The pekin is classed as a true bantam, basically, there is no large equivalent. They are often known as bantam cochins in the US. They are said to have been imported by soldiers looting the emperor of China's palace in peking in 1860. Because of there fluffy feet they supposedly 'dig up the garden less' codswallop if you ask me! they are always going broody, and make excellent mothers, whether to their own chicks or your runner ducklings, which makes them useful as an incubator and brooder for those obsessive breeders out there, me included. They can make the most wonderful pets, provided, just like all animals, they get a bit of regular handling, they are so easy to tame, when you crack 'em, they become your shadow, but maybe they're just in it for the treats! Pekins are total fluffy balls of cuteness, this makes them, as well as being the perfect cushion, easy to contain in a roofless run.
My two current Pekienoodles representing the breed, uh oh, are Lavender the second (she was called Lilac, but the name just didn't stick), and Cookie dough a.k.a. Cookie.They are a Lavender pekin and a millefleur pekin. They are both sweeties, but it is very clear who wears the trousers. Millefleur trousers to be precise (sorry, awful joke :) )When we went to pick up the posh bantams, i.e, the ones who weren't our experimental cross 'mutt chucks', we quickly noticed who was in charge. Cookie had all the space in the carry cage and was pecking anybody who stepped out of line, with the other three backed into a corner, she was stretched out across the cage like an emperor!
I think a pekin deserves a place in every flock, they're really child friendly and are a perfect beginners bird, forgiving, gentle and friendly. Probably not the perfect breed for someone looking for an amazingly productive egg layer, and not the best choice if you aim to be self sufficient and don't have the room for a bit if a freeloader. That being said, they are a great breed for a small garden or backyard flock that isn't into chickens purely for the eggs/meat. There cuddleability factor is 100%, and in my book, that's a keeper!