Cochin chicken

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Partridge Cochin cockerel.jpg
A Partridge Cochin cockerel
Country of origin China
Use ornamental
Egg color brown
Comb type single
APA Asiatic
ABA Feather Legged
PCGB Soft Feather: Heavy[1]
A Blue Cochin hen

The Cochin or Cochin China, is a breed of chicken. The name Cochin came from the original Chinese name 九斤黄(in pinyin: jiujin huang), meaning nine-catty yellow, erroneously conflated with the then-current names for what are now parts of southern India and Vietnam, where jin is a traditional Chinese measurement of weight. In China itself, the name 九斤黄 is actually used for any large chicken or even a dish made from one.[citation needed]


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.[2]

Not only was this breed one of the largest seen, with cocks weighing up to 5 kg (11 lb), but also its soft and very plentiful plumage, similar to the Japanese Silkie, makes the bird conspicuous by exaggerating its already large size. It was successfully bred into other birds.

There is also a bantam version, which is often called the "Pekin bantam", but this should not be confused with the separate and true Pekin bantam.[3]


Cochin cock

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 light brown. Eggs are also medium in size. Standard weight is 5 kg (11 lb) for a cock, 4 kg (9 lb) for a cockerel, 3.9 kg (9 lb) for a hen, and 3.2 kg (7 lb) for a pullet.[citation needed] Colour varieties include buff, black, partridge, blue, silver laced, splash, golden laced, and white. Cochins can be frizzled, with the feathers curling outwards. 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. Cochins are also known to be good pet hens for the garden, as they are tame and regarded as one of the most 'friendly' chicken breeds. Cochins are rather quiet chickens, and tend to be quite calm as well.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Accessed August 2014.
  2. ^ Smith, Page; Charles Daniels (2000). The Chicken Book. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0-8203-2213-1. 
  3. ^ Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds. Storey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58017-667-5. 

Media related to Cochin (chicken) at Wikimedia Commons