nankin chicken

Nankin Chickens Breed & Care Guide

Backyard chicken breeds like Nankin chickens are important, not only for their utility as a source of eggs or meat, but also for their cultural and historical significance. Nankin chickens have been around since the 1700s and have a long, proud history of providing food and companionship to generations of people, particularly in East Asia.

They are unique in their feather structure and have distinctive features, making them a valuable asset to the poultry world. As an example, Nankins have an upright carriage and unique comb structure, making them easier to distinguish from other breeds.


Additionally, they are decent layers and are extremely hardy, making them well-suited to life in a backyard setting. In this way, Nankins can be a great addition to any backyard flock and a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting heritage breeds.


Nankin chicken appearance

Nankin chickens are dark orange to dark brown in color. They have rose combs, small single combs, and wattles, and the males have slightly larger tails than the females. They are usually around 12 inches tall, and weigh between 28 and 32 ounces.



Nankin chickens are known for their gentle and calm dispositions, making them wonderful pets for families. They do well in small flocks of up to 15 birds and are quite social, so they love having company. They also get along well with other breeds and love to free-range in the yard, as long as they have plenty of shade and protection from predators.


Sheltering your chickens

Like all chickens, Nankin hens need a comfortable and secure shelter to lay their eggs. A good rule of thumb is to have around 4 square feet of space per bird, and the shelter should have plenty of ventilation and a nesting box for each bird.


A bantam chicken needs a coop that is well-ventilated, warm, and secure. The coop should be large enough to accommodate at least three bantams, and it should have sufficient roosting bars and nesting boxes for all of the birds.


The nesting boxes should be tall enough to allow the bantams to perch comfortably, and the roosting bars should be wide enough for the birds to roost without crowding one another.


For winter months, it is beneficial to have additional insulation within the coop to ensure the birds stay warm. It is essential to ensure the coop is predator-proof, with sturdy walls, a solid floor, and a secure door or hatch. Lastly, the coop should be cleaned regularly to ensure the bantams stay healthy and safe.


How many eggs do Nankin chickens lay?

Nankin chickens are prolific layers and can lay up to 100 eggs per year starting when they are 6 months old. Their eggs are small and white, and make a great addition to any breakfast or baking recipe.


Nankin chickens are not typically considered good meat birds because they are not ideal for intensive production farming. They can get quite large, are slow to mature, and have a relatively poor feed conversion ratio.

Furthermore, Nankin chickens have a smaller average breast size than other meat birds, and the amount of edible meat produced from a single bird is typically less than from other breeds. For these reasons, Nankin chickens are not considered ideal for raising for meat.

Feeding your Nankin chickens

In addition to providing a comfortable shelter and plenty of company, Nankin chickens also need a balanced diet to keep them healthy. Fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high-quality chicken feed, will keep them in top shape.

Nankin chickens make a great addition to any backyard flock. They are gentle, friendly, and easy to care for. With their unique appearance, they are sure to bring plenty of color and life to your yard.

Thomas Nelson
Gardening Expert
Hi! I'm Thomas, one of the founders of The Garden Magazine. I come from a long line of gardeners who used the art of gardening as a way to live long, healthy lives. I'm here to share my knowledge of gardening with the world!