Cochin Chicken (Complete Breed Guide with Images)

The Cochin Chicken is a very popular breed of hen with backyard chicken keepers and enthusiasts. It is usually fluffy and big in size. They are and docile, and also come as house pets due to their lovable and affectionate behavior.

These chickens are not much widespread known for laying Cochin eggs; however they serve as a wonderful broody hen and can sit on the eggs for the whole day.

It is for sure that this fluffy chicken will catch your attention. If it’s so, then keep reading about the complete breed guide and you can know everything about this feathery cochin chicken of barnyard.

What is Cochin Chicken?

It is one of the most cuddly and lovable breeds of chicken.

This chicken breed is a happy and friendly chicken, and if you keep it as a house pet, it will give you a few eggs every week. If you want to read about best chickens that lay lots of eggs here is the guide for you. (Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds)

The Cochins that we know today has started its journey in the Victorian age. It was a tall bird that was selectively bred with enthusiasm by the breeders. This chicken has become one of the most preferred backyard chickens today.

It is a good and dedicated broody chicken that will raise some chicks for you. You will find it peacefully walking in the yard and searching for food items. These chicken breed likes to eat a lot.

History of Cochin Chicken

Cochin Chicken Dark Black and Buff NEck

The Cochin chicken first came to limelight in the 1840s. Originally they were called as ‘Cochins-China’. They were originally imported from the French colony of Vietnam. They were its native, but not after Chinese.

The original ‘Cochins’ were not similar to those that we found today. They were similar to the Jungle Fowl or Malays. Originally they looked tall and rangy, but they didn’t were very much pretty.

There was once when Queen Victoria received a Cochin chicken by Captain Edward Belcher. Those chickens were crossbred with other breeds of China and Europe to obtain a need to breed.

Recognized Continental breeds and Varieties of Cochin Chicken

The Cochin chicken was recognized by the British Poultry Standard in the year 1865. In the same year, the first edition of the standard was issued.

Also Read:  Welsummer Chicken (Complete Breed Guide with Images)

The American Poultry Association standard issued it in 1874.

In both the countries it is classified as one of the Asian classes – the other two breeds are Brahma (from Shanghai) and Langshan (from China).

These are both standard-sized fowls and bantam varieties. In England, the Cochin chicken bantams are not found. They are actually classified as Pekin bantams.

The acceptable color of this breed varies from US and UK. The following colors are found in the UK:

  • Black
  • Buff
  • Blue
  • Cuckoo
  • Partridge
  • White

Egg Production

Cochins are not bought to lay eggs.

They are moderate layers and lays about 2 – 3 medium-sized brown eggs per week. This comes out to be about 150 – 180 eggs per year.

Their development is very slow, and they can’t lay eggs until they are at least 8 months old.

  • They usually lay medium-sized brown eggs.
  • They lay about 150 – 180 eggs annually.

Also read : Chickens that lay colored eggs

Temperament

They are friendly and docile and are very good as mothers. Cochin chicken is kid-friendly chicken breed.

Cochins are calm and friendly birds; even their roosters are fairly mellow. Hens are not at all aggressive, mean or quarrelsome in nature.

The bantam boys are not so mellow and are found to be feisty and aggressive and fighting for territory.

The females grow up to be great broodies and Moms. They will happily sit on eggs once they come in the form. They can be easily used as foster moms for eggs and as well as chicks. However, this depends on the brooding time of the individual birds.

These birds are easily contained as they are poor flyers. They can be contained in a two-foot fence. They can handle the confinement zone very well, but if they are allowed to be free, they will spend most of the time near the feeder. They usually are lazy.

Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Cochin Chicken

Color

The Cochin is characterized by a single, five-point red comb, and also their wattles and ear are of red color. The eyes of Cochins are golden yellow.

The color of its beak depends on the color of the bird. The horn is of either yellow or black color. The darker the bird, the darker is its beak.

Also Read:  Brahma Chicken (Complete Breed Guide with Images)

Its skin is usually yellow, and so its legs and toes.

Appearance

The Cochin chicken is soft birds with fluffy feathers. It has a soft body from beak to toes. The legs and outer toes are fully feathered, as that’s why its toes are not visible from the side.

Its feathers hide the legs and toes mostly beneath it. One the inner toe and a part of the middle tow of each foot are visible.

The silhouette is usually rounded heart in shape. The tail is fully feathered, but the feathers are short in appearance.

Cochins are fantastically fluffy and are also frizzled.

Size

The feathers of the Cochin chicken makes it look much larger than its original figure. When they are fully grown, they remain large and heavy. Cochin hen weighs around 8½ pounds.

Cochin is a large breed of chicken. If you have seen a video, in which a large chicken is there, then it is probably the Cochin chicken or its cousin the Brahma that you have seen.

The large bodies of the chicken are the reason for being poor flyers. They are also easily found by the predators, so make sure to keep them in a save place.

Characteristics

  • Cochins are fluffy birds with a thick layer of feathers. The feathers well protect the fowl in the winter season.
  • It is one of the largest chicken breeds of the world.
  • The feathers of the bird usually attract dust, especially during rain. For this reason, a dry area is needed to keep them.
  • The Cochin has a calm temperament and can be kept in closed quarters.
  • The Cochin is characterized by a single comb with red wattle and earlobes. Cochin chicken along with the Brahma is familiar in any conditions.
  • Cochin and Brahma, both are broody chickens.
  • The feathers of the Cochin generates at a slow pace.
  • These birds don’t fly, and so a tall fence is not necessary for them.

 Benefits of Raising this Breed

White Cochin Hen with her chicks
  • This breed of chicken is excellent with families, children and pets.
  • They are bad flyers and hence can be easily contained within a low fence.
  • Cochin chickens are very familiar bird and can be housed with other breeds easily.
  • They are very broody and are great as a mother.
  • They love to eat.
  • Cochin chickens are very gentle and can easily become a leap chicken.

Problems in Raising Black Cochin Chicken

A Cochin chicken should never be bred with any frizzle, as it produces a ‘frazzle’.

Also Read:  Leghorn Chicken (Complete Breed Guide with Images)

The frazzles are characterized by extremely delicate feathers, and in some cases, they can be bald or exhibit patchy feathers. They need special care and attention; without it, they can’t survive much time.

Frizzled birds can tolerate cold weather because he curled feathers are very poor insulators. The feathers don’t protect the hen from rain or snow.

They are very poor flyers, and hence perches need to be made lower so that birds can access it, or else they will gather on the floor.

Cochin chickens are usually picked up by more dominant hens. If they are not carefully watched, bullying and feather picking becomes a major problem.

Raising Cochin Chicken

Feeding and Nutrition

Cochins do not maintain a proper diet. During laying season, they just need standard rations with appropriate laying feed. They should be provided with extra proteins in order to develop healthy new feathers.

Housing

You will need some extra space for Cochin chickens if you want to keep these giant birds. One extra square foot per but should be there and 2 – 3 extra square feet in the run so that the birds have sufficient space for them.

Health Issues and Care

Cochins are very easy to rise; they have good health. Be aware of love and mites if you want to keep Cochins. Due to the presence of dense feathers, they are a good host of external parasites.

Grooming

Cochins require some extra care, especially after rain, because feathers on their legs and feet get caked with mud.

If this happens, their legs should be soaked in warm water. A toothbrush should be used to scrub out true mud gently. 

The feathers should be washed nicely and dry again before turning the birds back out. Otherwise, you will have to start again.

Conclusion

If you want to get eggs, then Cochin chickens are probably not for you. Cochin chickens are really good broody, and if you want them, then they are perfect for you.

They grow up to be a wonderful mama and even foster other hen’s chicks. They really don’t mind if the chicks are their or that of someone else. Cochins can even raise ducks, guinea fowl and geese.

If you want a chicken as a house pet or companion, then Cochins are best for you. They are very friendly and enjoy cuddling, and so they make good companions. They are usually gentle, docile, friendly and very lovely birds in nature.

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