The Cochinchina hen is a large-sized domestic bird, one of the most distinctive features of which is its feathered feet. In the following article we will know more about it and which are its different variations.
The Cochinchina Hen is a breed of large-sized domestic chicken. It is derived from large feather-footed chickens brought from China to Europe and North America in the 1840s and 1850s. It is bred primarily for exhibition. Formerly known as Cochin – China.
Like the Brahma Chicken, the Cochinchina Hen is derived from the very large feathered chickens brought from the regions of China to Europe and North America in the 1840s and 1850s. These were at first known as “Shanghai” birds, and later as “Cochin-Chinese”. The large size and striking appearance of these birds contributed to a sudden surge of interest in poultry breeding in Western countries, sometimes described as “chicken fever”.
The Cochinchina Hen was included in the first edition of the Standard of Excellence in Poultry Exhibition, prepared by William Bernhardt Tegetmeier for the first Bird Club of Great Britain in 1865. The colors described are:
The Cochinchina Hen, both for full size and cock, was included in the first edition of the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Excellence in the year 1874. The original colors were white, partridge, beige and black; other colors were added later.
The most distinctive feature of the Cochinchina Hen is the excessive plumage covering the legs and feet. The skin under the feathers is yellow.
In the United Kingdom, the recognized color varieties, for large birds only, are black, blue, buff, buff, cuckoo, partridge and grouse, and white; Cochinchina hen bantams are not recognized by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. The Entente Européenne lists the same nine colors for full-sized Cochinchina, and twenty-four for the cock; any of the cock varieties may be frizzled, with feathers that curve outward. (see article: Polish Hen ).
The American Poultry Association recognizes nine colors for full-size birds:
These are the same colors are recognized for the rooster, with the addition of 4 more: birchen, colombino, mottled and red. Cochinchina hens are fairly quiet chickens, and tend to be quite calm as well.
The Cochinchina hen has been bred primarily for exhibition, at the expense of productive characteristics. It is a good layer of very large dyed eggs, and lays well in winter. The hens are good nannies and good mothers, and can be used to incubate turkey and duck eggs. Meat tends to be coarse-textured and excessively dark; capons slaughtered at an age of 12 – 16 months provide a good large table bird.
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Despite the rounded appearance of this breed, they have health problems. Birds of this breed tend to have metabolic and heart problems, which are aggravated by their often lazy lifestyle. They love to walk on short grass and avoid venturing into taller vegetation as this can damage the feathers on their feet. They take up surprisingly little space and are adapted to living in confined areas. Avoid placing them in the cold or in humid areas.
With their abundant plumage on legs and feet, it is best to keep them in a controlled area on wetter days to avoid problems and to prevent mud from accumulating under their feet. These hens do not fly, and a 2 meter fence is sufficient to contain them. Females are prone to broodiness and are good mothers par excellence due to their quiet nature. They lay fairly large eggs but do not produce many during the year. The chicks are strong when they hatch, taking 22 days instead of the usual 21.
They are very friendly and peaceful birds, so they tend to be submissive when breeding with other breeds that are generally more aggressive. They require good quality food and reach maturity at two years of age. They are very good pets, they live approximately 8 to 10 years.
This breed of chicken, the Conchinchina hen, has a wide variety of colors, including black, blue, beige, cuckoo, partridge, gray, and white. Its legs are characterized by their yellow color, red ears and reddish eyes.