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The Pekin chicken breed is a popular choice known for its plump size and docile temperament. Originating from China, it is easily recognizable by its feathered legs and rounded shape.

With its distinctive appearance and friendly disposition, the Pekin chicken breed has gained popularity among backyard poultry keepers and show enthusiasts alike. These birds are known for their high meat production, making them a favored choice for those looking to raise chickens for meat purposes.

Additionally, the Pekin breed is also a great option for families with children, as they are known to be gentle and easy to handle. Whether you’re looking to add some charm to your backyard or start a small-scale poultry operation, the Pekin chicken breed is certainly one worth considering.


The Pekin Chicken breed has a rich history tracing back to ancient China. Known for its fluffy feathers and friendly nature, this breed has become a popular choice among chicken enthusiasts looking to add a touch of elegance to their flocks.

The Pekin chicken breed has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. Here are some interesting facts about the origins and development of this popular breed:

  • Originated in China: Pekin chickens, also known as Cochin chickens, are believed to have originated in China around the 17th century.
  • Brought to the West: In the 19th century, Pekin chickens were imported to Western countries, gaining popularity for their unique appearance and friendly nature.
  • Royal favorite: The Pekin breed quickly became a favorite amongst royalty and the upper class due to its elegant and distinctive feathering.
  • Early classification: During this time, Pekin chickens were classified as a breed of poultry and were raised primarily for ornamental purposes.
  • Industrialization impact: The industrialization of poultry farming by the late 19th century contributed to the increased popularity of the Pekin breed for its meat production qualities.
  • Breed standardization: The American Poultry Association recognized the Pekin chicken breed in 1874 and established a breed standard, which has been followed since then.
  • Today’s Pekins: Pekin chickens are now globally known and appreciated for their friendly temperament, lush plumage, and suitability for both exhibition and backyard flocks.

The historical journey of the Pekin chicken breed showcases its significance and enduring popularity in the poultry world. Whether you’re a poultry enthusiast or simply curious about these fascinating birds, learning about their history adds an extra layer of appreciation for these remarkable creatures.

Pekin Chicken
Camille Gillet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

General Characteristics

The Pekin chicken breed is a popular choice among backyard chicken enthusiasts due to its charming appearance and friendly disposition. This breed originated in China and was brought to the Western world in the 19th century. If you’re considering adding Pekin chickens to your flock, it’s essential to understand their general characteristics to ensure they are a suitable fit for your needs.


  • The Pekin chicken breed is known for its compact and plump body shape, giving it a rounded appearance.
  • These chickens have short legs and wings that are held close to the body.
  • Feather colors can vary, with common variations including white, black, buff, blue, and lavender.
  • Pekins have a single comb and a small crest of feathers on top of their heads.


  • Pekin chickens are considered a medium-sized breed, with males typically weighing around 8 pounds and females weighing around 6 pounds.
  • They have a stocky build and a wide, rounded body shape, which adds to their overall size.


  • The Pekin breed is well-loved for its friendly and docile nature, making it an excellent choice for families with children or those seeking a calm and easygoing chicken breed.
  • These chickens enjoy human interaction and are known to become quite tame and curious when given attention.
  • Pekins generally get along well with other chicken breeds and are not prone to aggressive behavior.

Egg Production

  • Pekin chickens are not prolific layers compared to some other breeds. On average, they lay approximately 150-200 light brown eggs per year.
  • Their eggs are medium to large in size, making them a satisfying addition to your breakfast table.


  • Pekin hens have a tendency towards broodiness, meaning they may become dedicated mothers and desire to sit on a clutch of eggs to hatch them.
  • This characteristic can be beneficial if you are interested in hatching your own chicks naturally, but it may also impact egg production.

Care Requirements

  • Pekin chickens are relatively low-maintenance, making them suitable for both novice and experienced chicken keepers.
  • They are hardy birds and can adapt well to different climates but may require additional protection in harsh winter conditions.
  • Providing access to a secure coop and a spacious outdoor area for foraging is important for their overall well-being.


  • With proper care, Pekin chickens can live up to 8-12 years, making them a long-term addition to your flock.
  • Regular health checks, a balanced diet, and a clean living environment are essential for maximizing their lifespan.


The Pekin chicken breed boasts an attractive appearance, a friendly disposition, and moderate egg production. With their compact size and docile nature, they are an excellent choice for families and backyard chicken keepers. Understanding the general characteristics of Pekin chickens will help you provide the necessary care and ensure a happy and healthy flock.


The Pekin Chicken breed is known for its calm and friendly temperament, making it a popular choice for backyard chicken enthusiasts. With their docile nature and easygoing attitude, Pekin Chickens are a joy to have as pets and are suitable for families with children.

Pekin chickens, also known as Cochin, are beloved for their gentle and friendly temperament. Here are some key aspects of their personality:

  • Calm and docile: Pekin chickens have an incredibly calm and relaxed nature, making them a delight to be around. They are not easily startled and are generally well-behaved.
  • Affectionate and social: These chickens thrive on human interaction and enjoy being around their owners. They are known to be quite friendly and will often seek out attention from their caregivers.
  • Good with children: The gentle and patient nature of Pekin chickens makes them an excellent choice for families with young children. They can handle being handled and are not prone to aggressive behaviors.
  • Non-aggressive: Pekin chickens are not known to be aggressive towards other chickens or animals. They tend to be peaceful and get along well with other breeds, making them great additions to mixed flocks.
  • Curious and intelligent: These chickens display an inquisitive nature, often investigating their surroundings and interacting with objects in their environment. They are intelligent creatures that can quickly learn routines and recognize their owners.
  • Tolerant of confinement: While Pekin chickens enjoy free-ranging, they can also adapt well to a confined space, such as a backyard coop. They are not prone to restlessness and are content with a smaller area.

Overall, the Pekin chicken breed is known for its amiable temperament, making it a popular choice among chicken enthusiasts and families alike. Their gentle and sociable nature, combined with their striking appearance, make them a wonderful addition to any flock.

Comb Types

Pekin chickens, also known as Pekin bantams, are a fascinating breed with unique characteristics. One notable feature that distinguishes them from other chicken breeds is their comb type. The comb refers to the fleshy, crowning structure on top of a chicken’s head.

Pekin chickens exhibit various comb types, each with its own traits and benefits. Let’s explore the different comb types found in Pekin chickens:

  • Single Comb: The single comb is the most common type found in Pekin chickens. It consists of a single row of evenly spaced, upright points. This comb type is well-suited for all climates and provides good protection against both cold and heat.
  • Rose Comb: The rose comb is another distinctive comb type seen in Pekin chickens. It has a flattened appearance with a series of low, rounded points. This comb type is known for its suitability in cold climates as it offers better resistance against frostbite compared to other types.
  • Cushion Comb: The cushion comb is unique to Pekin chickens and is characterized by a broad and round shape, resembling a cushion. This comb type is relatively rare and is mainly found in exhibition or show birds. While it may not offer as much protection against extreme temperatures, the cushion comb adds an attractive feature to the overall appearance of the Pekin chicken.
  • Silkie Comb: The Silkie comb is a smaller variation of the single comb, often found in Pekin bantams. It is more delicate in appearance, featuring smaller and more refined points. Despite its smaller size, this type of comb still provides adequate protection to the chicken.
  • Pea Comb: The pea comb is a compact comb type, characterized by multiple rows of small, rounded points. This comb type is beneficial for Pekin chickens residing in hot climates as it allows for efficient heat dissipation.

Pekin chickens possess an array of comb types, each contributing to their distinctiveness and adaptability. Whether it’s the single comb, rose comb, cushion comb, Silkie comb, or pea comb, Pekin chickens are an enchanting breed with variations that appeal to poultry enthusiasts worldwide.


The Pekin chicken breed is a versatile and valuable addition to any backyard flock. With their striking appearance, docile temperament, and exceptional egg-laying capabilities, these birds offer both beauty and practicality. Whether you’re a novice chicken keeper or an experienced farmer, the Pekin breed is a reliable and rewarding choice.

Their compact size and friendly nature make them ideal for smaller spaces and family environments. Additionally, their unique fluffy plumage and gentle disposition make them a favorite among children and adults alike. From their origins in China to their introduction to the Western world, the Pekin chicken breed continues to captivate and impress poultry enthusiasts worldwide.

So, if you’re considering adding to your flock, consider the Pekin breed and experience the joy and benefits they bring to your poultry adventure.

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