For Nick – Exotic Cochins

Our favorite nephew who used to work for us, Nick,  has issues with our exotic chicken, Bernadette.  I don’t believe he appreciates her sweet disposition or her unique look.  I will try to help him understand the intrinsic value of the rare, exotic Cochin fowl.  Here is a Cochin rooster that we saw at the Skagit County Fair.  He won a blue ribbon.  Maybe next year we will take Bernadette to exhibit?

cochin rooster

What nice little feathered footed chicks he and Bernadette could have!


Here is some further information about the breed:

Cochins are known the world over for being big friendly balls of fluff and feathers. They don’t lay well but are very popular because of their sweet personality and fantastic mothering qualities.  Cochins became famous in the 1800s when this Chinese breed was given as a gift to Queen Victoria of England, who absolutely adored them.


A Blue Cochin hen

The Cochin or Cochin China, originally known as the Chinese Shanghai, is a breed of chicken. The name Cochin came from its original Chinese name 九斤黄(in pinyin: jiujin huang, pronounced joo-chin hwong), meaning nine jin yellow, where jin is a traditional Chinese measurement of weight.



This chicken was originally bred in China and later exported to Britain and America in the mid 19th century. As a very distinctive breed of chicken, it apparently created a bit of a craze among poultry lovers in the English-speaking world, effectively launching poultry fancy as we know it today.[1] Not only was this breed one of the largest seen, with cocks weighing up to 11 pounds , but also the soft and plentiful plumage makes the bird quite conspicuous by exaggerating its already large size. Once in the United States, the breed underwent considerable development into its current state.



As above, the most distinctive feature of the Cochin is the excessive plumage that covers leg and foot. The skin beneath the feathers is yellow and the egg colour is brown. Eggs are also medium in size. Standard weightis 11 pounds for a cock, 9 pounds for a cockerel, 8.5 pounds for a hen, and 7 pounds for a pullet. Colour varieties include buff, black, partridge, blue, silver laced, splash, golden laced, and white. Cochins also come in a variety called frizzled, in which the feathers are turned outward. Cochins are well known as good mothers, even as foster mothers for other breeds, and they can lay many eggs, but usually not for extended periods of time.

cochin chicken[1]

So you see Nick, Cochins have long been valued for their exotic looks, sweet disposition and great mothering instincts.  Now don’t you appreciate Bernadette?

4 comments on “For Nick – Exotic Cochins

  1. Bob says:

    Yes, but what does the fancy bird taste like?

  2. Brenda says:

    Since all my wonderful information on exotic Cochins has not convinced Nick – or Bob – how great Bernadette is, I might as well confess a few of her other little idiosyncrasies. When she gets hot she makes this wierd little noise, kind of like a cross between cackling and panting. Do chickens pant? When it was hot for a week she made that noise for the whole time. She also can barely run – maybe because she is so heavy? When all the others run back into the coop she is always last because she is so slow. Poor Bernadette, she is unique.

  3. Dennis Gibson says:

    I have raised cochins for 40 years. In the Indiana heat I keep a fan blowing in the coop for the birds and a plastic jug of frozen water in the water plan. I lost a beautiful hen at a poultry show because of the heat. I’m looking for a standard red Cochin in case you run into a breeder. I need some new blood in mine. Merry Christmas

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