Pekin Bantams

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Pekin Bantams

Postby Sox » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:59 pm

Hi there
I am thinking of buying some Pekin bantams (3 or 4 pullets) as a back yard flock. I am new to chicken keeping and am unsure about most stuff.

I've decided on Pekins because (and correct me if I'm wrong):

1) I have a young family and Pekins are meant to be child friendly
2) Our back yard is not that big (we live in a city) and we don't want the lawn / garden to suffer too much
3) I don't want to be overwhelmed with eggs, though I would like some
4) I've heard they are a good first flock, whatever that means
5) they are very cute

My main questions at the moment are:

1) Where do I buy Pekin pullets? I see them on trademe but how do I know if the seller is reputable, and they are happy, healthy, young girls? There doesn't seem to be much variety there, how would I find a particular colour? Contact a breeder? I see there is a list on the Rare Breeds website, though there are none in my area (I live in Lower Hutt).

2) How do I protect them from cats? I'm thinking bantams are pretty small and any cat worth it's salt would think they are interesting at least. We don't own a cat but we have 3 cats that come cruising through our back yard, possibly more if we had the added attraction of hens. Would I have to keep a close watch on them whenever they are out of their coop or run, assuming these are cat-proof?

3) With those fluffy legs, are they more prone to mites? What can I do about that?
Sox
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Re: Pekin Bantams

Postby Marina » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:59 am

Hi Sox and welcome to PC :D

All your assumptions are correct.

To your questions:

3 - no, they are not more prone to mites than any other breed. Mites are everywhere and a preventative dusting with DE (Diatomaceous Earth) 3 times per year usually keeps them at bay. Foot feathered breeds do less digging damage in a garden than clean legged birds.

2 - we have free ranging bantams in our garden and so far none has fallen victim to a cat. That's 20+ years of no such incident. Hedgehogs are much more of a danger to them. Just keep them in their coop for the first fortnight so that they can gain confidence. When you first let them out it's a good idea to do it in the afternoon when you're around. Cats may have a go but your chooks are too big for well fed city cats. The flapping will put them off very quickly. Feral cats in the country can be a problem for chooks but in the city it's not.

1 - that's the million Dollar question, especially at this time of year. Most breeders only have their breeding stock which they don't sell. In 2 to 3 months time the first pullets should hit the market. There are not many breeders in the Wellington area and that has been this way for many years. I'd seriously recommend using PetBus or Cool Critters Cartage. Owl from Cool Critters takes up to 5 bantams in one cage = 1 fare, so it would cost you $60 (check with her, ph 027 270 5454.) I think to get a group of Pekins from the South Island to the North Island. Within Island it's $50 if I'm informed correctly. No guarantee for the prices - they can change without notice. What you'll be quoted is what you'll pay. Cool Critters prices were GST inclusive, PetBus Prices were plus GST when I last inquired. I do know a couple of reputable Pekin breeders in Canterbury. If you are interested please pm me.
Marina
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Re: Pekin Bantams

Postby Sox » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:11 pm

Thanks Marina, that's really helpful. Perhaps it would be better to wait until December or January to buy the birds so as to have more options.
Yes, the breeder information would be useful - I'll PM you.
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