An ornamental true bantam
Although it’s also known in Europe as the Cochin Bantam, the Pekin is not really a bantam version of the Cochin, as it is too dissimilar. A round and cuddly ball of soft feathers, this must be the children’s favourite as it’s easily tamed and will run towards you in excitement if it thinks a treat is in store. The hens lay few eggs and go broody very easily, making them useful for hatching the eggs of non-sitting breeds. You’ll need to provide a dry perching area, as their foot feathers are easily soaked and soiled in the rain. Although normally placid, Pekins can act violently towards other birds and will need separating if this occurs. Colours include black, blue, buff, cuckoo, mottled, barred, Columbian, lavender, partridge, and white. Other colours do exist but have not been standardised, for example the lemon cuckoo.