The Cochin chicken is a wildly popular chicken breed that has inspired many people to own and breed chickens. This large chicken has plenty of feathers and is known for being calm and friendly, making it an ideal chicken for the casual hobbyist. Cochins are generally regarded as being good egg layers and excellent mothers.
These chickens first gained popularity in the 1850s, and they're still a highly popular breed today. You'll find them in backyard chicken coops and farms all over the country, but because they're so hardy, they're a particularly great choice if you live in a cold climate.
History of the Cochin Chicken
Cochin chickens were originally bred in China. When they were exported to America and Britain in the 1850s, the Cochin, along with the Brahma chicken, inspired a "hen fever" in both countries. People were so enamored with these chickens and their large size that they decided to own and breed chickens of their own. Chicken popularity rapidly grew during this time.
Cochin Chicken Characteristics
According to the Livestock Conservancy, Cochin chickens are large, weighing about 12 pounds when full-grown. They're a hardy bird and because they aren't at all picky about what they eat and have such generous feathering, they're ideal for life in cold climates. This large breed of chicken was accepted by the Standard of Perfection in 1874.
Because these chickens eat so much and so willingly, they can become overweight. If the chickens are allowed to become too heavy, their egg laying can stop and they can even die.
These chickens are good layers, and females will lay eggs even when they don't go broody. Their egg size is impressive - the eggs are extremely large. These chickens lay brown eggs and their decent egg production makes them appealing for people with backyard chicken coops.
The American Poultry Association recognizes Cochin chickens in many different colors, including buff, partridge, white, black, silver laced, golden laced, blue, brown, and barred. This breed of chicken is known for its incredible gentle disposition. Roosters rarely get aggressive, and these chickens are easy to tame, making them ideal for families and small farms.
Keeping Cochin Chickens
Today Cochin chickens continue to be a favorite of hobbyists. They are easy to keep, and because they don't fly, they can be contained by a low fence. Cochin chickens do not wander, and their friendly personalities allow them to quickly endear themselves to their owners.
The Cochin chicken is an excellent breed for hobbyists, thanks to its lovable personality. This chicken is hardy in the winters, and doesn't roam like other breeds do. Thanks to their many colors, you can quickly create a visually appealing coop - white Cochin, blue Cochin, and black Cochin are just a few of the options you'll be able to choose from. It's no wonder the Cochin is such a popular breed - will you be adding some to your flock?
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Body image: David Goehring via Flickr
Do you have Cochins? Show us in the comments below.
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