Chickens have long been a staple animal for humanity’s agricultural needs.
It is believed that chickens were domesticated around 8,000 years ago, evolving from a tropical bird known as the Red Junglefowl.
Today, there are about 25 billion chickens worldwide.
Many people use chickens as a food source, both for their meat and nutritious eggs. Others simply enjoy keeping chickens as pets.
Chickens can range in weight from a couple of pounds to almost 15 pounds (Jersey Giant).
Bantam chickens are a miniature form of chicken breeds, about a third of the size of standard chickens. They can produce up to 200 eggs per year.
Today we’ll cover ten small black chicken breeds, so keep reading to learn more.
1. Ancona Bantam
The Ancona chicken is a beautiful breed from Italy, named after the city of Ancona.
Their black feathers are speckled white and show hints of green as well.
Bantam Anconas weigh about a pound, and they are an even-tempered bird.
Some say the bantam variety is calmer than the larger birds. However, temperament may depend on the amount of handling the bird receives.
2. Black Silkie Bantam
Black Silkies are a peculiar breed of chicken from China and Japan.
Their feathers are also soft and fluffy.
The Black Silkie was a prized bird on the Chinese Silk Road, which is where its name originated.
In the U.S. and Canada, Silkies are an exclusively bantam breed of chicken. But to qualify as bantam, males must weigh four pounds and females, about three.
3. Australorp Bantam
The Australorp is a large bird originating from Australia. This breed may have been created using the English Black Orpington.
The bird has soft, shiny black feathers with a greenish tint.
The Australorp breed has also broken records for its egg-laying capabilities (source).
The bantam version of the Australorp originates from Germany.
Bantam Australorps are quick and agile, and they’re a great family bird that’s safe to keep around kids.
While the full-sized chickens can lay over 250 eggs per year, the bantam still manages to lay about 160 eggs per year.
4. Black Japanese Bantam
Black Japanese bantams are lean, petite birds originating from Japan.
The Black Japanese bantam is a true bantam.
Their feathers are fully black, and they have striking red combs.
An average-sized Japanese bantam only weighs around one and a half pounds. The breed is considered too small to use as a meat source.
The Japanese bantam is tamable and broody by nature. They are listed among the ten most popular breeds by the American Bantam Association.
5. Black Wyandotte Bantam
The Black Wyandotte bantam is a version of its larger counterpart.
The breed originates from England. Their feathers are black with a greenish hue, and sometimes they can have intricate white markings.
Wyandotte bantams are a good bird for egg production, laying around 150 per year.
On average, the birds weigh about two pounds, so they don’t offer much meat. Overall, the breed is calm and easy to raise, making it great for family farms.
6. Black Java Bantam
Java chickens are a rare chicken breed that was once quite common. The breed nearly disappeared in the 1980s, but it’s been preserved thanks to conservation efforts.
The Black Javas are less rare than the mottled and white java variants.
The Black Java variety possesses dark brown eyes with black, greenish feathers.
Standard-sized Javas can weigh nearly ten pounds, while the bantams weigh about two. They are a docile bantam breed that’s broody and can produce up to 180 eggs per year.
7. French Black Marans Bantam
The French Black Marans is a rare chicken breed originating from Marans, France. They are dual-purpose birds, producing ample meat and high egg yields.
Farmers wanted to take the desirable traits of the large breed and create a bantam variety. The bantam variety is quite rare today, and they weigh about half of what larger Marans weigh (about two pounds).
The bantams are broody and lay dark brown eggs.
8. Black Croad Langshan Bantam
Black Croad Langshans are a pure chicken breed originating from Langshan, China.
They have glossy, greenish-black feathers, and their feet are also heavily feathered. This chicken breed can be found in the U.S., Britain, Germany, and Australia.
The Croad Langshan bantam was created in the 1950s, most likely using the Pekin bantam. Normal-sized Croad Langshans weigh seven pounds, while the bantam variety can weigh nearly two. The breed is docile and easily tamable.
9. Black Pekin Bantam
The Black Pekin is a breed of chicken that originated in China and was later brought to Europe.
Also called Cochin chickens, these birds are pure black and come in standard and bantam sizes.
The bantam variety originated from the Imperial Summer Palace in Beijing (formerly Peking).
Pekins come in a wide variety of colors, including black, white, and brown. Additionally, they have dark feathered legs and pea combs.
Black Pekin bantams are friendly and docile, and they weigh around one pound.
10. Black Sumatra Bantam
The Sumatra bantam is an exotic, rare chicken breed from the isles of Sumatra.
They were used as fighting birds in the 1800s and classified as wild game, but now they’re used as show birds. Their feathers are black with hints of green (sometimes red).
By 1883, the breed was recognized by the American Poultry Association. While the Sumatra is often recognized as a standard breed, their small weight qualifies them as a bantam.
Additionally, these birds are winter resistant and can lay 100 eggs per year.