So we take a family trip to Colonial Williamsburg. My father sees some Nankin Bantams and when we get home he's asking me all about chicken coops. Turns out he wants some Nankin Bantam hens. How are they as egg layers? Dispositions? I haven't heard of this breed before so I'm very curious about them. Thanks for the help!
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Nankins are pretty awesome!
They are an ancient breed, though to be one of the oldest bantam chickens. There is evidence that they arrived in England before the 1500's. There was a decline in them when chicken fanciers started wanting to create new and exotic breeds and were tired of the ones they already knew. They were used to create breeds like the Sebright.
It is a very useful broody chicken, kept by game farmers to hatch out game birds like quail.
They are calm, very friendly and likeable and prefer to stay near to one another, in a close-knit flock that doesn't tend to wander a lot. They have round eggs that tend to be very fertile, though they can be difficult to hatch artificially because of the shape. The eggs are tinted
The chicks are hardy and are easy to raise.
Useful links: http://www.backyardchickens.com/products/nankin-bantams
Best of luck!
Here are some fun bantams to work with:
Dutch bantams (they lay a fair amount of eggs, about two a week)
Old English Game bantams (come in a ton of rare colors) lay a pretty good amount of small, white eggs. However, they are prone to going broody.
Bantam Cochins (also called pekins) lay a good amount of small, brown eggs, and come in a ton of amazing colors and varieties. They are also prone to going broody, however.
Polish bantams lay a good amount of small, white eggs.
Japanese Bantams also lay an okay amount of eggs.
Best of luck!