Question about Cochins and their "durability" PLEASE HELP!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by toomanychicks, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. toomanychicks

    toomanychicks Hatching

    Nov 15, 2007

    I am just getting in to raising some cochins and think I might have chosen a weak type of chicken.

    After having "mutt" chickens running about that were given to me by a friend at our horse stable, I decided to get something "purebred". I purchased some std cochin eggs on ebay and hatched 3 out of 12. Two died for different reasons and we found my big girl dead this morning. [​IMG]
    Now I also have 15 young blue giant cochin chicks still in the house and am worried about their sturdieness.

    We think Big Mamma may have died from the cold. Here in Bakersfield it doesn't snow but does get down into the 30's or so in the winter. Last night it was cold enough to leave frost on the ground. My husband found her out in the run in the wide open (but secure from predators). Her regular chicken buddies were out there around her but she didn't have a mark on her.

    At night, she is always in the coop but by herself on the ground. Her buddies sleep up on the perch away from the cold breeze.

    First of all, do cochins roost? Or are they too big to get up there??

    Are some colors of cochins more hardy than others? Big Mamma was brown.

    We spent the day covering up more of the coop so we could put a heat lamp in there at night when it gets cold when it's time to release the growing chicks.

    Any help and info would be greatly appreciated!! I just need to know if I picked too weak of a chicken to try and raise.

  2. You can get a weak strain in any breed, or some genetic dificulties that lead to early death. The large and giant breeds are suseptable to heart deaths just like the cornish crosses. I had one line of Orpingtons I kept loosing the males on and had to find another line.

    How old were they when they died? Any other health issues? If they were fully feathered I would not think that the cold lead to their death. I don't provide heat for mine at all and it gets to -30 here. They need deep bedding and a draft free place to spend the night. Don't seal it up too well though as they can't have damp either. So good ventilation but not direct wind draft through the coop.

    No the large and giant breeds don't like to roost as much, so again deep bedding, like 6 to 8 inches of straw. Mine nest in for the night in a group and do fine.
  3. SloCrevs

    SloCrevs Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    Central Coast, CA

    I live in San Luis Obispo, and before that, I lived in Paso Robles. In Paso, it got to be about 20 degrees at it's coldest point(we were out past Tobin James). I've always had cochins, and bantams none the less. They've always been one of my hardiest birds. Cochins will roost if you let them. I show all my birds, so none of my standards have roosts, it leads to a crooked breast. I'm not sure what's up with your little ones, but I can tell you, it's not the breed. It may be the strain, that that set of parents were unhealthy, sick, or whatever. It was not the breed. If you're interested in more, I have a friend who is a major breeder of cochins, standard and bantam. I've personally gotten all but 2 of my cochins from her, and they are wonderful. She breeds over 10 different varieties too.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Sounds like the strain you got in that bunch. I find some are better than others.

    Your mutts, they have hybrid vigor, so they just might be a bit tougher. 30 deg is no problem for them. Just draft free sleeping area and they will be good to go.
  5. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    My standard cochins are doing just fine in an unheated barn that gets well below freezing at night--20s and teens, so far, with an ice storm Sunday and a few inches of snow the past week. Yes, they roost, and mine are not bad fliers, although mine are not so heavy for cochins.

    Think maybe you just got a bad batch? Mine are vaccinated for Marek's, Bursal disease, Newcastle and something else, I forget what, and they seem to be really healthy. I had to put one down due to the dog playing rough with it, but no one has died mysteriously yet (knock on wood).

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