About Pekin Bantam Chickens
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About Pekin Bantam ChickensAbout Pekin Bantam Chickens

Photo: Zoe Andresen with Pekin Bantam
Pekin bantams are a Chinese True bantam, a breed of miniature chicken which has no large version. The first Pekins are believed to have been taken from the private collection of the Emperor of China at Peking (now known as Beijing) by British soldiers towards around 1860. However, some sources suggest that a consignment of birds from China around 1835 were given to Queen Victoria, and that these birds were bred with further imports and were developed into the breed we know today as Pekin Chickens.

Pekin bantam look like a miniature version of Cochin chickens and are often known in the United States and Canada as Cochin Bantams. However, they are unrealted.  

Pekin bantams possess a wealth of feathering about their feet and legs, quite nearly obscuring them. They are is remarkably popular, and are found in almost all of chicken colors; including black, white, buff, lavender, mottled and red.  
Their carriage tilts forward, with the head slightly closer to the ground than their elaborate tail feathers. This 'tilt' is a key characteristic of the Pekin bantam.  

They sometimes are described as looking like little feathery footballs. Their feet and legs are completely covered by feathers. The roosters often have longer feathers that protrude outwards from their feet.  

Pekin Bantams are very docile, and with careful and regular handling they will be happy to sit on their owner's lap to be stroked and petted. They make ideal pets for families with younger children for this reason. The Pekin bantam cockerels can still be aggressive and defensive of their territory and mates once they reach sexual maturity, but are generally gentle natured and have been known to share incubation of the eggs. The hens are regularly broody and are known to be good sitters and attentive mothers.

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