In this bantam breed spotlight, we’ll be talking all about the Booted Bantam. Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know to decide if this breed is right for you.
As with most dutch breeds, the Booted bantam stands out with a proud posture. They strut about the yard with their tail standing tall and their neck held back, as if they’re ready to take on the catwalk.
This bantam is one of the few known “True Bantams”, meaning that it is not available in any larger size and never was.
These birds have the largest “boots” of any breed, making them quite a spectacle to watch. They also possess a rare feature called “Vulture hocks”, which describes long, fluffy feathers draping down from the back of the thighs like an extra pair of shorts.
With all of these extra feathers, however… you may find yourself trimming their feet if you plan on taking the bird indoors from a muddy yard!
What is the difference between the D’Uccle and the Booted Bantam?
This is a pretty common question, because the breed shares many breed characteristics with the D’Uccle. The most noticeable distinction between the two is the Booted Bantam’s lack of feathered beard.
Booted Bantams also typically stand at a greater height, and seem less stocky overall. Their backs are shorter and more sharply angled than the D’Uccle, which has been said by some to be from the possibility of having Japanese Bantam somewhere in their ancestry.
Here are some gorgeous Booted Bantams of the ‘Porcelain’ color variety:
Booted Bantam Origin
Booted Bantams hail from somewhere in Northwestern Europe; this much is clear to most experts. Their exact point of origin remains unclear.
There has been speculation that their beginning was either with a single Belgian breeder in the 20th century, or even dating all the way back to the 16th century in the Netherlands. This breed has its own well-known name within the Netherlands as “Nederlandse Sabelpootkriel”.
What colors of Booted Bantam are there?
As of today, The American Poultry Association recognizes only 5 varieties:
- Black (Self explanatory.)
- Mille Fleur (Name translates to “Many flowers”. A flamboyant chestnut bird, with each feather double-dipped in black, then again in white.)
- Porcelain (Like Mille Fluer, but much lighter in color.)
- Self Blue (A solid, cool gray color.)
- White (Also self-explanatory.)
While these are the only varieties officially recognized all across the board, the American Bantam Association, a similar, but separate organization entirely; acknowledges another six. More varieties are being experimented with even today!
What is the temperament of the Booted Bantam?
As most bantam breeds are, the Booted Bantam is a docile and sweet-tempered bird. If raised being handled from a young age, they grow to enjoy it very much. They have been occasionally described as flighty and jumpy, but more than make up for it.
These birds are gentle toward the rest of their flock as well as their owners. They rarely pick a fight and should be kept only with other bantams, and the especially gentle large breeds.
Where can I find a Booted Bantam?
They are not widely available in the United States yet through popular hatcheries, but I highly suggest seeking out your local breeders. Poultry conventions are a great way to get connected with breeders of exotic and rare chicken breeds.
Overall, many chicken keepers agree that the Booted Bantam has proven to be a rewarding breed to keep. If you would like to share your own personal experience, please leave a comment below!