A few weeks ago, we discussed everything you needed to know about Bantam chickens. Now, we’re turning our attention to another popular breed of backyard chickens: Cochins. A favorite of Queen Victoria and originally from Asia, Cochins are found in many backyard flocks. If you’re thinking about bringing in some Cochins into your own flock, here is everything you need to know:
Cochin chickens have been around for at least a few hundred years, but likely even more. Despite their nickname “Cochins-China,” they originated in what is now Vietnam. At the time, Vietnam was a French colony, and French officials would import Cochin back into Europe. In fact, a few Cochins were gifted to Queen Victoria by Captain Edward Belcher, a British explorer. The Queen fell in love with the Cochins, and soon all of the UK and the US did too!
When Cochins first came onto the international scene in the 1840s, they looked quite different from what they do today. They were tall, rangy, with a resemblance to Jungle Fowl or Malays. Over time, however, Cochins were bred with British hens to obtain the soft, fluffy look they have today. In fact, Cochins are now so fluffy that all you can see are feathers! This fullness makes them deceptively large, but in all actuality, they’re only about 8 ½ pounds. They also have a single, five-point comb with yellow skin and a yellow or black horn.
Types of Cochins
Like many other breeds, there are several variations of Cochin chickens. All of them feature the fluffy appearance that makes Cochins so popular, but the color of their feathers and their size can vary. Most variations (with the exception of the cuckoo) are recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Below are the Cochins that we at Chickens for Backyards offer:
- Red Cochin Bantam
- Barred Cochin
- Golden Laced Cochin Bantam
- Golden Laced Cochin
- Barred Cochin Bantam
- Silver Laced Cochin
Cochins are warm, soft, and fluffy both inside and out. These calm and friendly birds are rarely ever aggressive. In fact, they’re very laidback. This makes them excellent options for people who want to raise chickens as pets. However, if you do want to breed these chickens, it’s fairly easy to do so. Cochins make great moms and will happily sit on any eggs, even if they’re not their own. However, this laidback, go with the flow attitude can have a downside. Namely, Cochins can get lazy, resulting in an increased risk of obesity. It’s important, then, to give your Cochins space to free-range so that they burn off any extra calories.
Is a Cochin Right for You?
At the end of the day, all you want to know is whether or not a Cochin chicken is right for your backyard flock. It depends on what you want out of your backyard flock. If you’re looking to breed chickens, then Cochins are an excellent choice. They are also ideal as pets for your family. Their relaxed and friendly demeanor means you will have a close friend for many years.
If you’re looking to buy some Cochin chickens for your backyard flock, look through our selection here at Chickens for Backyards today!