Pekin Bantam Chicken: Breed Profile

By Chicken Fans Editorial Team

Pekin Bantams are soaring in popularity, and it’s no surprise why! With their delightful demeanor, pleasant nature, and undeniable cuteness, they’re capturing hearts everywhere. These small chickens are particularly popular among families with children, who adore having them as pet chickens.

  • Pekin bantam chickens lay up to 150 eggs yearly
  • Extremely friendly chicken breed
  • Very broody
  • Do not stand heat well

Pekin Bantams, sometimes called Cochin Bantams, might lead you to believe they’re the bantam version of the Cochin chicken. However, that’s not the case. Despite their similar appearance, except for the size, Cochins and Pekin Bantams are unrelated.

A Pekin Bantam is a true bantam breed, without a larger fowl counterpart. Let’s take a closer look at the two breeds in the comparison image below:

You can immediately spot the difference between the two: size. A regular Cochin weighs around 10 – 12 pounds – that’s like carrying around a small dog! On the other hand, Pekin Bantams are a lot smaller, weighing only between 1 to 1.5 pounds.

In this article, we will only address the Pekin Bantam. If you want to learn more about the Cochin, take a look at our in-depth Cochin chicken breed article.

Characteristics of the Pekin Bantam

Peking Bantam chickens look like walking clouds, thanks to the heavy and dense feathering that covers their petite frames. It’s like they’re wearing a feather boa all year round.

Their fluffy coats aren’t just for show – they serve a practical purpose. These plucky little birds can easily brave chilly climates. The feathers cover their entire body, including their legs. Depending on the breeder, the legs can be lightly or heavily feathered.

a pekin bantam chicken

Pekin Bantams are small chickens. Roosters usually weigh between 1.5 and 2 pounds, while hens are slightly lighter, weighing around 1.3 and 1.5 pounds.

Despite their small size, Pekin Bantams ooze a certain majesty, especially due to their beautiful plumage and round shape.

These chickens come in a wide range of colors, ranging from black and white to blue, buff, lavender, and more, and breeders are constantly working on new color variations.

Pekin Bantams have a fairly round shape with a compact body. Their posture often leans slightly forward, with the head slightly lower than their rounded tail feathers. The head carries a single comb.

Caring for a Pekin Bantam

Pekin Bantams are generally easy and great to keep, especially if you have children. They are incredibly cute, sweet, and often kept as ‘garden pets’.

However, they have a few specific care points to be aware of to ensure their well-being.

Dry Run and Environment

Pekin Bantams dislike moisture due to their heavy feathering on the legs. Make sure their run stays as dry as possible. Install the chicken run in the driest corner of the garden, use wood shavings in case of heavy rainfall, or cover the run.

Regularly replace the bedding to prevent moisture buildup and create a comfortable and dry living environment for your chickens.

Also, make sure they don’t have to dig through their feces. These can stick to the feathers and cause fungi and diseases.

This applies, by the way, to all chicken breeds with heavily feathered legs. They need, more than ordinary laying hens, a dry and clean run.

Feather Maintenance

Regularly check the feathering on the legs of your Pekin Bantams. Trim any overly long feathers to prevent them from holding dirt and moisture.

Also, regularly check for signs of dirt or injuries, such as bumblefoot or fungus, and take appropriate measures.

Prevent Obesity

Due to their less active personality, Pekin Bantams tend to gain weight more easily than other chicken breeds.

Limit table scraps and high-calorie treats and ensure they receive a balanced diet tailored to their needs.

Obesity can lead to health problems and reduced egg production, so keeping their weight under control is important.

Egg Production

The egg-laying abilities of Pekin Bantams are not their best feature; they are more known for their cute looks and charm.

It’s important to remember that Pekin Bantams are not good laying hens. If you’re looking for a breed that brings you an abundance of eggs daily, Pekin Bantams are not the best choice.

Overall, a Pekin Bantam lays up to 150 eggs per year. The eggs are small to medium-sized, and the color is white to cream.

This does not mean they will lay two to three eggs weekly throughout the year. No, a Pekin Bantam stops laying when she is broody, during molting, and the shortest days of the year.

During some periods, you will hardly have any eggs; during others, you may have about four per week.


Another characteristic of Pekin Bantams is their high tendency to broodiness. They are known to be one of the most broody chicken breeds in the world and share that title with Silkies and Cochin chickens.

If you’re not interested in hatching eggs, the broodiness of Pekin Bantams can be quite challenging. It’s best to discourage them from brooding immediately, as they often stop laying.

However, they are excellent mothers and are often used to raise chicks from other chickens.

a pekin bantam chicken with chick

Temperament of the Pekin Bantam

The Pekin Bantam is known for its friendliness and gentleness. These chickens are calm, making them excellent pet chickens for families with children.

Pekin Bantams are generally not pushy or aggressive and rarely exhibit territorial behavior. They are rather social and enjoy the company of other chickens and pets.

However, there is a downside to this gentle behavior. They often act submissively in the pecking order and are, therefore, usually at the bottom.

So it’s best not to combine Pekin Bantams with dominant breeds like Wyandottes or Rhode Island Reds. Research beforehand or ask the breeder if a Pekin Bantam in your flock is a good choice.


The Pekin Bantam, with its majestic appearance and gentle temperament, offers an interesting addition to any flock. Whether you prefer the impressively large standard Cochin or the cute Pekin Bantam, these chickens will fascinate you.

Although Pekin bantams are not known as the most productive laying hens, they more than makeup for it with their calm nature, social character, and charm.

Credits for all pictures go to @hensonoxney (IG), breeder of rare chicken breeds and big chicken lover. Thank you!

Chicken Fans Editorial Team

The editorial team consists of 3rd generation chicken owners Kat, journalist, editor-in-chief, and Nick, working with illustrators and specialists in the field.