Pekin chickens are a true bantam breed, meaning that there is no larger version that exists as a separate breed. They are raised as ornamental birds and are not generally used for eggs or meat production because of their small size.
The hens are not good layers, producing only about 100 small, cream-colored eggs each year. They are highly likely to go broody, which means this is a great breed to have on your farm if you plan on hatching and raising chicks.
Pekin Chicken Breed Quick Info
Pekin Chicken Description
|Pekin Ease of Raising/Keeping:||Medium|
|Pekin Special Care Needs:||Yes|
|Is the Pekin breed a common, rare, or protected breed of chicken?||Rare|
|Pekin Temperament:||Friendly, docile, tame|
|Pekin Ability/Likelihood to Free Range:||No|
Pekin Egg Production
|Estimated Number of Eggs Per Year||100|
|Likeliness to Brood Eggs/Raise Chicks||High|
Pekin Meat Production
|Dressed Weight Male||N/A|
|Dressed Weight Female||N/A|
Pekin Climate Tolerance
Pekin Age to Maturity
|Number of Months to Reach Full Size||8 Months|
|Number of Months to Start Egg Laying||6-8 Months|
|Number of Weeks/Months to Reach Meat Harvest Size||N/A|
Pekin Size at Maturity
Origins of Pekin Chicken
This breed originated in the Beijing region of China. They were imported to the United Kingdom in the 1830s and soon after arrived in the United States.
Today, they remain somewhat rare but are raised as ornamental birds in the U.S.
Some Things to Know About Pekin Chicken
Pekin chickens are very short, only 20-30 centimeters tall. They are heavily feathered and come in many different color varieties, including barred, birchen, black, buff, cuckoo, Columbian, lavender, mottled, partridge, red partridge, silver partridge, white and wheaten. There is also a frizzled variety.
Their feathering makes them appear round, giving them an adorable, fluffy appearance. Their legs are feathered as well, which can cause issues in the wintertime.
How Easy is it to Keep Pekin Chickens?
Pekin hens are calm and gentle, but roosters can be aggressive and territorial. They make wonderful pets and show birds and do well around children due to their small size and gentle temperament.
These birds can easily be kept inside or in a confined area as long as they have time to roam around occasionally. It is easier to care for their feathers in a confined, climate-controlled environment. They are not known to scratch at gardens.
Special Care and Considerations for Pekin Chickens
Care should be taken to keep Pekins’ feathered legs clean since these birds sit so low to the ground. Their plumage may even need to be trimmed occasionally to prevent discomfort or illness, especially mite and lice infestations.
Pekin chickens are not very cold hardy, so you should provide a source of heat in low temperatures. They also need time to forage on grass; otherwise, they can become pale and anemic.