General Information

Breed Purpose
Climate Tolerance
Egg Productivity
Egg Size
Egg Color
Light Brown
Breed Temperament
Friendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Docile
Breed Colors/Varieties
White, Blue, Black, Buff, Red, Partridge and various other newer colors, Splash
Breed Size
Large Fowl
rooster and hen.jpg

The Cochin is one of the most popular breeds of chicken with the hobbyist in the world today. The main reason for the breed's popularity is it's exceptional temperament. Cochins are renowned for having for extremely kind and quiet dispositions. They are easily tamed and very friendly, making them one of the most popular pet breeds for children. Mature birds also do not roam much and do not fly well at all, making them easier than most breeds to confine.

The breed originated in China and was exported to Britain and America in the mid 19th century, and are one of the breeds responsible for starting “hen fever” – the national obsession for poultry that struck America and England at that time. As the breed was developing in China, particular attention was paid to the large size of the bird and it is one of the largest breeds, with roosters weighing 11 lbs and hens 9lbs. Another notable feature is the bird's plentiful feathering, that covers not only the body but its legs and feet, making an already large bird appear even larger. It comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, with many more being developed by hobbyists. They come in both standard and bantam sizes and frizzle feathered Cochins are also extremely popular.

Cochins are an extremely broody breed, are great mothers, and are often used as foster mothers for other breeds, or even turkeys and ducks. They are very cold hardy and considered a good winter layer. While the hens are good layers of large light brown eggs when they are laying, their tendency to go broody multiple times a year cuts down their total egg production. It is also used as a slow growing meat bird, and was considered one of the best breeds for making capons.

It was recognized by the APA in 1874 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Watch list.

Cochin eggs

Cochin chick

Cochin juvenile.jpg
Cochin juveniles

Cochin hen

Cochin rooster

For more on the Cochin breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences, please see our breed discussion here:

Latest reviews

Pros: Gentle, intelligent, hardy, great pet for families, beautiful, cold weather tolerant, enjoys being a lap pet, lays eggs until ~6 yrs of age if well kept, gets along well with flock and other animals quite well!
Cons: Doesn’t tolerate extreme heat (over 85 degrees F) well, needs extra attention because they enjoy being held/talked to/petted (this is a pro for our family though). Don’t expect an egg every day
My all time favorite chicken breed! I hope to always keep Cochins! My oldest Buff Cochin hen, Gaby, lived 11 years and laid eggs every 2 or 3 days until she was 6 yrs old. She was cuddly, smart and sat on my lap to watch movies. She also was ‘potty trained’ and never pooped on a person, only on her Newspapers or pen. :)
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Pros: Docile, Fluffy, soft and great for families with kids.
Cons: Higher chance of pasty butt throughout their life due to the double layer of feathers. Also prone matted feet feathers if kept in a run with a dirt floor.
We love, love , LOVE our Cochins. They are docile and dont mind a snuggle or 2. My youngest (6yo) loves them and wants more. They lay about every other day which is fine with us. Our white one lays a nice cream colored egg and the two black ones lay a light brown freckled egg. They are a hoot and its so funny to see them run away as they more so hop from side to side when they "run." Fluffy is an understatement and are SOOO soft! You wont be sorry with Cochins.
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Pros: She has a big personality, and very independent compared to my other chickens. Very fun to watch.
Cons: Broodier than my other birds, but not too bad.


I too love cochins! I love their fluff butts and their feathery feet! They are so cute when they walk.
Right now I only have 3 bantam cochins due to a recent move but I hope to start building my flock this spring.
When I first started with this breed I bought a trio. The rooster was my first ever, and even now, has the best attitude and behavior of any roo I have owned (I currently have 5). But with all that said I later raised a pair up from chicks. The female was lovely, but the boy was very agressive. Every time I tried to touch him or pick him up, he would bite me and shake his head. It hurt quite alot.
I did keep him though, as he was very beautiful. And a little bite hear and there was no big deal. Some time later I was studying my birds as usual and he approached me. I put out my hand to stroke him and he moved as fast as lightning. He grabbed my hand in his beak, then swiftly mounted! All that time I had thought the bird was being nasty biting me all the time, when what was really happening was he saw my hand as a hen, and just wanted some love! Gross, but atleast I understand him now. I dont try and stroke him anymore lol
I'm sorry you had a nasty roo. They do come out in every breed. I have had some real stinkers myself, and they were very tasty.
Try a hen next time. They are the sweetest things and very good mothers.
Pros:Agree on all laceymoelle said! They are also the best incubators to any type of egg. Mine have incubated, brooded and raised turkeys, peafowl and of course their own kids.
Cons: They spoil you for all other chicken breeds.
my 2 Black cochin hens don't like people very much and are always going though phase like half the time they are BEUATIFUL and the other half they are like featherless it's weird but I still love them:) they are both pretty great show bird. And just tonight the younger one got traped in our raccoon trap:D
Thanks NajmoNests!!
Yeah, chickgirl, they go through those funny looking stages, but thats pretty awesome about the raccoon trap, hahaa. :]
I second that I love my cochins. I would love to get another giant buff or white cochin. I got some giant black cochins from a feed store and they are just not the same as my other buff cochin, rounder was a princess wanted to be hand fed and held, these others are standofish and bite when I try to take there eggs. rounder was more like my dog than a chicken....
I think this post should belong in the emergencies forum, but it sounds like "pasty butt" and needs to be taken off or the chick can die. Try a wet papertowel.
Defintely sounds like pasty...must be cleaned immediately. I take chick and wash under "warm" water, loosen dried poo and remove gently. Dry wet bum w/ a towel and place back under their heat source/lamp and should dry pretty quickly. Do keep an eye as they have a tendency to paste up again. I always watch my new chicks closely for pasty the first week and then relax as they begin to eat and drink regularly.
X3 I use warm water and a little sponge designated just for pasty butt.
Dab the poo, and it will soften easily.
After it is off I use a dab of Preparation H to help stop any pain & IF the chick gets pasty again, the poo will not stick as it did with no Prep H.
I do get the looks from folks visiting & they see the Preparation H tube in my brooder room !
Pasty butt is caused by constipation, so also make sure they are getting plenty of water.
I just hold the little darlin's backside under a gentle stream of warm water. Most of it will dissolve on its own, and the rest will come off easily by "pinching" it with a paper towel. After it's clean I dab a little olive oil around the area to help prevent sticking again, or at least to help it wash off a little easier. (Got a good chuckle at the image of guests seeing the Preparation H in Chickielady's brooder room) (Hey girl, no-one knows more about Prep H than us! Ha! ) Think I'll stick with the olive oil and keep the P.H. for me...
If it wont come of with the wet warm rag then you MUST cut it off with a pair of carefully wealded safety scissors, she will die if not removed
in a shallow cup of warm water, gently "dip" the chicken's butt in the water for a few seconds. If the poop doesn't soften and come loose, try another "butt dip" for a few more seconds; repeat until it softens and pulls off easily; you don't want to hurt the chicken, so wait until it's softened.
this shallow dip method is good for baby rabbits that have pasty butt, too! I have saved many a baby bun and chick with pasty butt using warm water and gently pulling it off as it softens.

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