Pekin bantams are a True bantam, a breed of miniature chicken which has no large fowl counterpart. They are sometimes known as Cochin bantams, although in the UK Cochin bantams are simply miniaturised versions of large Cochin.
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.
Pekins sometimes are described as looking like little feathery footballs. Their feet and legs are completely covered by feathers. 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.
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.