Pekin Bantam Chicken – Breed Profile & Facts
While Pekin Bantam chickens are some of the most miniature chicken breeds on the globe, there is plenty more interesting about these beautiful chickens.
First, these chickens are adorable, thanks to their thick plumage that makes them look like walking balls. Second, these chickens are quite gentile and dependable companions. They are excellent pets for kids due to their friendly nature.
Where do Pekin Bantam Chickens Come From?
The first Pekin Bantam chicken came from China, and British soldiers introduced it at the end of the second war in 1860. Nonetheless, some sources hint that a group of birds was given to the then British queen, Queen Victoria.
Some people started breeding the birds, resulting in present-day Pekins. The first Pekin Bantam chickens from the UK had a buff color. Americans and Canadians refer to these chickens as Cochin Bantams.
How to Recognize Pekin Bantam Chickens
Being natural Bantam chickens, these birds are recognizable from their small size. They have a round-shaped body. Furthermore, the carriage of these birds tilts forward. Their heads are slightly closer to the ground, unlike other chickens whose heads aren’t closer to the ground.
The most outstanding feature of these birds is their plumage. Although other chickens have feathers, Pekin Bantam chickens have more feathers than other chicken breeds.
You can distinguish these chickens from other breeds from their white feathers cape. These chickens also appear pretty comical. Their tight combs make them the best choice of chicken breeds for cold climates. They come in various color patterns, making them an elegant addition to any flock.
How Big Do Pekin Bantam Chickens Grow?
Pekin Bantam chickens are some of the tiniest chickens on the planet. Hens can reach between 20 and 25 cm in height. Pekin Bantam hens weigh around 570g. Roosters can grow between 25 and 30 cm in height and weigh approximately 680g.
Are Pekin Bantam Chickens Easy to Care For?
Apart from having good looks, Pekin Bantam chickens are also easy to care for. Being easy to handle, these chickens are suitable beginner-friendly birds that won’t give you too much trouble while rearing them. Pekin Bantam chickens are also docile, making them great pets.
They appreciate getting extra loving care from their owners. The better you care for these chickens, the higher the chances of these chickens becoming excellent companions.
What to Feed Pekin Bantam Chickens?
Pekin Bantam chickens require quality pellet feed and a constant supply of greens. All chickens, including Pekin Bantam chickens, are omnivorous. Therefore, your Bantam Pekin chickens can consume various foods, including fruits, seeds, grains, and insects.
These chickens can also consume kitchen scraps and plant matter. Below are some healthy foods to feed your Pekin Bantam chickens.
- Scratch feed– Scratch feed is one of the best foods for Pekin Bantam chickens. It is a mixture of various seeds and grains. It also contains cracked corn, sunflower seeds, wheat, and barley. Pekin Bantam chickens enjoy eating scratch feed while scratching on it. It is the right food for free-range Pekin Bantams because it encourages chickens to forage. Furthermore, scratch feed is suitable for Pekin Bantams because it helps reduce boredom. The many ingredients in the scratch feed will keep your chickens healthy while keeping them happy at the same time. Nonetheless, scratch feed isn’t a replacement for chicken feed but rather a healthy treat for Pekin Bantam chickens.
- Mealworms– Mealworms are suitable for Pekin Bantam chickens for two reasons. First, mealworms are a healthy treat for these chickens. Second, they are an excellent source of protein for Pekin Bantam chickens. Pekin Bantam chickens need a protein boost, particularly during the molting season, to help these chickens grow back their feathers fast. Nonetheless, don’t overfeed your chickens with mealworms since they have plenty of fat, making your Pekin Bantam chickens obese.
- Oatmeal– While thinking about the foods to feed your Pekin Bantam chickens, oatmeal isn’t perhaps your first option. However, oatmeal is pretty nutritious for chickens, including Pekin Bantam chickens. No wonder it is a crucial ingredient in different types of chicken feeds. Oatmeal boasts loads of micronutrients and protein that will help in keeping your Pekin Bantam chickens healthy. To give your Pekin Bantam chickens a special treat, consider cooking oatmeal with fruits or dry mealworms.
- Fruits– Fruits such as apples are rich in essential vitamins that Pekin Bantam chickens need for optimal development. You can toss over a couple of fruits in the coop for your Pekin Bantam chickens to snack on the fruits. Alternatively, mix the fruits with chicken feed to provide your Pekin Bantams with a delicious and nutritious treat.
- Leafy greens– If you observe your Pekin Bantam chickens roaming, you will notice these chickens enjoy eating various greens. Give your Pekin Bantam chickens some leafy greens to provide your birds with different nutrient-rich foods. Some excellent options of leafy greens for Pekin Bantam chickens include collards, spinach, kale, and chard. If you keep Pekin Bantam in the coop, it is good to hang a bunch of leafy greens inside the coop to give your birds something they can peck at. Besides being full of nutrients, leafy greens also encourage chickens to forage.
What Kind of Coop Do Pekin Bantam chickens Need?
Pekin Bantam chickens don’t have many housing requirements like other chickens, thanks to the small size of these birds. A small-sized coop is enough to raise Pekin Bantam chickens comfortably. Each Pekin Bantam chicken needs at least two square feet.
Since these chickens are fond of flying up, the coop should have higher perches to keep the birds happy. Due to their thick plumage, Pekin Bantam chickens need a dry and dirt-proof coop. A wet coop can be disastrous for Pekin Bantams since it can make their feathers start falling off.
Consider fencing the coop to stop predators from entering the coop and attacking your Pekin Bantam chickens. Furthermore, the coop needs proper ventilation to keep the air inside the coop fresh.
What Health Problems Do Pekin Bantam Chickens Have?
Pekin Bantam chickens aren’t safe from chicken illnesses. These chickens are also vulnerable to several ailments. Let’s walk through some of the health problems that Pekin Bantam chickens have.
– Infectious Coryza
Most Pekin Bantam chickens succumb to this illness. It mainly kills 14-weeks old chicks. Infectious Coryza also kills older chickens, and its risk increases with age. The disease affects the alimentary canal, and it is one of the most challenging chicken diseases to diagnose.
The most apparent symptom of this ailment is the thickening of the tongue, which causes Pekin Bantam chickens to experience breathing problems. Pekin Bantam chickens with this disease lose appetite and have ruffled feathers.
As deadly as Infectious Coryza is, there is a remedy for this ailment. Place your sick Pekin Bantam chicken in a warm area and give the chicken wholesome foods. Castor oil can provide relief to the infected chicken.
However, calling a poultry vet is always the best idea if you discover that some of your Pekin Bantam chickens could be suffering from Infectious Coryza.
Also known as Syngamus trachea, Gapes is a pathogenic disease that thrives in sowbugs, beetles, earwigs, and grasshoppers. The nematode roundworm that causes Gapes attaches itself to the chickens’ windpipes.
The symptoms of Gapes in Pekin Bantam chickens are easily noticeable. The disease completely alters the chickens’ voices and makes their eyes look as if they have water. Pekin Bantam chickens with Gapes also have running noses, and they also lose their appetite.
– Lungs Inflammation
Pekin Bantam chickens are also vulnerable to lung inflammation like other Bantam varieties. Pekin Bantam chickens with lung inflammation have breathing difficulty. Lungs inflammation can be fatal for these chickens.
Furthermore, it can halt egg production and lead to death. The ultimate way to prevent lung inflammation in Pekin Bantam chickens is to avoid keeping your chicken in damp areas.
– Fowl Cholera
This chronic disease affects all birds, including Pekin Bantam chickens. It is most prevalent in older Pekin Bantam chickens. The disease affects the sinuses and wattles of Pekin Bantam chickens.
Some of the common symptoms of Fowl Cholera include lameness, nasal discharge, and swollen joints.
This disease claims the lives of countless Pekin Bantam chickens per year. A parasite by the name Coccidian protozoa causes this health problem.
The parasite attaches itself to the chickens’ intestines, ultimately damaging the intestines and making the birds experience severe pain. The disease causes ruffled feathers, diarrhea, and rapid weight loss in Pekin Bantam chickens.
How Many Eggs Do Pekin Bantam Chickens Lay?
Pekin Bantam chickens aren’t prolific layers, but they are still decent layers. Although they lay small-sized eggs, these chickens can lay an average of 140 eggs per year.
Bantam chickens usually start laying when they are between 6 and 8 months old. However, these chickens are seasonal layers, and they don’t lay in winter.
Can You Eat Pekin Bantam Chicken Eggs?
Although most people raise Pekin Bantam chickens as ornamental birds rather than for egg production, the eggs from these birds are pretty nutritious. Although they are relatively smaller than the average chicken eggs, they have many nutrients, especially protein.
However, you need to eat more eggs from these chickens to get a similar level of satisfaction to the one you get from eating the average chicken eggs. All in all, Pekin Bantam eggs are safe, nutritious, and good to eat.
Are Pekin Bantam Chickens Good for Meat?
No, Pekin Bantam chickens aren’t good meat producers. They are too tiny to produce a reliable amount of meat. Pekin Bantam chickens aren’t the best birds to keep for meat if you want to have chicken meat on your table.
It would be prudent to keep another breed for meat rather than keep these chickens. Nonetheless, their meat is delicious and flavorful, like ordinary chicken meat.
How long do Pekin Bantam Chickens Live?
Pekin Bantam chickens live for 5 to 7 years old. They aren’t as hardy as other breeds. There are some rare instances when these chickens can live for a decade. However, most Pekin Bantam chickens can’t live beyond seven years.
With excellent care, though, Pekin Bantam chickens can exceed the average lifespan. However, weather changes, illnesses, and predators can dramatically shorten their lifespan.
Are Pekin Bantam Chickens Friendly?
If you are selecting a friendly chicken breed, Pekin Bantam chickens are an excellent option. These chickens are pretty friendly. Furthermore, they rarely fly or wander, and they will stick to their environment all the time.
Moreover, Pekin Bantam chickens are docile and pretty easy to handle. For that reason, these chickens make wonderful bird pets. They aren’t aggressive either, meaning they will coexist peacefully with humans and other birds. Nonetheless, avoid keeping Pekin Bantam chickens with aggressive breeds since your Pekin Bantams will be vulnerable to bullying.
Can Pekin Bantam Chickens Get Wet?
Yes, these chickens will get wet due to their thick plumage. Considering Pekin Bantams have feathers down to their feet, keeping them in damp places will be disastrous. Keeping them dry is the most challenging part of rearing these chickens.
Chicken keepers opt to keep their Pekin Bantam chickens indoors since free-range Pekin Bantam chickens are vulnerable to wetness.
If you want to keep your Pekin Bantam chickens outdoors, always have a shade where they will take shelter during rainstorms. Furthermore, don’t let them outside when it is snowing since the snow will only make them wet.
How Much Do Pekin Bantam Chickens Cost?
Being a rare breed, not most people keep Pekin Bantams, and therefore they can be challenging to find. The cost of these chickens can be quite variable depending on the seasons.
On average, full-grown Pekin Bantam chickens cost between $ 35 and $ 55. Day-old Pekin Bantam chicks cost between $ 5 and $ 11 on average.
Pekin Bantam chickens are wonderfully cute chickens despite being rare. These chickens are some of the finest ornamental birds you will encounter.
Their friendliness, coupled with a non-aggressive nature, makes them genuinely adorable. Their small size means these birds don’t eat much, and they also don’t require a large living space.