Bred animal myself
Posted Jul 14, 2014
I managed to get a hold of four white cochins (1 male, 3 females) in Nov 2013. When i got them, they had just hatched, i normally hatch my own but since it was a new breed so got it from a professional breeder. My experience is that if you are experimenting with a new breed, always get the chicks from some professional breeder.
The birds were hardy, they were very comfortable in the small space due to the winter that was allotted to them. The plumage is deceivingly thick even when the chicks are small. The weight increases in the early stages very sharply and than after 03 to 04 months, the weight pretty much remains the same. For the rooster the distinct tail feather develops when it reaches "puberty"
These hens are good scavengers, they manage to scare minor predators as well because of their size however proper safety measures should be taken. The best feature about them though is their docile and in many ways friendly nature. If you are looking for hens that you can treat as proper pets, go no further and get yourself some cochins, you will not regret that decision.
The hens are nor prolific layers, they do lay eggs but this breed is probably not known for its egg laying capacity. My hens were laying eggs on alternate days and even that was not regular. One of them died but the other two laid eggs, i would end up with 4 (four) eggs from them in a week. They are better meat producers if this is what you look for in a hen as they can weigh about 10 lbs or 5 kg. However, i did not keep them for meat production so this benefit was nullified. I thought they would be very good brooders, but sadly that is not the case for my set of hens. They were more happy in laying eggs and than moving on (parent hood instinct is not strong with this one)
The drawbacks of the breed are not many, since they are heavily covered in feathers and because I have white cochins, you will worry about their feet and legs looking dirty. I have a place where dust is available other than grass and these hens love taking as many dust showers as they can manage. They lay white and cream colored eggs, if you are a collector of colorful eggs, unfortunately this is not a breed for you
They are highly susceptible to heat, so ensure that they are managed well, with shade and lots of water options. One of my hens had a severe crop problem, it kept getting swollen and ultimately led to the death but if managed and monitored properly, the crop issue can be managed. Keep your grass trimmed and a watchful eye on the crop and you will hopefully avoid this crucial problem,
All in all, they are bundle of happiness, very friendly, very calm and very beautiful. I would want to have them in various colors but for the moment, very happy with my white ones. If you are looking for adding more calm to your flock, get in a couple of cochins and everything would be perfect.