When the British army returned from Peking, China, in the 1860s, they brought with them their first Peking chicken to the UK. Since then this Peking chicken breed has been interbred with American Cochin bantams, arriving today at what is now known as the Pekin Chicken.
There is no larger counterpart of the Pekin bantam. They have been mistaken for Cochin bantams because they are so similar. There are several varieties of the Pekin. These are the Blue, Black, Mottled, Cuckoo, Barred, Columbian, Partridge, Lavender, Silver Partridge, Buff, Birchen and white Pekin Chicken.
Because the Pekin breed is so popular, many fanciers continue to try and produce even more rare colours. The Pekin chicken’s posture is tipped-forward looking and the sloping of their heads which is a little lower than their tail feather height contributes to the tipping forward look. Today it is considered a beautiful show bird.
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Pekin Chicken | Breed Profile
Country of origin:
Cock: 680g Max. Hen: 570g Max.
Blue, Cuckoo, Partridge, Lavender, Barred, Buff, Silver Partridge, Columbian, Mottled, Birchen, Black, White
Egg production (annual):
130 – 160
Characteristics Of The Pekin Chicken
The Pekin chicken is a bantam chicken, that’s why it is known as a Pekin bantam chicken; miniature in size, but not small in personality. They kind of look like balls of fluff with their cushion tails as well.
Plenty of feathers are to be found on their legs and feet. Because they have so many feathers on the feet and leg, they need to be kept away from muddy places. These birds are very docile and friendly, so they make good pets.
The rooster though can become aggressive as they mature, based on their protective nature. They are very broody chickens making excellent mothers. A hen will produce tinted-coloured eggs, around 150 per season.
The Pekin chicken is single combed. They are almost comically round shaped, a delight to watch in the garden. Their comb, earlobes and wattles are red.
Pekin chickens are shorter than other bantams. The Pekin will reach 20-30cms in height. They weight around 570 g for the hens and around 680g for the cockerels.
What we like and what we don’t like about the Pekin Chicken: