The first Pekins are said to have been stolen from a private collection held by the emperor of China in Peking around 1860. Another story states they were imported from China around 1830-1840 and were presented to Queen Victoria. These imported birds were then crossed with other breeds and are now know today as Pekin Bantams.
The Pekin is a very gentle bird. They are good layers of small eggs but are broody, making them great mums. They make excellent pets for children as they are tame. They settle very well and require little space. Pekins can look rather pale and anaemic if not allowed on grass to forage. They tend not to scratch around in flower beds so are good birds to keep in an urban garden. They are normally a robust and long-lived bird that loves company.
Pekins are a very popular breed here in the UK. They are available in a whole range of colours. Lavender, blue, silver partridge, red partridge, blue mottled, Columbian, cuckoo, mottled, buff, black, white and wheaten. With all their feathers they actually look larger than they really are. All colours have short legs and feathered feet and toes.