Rutin Chicken: Breed Profile & Facts (With Pictures!)

Rutin chickens indoors
Image credit: mushroomsotong / Instagram

If this is the first time you have heard of the Rutin chicken, you might be wondering what it is and why it’s so special. First off, you need to know that it’s becoming a favorite among poultry farmers today.

Of course, there are many reasons for this, but one of them is the fact that Rutin chickens are known for their high egg-laying rates. Further, they are also very calm, friendly, and docile birds.

In this article, you will find everything you need to learn about Rutin chickens, including their overall appearance, history, care needs, temperament, noise levels, and more. Let’s get started!

Rutin Chicken Overview

Weight:Roosters: 1–1.5 ounces (30–43 grams);
Hens: 1.55–2 ounces (44–57 grams)
Purpose:Meat & egg production, companionship, ornamental
Egg Production:250–300 eggs per year
Egg Color:White, light brown, cream, yellowish
Temperament:Social, calm, easily manageable, curious, docile
Broodiness:Medium to high
Hardiness:Incredibly hardy and adaptable
Lifespan:2–3 years
Unique Features:Small size, multiple color varieties, mixed heritage

What Is a Rutin Chicken?

Rutin chickens in an outdoor coop
Image credit: grass_ho_per / Instagram

While its name may suggest otherwise, the Rutin chicken isn’t a chicken but a unique hybrid created by crossing a Spotted-winged partridge with a Blue-breasted quail. It is also often referred to as the “Mini Chicken,” and it can be found in parts of Asia, Australia, and other areas of the world.

Being dubbed the smallest of the world’s Phasianidae species, you may think that Rutin chickens are only fit for ornamental purposes. However, this is far from the truth.

As a matter of fact, these little birds serve a dual purpose: they are exceptional egg-layers and meat producers. Still, many people tend to keep them as pets because they are easy to raise and maintain.

To add to that, the Rutin chicken’s overall chicken-like fluffiness and compact build make it an ideal companion animal, especially for households with young children.

Rutin Chicken Origin and History

The origin of the Rutin chicken traces back to China, where it emerged from crossing partridges and quails. This fusion aimed to meld the ornamental allure of these species with high egg-laying efficiency.

Looking deeper, it is clear that the term “Rutin” in its name has a meaning; it’s inspired by the flavonoid pigment found in many plants — a nod to the crossbreed’s diverse color palette.

Meanwhile, the “chicken” part is also an interesting point. Though not actually a chicken, the initial breeders of the Rutin chicken thought of it as such because of its chicken-like appearance and egg production abilities.

Yet, despite now being highly sought-after, Rutin chickens remain scarce, found mainly in Asia, within regions of Thailand, China, and Indonesia.

Rutin Chicken Appearance

Rutin chickens near a stack of hay
Image credit: grass_ho_per / Instagram

Rutin chickens boast a diverse range of colors. The standard variants are commonly seen in shades like pure white, silver, gray, blue, red breast, and cream. Some can even sport a tri-colored appearance.

However, it should be noted that the rarer types might flaunt gray-black or gray tile gowns, making them stand out.

Despite their vivid hues, though, they are small-built birds. Yet, what’s interesting is that there’s hardly any noticeable size difference between the males and females.

On top of that, you will notice that the Rutin chicken’s shape leans more towards its partridge heritage, evident in its overall body structure. It will also possess a beak and slender legs, both of which are distinctively yellow.

Lastly, expect that Rutin chickens will not display upright tails. Instead, they will sport short, rounded ones.

Rutin Chicken Size and Weight

Rutin chickens are notably petite, standing only between 4 and 6 inches in height.

Their weight, too, reflects their delicate size. Male Rutin chickens typically weigh 1 to 1.5 ounces (30 to 43 grams), while females are slightly heavier, ranging from 1.55 to 2 ounces (44 to 57 grams).

Overall, these birds’ size and weight reflect their parentage from partridges and quails, both of which are smaller than average chickens.

Rutin Chicken Temperament and Behavior

Rutin chickens hiding in hay basket
Image credit: mason_6269 / Instagram

The temperament of Rutin chickens makes them a favorite among bird enthusiasts. For instance, they are known for being calm, gentle, and social creatures.

This mix of traits makes them perfect companions for kids and first-time bird keepers, as they skillfully interact and form bonds with humans.

Further, when allowed to roam freely, you can anticipate that a Rutin chicken will exhibit a curious nature. In other words, this hybrid breed loves to engage with its environment, whether it be in a yard or a farm setting.

Yet, one should note that Rutin chickens have a tendency to get bored easily, as they maintain active minds.

My friend Lara, a seasoned chicken enthusiast with first-hand experience with Rutin chickens, says that to keep this crossbreed entertained and content, owners may need to create stimulating environments.

For example, preparing dust baths, extending the run, and placing mirrors, ladders, or perches inside the coop are helpful ways of keeping Rutin chickens busy and engaged.

Egg Production and Broodiness of the Rutin Chicken

Rutin chickens are impressive egg layers, producing approximately 250 to 300 eggs every year. This is why they are so popular among small-scale farmers and backyard owners.

In terms of appearance, Rutin chicken eggs come in many colors, such as white, cream, light brown, or yellow. However, their size isn’t as varied; they are usually tiny, lightweight, and round in shape.

Additionally, the broodiness level of Rutin chickens can range from average to high.

This trait indicates that they not only lay eggs effectively but can also be attentive setters and nurturing mothers, ensuring the hatchability and growth of their chicks.

To see what Rutin chicken eggs look like, watch this video:

16 rutin chickens laid 14 eggs

Noise Levels of Rutin Chickens

Three Rutin chickens in a coop
Image credit: grass_ho_per / Instagram

Rutin chickens are generally not noisy under proper breeding situations. To be specific, if they are well-managed and their environment is comfortable, they remain relatively quiet.

However, if conditions are not ideal or if kept in smaller groups, it should be noted that these birds may become noisy.

In my journey observing chickens, I have noticed the noise levels of chickens often reflect their living conditions. For one thing, a cramped space can lead to increased noise as a sign of distress.

Yet, with Rutin chickens, even in ideal circumstances, it is natural for them to communicate through occasional chirps and squawks, showcasing their inherent social nature and need to interact with their peers.

How to Take Care of Your Rutin Chickens

If you have already planned to raise Rutin chickens, you might wonder how to care for them. Here are some tips to help you keep your small-sized birds healthy, comfortable, and productive.

Lifespan and Health Issues

Rutin chickens have a relatively short lifespan of 2 to 3 years. They are also susceptible to various health issues like ulcerative enteritis, respiratory infections, coccidiosis, parasite infestations, and fowl pox.

However, note that these issues can be prevented by routine health checks, maintaining good hygiene within their living environment, and proper nutrition.


In order to ensure optimal soundness, create a balanced diet for your Rutin chickens. Basically, a mix of corn, bran, soybean, fish, grass or leaf meal, bone meal, and shell meal is ideal.

However, if some of these ingredients are hard to find, alternatives like sorghum, grains, peanut cake, or brown rice can be used.

In addition, remember that laying hens require additional nutrients for egg production. To meet this need, supplement their food with calcium and phosphorus sources, like crushed oyster shells.

Still, you should note that it is best to ask a poultry vet about what kinds of feed and supplements should be used on your flock. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to feeding birds.

Coop Setup and Roaming

Without a doubt, the setup of your Rutin chickens’ living environment significantly affects their well-being.

If raising them outdoors, choose a terrain-based site, away from other farms, residential areas, factories, and mining sites, to minimize disease risk and disturbance.

When it comes to indoor setups, on the other hand, choose a spacious chicken cage. Placement is also crucial; it should be in a well-ventilated spot to provide ample fresh air.

What’s more, ensure your Rutin chickens have proper bedding, adequate lighting, and enough space to move around comfortably. Further, keeping the coop clean and dry is fundamental to preventing infections.

Finally, letting your little birds roam freely can be an excellent way to keep them active and healthy. Just be sure to put up fences around their area so they don’t wander too far from home.


Rutin chickens should be housed at temperatures ranging from 80.6 to 90.2°F, which is optimal for their comfort.

For brooding chicks, however, a temperature of 102 to 104°F is ideal, decreasing it by 3 to 4°F every other week as they grow.

Overall, proper temp management helps in reducing stress on your chickens, which, in turn, contributes to their health and productivity.

How Much Does a Rutin Chicken Cost?

Rutin chickens in their coop
Image credit: mason_6269 / Instagram

The cost of acquiring a Rutin chicken can be somewhat unclear, with prices ranging widely from $10 to $500. This broad range is mainly attributed to this hybrid breed’s rarity.

Specifically, being a rare species makes Rutin chickens valuable additions for enthusiasts, hence the high price tag.

However, it is worth noting that if you are really considering adding a Rutin chicken to your flock, your best bet would be to approach specialized hatcheries.

With that being said, while most hatcheries in the country might offer them, you would still have to wait before getting one since they are typically not produced in large numbers.

Pros and Cons of the Rutin Chicken

Every breed of poultry has its strengths and drawbacks, and the Rutin chicken is no exception. Here is a comprehensive look at what sets this unique crossbreed apart, both positively and negatively.

First, the pros of owning a Rutin chicken are listed below:

  • Adaptive nature: Rutin chickens can acclimate to various environments, making them easy to raise in different settings.
  • High productivity: One of the highlights of the Rutin chicken is its egg-laying prowess. In fact, a single hen can produce up to 300 eggs annually.
  • Disease resistance: Rutin chickens have shown a commendable resistance to common poultry diseases, reducing the need for frequent medical attention and ensuring a healthier flock.
  • High nutritional value: The eggs of the Rutin chicken have a higher yolk-to-white ratio compared to other breeds. This characteristic indicates they offer significant health benefits, including aiding in lowering blood pressure and addressing heart issues.
  • Display many colorways: Surprisingly, the Rutin chicken is one of the most colorful birds available on the market. It can come in multiple colorings, such as white, silver, cream, camel, and more.

Meanwhile, the following are some of the cons of owning Rutin chickens:

  • Short-lived: A significant downside to raising Rutin chickens is their short lifespan. They typically live for only 2 to 3 years, which means owners may get attached only to see them pass on relatively quickly.
  • Limited availability: Due to their rarity, expect that finding Rutin chickens will take lots of time and effort. Their limited availability also often leads to higher prices, which could deter some enthusiasts from purchasing them.
  • Small size: The Rutin chicken is one of the tiniest partridge species. Thus, it may not be ideal for those hoping to rear larger birds for meat production, as it can only reach a maximum height of six inches.
  • Bullied easily: Because of their small stature, Rutin chickens can often become targets and be bullied by larger poultry when housed together.
  • Should be entertained at all times: Unlike other birds, the Rutin chicken is a very active being. It requires a lot of attention and stimulation. This means that you will need to find ways to keep your feathered friend occupied when it is inside its pen.

As you can see, Rutin chickens come with both advantages and disadvantages. Yet, understanding these differences will help you decide whether or not this particular cross might be right for your poultry needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two Rutin chickens sitting side by side
Image credit: ho.jemima / Instagram

What Makes Rutin Chickens Unique?

Rutin chickens are unique as they’re not chickens but a mix of partridges and quails, particularly the Spotted-winged partridge and Blue-breasted quail.

These birds also lay up to 300 eggs annually, showcasing excellent productivity.

To add to that, keep in mind that these Rutin chicken eggs contain more yolk than most — which means they are rich in nutrients and taste great, too.

Are Rutin Chickens Friendly?

Yes, Rutin chickens are known for their friendly and gentle nature. They are also curious and social birds, making them pleasant companions for newbie avian keepers, families with kids, and even the elder set.

Are Rutin Chickens Good Backyard Chickens?

Yes, Rutin chickens are great for backyard coops. They are small but good egg setters and are not notably noisy, which makes them suitable for peaceful settings.

Final Thoughts

The Rutin chicken, a unique cross between the Spotted-winged partridge and the Blue-breasted quail, offers a blend of qualities desirable for avian enthusiasts.

For one thing, this bird showcases a range of vibrant colors, from pure white and silver to tile gray and tri-colored variations. It also comes in a pocket-sized build that makes it easy to handle.

Yet, note that beyond looks, the Rutin chickens’ friendly and social nature sets them apart from other breeds. Moreover, they are known for their curiosity, making them ideal candidates for kids with an affinity for pets.

The hens of this species are not lacking in productivity either; they can lay about 250 to 300 eggs in a year. This high rate makes them great for beginners who are just getting into raising poultry at home.

If you have any thoughts or experiences concerning Rutin chickens, please share them in the comments below!

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