Anyone who admires barnyard fowl will love the Booted Bantam chicken. Also called the Dutch Booted Bantam, this fantastically feathered and colored bird is also friendly, calm, and happy in any safe and suitable environment.
This breed is a true bantam, which means that it is not a miniature version of a larger breed, as many bantams are. Some say that these chickens were in the Netherlands as early as the 1500s, though others credit a later breeder in Belgium. It is a tiny bird, weighing less than two pounds for roosters and just over a pound and a half for hens. The American standard is smaller than these limits, which are rules for British breeders.
The Booted Bantam is tiny, with the British show standards limiting cocks to thirty ounces and hens to no more than twenty seven ounces. The American Poultry Association standard sets even lighter weight for birds to be accepted in a show. The small size does not make this a fragile or sickly type, however. They are not hardy in cold weather but otherwise can take care of themselves just fine.
Poultry standards are both interesting and necessary. While breeders have developed over twenty colors that will ‘breed true’, the official standards only admit eleven in Britain and seventeen in the United States. The standards are designed to keep show birds true not only in color and feathering but also to the physical characteristics that have been shown to be best for healthy and productive poultry flocks. For instance, there is a broad backed and high breasted shape that makes for a good layer, and that is one thing that judges look for.
While these extremely beautiful chickens are bred for showing, they make great pets. They are not hardy so need to be protected from the cold, but otherwise are good foragers and easy to keep in the outside garden. The people who have had them say their fluffy feet, the ‘boots’ that give them their name, keep them from scratching up gardens as much as most domestic fowl. The cocks are proud but if hand raised are neither timid or aggressive around children or adults. In fact, many love to be picked up and will stand around close so you can admire them.
The many different colors are all dramatic, with the Millefleur being the most popular. Even in this category, there are variations, however. The patterns and colors truly have to be seen to be believed, so check the poultry catalogs, online sites about fancy chickens, and club websites. The cocks have big, red, upright combs with five sharp points and red ears and wattles as well. Their wings sweep down and back, at the same angle as their dramatic hock feathers. They stand very upright and their fully-feathered tail stick up, too. The whole effect is perky.
Although they do not have much meat on their frames, what they do have is well-proportioned. Their value is more ornamental than utilitarian, though, so check them out for their beauty and their charm. Online sites have great pictures of the more popular varieties, such as the Millefleur. You will not believe your eyes when you see how splendid some of the birds are, although they also come in black and in white, where their shape and gracefulness is the main attraction.
There are clubs for those who are real fans of the Booted Bantam chicken. Check out their websites to see if there is one near you. You can also search for local hatcheries, although many will not have poultry this exotic. There are national suppliers, however, that send chicks all over in the spring and early summer.
Dinner on the Bluff
2017 DINNER ON THE BLUFF SERIES Treat yourself to a night of great food and enlightened conversation. Noted speakers and presenters from throughout the country will kick off the evening with an engaging presentation followed by a delicious gourmet meal! All dinners will begin with the presentation at 5:00pm followed by a buffet dinner. The cost is $25 per person for early bird reservations and $30 per person for reservations made the week of the event. Pre-registration is required. Lucie Amundsen: Locally Laid Saturday, May 6th Lucie Amundsen joins us from Northern Minnesota to discuss her family's pratfall into chicken farming and the surprising hope they found in the mysterious, little known and poorly named segment of "middle agriculture." Lucie, a writer, marketer and reluctant farmer, co-owns Locally Laid Egg Company with her husband. Locally Laid Egg Company is a farm that provides pasture-raised eggs and partners with a total of seven other mid-level producers. These farms source and sell within their own regions to reduce food miles and strengthen local economies. Lucie uses her Masters in Creative Writing to ghostwrite for a chicken in her recent book Locally Laid, 2016 Midwest Choice Award in Nonfiction. Main Course: Steamed Free-Range Egg over Creamy Polenta with Ragu FAQS Is there an age limit to enter the event? This is event is tailored for adult participants. Please inquire about bringing younger guests. What are my parking options getting to the event? There is a large parking on your left as you enter Eagle Bluff. Please drive to the stop sign, park in the lot on your left and then follow the event signs to the check-in table in the Dining Hall. Where can I contact the organizer with any questions? Bridget Tonne, Events and Marketing Coordinator 507-467-2437 [email protected] Who do I contact about food allergies for dinner? Please contact Bridget. Food allergies will be accomodated when possible if provided with information in advance. Is my registration/ticket transferrable? Your tickets cannot be switched to another date. Please refer to the cancellation policy. Can I update my registration information? Yes, you can update the information on the Eventbrite website. Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? No, you do not need to bring your printed ticket. Instead you will need the name of the person who made the reservation. What is the refund policy? To receive a full refund a cancellation must be made at least 24 hours prior to the start of the event (cancellation deadline is the Friday prior to the event by 4pm).