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    Sebright Bantam

    Chicken breed

    A ''true bantam', these small birds are popular for show with active and flighty personalities.


    Authored by Sam Peterson

    Breed type


    Egg color


    Pen or free-range?



    Can be flighty

    Sebright Bantam quick facts

    Lifespan: 8-12 years

    Weight: Females (Hens) - ~20 oz. ; Males (Roosters) - ~22 oz.

    Appearance: Very small with silver or gold feathers laced in black

    Egg Production: 52 eggs/year

    Good for beginners? : No, they are not as docile as most chicken breeds and may require more care

    History of Sebright Bantam chickens

    The Sebright Bantam is one of the ‘true bantams’, an especially small breed of chicken that has no larger equivalent. They originated as one of the original British bantam breeds, bred by Sir John Saunders Sebright. The breed is marked by their large eyes, black lacing, and compact size. Both male and female Sebrights sport the same feathering patterns, a unique trait amongst chickens. Sebright chickens are an ornamental breed first and foremost, as they lack strong egg production and are far too small to be used as a meat chicken. As show chickens, they are exciting to keep and handle. They have active, flighty personalities that can be friendly with proper socialization.

    Sebright Bantam temperment and good-to-knows

    Like many bantam chickens, Sebrights are active, energetic, and alert. They are not as cuddle-friendly as more docile breeds but can hardly be called aggressive. Owners report that Sebright chickens are particularly noisy, and that the agitated calls of certain birds can be particularly piercing to the ear. Prospective owners with neighbors may want to take the noise level of their flock into account!

    Sebright Bantams lay white eggs, but the egg production is not anything astounding. However, numbers vary greatly from bird to bird. Some owners report extremely low production while others have recorded numbers in the hundreds. It is best to expect a lower number, as the breed as a whole is not regarded as a strong egg producer. They do not go broody and lack strong maternal instinct when it comes to caring for their chicks . This adds to the difficulty of breeding your own Sebright bantams, as they often require mothers from other breeds. Many Sebright hens are also born infertile due to their complicated breeding history.

    Visual characteristics

    Sebright Bantams are very small chickens, even by bantam standards. Roosters come in at an average of only 22 ounces. Hens are not much smaller at 20 ounces. They have quite stocky builds for their size which can make them seem larger than they really are. Their tails are tall and full.The roosters are prized for their rose combs with a rather unique, pointed shape. When looking at their coloration, only two accepted varieties exist, with both varieties featuring the Sebright’s signature black lacing. The two colorations accepted as ‘true’ are gold and silver. Silver Sebrights have clean white feathering that starkly contrasts the black lace which surrounds each feather. Golden Sebrights take on a ruddy, gold hue that complements their black lacing well. Due to the difficulty of breeding these chickens,, many incorrect color variations exist. Errors include spattering of color in the center of feathers, or a lack of lacing amongst the feathers of the throat. Breeders of Golden Sebrights are careful to avoid birds that have too bright or too dark of a coloration.

    Health and care

    Sebrights are strong foragers, but due to their small size and strong flying ability, many owners keep them in confinement or in a topped pen. If they fly away to roost they can be very difficult to catch due to their flighty nature. Their small size also makes them attractive to predators, so confinement in a chicken coop is usually preferred.

    Sebrights are healthy birds but suffer from a susceptibility to Marek’s disease, a highly contagious virus which can decimate unvaccinated flocks. If you are looking to keep Sebrights, make sure your birds are kept protected and watch for any possible signs of Marek’s disease. Sebright chickens can be picky about their environment and do not enjoy extremes of either type, hot or cold. Amateur keepers should make sure they have the proper facilities for these sensitive birds. Like any other breed, they greatly appreciate general bird care. Regular cleaning and monitoring your Sebrights for parasites will help keep them happy and healthy. 

    Frequently asked questions about Sebright Bantam chickens

    Do Sebright Bantam chickens require special care or attention?

    Sebright chickens don't have any specific care requirements beyond what is typical for chickens. However, their delicate feathering may require extra protection from harsh conditions, and they are more susceptible to Marek’s disease.

    Can Sebright Bantam chickens be kept with other chicken breeds?

    Sebright chickens can generally be kept with other chicken breeds, provided they are introduced gradually and have sufficient space. However, owners should make sure larger or more aggressive breeds do not bully or harm the smaller Sebrights.

    How much space do Sebright Bantam chickens require?

    Sebright Bantams don't require a large amount of space due to their small size. They can do well in smaller enclosures, but it's always recommended to provide them with as much space as possible to ensure their well-being.

    Do Sebright Bantam chicks require special care?

    From the time the Sebright Bantam chicks hatch, they require a clean and warm brooder setup with appropriate bedding, quality chick starter feed and proper hygiene. As they get older, they can be gradually introduced to outdoor conditions, humans and other chickens.

    Everything your flock needs

    Chicken Care Guide

    Find all the information you need about raising chickens. Get an overview, then find helpful links to more in-depth education.

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    Coops, Pens and Nesting Boxes

    Browse coops for the perfect roosting spot and space for laying all those eggs. Don't forget nesting boxes, bedding, fencing materials to bring it together.

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    Poultry Feed and Treats

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    Poultry Care

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