Cochin chickens originated in China and were originally known as Cochin-China or Shanghai. These birds gained public attention after a Cochin chicken was presented to Queen Victoria as a gift.
Cochins have somewhat a rounded appearance and have an abundance of feathers which appear to be curly. They have massive feathering on the feet and legs and have four toes. Cochins are large birds with hens weighing around 8 pounds, and roosters can reach a weight of 11 pounds.
Cochins are not known as good foragers and are best suited to confinement in pens. Not a flighty breed, a two foot high fence should be adequate to contain the birds. Cochin hens are not exceptional layers,but they can lay quite heavily for short periods of time. The eggs are brown and of a medium size. The hens are good brooders however and have a calm disposition.
Recognized varities of Cochins include buff, black, partridge, blue, silver laced, splash, golden laced, white, & frizzled. The legs are yellow and the ear lobes are red .
Cochin chickens make good pets and the big birds are surprisingly docile. They are an exceptionally quiet breed, even the roosters. They may require a bit more care than other breeds and will require a good quality feed to remain healthy.
Care should be taken to keep the birds feet from muddy areas because mud can collect under the feathers on their feet and cause problems.
If you are interested in raising chickens for an abundance of fresh eggs and a source of meat, Cochin chickens will probably not be your first choice. But these birds have a special place in the heart of many enthusiasts because of their beautiful appearance and their sweet, gentle nature.
Raising your own chickens has become increasingly popular the last few years. Maybe it’s partly due to the tendency of more people to go green, or due to the fact many people are more conscious of the foods we consume. No matter the reason, more people are discovering the joys and rewards of raising their own chickens.