Chicken Breed Profile

Courtesy Jeannette Beranger/
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy


One of the oldest breeds of bantam chickens still in existence, the Nankin has been known in England since at least the 1500s. The Nankin was used to create other bantam chicken breeds, including the Sebright. Known for its rich chestnut-colored feathers, the Nankin is a very rare breed. Its status is considered Critical by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Weight: 1 to 2 pounds

Urban Uses: Nankin hens are broody and are useful in hatching the eggs of less-broody breeds. The breed is attractive and easygoing and tends to flock together tightly.

Egg Size: Small

Second Thoughts: Because of their small size and gentle nature, Nankins can have trouble competing with larger fowl for food.

Breed Association: American Bantam Association

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