Pekin bantam chickens originate from the Imperial Summer Palace in Peking (now called Beijing) during the time of the Qing dynasty. When British and French forces invaded the palace in the 1860s they returned with Emperor Xianfeng’s cutest treasure – the Pekin bantam chook. Their cuteness reigned supreme in British poultry high society. They were swiftly bred to perfection and became the consummate showbird.
Truly Small and Truly Cute
The Pekin bantam chook is a true bantam chicken, diminutive in size but large in love-ability. In fact they are one of the few true bantams that exist in the chicken world. Bantam breeds can be categorized into two types – true and miniature standard. Miniature standard bantams are chickens that have been bred to be smaller versions of their larger chicken breed namesakes but true bantams have been developed as unique breeds that have no standard sized counterparts.
When it comes to the Pekin chook, cute comes in a variety of fabulous plumage packages! Pekins dress up in shades of blue, buff, white, silver, red and many more. Their feathers can be of a uniform colour or display barred, birchen, mottled, partridge, wheaten and splashed patterns. Their feathers continue to their feet so it’s a good idea to keep these booted babes out of the mud with some absorbent bedding like hemp. With such a variety of available feather types you may wonder – how does one tell a Pekin from any other hen? The answer lies in their distinctly round bodies!
A Pekin bantam’s frame is the embodiment of cute! These demure and docile birds are almost comically round and watching them waddle happily around a small garden is a pure delight. In an ideal specimen, a Pekin chicken’s width should equal that of their height. Their plumage should be plentiful with lots of cuddly under-fluff, ideal for daily hen hugs! The pillow like tail, that both hens and roosters display, inspire awe from even the most hardened chook lover.
These gorgeous girls aren’t just adorable in appearance! Pekin bantams are also a pleasure to have pottering about your hen home. They are docile and gently curious, allowing for a great bond to form between keeper and chicken. If it’s a huggable hen you are after – the Pekin bantam chicken is a great addition to your flock! A few well placed treats and some gentle words will see you whiling away the weekends hours in your backyard with a new Pekin BFF.
The Pekin bantam chook is a perfect little package of plumage to get you started on your chicken adventure. These girls are great for beginners, thanks to their tendency to calmly stay within their backyard bounds. Some well placed poultry fencing and a snuggly coop will provide them with all the range they need. Small children will delight in their affable and accommodating nature, and while they’re not the best layers in the coop, they more than make up for it with their ease of keeping and charming personalities.
Pekin bantam chickens are a great addition to any hen home. If you are looking to start a small flock in your backyard, then a couple of Pekins and a Taj Mahal coop is your best bet. Ready to add some new girls to your existing menagerie? Pekins will bring an element of cute to your flock, so expand your chicken empire by taking on some new chook charges and upgrading to a Mansion!
Are you as enamoured with Pekin bantams as we are? If not – perhaps true love awaits you in our list of top breeds here.