Standard Varieties of Chickens:


The four Cochin classes are very popular with breeders. They are second to the Brahma classes in the meat breeds, weighing but a pound lighter than the Light Brahma. Old and experienced breeders of Cochins are pronounced in praise of their qualities as profitable fowls, they being hardy, good winter layers of rich, brown, medium-sized eggs, and fairly good table fowls. The chicks grow well and develop rapidly under proper care.

FIG. 11. - Pair of Buff Cochins.

The Buff variety (fig. 11) is the most bred of the Cochin class; their soft, mellow, buff tone offers an attraction to fanciers that is hard to resist. In color the Buff Cochin, male and female, are of rich, deep, clear buff, uniform in shade throughout except the tail, which should be a deeper buff or copperish bronze, undercolor same as surface color, but of lighter shade and should extend to the skin. In breeding select females as near as possible to the desired shade of buff, as free from dark or white in wing and tail and of as even a color as can be. To such females mate a cock of deeper shade, with some little black in wing, and tail of luster. This mating will produce good results in cockerels and pullets. The heavy leg and foot feathering so characteristic of breed should have constant care and attention. While the feathering should be abundant, all semblance to vulture hock or stiff feathering should be avoided.

FIG. 12. - Back view of Buff Cochin cock, showing full feathering.

The Partridge Cochin (fig. 13) is a beautiful yet difficult fowl to breed, and in plumage is much after the pattern of the Dark Brahma, the color being red and brown, instead of the steel-gray effect of the latter. The head of male in color is bright red hackle, bright red or orange red, with a distinct black stripe down the center of each feather; saddle feathers same as hackle; breast and body rich deep black; wing bows, red; primaries, black on inside web, with a bay edging on the outside web; secondaries, black on the inside web and rich bay on the outside web, terminating with greenish-black at the end of each feather; wing coverts, greenish-black, forming a well-defined bar of that color across the wing when folded; tail, black; sickles, coverts, and lesser coverts glossy greenish black; the latter may be edged with red; things, black; shanks, yellow and well covered with black or brownish feathers, the middle toes being also well feathered.

FIG. 13. - Partridge Cochin hen.

The female is the prettier of the two. Her head is small and of a rich brown plumage, with a stout, well-curved beak, yellow in color. Her eyes are bay and mild in expression. The head is ornamented with a small single comb, set perfectly straight upon the head and bright red in color. The wattles are small, well rounded and fine in texture; the earlobes are well developed and are also fine in texture.

FIG. 14. - Feathers of Partridge Cochin hen.

The neck is neatly curved, with abundant hackle flowing well over the shoulders. The plumage is bright red or orange red, with a broad black stripe down the middle of each feather. The black stripe in a good feather should run to a point near the end of the feather. This stripe should be free from penciling, but the standard permits a slight penciling of the black. (See fig. 14.)

A good back and cushion helps make the bird. Her back should be broad and flat, the broader the better, and the cushion should rise with a gentle convex curve and partially cover the tail. The plumage of back and cushion is reddish-brown in color. Each feather is penciled with a darker brown; the outlines of the penciling conform to the shape of the feather. The breast is one of the most important points of a good hen, and should be broad and massive. The plumage is of the same reddish-brown color as the back. The penciling on the breast is perhaps a little more distinct and open than on the back; the outlines of the penciling should be sharp and conform to the shape of the feather.

The body is broad and deep behind and of same plumage as the breast. The fluff is very abundant, covering the posterior portion of the bird and standing out about the thighs. Wings are small and the primaries fold closely under the secondaries; the bows are covered by the breast feathers and the fluff conceals the points. The primaries are very dark brown or blackish-brown in color; the inner web of the secondaries is a blackish-brown and the outer web is a blackish-brown penciled with a lighter brown. The coverts are similar in color and penciling to the plumage of the breast.

Tail is small, short, and carried almost horizontally. The tail is partly concealed by the cushion. In color the tail is black except the two main tail feathers, which are penciled. The tail coverts are penciled same as breast and body. Thighs are large and well covered with soft feathers; the feathers on the lower part curve inward around the hock and hide the joint on the outside. The feathering of the thighs is of the same shade and color as that of the body. Shanks are short and yellow and heavily covered with feathers of same color as thighs. The toes are well spread and yellow in color, the outer and middle toes being feathered throughout their entire length.

Black Cochins (fig. 15) are much more easily raised than are either of the above-named varieties. Being of one color, the care bestowed in breeding parti-colored or penciled birds is not necessary, and the time may be spent in furthering their general utility in egg production. A one colored bird is the more practical bird for the farmer and market poulterer. The Black Cochin is of a rich glossy black plumage throughout. The White Cochin is pure white in plumage.

FIG. 15. - Trio of Black Cochins.

The standard weight of Buff, Partridge, and White Cochin cocks is 11 pounds (5 kg); hens, 8 pounds (3.9 kg); cockerels, 9 pounds (4.1 kg); and pullets, 7 pounds(3.2 kg). Black Cochins are of the same weight, excepting cocks, which should weight 10 pounds (4.8 kg).


The first three images below come from the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science's Poultry Breeds pages. The fourth and fifth images are from the FeatherSite, "an on-line zoological garden of domestic poultry". The Cochin page at Oklahoma and the Standard Cochins page at FeatherSite contain further information about this breed's history and more images of these fowl. Clicking on each image takes you to the page specifically about that particular variety.

Black Cochin Buff Cochin Partridge Cochin White Cochin Cock Blue Cochin Rooster

Image Credits (from left to right): Copyright © 1996, Oklahoma State University Board of Regents; Copyright © 1996, Oklahoma State University Board of Regents; Copyright © 1996, Oklahoma State University Board of Regents; Courtesy of Barry Koffler; Courtesy of Barry Koffler

Please note: These links point to pages that are being served off of the Oklahoma State University's web server and off the web server, which are not part of the Chickscope project. Because of this, the pages may be missing or corrupted, and control of this is generally out of the hands of the Chickscope development team.

- Page 10 of 47 -