In the chicken world, if you see a big feathery ball of fluff and feathers strut past, you are probably looking at a Cochin Chicken! Perhaps they don’t lay eggs so bountifully, but they certainly are highly popular because of their lovely personalities.
Cochin Chickens started becoming really well known in the 1800s when they were given to Queen Victoria as a gift.
They are actually a Chinese breed. As with many chickens, you get the different varieties, which means you will hear names like Golden Laced, Blue, Black, Buff, Silver Laced, Partridge, Barred, Splash or White Cochin Chicken.
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After Queen Victoria had received them and loved, birds from Shanghai arrived in England. They were also called Shanghai’s, and also Cochin-Chinas.
Cochin Chicken | Breed Profile
Country of origin:
- Male: Standard: 3.6–5.9 kg:92
- Friendly, Calm, Quiet
- Red, Blue, Brown Red, Brown, Partridge, more.
Egg production (annual):
Characteristics of The Cochin Chicken
All chicken breeds have their own published standard-of-perfection. This describes their physical characteristics that determines the breed.
A Cochin Chicken standard says that both males and femalesshould boast “profuse feathering” with “thick down in the under-fluff”. Gorgeous balls of fluff! They also have a variety of patterns in their feathers and different colours.
Cochin Chicken shaves a calm character, not given to wandering far off in the farmyard or garden. They scratch and forage around like a lot of other chickens do. They are really easy to keep housed because of their calm natures.
The hens do have a broody type of behaviour; they love raising their chicks. They are even known to go broody even though there might not be any fertile eggs lying in the nest.
Once the hen has gone broody, it is possible that she will sit on her nest for the entire 21 days, despite you moving the eggs away from the nest – or even trying to move her! They dote on their chicks, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them raising other baby fowl, like ducklings or baby turkeys.
Even the roosters seem to be more sweet-natured and docile compared to other breeds. It has also been observed that a Cochin rooster could get a bit broody too, and to brood over little chicks.
t is best however though, to keep baby chicks away from the rooster, even though he might be very gentle towards them. The Cochin rooster can be attacked or picked on by other roosters from other varieties who are more aggressive.A bantam Cochin Chicken is known as a Pekin in Australia and the UK.
Their plumage is distinctive. They have quite a bit of feathering also around their feet which also adds to their appearance of being big and plump. The females get a prominent amount of feathers at the tail base which is called a ‘cushion’.
The colouring of the chicken is varied, from barred, to brown, to black, golden-laced, silver laced, white, partridge. In Australia you will only get the ones that are buff-coloured. Their eyes look big in their smallish heads and they don’t fly very well.
Cochin Chickens looks cuddly and that’s the kind of personality they have. Gentle, quiet, docile, to the point that they make a good pet for children. They are known to be easy to tame because they are so approachable, getting along well with people if cared for.
They do get very broody with moms sitting on nests evenwithout eggs. They are the kind of chickens that seem to prefer being fed rather than going out and foraging for their own food.
This makes them a good pick for having a flock in the backyard. One must just be careful not to overfeed these chickens because they are not all that active.
What to like (love) and not to like (hardly anything) about the Cochin Chickens:
We Don't Like
Is The Cochin Chickens a Good Choice For You?
This chicken is very popular for very good reasons; it has inspired many to want to breed with Cochin Chickens. Because it’s a friendly and calm chicken, it’s an ideal ‘start ‘up’ chicken for the hobbyist.
Even when they were exported out to the UK and USA, they were the chickens who inspired people to breed them – they were the chicken who caused a kind of “hen-fever” in these countries.
Now, years later they are still a favourite amongst hobbyists. Furthermore, they are easy to look after because they don’t fly. This means they can be contained in places that have low fences.
Yes, the Cochin chicken is a good choice for anyone really, the experienced breeder or the hobbyist. But this does not mean because they are such hardy, laid-back, friendly creatures that they do not need looking after and protection.
In fact it is imperative that they are protected from heat in summer. They actually cope better in the cooler climates because of their thick, soft plumage. They need shelter and they need spacious nesting places.
Hands down, the Cochin Chicken is a brilliant choice of bird.