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 docile, friendly, and lovely pet chickens.
Cochins are not much widely known for laying 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 to know everything about this feathery cochin chicken of barnyard.
This article includes some major information like history, lifespan, recognized verities, size, eggs, color, care, images, and more info about Cochin chicken.
Also read: Top 10 Best Rooster Breeds
What is Cochin Chicken?
Cochin chicken is one of the most cuddly and lovable poultry. This chicken breed is a happy and friendly chicken. If you keep it as a house pet, it will give you a few eggs every week.
If you want to read about the 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. Cochin chickens like to eat a lot.
History of Cochin Chicken
The Cochin chicken first came into the limelight in the 1840s. Originally they were called ‘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.
Cochin Chicken Lifespan
Cochins have a good life expectancy as compared to other large size chicken breeds. The Cochin chicken has a lifespan of about 8-10 years.
Recognized Varieties & Continental Breeds 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.
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).
They are available in both standard and bantam Cochin varieties. In England, the Cochin chicken bantams are not much popular. They are actually classified as Pekin bantams.
The acceptable color of this breed varies from the US to the UK. The following colors are found in the UK:
The American Poultry Association recognizes nine colors for the standard size Cochins:
- Silver-laced, and
The APA accepts the same color for the bantam size Cochins also.
Cochins are not bought to lay eggs. They are moderate layers and lay about 2 – 3 medium-sized brown eggs per week. It’s not a dual-purpose chicken.
This comes out to be about 150 to 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
They are friendly and docile and are very good as mothers. Cochin chicken is a kid-friendly chicken breed.
Both the Cochin rooster and hens are calm, friendly, and mellow birds. Hens are not at all aggressive in nature so they are best for all newbie chicken raisers.
The bantam boys are not so mellow and are found to be feisty and aggressive in fighting for territory.
You will love the broodiness of Cochin moms. They 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.
Cochins are poor flyers because of their heavy weight body. Cochin chicken can be contained in a two-foot fence.
They love both confinement and free-ranging but if kept inside they become lazy and sit most of the time near the chicken feeder.
Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Cochin Chicken
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 the Cochins 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. Its skin of Cochins is usually yellow, and so its legs and toes.
The Cochin chicken is a soft bird 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.
The feathers of the Cochin chicken make it look much larger than its original figure. When they are fully grown, they remain large and heavy. Cochin hen weighs around 8.5 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 predators, so make sure to keep them in a safe place.
- 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
- 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’.
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 their 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 become a major problem.
Care Guide for 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.
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.
Cochins require some extra care, especially after rain, because feathers on their legs and feet get caked with mud.
If this happens, you should soak their legs in warm water. Then use a toothbrush to scrub gently and remove the mud from their feathery legs.
After that wash their feathers nicely and dry them using a hot blower if possible. It will avoid fungal and skin infection in their lower body part.
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 there 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.
I hope you liked this Cochin chicken breed guide and love to try these gentle, docile, friendly, broody chickens to your flocks.