Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Breed History:
(from McMurray Hatchery)
Soldiers returning from China brought the first Cochin bantams to England in the 1860’s. They were known as “Pekin” bantams then and are still referred to as “Pekins” in many parts of Europe. Cochins are heavily feathered down the shanks and toes and appear to be much larger than they actually are. They are very gentle, excellent setters, require little space, and with their many color varieties are absolutely beautiful to look at. Cochins are the most popular of the feather legged bantams and one of our best setters. The coal black plumage with the greenish sheen really sets these birds apart from the others. A bright red comb and wattle makes a beautiful contrast with the black feathers. A variety that has been shown for over 120 years in this country.

Black Cochin Bantams are very gentle, are excellent sitters and lay lots of eggs. They have great mothering skills and are often used as “foster moms” for other breeds of poultry.

So I bought my rooster, "SHINE" and two black hens (I haven't thought of names for them yet. ~ any suggestions???) from a poultry breeder who has been breeding and showing chickens for over 50 years!

I love this picture of Shine with one of his hens peaking out from behind him. The hens definitely count on their rooster to protect them and keep them safe!

Mine are "banty" (smaller) Cochins and I already love them! They are so CALM ! They don't freak out every time I go near their pen. They don't appear to be good flyers so I am able to keep them in a pen (indoors) that only has 4 foot high panels! As opposed to the Ameraucanas, for which I had to fence all the way up to the ceiling and also fence off the ceiling so they can't fly up into the rafters!

As I look through these photos it's hard for me to believe that I took them all! On the same day ~ in the same barn. Granted, the first 3 were taken in the ram's stall with natural light (I'm not sure why that gives the pictures a bluish tint, but it does), and the latter ones I took in the newly finished 'Cochin pen' with a flash. It's amazing the difference the surrounding colors have on the appearance of the total photograph!

I've made up separate pens for the Cochins and the new Ameraucanas. I figure since I paid for pure-bred stock, I may as well try breeding for a couple batches of pure-bred chicks! I left the door open from the Cochin's pen to the backyard for a while today but they never even ventured out! Someday, I'd like to have a REAL chicken barn with separate runs for my various breeds...

SHINE says...

..."Oh yeah, she's got it bad..."


  1. One bad thing about real good quality cochins, is a lot of times the fertility isn't great because of the hen's puffy butts. Lots of breeders trim around her lady parts to ensure a good coupling. Hopefully yours are good self breeders, it looks like that one hen has been in a breeder pen already? Or is she just young with the fuzzy butt? Very very nice cochins thougH :)

  2. Thank you, Rayna! How cool that you know so much about Cochins. I may have to tap your brain on occasion....

    Yes, one or both of the hens have been bred and hatched chicks. I was told that's why they look a bit 'bedraggled'.

    I spoke a LONG time with their breeder and told him that I wanted excellent stock for my 'foundation flock'. He offered to 'mentor' me if I want to get into showing my chickens!


  3. Always glad to see another person discover the joy of chickens...As for names..."Moon" comes to mind (dark, and blends very will with "Shine") or "Onyx" (also dark, and my favorite stone) and then there's "Jet" (as in the dark stone)...

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head...

  4. Um, excuse me?!? "Shine says..."?!? Hang tight Dreamer, I'm on my way!!!


  5. Beautiful, Nancy! I think you do ideed 'have it bad', but what a fun little hobby, and they take up very little space. :-)

  6. They do look hugable!!!

  7. They are a gorgeous trio! I just love Cochin bantams. They are so calm and docile and really good parents. Beautiful birds. I'm sure you will get lots of enjoyment out of them.

  8. Anonymous5:51 PM

    Inky, Black Velvet, Shadow.....

    Diane L./Bloomington,IN.

  9. Ok, i suppose it's okay that you got MORE chickens, since theses ones seem so nice and calm and pettable. I do like to pet/hold them when i visit, and pretty as my Lucca is, he's not too friendly! Name ideas: Zsa Zsa (like the Gabor woman) is arabic (levantine) for chicken. Maybe that for one? (and should a rooster need a name, Dikromy is arabic for rooster :) )



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