Nankin Chicken

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Willem Hoekstra

The basics:
The Nankin is a bantam breed of chicken which originated somewhere in Southeast Asia, and is thought to be one of the oldest known bantam chickens. One of the true bantams, the breed is a naturally small fowl with no large counterpart from which it was miniaturized. Today, Nankins are only recognized by the American Bantam Association, and are not accepted in to the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection. A U.S. breed club was formed for the first time in 2006.

Unfortunately, the Nankin is currently highly endangered, and has been given a classification of "critical" by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. The "critical" category means, "Fewer than 500 breeding birds in the United States, with five or fewer primary breeding flocks (50 birds or more), and estimated global population less than 1,000."

Types: Bantam
Varieties (Single & Rose Combs): Black Tailed Chestnut
Uses: Brooding, Exhibition, Pets, Preservation
Weight: 22 - 24 oz
Personality: The Nankin is very friendly, and tends to make a great pet, and exhibition fowl for children.
Broody: Yes, excellent mother
Preferred climate: Any
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Poor
Egg color: Cream
Egg size: Small

What else you should know:
It can be difficult to hatch Nankin chickens in the incubator, as their eggs are round shaped.

Rosecomb Nankins are more suitable for colder climates. However, the breed is small and shouldn't be expected to walk through accumulated snow.


good foragers, great moms


tiny hens, little commercial value, small eggs


Single Combs, smallest breeds

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