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Some pictures for you mullethunter. Picture 1 - The 3 dark hens are bantam maran pullets hatched last summer - 1 has just started laying within the last couple of weeks.  The cockerel is Dave, another of last year's chicks.  The other birds in the group are 2 large fowl araucana pullets and a lakenwelder  pullet (large fowl).

Picture 2 - Midge - broody in an eglu, with a cat bowl beside her for scale.  When the picture was taken Midge was at least 1 year old; she was one of the smallest of my adult birds but not that much smaller than the biggest of the 4.

Picture 3 - 2 bantam maran eggs with 1 from a large hybrid (pale blue).  The blue egg weighs 64g; the larger brown egg (less shiny, slightly lighter brown) weighs 59g; the smaller very shiny, dark egg weighs 52g.

Hopefully that gives you some idea of the size of the birds and their eggs.  The birds are big when you compare them with pekins but are obviously smaller than my remaining rescue hen.  They're quite solid, muscular little birds when you handle them - and some of our cockerels have been surprisingly meaty given they're bantams.

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Thanks so much that’s really helpful - I have a bantam araucana so your large fowl araucana for scale is really useful. As I thought - they are quite big for bantams aren’t they? The eggs are darker than I expected though - I keep reading that the bantam eggs aren’t dark.

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We had one who laid slightly lighter coloured eggs - but I've only hatched from the darkest of our eggs. The home need pullets are starting to lay and so far are looking good 're colour. I've read that the bantam eggs aren't as dark as the very dark ones some large fowl lay but I've also read that the bantams are often more prolific layers than their large fowl counterparts.

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Yes CT, the new Hampshire bantams look lovely and like a farmyard chicken, but I can't find any here down south. Apart from pekins and silkies, I can find bantam bared rocks and light Sussex chickens relatively nearby and one breeder apparently sells hybrid bantams! I've also seen lots of adverts for millefluers but don't know ow if they are OK for a beginner. 

I would like a bantam light Sussex,  the barred rocks are OK too but I need a red/ ginger bantam to make the trio complete.

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Will do DM but most breeders only sell silkies or pekins, nothing else, looking at their websites and past adverts. I'm not ready for the chicken's yet anyhow but id like to know where I'm going to get them from. I've emailed a couple of breeders just in case they are planning an breeding some different varieties this year. Fingers crossed.

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I went to a local chicken breeder  (mantel farm,  east sussex) today that's only 10 minutes away to collect wood chips for the run floor and food.  They made me a cup of tea along with a few regulars who came to stock on on supplies in their farm shop and I ended up being there for three hours chatting abut chickens and all sorts! They were such lovely people. Full of,good humour and very knowledgeable. 

Anyway I thought they only sold peking and Poland bantams. It turns out that next Saturday they are getting in some light and buff Sussex bantams and various coloured laced wyandottes and they've very kindly said if/when a chicken gets I'll I can bring it to the farm to get advice as there aren't any vets locally who know amuch bout chickens. So I will be getting a buff and a light Sussex and a Wyandottes from them next weekend, all at point of lay. 

I got to have a look at the few chickens they currently have left who were all dust bathing together in the bedding,  including a "special" buff sussex bantam whose tail is on the right side of her body. And I got to see a their personal  brahma chickens, wow they were really big, like the size of medium sized dog! 

I'm feeling so excited and relieved at the same time to know I have back up nearby if one of the girls gets poorly. 

Edited by Microstead
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