Cochin VS American Game - My Dilemma..

ArkaFarmaMama

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 24, 2011
76
1
33
Hi!

I have a small flock of RIR's (13 hens, 2 roosters). Hatchery bred, GREAT layers, tasty meat, friendly (after I got after the roosters with a water hose), but they are terrible when it comes to toughness and being broody. I can't get these girls in the mood and have lost 4 to predators while out, lost the 4 IN THE SAME DAY. Wanting a hardy breed to survive out here in the forest (with great care), raise me some babies, and possibly cross with my existing RIR flock...

So from what I can gather AG's aren't the tastiest, light on egg production, BUT hardy and great mothers...
Cochins... fine on meat and great little producers and great moms, aren't the toughest.

So I can raise a separate flock but the roosters will probably cross paths when I free range (not at the same time), not the best... What to do? I'm thinking on keeping them in different runs and having the AG's hatch my RIR's, or do you think crossing the Cochin with the RIR's will preserve the meat/eggs and give me some broodier hens... But then I still have pansy chickens!
I want to be self sufficient and these girls are daft.
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,236
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
Raise large fowl cochins. They do just fine. My girls (and one boy) gets along great with the other breeds, and are at the top of the pecking order.

I would get breeder cochins though.
 

catdaddyfro

Crowing
11 Years
Sep 16, 2009
3,806
236
311
Vernon Parish
Hi!

I have a small flock of RIR's (13 hens, 2 roosters). Hatchery bred, GREAT layers, tasty meat, friendly (after I got after the roosters with a water hose), but they are terrible when it comes to toughness and being broody. I can't get these girls in the mood and have lost 4 to predators while out, lost the 4 IN THE SAME DAY. Wanting a hardy breed to survive out here in the forest (with great care), raise me some babies, and possibly cross with my existing RIR flock...

So from what I can gather AG's aren't the tastiest, light on egg production, BUT hardy and great mothers...
Cochins... fine on meat and great little producers and great moms, aren't the toughest.

So I can raise a separate flock but the roosters will probably cross paths when I free range (not at the same time), not the best... What to do? I'm thinking on keeping them in different runs and having the AG's hatch my RIR's, or do you think crossing the Cochin with the RIR's will preserve the meat/eggs and give me some broodier hens... But then I still have pansy chickens!
I want to be self sufficient and these girls are daft.
If you don't have them some sort of shelter to be locked up in at night time nothing is going to be able to cope with mother natures order of the food chain. Chickens are very low on the totem pole here. Even Games and banties cannot fend off predators such as owls and coons at night and hawks and fox/coyotes during the daytime although they may be better at it than some. Production RIReds are not going to go broody they are'nt bred for that trait, crossing in games to achieve this is going to lower your production of the layers and Cochins aren't the best of birds to be out in the open/ free ranging as they are not swift enough to avoid a bomb-dive from a hawk or other pursuers. A flock of Brown Leghorns would be about the best case scenario as far as what you want from your birds but they still can't be left out unsupervised 24/7 either. J/S If you want broodies a couple of AGs or Whatever mixed-up banties would be good to have around just for such.

Jeff
 
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aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,236
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
If you don't have them some sort of shelter to be locked up in at night time nothing is going to be able to cope with mother natures order of the food chain. Chickens are very low on the totem pole here. Even Games and banties cannot fend off predators such as owls and coons at night and hawks and fox/coyotes during the daytime although they may be better at it than some. Production RIReds are not going to go broody they are'nt bred for that trait, crossing in games to achieve this is going to lower your production of the layers and Cochins aren't the best of birds to be out in the open/ free ranging as they are not swift enough to avoid a bomb-dive from a hawk or other pursuers.  A flock of Brown Leghorns would be about the best case scenario as far as what you want from your birds but they still can't be left out unsupervised 24/7 either. J/S If you want broodies a couple of AGs or Whatever mixed-up banties would be good to have around just for such.

Jeff
Yes, the cochins are very slow moving. I find it charming :p

Sumatras.. Go with Sumatras. Good mothers, good foragers, good fliers. Not sure on production qualities, but they are a great bird all around for what you are looking for :)
 

scratch'n'peck

Crowing
12 Years
Oct 31, 2008
5,925
677
401
West Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have English Game and Standard Cochins. I'm guessing that English Game and AG have quite a few similarities. Any chicken who free ranges without supervision runs the risk of being taken by a predator, but AG are fast and can fly well, whereas Cochins are slower but their large size may discourage a hawk. AG roosters would be more tenacious with each other than cochins. Cochins don't tolerate really hot weather as well as AG.
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,236
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
I have English Game and Standard Cochins. I'm guessing that English Game and AG have quite a few similarities. Any chicken who free ranges without supervision runs the risk of being taken by a predator, but AG are fast and can fly well, whereas Cochins are slower but their large size may discourage a hawk. AG roosters would be more tenacious with each other than cochins. Cochins don't tolerate really hot weather as well as AG.
My cochins are HUGE. Slow for sure. That would have to be a big hawk to carry them off. I swear my girl weighs more than my 12 pound cat.
_MG_9746.jpg
 
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ArkaFarmaMama

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 24, 2011
76
1
33
Aoxa she is a BEAUTY!!!

Thank you Catdaddy!

I have two large runs, both have large enclosed coops. They are only let out a couple hours a day, I close them up at night.
It's sad these girls are from the hatchery, DH bless his heart wanted chicks FAST. Used to have sex links and some hardy local mixes,
we had a HORRIFIC gnat outbreak three years ago that whipped every flock out within 20 miles. Hurricane Ike brought them up and the next
spring they surprised everyone, and killed everything within an hour. I was devastated!

Thank you for the suggestion on the Browns & Sumatras, will look into them!
I for sure will be buying eggs for sell off here!
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,236
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
Aoxa she is a BEAUTY!!!

Thank you Catdaddy!

I have two large runs, both have large enclosed coops.  They are only let out a couple hours a day, I close them up at night.
It's sad these girls are from the hatchery, DH bless his heart wanted chicks FAST.  Used to have sex links and some hardy local mixes,
we had a HORRIFIC gnat outbreak three years ago that whipped every flock out within 20 miles.  Hurricane Ike brought them up and the next
spring they surprised everyone, and killed everything within an hour.  I was devastated!  

Thank you for the suggestion on the Browns & Sumatras, will look into them!  
I for sure will be buying eggs for sell off here! 
How did Gnats kill them?

Thanks :)
 

ArkaFarmaMama

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 24, 2011
76
1
33
Aoxa, they swarmed and suffocated the birds. We didn't know it was going to happen, never had. It was early spring and fans would have saved them but we didn't know!
The gnats crawl in their noses so they can't breath, then they reproduce once they have a victim. It was bad for wild birds too. Wiped out the wild turkey chicks.
Sad sad day.

Sorry I have my notifications turned off!
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,236
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
Aoxa, they swarmed and suffocated the birds.  We didn't know it was going to happen, never had.  It was early spring and fans would have saved them but we didn't know!
The gnats crawl in their noses so they can't breath, then they reproduce once they have a victim.  It was bad for wild birds too.  Wiped out the wild turkey chicks.
Sad sad day.

Sorry I have my notifications turned off!
Oh my god.. That is awful! I Can't even imagine :eek:
 

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