Pekin bantams are a True bantam, a breed of miniature chicken which has no large fowl counterpart,(also known as erroneously Cochin bantams, although in the UK Cochin bantams are simply miniaturised versions of large Cochin) are round, and their carriage tilts forward, with the head slightly closer to the ground than their elaborate tail feathers. This 'tilt' is a key characteristic of the Pekin bantam. They have sometimes been described as looking like little walking teacosies, or feathery footballs. The cockerels often have longer feathers that protrude outwards from their feet. The range of Pekin colours is extensive, including black, white, buff, lavender, mottled and red - and the list is continually growing. Rarer colours are in great demand, and many breeders spend years perfecting new lines of colours in their birds.
Pekin Bantams are very docile, and with careful and regular handling they will be happy to sit on their owner's lap to be stroked and petted. They make ideal pets for families with younger children for this reason. However, the Pekin bantam cockerels can still be aggressive and defensive of their territory and mates once they reach sexual maturity, but are generally gentle natured and have been known to share incubation of the eggs.
The hens are regularly broody and are known to be good sitters and attentive mothers. They lay 100-200 eggs per year.
The Booted Bantam (Lemon Sablepoot)
The Booted Bantam, also called the Dutch Booted Bantam, is a bantam breed of chicken. Its name is derived from the bird's extravagant feathering on the feet and hock joints, which are called vulture hocks or "sabels" in Dutch. With no large fowl counterpart from which it was miniaturized, the Booted is one of the true bantams. Males usually weigh in at around 850 grams (30 ounces) and females 750 grams (27 ounces). American standards dictate a smaller ideal size of 740 grams (26 ounces) for males, and 625 (22 ounces) for females.
The Booted Bantam is closely related to the Belgian Bearded d'Uccle. The most significant differences in conformation between the two are the d'Uccle's feather beard and the greater height of the Booted.Some sources assert the two breeds share a singular point of origin, with a Belgian breeder around the beginning of the 20th century. Other sources point to a clearly documented presence in the Netherlands since the 16th century, and note that the Booted Bantam is known to this day in the Netherlands, as the Nederlandse Sabelpootkriel
(Dutch saber-legged bantam). Whatever their exact relation, Booted Bantams and Bearded d'Uccles are only two of a handful of chicken breeds to possess vulture hocks, (Sultans do too).
Popular across Europe for hundreds of years, the Booted Bantam was imported to North America from Germany in the early 20th century. It was officially recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1914. It is also recognized by the American Bantam Association, and is classed in the Feather Legged group.
Booted Bantams in the UK are catered for by the Rare Poultry Society(RPS). The breed has 11 colours accepted by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. These are black, black mottled, blue, buff mottled, cuckoo, lavender, lemon millefleur, millefleur, porcelain, silver millefleur, white. The black and white Booted Bantams were created in the UK and have been here for over 100 years. In recent years more colours have been imported into the UK from mainland Europe and the most popular colour by far is the Lemon Millefleur Booted Bantam. Although not shown in large numbers at present they are a very popular pet and are becoming more common in people's back gardens.