The booted bantam, also known as the Dutch booted bantam or the sablepoot, is a breed of bantam chicken that is thought to have been developed in Belgium or the Netherlands. It is so closely related to the Belgian bearded d’Uccle that some suggest the same breeder developed it during the twentieth century, while others suggest that it has been present in the Netherlands since the sixteenth century. The breed was introduced into Germany and North America in the early twentieth century and was accepted into the American Poultry Association in 1914.
The booted bantam is a small breed that varies in weight depending upon the sex, with American cocks weighing about 1.6 pounds and hens weighing about 1.3 pounds. As is typical for bantam breeds, this breed has an upright positioning with a high, upright tail and downward facing wings. The head holds a single comb that stands erect and red wattles and earlobes. This breed can come in more than twenty color variations including black, barred, blue, gray, Millefleur, lemon Millefleur, porcelain and white.
Because the booted bantam has always been kept as a pet, and more recently as a show bird, it has a calm and friendly disposition. Hens are known to go broody and will lay a moderate amount of small white or tinted eggs, with peak egg lying occurring during the summer months. Although it is often kept in back yards, where it is said to do less damage than other breeds and can forage for food, most breeders prefer to keep it in confined areas with soft bedding, to help maintain the vulture hocks.
Image Caption: A lemon porcelain booted bantam. Credit: Renskos/Wikipedia (Public Domain)