Pekin hens are not good layers. They lay between 90 and 110 small eggs a year although it might be a few more in their first year or two. On top of that they are seasonal layers taking a break in winter, are often broody and tend to lay in clutches of 12 to 16 eggs at a time and then take a few weeks break in the middle.
The 5 year average for my Pekin bantams is 95 eggs per year. So no they are not good layers and these eggs will be small but they are of excellent quality with nice yellow yolks. They are more of an ornamental breed that has been selected for their plumage, nature and feathery feet rather than their ability to produce many eggs.
Below: A nest in my Pekin coop.
Pekin bantam chickens originate from the Imperial Summer Palace in Peking, now called Beijing, from the time of the Qing dynasty. When British and French forces invaded the palace in the 1860s they returned with one Emperor Xianfeng’s cutest treasures, the Pekin bantam. It was reported that Queen Victoria kept them in the palace grounds.
The Pekin bantam egg:
The egg of the Pekin is a cream or off white colour, sometimes called tinted or very light brown. They can vary from almost white to dark cream. The Pekin egg weights from 30 to 40 grams, mine average 36g.
Below: A tray of pekin eggs.
Below: A selection of Pekin bantam eggs showing the colour variation.
Pekin eggs are exceptional quality.
What age do Pekin Bantams start laying?
Pekins are not quick to point of lay and it can take 6 to 8 months especially if they are raised late in the year. Birds that are beginning to mature in the shortening days of fall or Autumn may not begin to lay until the following season and these are no exception.
Pekin hens are not the best layers, as with other bantam breeds they can be quite broody but they make great mothers, expect yours to lay an average of 90-95 small tinted eggs per year.
6 Pekin girls might lay enough eggs for a family of 4 if you currently use around 10 eggs a week or so. If you are going to rely on Pekin bantams for your egg supply you will need roughly twice as many hens as if you went with hybrid layers.
Pekin Bantams are such busy little chickens, they love being outside in the garden and will not ruin your lawn. It’s very easy to tame Pekin chickens as they enjoy human company.