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Rutin Chicken: What Is It?

There are many kinds of egg-laying birds out there that you can bring home and make part of your flock. Chickens and ducks aside, have you ever considered raising partridge or quails? Well, now, you can get the best of both with the Rutin chicken. While the name is somewhat confusing, the Rutin chicken is not an actual chicken but a hybrid between quails and partridges. Today, this article will be shedding light on the intriguing qualities of the Rutin chicken and why they are becoming increasingly sought after by chicken keepers.

Rutin Chicken
Photo credit: Rutin Chicken

Overview of Rutin Chicken Breed

Let’s look at the general characteristics of the Rutin chicken:

Country of OriginChina
PurposeDual purpose
Lifespan2-3 years
Weight40-55 grams
Egg Production250-300 eggs annually
Egg Size and ColorSmall, yellow or brown
Foraging AbilityHigh

History and Origin of Rutin Chickens

As you learned earlier, the Rutin chicken is not actually a chicken. Originating from China, Rutin Chickens are the result of purposeful crossbreeding between quails and partridges. Breeders sought to create a breed that combined the ornamental beauty of these two species with high egg-laying productivity. Now, you may be wondering where the word “Rutin” comes from. It turns out the word has a dual association.

Firstly, the name “Rutin” seems to be inspired by the flavonoid pigment known as Rutin, which is found in various types of plants. This connection could be attributed to the unique characteristics or coloring of the chickens, drawing a parallel between the pigment and their appearance.

Furthermore, Rutin chicken eggs also contain a flavonoid called rutin. The compound has various medical uses and is known for having potential benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and promoting heart health.

Why Are Rutin Chickens Called Chickens?

Despite being a combination of quail and partridge, the Rutin chicken’s name does not reflect its parentage. Why are they called chickens when they don’t look like chickens or behave like them?

It’s believed that the initial breeders called them chickens, but the reason why is unknown. Perhaps it was to allude to the fact that these little birds lay a ton of eggs throughout the year.

Physical Characteristics of Rutin Chickens

Three Rutin Chickens

One of the things that has supported the explosive popularity of these little birds is their adorable looks. Rutin Chickens exhibit a wide range of plumage colors, including tricolor, blue, tile gray, red breast, and white. These vibrant hues add to their visual appeal and make them stand out in any flock. Males are the more colorful of the two sexes and have shimmering breasts that are usually bluish-gray. Females are a bit more muted and have light yellow striping on their brown-black crown.

Rutin chickens also have small single combs that are streamlined and compact. Similarly, their wattles are small, sometimes barely visible. The beaks of these birds are generally yellow, and their legs are of a similar color.

Due to their body shape taking after the partridge side of the family, Rutin chickens are not very good at flying.

With their small and delicate frames, Rutin Chickens have thin bones, contributing to their lightweight nature. Males typically weigh around 40 grams and measure between 11 to 13 cm in length, while females weigh approximately 55 grams and have a length ranging from 12 to 16 cm. The average adult Rutin chicken is usually small enough to sit in the palm of your hand. The chicks are even smaller — around the size of a coin!

Rutin Chicken Personality and Temperament

Another reason Rutin chickens have become so popular is their personalities and temperaments. Rutin Chickens are known for their docile temperament, making them a joy to handle and interact with. Their calm and gentle nature makes them suitable for both novice and experienced chicken keepers. They are not prone to aggression at all. Yet, due to their size, they are also susceptible to being bullied by much larger birds and animals. It is best if you pair them up with bantam chickens, if you plan on introducing these precious little birds to your backyard. Otherwise, it is best to keep them separate from everyone else.

Rutin chickens also exhibit curiosity. They are happy to explore their surroundings and will forage for food when given the chance. However, it is also possible to keep these birds in smaller confined spaces, so long as they have ample light and food. Rutin chickens love wandering around, but they can adapt to a smaller enclosure.

In terms of adaptability, Rutin Chickens can thrive in various climates, including both hot and cold environments. Their genetic makeup enables them to withstand different temperature extremes, making them well-suited for a range of geographical locations.

Check out this great video showing an entire mini-farm with these little birds:

Egg-Laying Capabilities and Broodiness

Rutin chickens are small and cute, but they are also miraculous egg-layers. When it comes to competing with chickens, these little ladies are prolific layers. Annual egg production may range from 250 to 300 eggs per year. While these eggs are small — between 30-35 grams — you will receive them consistently. Rutin chicken eggs are usually light brown or yellow in color, which can add some visual variety to the regular basket of chicken eggs.

Now, what about broodiness? Rutin hens do tend to display some broodiness at varying degrees. When a chicken goes broody, she may be inclined to hatch and care for a clutch of eggs, diligently sitting on the nest and protecting the eggs until they hatch. If you solely want eggs, this may pose a problem. However, for those who are hoping to attain self-sufficiency with their flock, having some Rutin females go broody to raise up chicks can be an advantage.

Caring and Raising Tips For Rutin Chickens

If you decide to get yourself a couple of Rutin chickens, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:

Health Concerns and Lifespan

Rutin chickens have a lifespan of 2-3 years. Fortunately, these little birds are usually resilient and are not susceptible to many issues that regular chickens suffer. However, you do have to be careful, especially if your Rutin chickens spend time outside. They can still get illnesses, including external and internal parasites. If that happens, take your Rutin chickens to a trustworthy veterinarian for the proper medication.


Use a balanced feed formula for Rutin chickens, including ingredients like corn, soybean meal, fish meal, bran, grass or leaf meal, bone meal, stone meal or shell meal, and Rutin chicken special premix. If certain ingredients are not available, alternatives like peanut cake, sorghum, grains, or broken rice can be used to substitute part of the formula. Due to their high calcium and phosphorus needs for egg production, it’s important to supplement your Rutin chickens’ diet with calcium and phosphorus sources, such as crushed oyster shell.


If you want your Rutin chickens to lay eggs throughout the year, you must maintain a light duration of at least 12 hours. In the summer, placing Rutin chickens near a window or letting them roam around outside will provide them with enough natural light.

During winter when daylight hours are shorter, supplement artificial lighting for an additional 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.

Maintaining the Coop

Like regular chickens and other poultry, you want your Rutin chickens to enjoy a clean, sanitary environment. Regularly clean the coop, removing feces and washing the trough to maintain a clean and hygienic feeding environment. Also, change the bedding regularly to prevent the feeding environment from becoming excessively dirty.

Final Thoughts on Rutin Chickens

Rutin chickens, the crossbred offspring of quails and partridges, are gaining popularity among poultry enthusiasts due to their captivating appearance and impressive egg-laying capabilities. With their diverse plumage colors, gentle temperament, and inquisitive personality, these birds offer both aesthetic pleasure and ease of care. While you may have to search a little to get your hands on some chicks to raise, it will be well worth it!