though roosters can sometimes be quite aggressive.

Japanese Bantams are mainly kept as ornamental chicken breeds. Aristocratic families in Japan had these birds raised as luxury pets for their gardens.

Overall, these chickens are small but lovely additions to any backyard chicken coop due to their beautiful looks and friendly nature.

3. Marans Bantam

Marans Bantam
Height:8–12 in (20–30 cm)
Rooster Weight:2.4–3.1 lbs (1.1–1.4 kg)
Hen Weight:2–2.4 lbs (0.9–1.1 kg)
Temperament:Docile, quiet
Egg Production (Annual):150–200 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The Marans Bantams are known for their small size and their dark, chocolate-colored eggs.

Weighing in at around 2 to 3 pounds, Marans Bantams are sturdy, small birds that maintain many of the standard breed’s best qualities.

Like the larger version of this breed, Marans Bantams are great additions to any flock due to their calm and docile nature. They can thrive in a variety of environments and are noted for their resourcefulness and toughness.

Moreover, Marans Bantams are relatively quiet birds. They will make some noise, such as crowing and clucking, but they aren’t very loud and shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the neighbors.

Because of this, they are perfect for people who live in urban and suburban areas.

Those looking for smaller breeds with unique egg-laying traits and a calm temperament will find Marans Bantams to be an excellent option.

4. Dutch Bantam

Dutch Bantam
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.1–1.3 lbs (0.5–0.6 kg)
Hen Weight:0.8–1.1 lbs (0.3–0.5 kg)
Temperament:Friendly, calm, docile
Egg Production (Annual):150–160 eggs
Meat Quality:Fair

The Dutch Bantam, a small chicken breed originating from the Netherlands, is one of the smallest bantam breeds in the world.

These small chickens’ upright posture, pronounced breasts, and wide, spread tails give them an assertive and charming look.

They have a white beak and partridge-patterned feathers. Each of their featherless legs has four toes and a color palette ranging from slate blue to shades of gray.

Black, blue, cream, light brown, and silver are just some of the stunning color combinations found in Dutch Bantams, which add a lot to their value as ornamental pets.

Moreover, these chickens lay a moderate amount of small white eggs, at around 160 eggs per year.

Despite their small size, Dutch Bantam chickens are hardy, active, and excellent flyers. They are also quite friendly and gentle, making them suitable for families and those new to chicken keeping.

5. Sebright Bantam

Sebright Bantam
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.2–1.3 lbs (0.5–0.6 kg)
Hen Weight:0.8–1.2 lbs (0.3–0.5 kg)
Temperament:Friendly, active, curious
Egg Production (Annual):60–80 eggs
Meat Quality:Poor

The Sebright Bantam is an enchanting and unique small chicken breed prized for its exquisite feathering and lively personalities.

Sebright chickens are also well-known for their laced feather pattern, where each feather is edged with a contrasting color, creating an effect that is truly striking.

They come in two color varieties: the Golden Sebright, which has golden feathers laced in black, and the Silver Sebright, which has white feathers laced in black.

This breed’s roosters have hen feathering, which means they don’t have the long, pointed feathers that are typically found on roosters of other breeds. They also have clean legs and a rose comb.

While Sebright Bantams may not be the most productive chicken in terms of egg-laying, they make up for it with their active and friendly nature. They are lively birds that love to fly and explore their surroundings.

Their distinct appearance and lively personalities make Sebright Bantams an engaging and decorative choice for poultry breed enthusiasts.

6. Sultan Bantam

Sultan Bantam
Height:9–16 in (23–40.6 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.3–1.6 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Hen Weight:1–1.3 lbs (0.4–0.6 kg)
Temperament:Sweet, friendly
Egg Production (Annual):50–100 eggs
Meat Quality:Poor

The Sultan Bantam is a small chicken breed that is sure to draw attention and admiration. Hailing from Turkey, these ornamental chickens are known for their striking and distinctive features.

They boast an impressive crest of feathers on their head, muffs on the sides of their face, a beard, vulture hocks, and five toes on each foot, instead of the usual four found in most chickens.

The type of feathers they have make them part of our list of fluffy chicken breeds.

White Sultans are the most common of the breed’s three color variations, which also include blue and black. Each shade contrasts beautifully with the bird’s blue eyes, red comb, and wattles.

Sultan Bantams are also known for their friendly and calm nature, and despite their luxurious looks, they are quite hardy.

If you’re in search of a small, charismatic chicken breed with a touch of glamour, look no further than Sultan Bantams.

7. Belgian d’Anvers

Belgian dAnvers
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Hen Weight:1–1.3 lbs (0.4–0.6 kg)
Temperament:Sociable, docile
Egg Production (Annual):150–250 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The Belgian d’Anvers, a small chicken breed from Belgium, is a true delight in the world of poultry. Their long beard and muffs give them an adorable, fluffy appearance that is impossible to ignore.

The Belgian d’Anvers can be seen in a variety of plumage colors, including black, blue, cuckoo, millefleur, porcelain, quail, self-blue, and white. Known for their round and robust appearance, these birds are packed with personality.

Belgian d’Anvers are known for their spirited and sociable nature. They are friendly, easily tamed, and can be quite lively, often enjoying exploring and interacting with their keepers.

With their captivating looks and delightful personalities, the Belgian d’Anvers make an excellent choice for those seeking a small chicken breed with an endearing character and striking appearance.

8. Belgian d’Uccle

Belgian dUccle
Image credit: rinkes_minifarm / Instagram
Height:9–15 in (23–38 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Hen Weight:1–1.4 lbs (0.4–0.6 kg)
Temperament:Quiet, sweet, calm
Egg Production (Annual):150–200 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The Belgian d’Uccle, a small chicken breed from Belgium, carries an air of refined elegance.

These chickens are well-known for their muffed feathers around the face, which give them a distinct and endearing appearance. They also have full feathering that runs down their legs and feet, known as vulture hocks.

This delightful breed comes in a variety of color patterns, including Millefleur, Porcelain, Black Mottled, Lavender, White, and more. Every type has a unique color scheme, which adds to the breed’s appeal.

Belgian d’Uccle chickens are good-natured and quite sociable, often seeking the company of their keepers. They are a delight to have around the yard, adding a touch of beauty and grace wherever they go.

9. Cubalaya Bantam

Cubalaya Bantam
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Hen Weight:1–1.4 lbs (0.4–0.6 kg)
Temperament:Friendly, curious, assertive
Egg Production (Annual):150–200 eggs
Meat Quality:Fair

The Cubalaya Bantam, a small chicken breed, is a product of refined breeding techniques and international influence.

Cubalaya chickens originated in Cuba in the 1800s and are a mix of Cuban, European, and Filipino chicken bloodlines.

This hybrid ancestry has produced beautiful birds that can be used for three things: eating, egg production, and competition.

Their appearance is truly distinctive, featuring a lobster tail that slopes downward, creating a unique silhouette. They are available in a variety of colors, including black, blue, red, silver, and wheaten.

Cubalaya Bantams are known for their friendly nature and warm personalities. These hardy and versatile birds are excellent companions and a wonderful addition to any backyard flock.

10. Nankin Bantam

Nankin Bantam
Image credit: spearspringfarm / Instagram
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Hen Weight:1.2–1.4 lbs (0.5–0.6 kg)
Temperament:Friendly, easy-going, active
Egg Production (Annual):80–100 eggs
Meat Quality:Fair

The Nankin Bantam, a small chicken breed, boasts a long history that dates back centuries. They’re one of the oldest known true bantam chickens.

Nankins have been cherished for their endearing qualities and are thought to have contributed to the development of many popular bantam breeds.

Nankin Bantams are easily distinguished by their five-pointed rose combs. These chickens have gold to buff-colored plumage, giving them a warm, inviting appearance.

Compared to other related species, Nankin Bantams are known for being quiet, hardy, and tame birds. 

With their rich heritage and pleasing disposition, Nankin Bantams serve as an excellent choice for many chicken enthusiasts who value historical charm and friendly nature in their backyard flock.

11. Old English Game Bantam

Old English Game Bantam
Image credit: lindleys.bantams / Instagram
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Hen Weight:1.2–1.4 lbs (0.5–0.6 kg)
Temperament:Active, noisy, aggressive
Egg Production (Annual):100–150 eggs
Meat Quality:Fair

The Old English Game Bantam is a small chicken breed that embodies the look and spirit of its larger counterparts in a more manageable size. 

These chickens were originally bred in England for the sport of cockfighting, and their reputation for bravery and vitality has endured ever since.

One of the most striking features of Old English Game Bantams is their upright stance, full chest, and broad shoulders, giving them a robust and confident appearance.

They have one of the widest color ranges out of the many bantam breeds and are available in various shades, including black, blue, silver duckwing, red pyle, and many more.

These chickens are renowned for their lively and outgoing personalities. They enjoy roaming freely and are generally good-natured around humans. Because of this, they are ideal for novice chicken keepers.

12. Pyncheon

Image credit: passionate_about_poultry / Instagram
Height:9–15 in (23–38 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Hen Weight:1.3–1.4 lbs (0.5–0.6 kg)
Temperament:Docile, friendly
Egg Production (Annual):100–150 eggs
Meat Quality:Fair

The Pyncheon is a small chicken breed that has a rich history and captivating charm.

Dating back to medieval times, these chickens are thought to have been named after the Pyncheon family featured in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The House of the Seven Gables.

Pyncheons can be easily distinguished from other chicken breeds by their characteristic crest of feathers, which points forward.

The feathers of these chickens sport a colorful millefleur pattern with a brown or buff base and white and black tips.

Despite their historical and ornamental appeal, Pyncheons are more than just pretty birds. They like flying, are winter-hardy, and lay cream or colored eggs.

Moreover, they’re generally healthy chickens and can do well in a wide range of environments.

13. Rosecomb Bantam

Rosecomb Bantam
Image credit: retogiacometti / Instagram
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Hen Weight:1.3–1.4 lbs (0.5–0.6 kg)
Temperament:Shy, calm, active
Egg Production (Annual):50–100 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The Rosecomb Bantam is a highly prized breed of small chicken known for its ornamental and show qualities. 

Rosecombs are small chickens that have been around since the 1400s, and their history in England makes them one of the oldest true bantam breeds.

These chickens stand out due to their white earlobes, huge, upright tail feathers, and flat, broad combs that taper to a point. They come in various colors, including black, blue, white, and black-breasted red.

Although they require a certain amount of care, Rosecomb Bantams are not particularly needy or broody birds. Hens can only produce a handful of small eggs once a week.

These chickens are mainly kept for exhibition purposes rather than egg production. Their offspring develop slowly and need extra attention, so they are better suited to experienced chicken owners.

In terms of temperament, these chickens are calm and friendly when socialized from an early age, although the roosters may display aggression.

14. Booted Bantam

Booted Bantam
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.6–1.8 lbs (0.7–0.8 kg)
Hen Weight:1.4–1.6 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Temperament:Sweet, docile, tame
Egg Production (Annual):150–180 eggs
Meat Quality:Poor

The Booted Bantam, also known as the Dutch Booted Bantam or Sabelpoot, is a rare breed of small chicken originating in the Netherlands.

These chickens have feathers on their feet and hock joints, giving them a booted appearance, hence the name. These features also earn them a spot in our list of chickens with feathered feet.

Their short, compact bodies are distinguished by pronounced breasts, long wings, and a single, upright comb. This breed comes in various colors, with up to 20 different recognized varieties.

Due to their small size, they are not suited for meat production and are instead typically kept as pets or for show.

These chickens are known for their sweet and docile nature, making them ideal pets for households with children.

Despite having a moderate egg-laying capacity, their small eggs are more of a delicacy than a primary food source. When raised with love and care, Booted Bantams can live up to 10 years.

15. Pekin Bantam

Pekin Bantam
Height:7.8–11.8 in (20–30 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.6–1.8 lbs (0.7–0.8 kg)
Hen Weight:1.4–1.6 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Temperament:Gentle, docile, inquisitive
Egg Production (Annual):120–160 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The Pekin Bantam, or Cochin Bantam chicken, is a British small chicken breed that originated in China in the 19th century and was later brought to the United Kingdom.

These chickens are distinguished by their thick plumage, feathered feet, and round body shape with a forward tilt. 

Pekin Bantams can be found in many different colors, including black, blue, buff, cuckoo, mottled, barred, lavender, and many more.

Thanks to their friendly demeanor, they are beloved as pets, particularly in households with small children. Although they are not highly productive in terms of egg-laying, these chickens are excellent mothers.

Overall, Pekin Bantams are lovely, low-maintenance chickens that add color and personality to any coop.

16. Silkie Bantam

Silkie Bantam
Height:8–14 in (20.3–35.5 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.4–2 lbs (0.7–0.9 kg)
Hen Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Temperament:Gentle, trusting, calm
Egg Production (Annual):100–120 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The Silkie Bantam is a small chicken breed that stands out with its fluffy feathers that have a silky, satiny texture, making it one of the most popular ornamental breeds in the United States.

Their origins can be traced back to China, and they are easily distinguished by their unique features, such as their black skin and bones, bright blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot.

Silkie chickens come in various colors, such as black, blue, buff, gray, partridge, self-blue, splash, and white.

Their gentle nature and friendly demeanor make them popular as both ornamental fowl and household pets. Although they are not prolific layers, Silkie Bantams excel as broody hens and caring mothers.

They are frequently used to incubate and rear youngsters of different waterfowl and chicken breeds. Any flock would benefit from the beauty and nurturing traits that Silkie Bantams bring.

17. Rhode Island Red Bantam

Rhode Island Red Bantam
Height:12–16 in (30–40.6 cm)
Rooster Weight:1.7–2 lbs (0.7–0.9 kg)
Hen Weight:1.5–1.7 lbs (0.6–0.7 kg)
Temperament:Sweet, tame, docile
Egg Production (Annual):150–200 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The small and adorable Rhode Island Red Bantam chickens are a treat to anyone who encounters them. They are a smaller variation of the larger Rhode Island Red breed, which is known for its dual-purpose capabilities.

Rhode Island Red Bantams have a single or rose comb and the same deep red plumage as the standard variety.

These chickens are gentle and tame; they’ll happily perch on your shoulder and eat food straight from your palm.

Despite not needing a big run, they do best when kept alongside other bantams. Moreover, Rhode Island Red Bantams are reliable layers even during winter, and their small brown eggs are much sought after.

18. Buff Brahma Bantam

Buff Brahma Bantam
Image credit: the_chicken_house123 / Instagram
Height:12–16 in (30–40.6 cm)
Rooster Weight:2–2.3 lbs (0.9–1 kg)
Hen Weight:1.8–2.1 lbs (0.8–0.9 kg)
Temperament:Intelligent, active, sweet
Egg Production (Annual):100–150 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The Buff Brahma Bantam is a beautiful small breed of chicken known for its gentle nature. These bantams are smaller versions of the standard Buff Brahma breed, sharing the same characteristics and charming personality.

Originating from Shanghai, Buff Brahma Bantams became popular as meat birds in the United States but are now valued for their egg-laying abilities. About 150 eggs per year can be expected from these chickens.

Moreover, Buff Brahma Bantams are a beautiful addition to any flock with their unique patterns of golden buff feathers and black markings.

They are sweet and mellow, making them great pets for households with kids and other animals.

19. Buff Orpington Bantam

Buff Orpington Bantam
Image credit: rogue1976 / Instagram
Height:12–16 in (30–40.6 cm)
Rooster Weight:2.1–2.3 lbs (0.9–1 kg)
Hen Weight:1.8–2.1 lbs (0.8–0.9 kg)
Temperament:Quiet, gentle, sweet
Egg Production (Annual):200–280 eggs
Meat Quality:Good

The Buff Orpington Bantam is one of the most popular small chicken breeds due to its sweet nature and stunning beauty.

William Cook developed Buff Orpingtons, the standard version of the breed, in the late 1880s at Orpington, Kent, England, with the goal of improving meat production and egg-laying capabilities.

These bantams, which are smaller versions of the larger Buff Orpington breed, have the same gentle demeanor. They make great companion animals and can even be kept as household pets.

Buff Orpington Bantams can thrive in various climates and environments. Despite being small in size, these chickens are reliable layers of medium-small eggs all year long, whether it rains or shines.

With their rich heritage, friendly nature, and lovely buff coloration, Buff Orpington Bantams are fantastic additions to any small chicken breed enthusiast’s flock.

The Benefits of a Smaller Chicken

Despite their small size, small chicken breeds are incredibly beneficial and offer a wide range of advantages. These little chickens have a lot to offer and may prove to be the best chicken breed for your backyard coop.

Space Efficiency

One of the many significant advantages of smaller chicken breeds is their reduced space requirements. These little birds don’t need as much space as larger breeds do in terms of coops and runways in order to thrive.

This makes them an excellent option for people who love chickens but don’t have a lot of space in their yards or live in a city or suburb.

Small chicken breeds are often perfectly at home in confined spaces and will still behave naturally. Hence, if you’re dealing with a limited amount of space, small chicken breeds can help you maintain a healthy and content flock.

Less Feed Consumption

Larger breeds of chickens appealed to me when I first started keeping chickens. However, I soon realized the high feed consumption was costing me a lot.

Later on, I developed a fascination with bantam chicken breeds, which are smaller chickens with equally smaller appetites. After introducing bantams to my backyard flock, my feed expenses dropped significantly.

These birds may have been on the smaller side, but they were just as healthy and strong as the larger ones. This experience made me realize the surprisingly significant benefits of choosing small chicken breeds.

Choosing to raise small chickens can be less expensive, allowing you to enjoy the hobby of chicken keeping without breaking the bank.

However, keep in mind that all chickens, regardless of size, need a balanced and varied diet to flourish.

Easier Handling

It’s no secret that smaller chicken breeds are easier to handle than larger ones because of their modest size and generally calm nature.

This makes them a fantastic choice for families with children, as they can be less intimidating for small hands.

They’re also great for people who are just getting started with keeping chickens and learning the ropes. On top of that, their compact size allows for easier routine health checks and treatment.

Ornamental Appeal

Smaller chickens have a unique aesthetic appeal. Their beautiful proportions and assortment of colors can make them the centerpiece of your garden.

Breeds like Silkies, with their fluffy plumage, or Sebright Bantams, with their patterned feathers, can give an entirely fresh look to your backyard.

Smaller breeds of chicken have a lot to offer anyone interested in them, not only for their practical use but also for the sheer pleasure of observing their beauty.

Great for Pest Control

Smaller chickens are just as effective as larger ones at controlling pests. Pecking and eating common garden pests like beetles, slugs, and worms is a favorite pastime for these birds.

Moreover, having a small flock of chickens roaming your yard can significantly reduce the need for chemical pesticides.

These birds offer a natural and non-toxic way to keep pests at bay, which can contribute to a healthier and more balanced ecosystem in your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two small unique chickens side by side

What Is the Smallest Type of Chicken?

The Serama bantam chicken, native to Malaysia, is the smallest breed of chicken. They stand between 6 and 10 inches tall and weigh less than a pound.

Despite its small stature, the Serama chicken is known for its poised stance and bold personality. Because of this, they are often kept as ornamental pets.

Can a Small Chicken Breed Live With Regular Chickens?

Certainly, smaller chicken breeds can live alongside their larger counterparts, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

In particular, large chicken breeds might bully smaller ones over food, nesting boxes, or roosting areas. However, bantams don’t always find themselves at the bottom of the pecking order because of their size.

While smaller than standard chickens, bantam chickens are known for their bold and lively personalities. In fact, they can often hold their own and even rise to the top of the social hierarchy within a mixed flock.

Nevertheless, keeping a constant eye on the dynamics of a mixed flock is still important, especially after introducing new chickens to an established group, to ensure the well-being of all the birds.

Are Small Chicken Breeds Flighty?

Small chicken breeds can exhibit flighty behavior when frightened or feeling threatened. However, it’s important to note that this is not a universal trait for all small breeds.

Whether or not a chicken is flighty or docile depends on several factors beyond its physical size.

The chicken’s specific breed, individual temperament, environment, and upbringing can all influence how it behaves.

What Breeds of Chickens Lay Small Eggs?

When it comes to the world of poultry, a common saying holds true: the smaller the chicken, the smaller the egg.

Bantam chicken varieties, which are essentially miniature versions of standard chicken breeds, are known for laying peewee-sized eggs.

Apart from bantams, the Serama breed is recognized as the smallest chicken breed, and its eggs are equally small. Other smaller breeds, like Silkies and Pekin chickens, also lay small to medium-sized eggs.

Further, some standard-sized breeds, like Polish and Sultan chickens, lay smaller eggs despite their larger body sizes.

So, did you find the perfect addition to your coop on this list? Comment down below, and let’s continue the discussion about these adorable small chicken breeds.

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