Pekin Bantam Information
Pekin bantams are highly regarded as fantastic backyard birds for young families in urban environments due to their small size and calm, docile temperament. If you’re after a breed that is exceptionally well suited to smaller backyards, being handled by children, and you aren’t concerned with egg or meat production, Pekin bantams are the breed for you!
Poor egg production
Poor meat production
Extremely family friendly
Cold climate hardy: No
Rare breed: No
Quantity: 1-3 eggs/hen/week
While the origin of Pekin bantams from Peking (now Beijing), China is not disputed, there are mixed reports as to when they first appeared in Europe. Some state it was in the mid-1830s while others report that Pekin bantams were brought back by French and British forces upon returning from the invasion of the Imperial Summer Palace in the 1860s. One thing that isn’t disputed is how fantastic Pekin bantams are as a backyard breed.
While many common breeds have been selectively bred to produce smaller bantam varieties, Pekin bantams have no standard equivalent. This makes them true bantams. These birds are one of the smallest varieties available, weighing only between 0.7-0.8kg on average! Their small size, accompanied by their thick plumage, makes these birds very attractive. While at maturity, some males become protective and slightly aggressive, hens are highly pliant and are easily tamed with regular handling and contact with humans. Due to their size, these birds also flourish in smaller, more urban backyards due to their size and are the perfect pets for small children.
There are many other great characteristics that make Pekin bantams a great addition to backyards and young families. You’re sure to find a variety of Pekin bantam that suits your backyard, with an extensive range of colours including; Black, Blue, Buff, Cuckoo, Mottled, Barred, Columbian, Lavender, Partridge, White, Birchen, Silver Partridge. Pekin bantams are also relatively low maintenance, requiring little space in a backyard. Their housing should be carefully considered though as they can be susceptible to more extreme weather conditions due to their small body size. Therefore, it is important to position their coup in an area where they’ll be warm enough in winter but not overheat in summer. Additionally, as these birds are feathered all the way down to their feet, its best to ensure that the ground isn’t susceptible to becoming muddy.
One downside of the Pekin bantam breed is that as an ornamental variety, they aren’t great for egg or meat production. Their small size makes them a poor table bird, with little meat on their frames. If you’re lucky, you may get up to 150 medium-small cream/white eggs each year. However, the number of eggs produced per year is highly variable and you could just as likely end up with as few as 50 eggs a year.