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The earliest examples of this breed began to arrive in the UK from the Far East in around 1840. At first the breed assumed different names and is still sometimes erroneously referred to as the Pekin. In the UK, there is a true bantam known as the pekin and also a bantam version of the Cochin. In other parts of Europe and the US, however, only the large Cochin and Cochin bantam are known. These are big birds and could easily compete with the Brahma for the title of ‘king of chickens’. The hocks are covered in feathers that unusually curl around the joints, and the legs and feet are also feathered. The comb is small, single and straight and in particularly good specimens is well serrated. The eggs are light brown and for a heavy breed quite numerous. There are several plumage varieties, the most common being black, white and lavender. As with all feather-legged breeds, Cochins require special attention and show birds should always be kept on clean, dry flooring. Nevertheless they do make a good choice for the novice. They are a friendly docile birds that adapt to either confinement or free-range. They are quite hardy in cold climates. Hens lay most of the winter, brood readily, and are excellent mothers. They can be used as foster mothers for other breeds.

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Breed Characteristics:

Key:  1 = low,   5 = high

  • Class:  Large Fowl
  • Purpose:  Exhibition
  • Laying:  Number of chicken heads denoting the value for this attribute
  • Easiness:  Number of chicken heads denoting the value for this attribute
  • Sociability:  Number of chicken heads denoting the value for this attribute