Nankins; maybe it's just me..........

Dirt Road

11 Years
Nov 9, 2008
Southern Idaho
Bought some Nankin eggs on an auction a year ago, and hatched a trio of the little guys. Cute as anything. I wanted them because I had read how great they are as broodies. Now everything I read about them is conflicting; Storey's book of chicken breeds says they are slow to grow which is an understatement for the ones I have. However many sites including the ALBC site state they "grow quickly"! I have read on other sites that they are easily hatched, difficult to hatch, prolific layers, not prolific layers thus the rarity, etc. Mine were incredibly slow growing, lay an egg about every 3 or 4 days, didn't start to lay until they were almost 10 months old, and have shown no interest in going broody. Their eggs have been difficult to hatch, running around 50% under silkies. Most of the glowing revues seem to come from the folks who happen to have them for sale. These little guys are very cute but even smaller than I expected, and look good compared to the pictures I can find. I live in an area with a LOT of predators, and have about driven myself nuts over the last year trying to keep them from being eaten by something or other. Has anyone else had any actual experience with them? Is it just me?? I am not a beginner, having kept chickens for over 60 years.

Actually with chickens, and most birds, breeding siblings together will not generally produce weakness in the offspring unless it is pursued for several generations. I obviously don't have any way to be sure whether they are or or not related, but the fellow I got them from has a good reputation, so I have to believe the best. However even that should not explain the poor egg production, the lack of interest in being broody, or the incredibly slow growth rate of the original trio. The chicks I have hatched certainly share their parents glacial rate of growth.

Interesting. I have to wonder if maybe that isn't the reason the breed became so rare in the first place, just wasn't a good chicken.
I have Nankins and they are my favorite breed. They are the friendliest chickens I have and among the best layers of my bantam breeds. I also find that they are excellent mothers and I have had no trouble hatching them. Sometimes, because they are so rare, you will run into a line that is extremely inbred causing chicks to be weak. They may need a little fresh blood introduced into the flock.
KyBlue; You've probably saved their little lives with that info. I won't keep them, because of the predator problems out here, but I will find someone closer to town to give them to and explain the possible inbreeding problem. If they feel like working on it, these might give them a start. Thanks for your input.

I would agree. My Nankins layed very well and grew quickly. I never let them go hatch anything out, and honestly can't remember if they went broody or not, but that has been several years ago. I would suggest some new blood.

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