PHOTO: Joe/Flickr
Heidi Strawn
February 4, 2011

Use: The historical ornamental Sebright Bantam is studied by molecular biologists in hopes of creating a better understanding of the genome of chickens and how traits are passed on. Hens produce tiny white eggs, but they are non-broody and unreliable as layers.


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History: In 1800, Sir John Sebright set out to produce a bantam with laced plumage. Sebright, a member of Parliament and England’s landed gentry, was a writer devoted to working on breeding programs of various animals. Sebright eventually collaborated with Charles Darwin and other influential thinkers on ways to increase knowledge of evolution and animal genetics. The Sebright Bantam chicken breed was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874.


Conformation: Sebright Bantams are hen-feathered. Both color varieties, Golden and Silver, are recognized by the APA. The breed has a short back, a distinct breast, and a tail that is widely spread and held at a slightly upward angle. Its small- to medium-sized rose comb and face are purplish-red in males and gypsy-colored in females. Earlobes are either purplish-red or turquoise. Shanks are slate-blue. Sebright Bantam cocks weigh 22 ounces and hens weigh 20 ounces.


Special Considerations/Notes: The Sebright Bantam is an excellent backyard or show chicken breed. It tolerates confinement well, is quiet and is easy to train. The breed can be somewhat hard to raise due to low fertility and are most likely to breed during the warmer months of April, May and June. Vaccinations for preventing Marek’s disease should be administered as early as possible. The Sebright Bantam chicken breed is listed in the Watch category of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List.

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