Blue Cochin hen sitting on a perch


Cochin are an old breed with no bantam equivalent

The Cochin is huge, and there is no denying their beauty and adorability. They are the giant fluffballs of the chicken world. We keep them in Blue Splash, Blue and Black. For the uninitiated, Cochin is pronounced Coach-Inn

Breed Description

A Cochin is the largest of the heavy breeds of chicken. Queen Victoria, of all people, is responsible for the original popularity of this monumental chicken. They were originally documented way back in the early 1850’s when they were known as Shanghai’s or Cochin-China. It is believed that the Chinese bred them with such profuse feathering for filling duvets. This phenomenal bird has no sharp angles and is very rounded in appearance. A single comb, feathery “pantaloons” and feathered feet are all classic features of this breed.

The Cochin genes have been used in the makeup of several breeds, the most notable being the Brahma, and the Orpingtons. This breed have been highly prized as show birds and have been selectively bred over generations for their feather quality and quantity. They are very hardy birds in winter, but need plenty of shade in the summer as they risk overheating due to the feather duvet they carry around with them. A non-muddy environment is the best for keeping this breed, as their feathery feet will generate quite substantial mud balls. As they have such feathering they are not overly destructive to your prized begonias either!! Although with any chickens, never say never – ahem.

They are reputed to be quite long lived in chicken terms compared to their egg machine cousins. The cock birds can weigh up to 12lb but are very placid and totally magnificent to look at as they are large, round and tall.

These are a dual purpose bird if that is your bag.

Cochin Breed Temperament

Cochins are a very placid and mild-mannered giant. These chickens are calm and love to be cuddled too, and it happens that there is a lot to cuddle. A boisterous flock is not really a good situation for a Cochin as they are quite placid. Some hens may go broody occasionally.

Breed Size

Despite what the Americans say there is no bantam version of this chicken. Cochins are classified as large fowl – heavy therefore will mix with other quieter heavy breeds. She is also happy in groups with smaller hens too.


Profuse feather quality is much admired in show Cochins. Egg numbers have suffered as a consequence of their show achievements. The hen is an average layer in most specimens, however, we have found that our flock is actually rather good and I would class mine as good layers. They are producing 4-5 eggs a week each, and they are a very reasonable size. Eggs are a medium size and pale cream tinted in colour. She will need to be at least 35 weeks old before being mature enough to lay for the first time

Further reading

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