Cochin Chicken Breed, Personality, and Information
The Cochin chicken is a popular choice for backyard chicken keepers, and for good reason! Although there are many varieties of Cochins, they are generally great birds to keep in the yard, calm in disposition, and gentle toward children and those who handle them. Learn a bit more about these beautiful chickens and why they may be a great choice to join your family!
Cochin chickens come from China and Asia, making their way into Europe in the early 19th century. In the 1840’s, Queen Victoria of England was given a Cochin by the Chinese, and famously built a beautiful coop and cared for the fowl deeply.
The chicken was bred to grow large with fairly fully plumage, and decent egg-laying qualities. When it made its way into Europe in the 1800’s, it became quite popular. Especially with the publicity of the Queen’s birds, the “hen fever” of the time really took off with the Cochin.
It was added into the British Poultry Standard in 1865, their first production of the Standard of Excellence in Exhibition Poultry, and into the Standard of Excellence of the American Poultry Association in 1874.
The Cochin chickens originally added into the Standard of Excellence were white, black, and partridge, with others being added in following decades. The Cochin chicken is slow to grow feathers, but is beautiful when they come in.
They have feathered rumps, and may have feathered legs and toes. As a fairly large chicken, the extreme plumage can make them appear even larger. They generally have light feathers, creating a soft and fluffy feel. Some may come in the frizzle variety, with feathers facing outward.
These are not excellent layers, but will lay an egg roughly every 48 hours. With a general production of 160 eggs per year, Cochins are not the best egg-laying birds out there. However, they are hardy and will likely lay year-round. They lay light brown eggs that are fairly large.
Cochins are also known to be good mothers. They may be used to sit on eggs from other chickens, ducks, and turkeys.
This breed of chicken is perhaps one of the friendliest chickens toward humans. They are rarely aggressive, comfortable being held, and can handle confinement without growing anxious. They are generally an easy bird to keep and have in the yard.
They are known to be a broody chicken, so they may hide their egg stash in your yard instead of their nesting area or a chicken coop. They also will sit on their egg-laying area frequently whether or not there are eggs.
The Cochin chicken makes a fantastic backyard fowl with its personality. It is an ideal chicken for children as it is calm and easily handled, and is known to be one of the quietest breeds.
Health and Care
The Cochin is a pretty healthy and easy bird to deal with. There are a few special points of which to take note, but nothing that a novice chicken keeper cannot handle.
First, the Cochin may experience delayed feathering, a condition which causes feathers to come in slower than normal. It’s nothing to worry about, but many chicken owners are concerned when their chicks and pullets begin showing feathers very slowly!
The other big thing to note is that these chickens are susceptible to obesity. When overfed, they may grow large, which can cause health problems like liver disease. For this reason, it’s important to feed your Cochin lots of greens and healthy food.
Finally, this breed has a ton of feathering, which means they need to stay pretty dry. When they get wet or damp, the plumage can stay wet and make the chicken cold or sick. Although they can handle cold temperatures pretty well, they should be kept in a dry place and always dried!
Is a Cochin Chicken Right for You?
If you’re considering getting a Cochin chicken, you may be wondering if it is the right breed for you. It may seem like a big overstatement, but yes, it probably is! The Cochin is right for almost anyone. With their calm demeanor and quiet personalities, they make a great friend for anyone.
The one big downside to the Cochin is that she won’t lay eggs at quite the rate as other breeds. They lay slightly less than breeds like the Polish Chicken, but if you’re not dead set on huge egg production, she’ll make a wonderful addition to your family!
For more information on chickens, check out our Chicken Keeping Resource Guide with FAQ’s, book recommendations, information about different breeds, and all you need to know about coops, runs, feed, and more!