Rosecomb Bantam Chickens are small and perky and a fun bird to have around, valued most for their exhibition and ornamental uses.
Named for their size and unique comb shape, this is one of the oldest chicken breeds around. The Rosecomb Bantam would make a fantastic entry breed for a young chicken keeper because their small size makes them easier to handle.
About Rosecomb Bantam Chickens
Records found on the Rosecombs date back as far as the 14th century. The earliest records note that the breed originated in the United Kingdom.
There are a whopping 25 different color variations of the Rosecombs, but the American Poultry Association only recognizes the Black, Blue, and White Rosecombs. The American Bantam Association does recognize a few more varieties than the American Poultry Association.
Rosecomb Bantam Characteristics
This a friendly and calm breed that is easily handled if they are in close contact with humans from an early age regularly. Rosecomb bantams are seldom broody, so if you’re looking for a mama hen, this breed isn’t it. The Rosecombs do just fine in confinement, so they’re a good candidate for showing.
2. Size and Weight
As with all bantams, this is not a large chicken. A full-grown Rosecomb rooster is just 26 ounces. The hens are a touch smaller, weighing in at 22 ounces.
Exhibition is the primary use for this breed, and a well-bred Rosecomb will perform well in shows. During the showing season, you may want to keep your show birds in raised cages to keep them clean and pristine. Learn the steps to preparing a bird for show, and always maintain good biosecurity practices.
4. Egg Production
While egg production is not the main objective of this breed, they do lay at a fair rate. You can expect one or two small eggs from each hen per week.
5. Meat Production
While we all enjoy those small rotisserie chickens at the grocery stores, this isn’t the bird for that! For chickens that dress out rather small, you might prefer to look into Cornish Game Hens.
Caring for Rosecomb Bantams
1. Feeding and Nutrition
If you’re raising these birds from chicks, they’ll need chick starter/grower for the first 12-16 weeks of their life.
Upon their entrance to adulthood, transition your Rosecombs to a good quality layer feed. Some chicken keepers give their birds supplements such as black sunflower seeds to help maintain healthy feathers for showing.
2. Housing and Fencing
If you are keeping your birds for showing, you may prefer to house them in raised wire cages during the show season. Typically show birds are kept in such conditions to keep them clean and pristine.
As part of your flock, it’s best to keep Rosecombs in a fenced in run with plenty of room for predator protection with this small breed. The run needs about 5 square feet for each bantam chicken. The chicken coop will need 2 square feet per bird to make sure everyone has enough room.
3. Health Issues and Care
As an old breed, this chicken has gradually built a robust immune system and is quite hardy. Of course, no breed is 100% resilient to everything, but the Rosecomb has no specific issues. Internal and external parasites are always a concern with poultry and a good thing to keep an eye out for.
If you’re interested in breeding the Rosecomb bantam, there is no shortage of color variations to choose from. From the classic black to the eye-catching exchequer, you can take your pick.
In show business, some things will result in the disqualification of your bird, such as any white on the faces or wattles.
If you are breeding to sell or show, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the breed standard. This will expand your knowledge as a chicken keeper and improve your breeding program.
1. Sebright Chickens
The Sebrights are perky and charming show birds that will make a great alternative to the Rosecomb bantams if you want a smaller and elegant bird. Sebright's sport some stunning lacing and are another common pick for exhibition.
Silkies are another great option for a fun and different exhibition chicken. The Silkie is larger than a Rosecomb bantam, and they have some very unique feathers. This chicken also has the benefit of making great moms. If you have a young person interested in showing birds, Silkies are a very docile choice.
Did you Know?
Rosecomb bantams are one of the few true bantams around! True bantams are chickens that don’t have a larger “standard” sized counterpart and come in one tiny fun size!
What a fun breed the Rosecomb bantams are! They make a great addition to any flock with small chicken keepers. They’re fantastic show birds. An excellent show project if you’re looking for one. What’s not to love?