Nankin Bantams


My plans to revamp the chicken project was greatly accelerated when Mary Ann Harley of South Carolina offered to mail me a box of day old Nankin bantam chicks. I was elated and collected the chicks from the post office the following week. I set the chicks up in a brooder box made from a plastic tub for the first few weeks. Then I moved them to a renovated rabbit cage until I could get the chicken coop finally finished.

I am amazed at how tame and gentle these Nankin Bantams are. Bruce likes to sit in the coop and feed them fresh corn as a treat. What lovely chickens these Nankins are!

The Nankins continue to be wonderful to have. They are generally docile and get along fabulously with each other. The hens lay eggs year round.

In the spring, I let the hens sit on and hatch their eggs. Generally the hens share the sitting and brooding and then after the chicks are on the floor, the roosters and hens all work together raising the chicks. This year, the hens hatched 30 chicks. At this point, the chicks are are all grown. Most look to be very lovely pullets.

Recently, I hung a new red rope light in the coop. The light is set on a timer that turns on the lights at dusk and turns them off at dawn. The lights help keep the Nankins calm and allow the hens and chicks to grab a snack during the night.

When I built the coop, I roofed it using tin and clear pvc panels. This made the interior of the coop brighter than it would have been if I had roofed it entirely of solid tin. This additional daylight has proved very beneficial for the chickens. One night though it wasn’t so good. Apparently a young, inexperienced owl slammed into the clear pvc panel in it’s attempt to grab a chicken. This caused all of the chickens to come off their roosts and cower on the floor for the rest of that night. Ah, but the next night, all of the Nankins were back on the roost perches and platform, so the experience wasn’t that traumatic.

Charlotte Ford © January 2015

Nankins Are A Very Rare Old Breed of Bantam