Perfect for families with small children and restricted space. Not suitable for anyone wanting 300+ eggs a year!
Pekin bantams are a True bantam, a breed of chickens which has no large fowl counterpart. They are round, and 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 have sometimes been described as looking like little walking teacosies, or feathery footballs. The cockerels often have longer feathers that protrude outwards from their feet. The range of Pekin colors is extensive and the list is continually growing.
Pekin Bantams are very docile, 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. Pekin bantam cockerels 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.
The first Pekins are alleged to have been looted from the private collection of the Emperor of China at Peking (former name of Beijing) towards the end of the Opium Wars around 1860. However, some sources suggest that a consignment of birds from China around 1835 were given to Queen Victoria, assuming the name of 'Shanghais' and that these birds were bred with further imports and were developed into the breed we know today as Pekin Bantams. They are known in America and Canada as Cochins. This is the subject of some debate within the pekin/cochin breeders community.