Cochin question. Did the early versions have feathered feet?

cicene mete

11 Years
Jun 19, 2008
I came across an old picture from the late 19th century with examples of males and females from different chicken breeds.
The Cochins are indicated as the very large birds at the top middle of the page. They do not have feathered feet.

I know there are all kinds of confusing things about Pekins, Cochins, and the history of the breeds and how they became the birds we have today, and if anyone could shed light on their history and why these birds in the picture clearly do not have feathered feet, that would be great.

FYI, the breeds of the birds are indicated as follows:

1. White Dorkings
2. Poland Fowls
3. Creoles or Bolton Grays
4. Cochin Chinas
5. Gray Game Fowls
6. Hamburg Fowls
7. Bantams [look like Sebrights to me]

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I saw a pic of early cochin landed on Australia and NZ, the have sparse foot feathering and harder feather (more like an ugly langshan) on them....
Interesting. Where did you see the picture? Now that you mention it, the drawing from the 19th century does kind of resemble a langshan.
When originally imported to England in the 1850's the cochin was most noted for it's large size, something not seen in poultry in those days. The early birds did not have a set type and thus varied in color, feather and type.
As the English breeders began to work on them and as they made their way to America the birds were refined to the type we know in the early standard descriptions. As the birds were refined more the standard descriptions were changed, if the refinements were acceptable to the standard committee.
In short, yes, the early birds did have feathers on the shanks and toes but some did not, it was the breeders who finally decided that the birds with soft heavy feathering would be the standard and as such, we have the birds we have today. We owe a great deal to the breeders of the 19th century and especially Queen Victoria for their facination and work with the cochin fowl, without those early dedicated fanciers we would not have the birds we have today.


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