Today the Nankin is listed as 'critical' by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust-less than 100 breeding females registered in the UK.
During 2010, Haytor Reach sourced hatching eggs from quality stock located all over the British Isles to produce two small unrelated breeding groups of birds with 10 breeding females in total. We consider the Nankin to be of national importance in the history of poultry breeding and will strive to produce quality birds for breeders and families alike, preventing its extinction.
This bantam originated in Asia and was one of the first bantam breeds imported to England as early as the 1700's. Both bantams and large fowl Nankin were imported to Britain at this time but sadly the large fowl fell out of fashion in the middle of the 19th. Century due to its blue/green leg colouring, and is now believed extinct.
Nankin are only found in Buff colouring but can have either a single or rose comb. They were named after the orange/yellow cotton material 'Nankeen', once very much popular in this country for summer wear and are sometimes still known by that name.
The arrival of the Nankin in Britain caused a lot of interest due to its unique Buff colouring which was used to produce the Buff colouring in many breeds. Its compact size is also believed to be the genetic make-up of the Seabright, Britain's only native bantam.
Unfortunately though the Nankins' unique colour and size have proved invaluable in poultry breeding it never really gained the popularity it deserved, people preferring showier breeds.
Day to day the Nankin is a delightful little bird to own. They are intelligent and active, hardy, and easy to keep. Though small in size they still enjoy a free-range lifestyle, or as they can fly, a movable aviary that can be positioned onto fresh grass regularly. These friendly little birds will even eat from your hand if handled from a young age.