With its fluffy feathers and compact size, the Cochin bantam is highly admired by poultry lovers worldwide. These miniature chickens are known for their hardy nature, easy care, and adaptability to small spaces.
Further, like their bigger counterparts, Cochin bantams are known for their docile and friendly personality. That’s why they’re so adored by beginners and experienced keepers alike.
In this article, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about these adorable little fowls, including their care requirements, common health issues, pros and cons, egg production, and more. Let’s begin!
Cochin Bantam Chicken Quick Facts
|16–48 oz (1–3 lbs)
|100–150 eggs per year
|Gentle, docile, friendly, calm, easily tamed
|Medium to high
|Somewhat cold and heat hardy
|Extremely fluffy feathers, small size, early maturity
What Is a Cochin Bantam Chicken?
The Cochin bantam, also known as Pekin bantam or bantam Cochin, is a miniature version of the standard Cochin. These tiny chickens boast the same fluffy feathers and friendly nature. But they’re popular for their compact size, having all the traits of their bigger peers in a smaller package.
Tracing their origins to China, Cochin bantams share their lineage with the larger Cochin chickens.
Their journey to popularity began in the Victorian era when imported birds were presented to Queen Victoria, which sparked the widespread “hen fever” in England.
Then, these adorable chickens quickly became a symbol of prestige and fascination.
On another note, Cochin bantams are known for their diverse color palette. They range from buff to red frizzle and blue. This variety in plumage makes them particularly appealing for shows and exhibitions.
Yet, beyond the show ring, they are prized as ornamental birds and beloved pets.
Cochin Bantam Appearance
Cochin bantams mirror the appearance of their larger Cochin relatives, flaunting a fluffy, heavily feathered exterior. This is further accentuated by a body that’s as round as a ball.
Regarding facial features, you will see that these small chickens exhibit a single, five-point comb, along with red wattles and earlobes, golden eyes, red eye rims, and black-tipped beaks.
On top of that, these birds display a stunning array of colors and patterns, ranging from blue, brown, and black to solid white and golden laced.
Additional notable features of Cochin bantams include their yellow-tinted skin, legs, and toes. Further, they are really adored by many for their short wings, upright tails, and feathered feet.
Cochin Bantam Colors and Patterns
As mentioned, Cochin bantams exhibit an array of beautiful colors and patterns. For your reference, below is a list of the different variations that make these birds so appealing:
- Lemon Blue
- Silver Laced
- Golden Laced
- Brown Red
- Buff Columbian
Watch this video to see what different-colored bantam Cochins look like when they’re together in a flock:
Pro Tip: To compete in American Poultry Association (APA)-sanctioned shows, you should avoid the following varieties: lavender and cuckoo Cochin bantams. They aren’t recognized by the said club.
Cochin Bantam Size and Weight
Cochin bantams are small in stature, typically not exceeding 10 inches in height. This compact stature makes them ideal for smaller spaces and easy to handle, especially for beginners in poultry keeping.
Moreover, despite their heavy feathering, these birds are actually quite light. They only weigh between 1 and 3 pounds.
If you plan to show your Cochin bantams in exhibitions, note that the American Bantam Association (ABA) requires that male and female chickens be 26 to 30 ounces and 24 to 26 ounces, respectively.
Cochin Bantam Temperament and Behavior
Cochin bantams are renowned for their gentle and docile demeanor, making them perfect for those new to poultry keeping. Plus, their calm nature allows them to be easily tamed.
However, note that these chickens aren’t only friendly but also particularly well-suited for families with children. When my nieces and nephews visit the farm, their favorite part is playing with these pocket-sized fowls.
To be specific, the fluffy little hens calmly cluck as the children gently pet or hold them in their laps. Even the roosters allow the kids to stroke their feathers without fuss.
Of course, this greatly depends on how much time you put into socializing your Cochin bantams. I’ve found that earning their trust takes patience and commitment — but it’s well worth it!
Contrary to what one might expect, male Cochin bantams also rarely display aggression in a mixed flock. Yet, due to their mild streak, it’s best not to house them with more assertive breeds to prevent them from being bullied.
Egg Production and Broodiness of the Cochin Bantam
Generally speaking, Cochin bantams lay a modest number of eggs. They average between 100 and 150 per year. This production rate makes them more of a hobby breed than a high-yielding layer.
Specifically, the eggs of these chickens are small and come in a pleasant light brown shade.
On a different note, broodiness is common in Cochin bantam hens, with a medium to high tendency to sit on their eggs.
As I cared for my small flock of Cochin bantams, I noticed one of my hens’ dedication to nesting. She would gently turn the eggs under her soft feathers, scarcely leaving the nest to eat.
In fact, despite my offers to assist with an incubator and a heat lamp, she refused to leave them. After three long weeks, she triumphantly marched out with five tiny chicks following behind her.
Her maternal instincts proved spot-on, as all the chicks thrived under her warm, protective wings. Clearly, bantam Cochin hens have an innate drive to nurture their young ones.
Cochin Bantam Lifespan and Health Issues
Cochin bantam chickens generally enjoy a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. However, like all creatures, their longevity can be influenced by their health and environment, with certain conditions potentially shortening their life.
Below are the most common health issues that bantam Cochins face:
- Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome (FLHS): FLHS is a condition often seen in overweight Cochin bantams and can be fatal. Basically, it’s characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, leading to internal bleeding.
- Mycoplasma Gallisepticum: A bacterial infection, mycoplasma gallisepticum affects the respiratory system of bantam Cochins. Symptoms of this condition include sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge. Note that it’s also contagious and can spread through the flock.
- Frostbite: Due to their heavy feathering, especially around their feet and legs, Cochin bantams are susceptible to frostbite in cold weather. If left unchecked, though, this condition can cause severe tissue damage and even loss of mobility.
Maintaining a clean environment, providing a balanced diet, and regular health check-ups are crucial in ensuring the health and longevity of Cochin bantams.
All things considered, with proper care, these charming birds can be a delightful part of your life for many years.
How to Take Care of Your Cochin Bantam Chicken
If you are sure about the decision to raise Cochin bantam chickens, it is important that you take good care of them. Below are some tips that can help you out.
Feeding and Nutrition
Bantam Cochin chicks require a diet rich in protein to support their rapid growth. A high-quality starter feed with at least 20% protein should do the trick. This ensures they get the vital nutrients for healthy development.
After the initial growth phase, though, switching to a finisher feed with a slightly lower protein content, around 18 to 19%, is advised. This change will support the chicks’ continued growth and prepare them for adulthood.
Meanwhile, adult Cochin bantams need a feed that’s adjusted to their mature requirements. They thrive on a layer feed containing 15 to 17% protein, enriched with extra calcium for strong eggshells.
Pro Tip: Treats like sliced fruits and vegetables can be offered for variety and enrichment. But don’t forget that this can also lead to obesity, so make sure you keep an eye on how much you’re offering.
Housing and Shelter
Cochin bantams only require a little space due to their size; a minimum of four square feet per chicken inside the coop will suffice. This space allows them to move comfortably without feeling cramped.
For nesting, provide boxes that measure 12 inches in width, 10 inches in length, and 10 inches in depth. These dimensions offer enough room for Cochin bantam hens to lay their eggs in a secure environment.
A running area is also necessary, with 8 to 10 square feet per chicken allowing for adequate exercise.
Similarly, recent studies highlight the importance of environmental enrichment in enhancing activity levels and overall behavior.
So, adding variety to their living area with perches, hiding spots, and foraging opportunities can improve the birds’ resilience, especially for slower-growing chicks.
Temperature and Lighting
For bantam Cochin chicks, maintaining the correct temperature is vital. You can start with the brooding area at 95°F, reducing it by five degrees weekly for the first six weeks.
On the other hand, adult Cochin bantams are comfortable in a temp range of 65°F to 75°F. Keep the coop within this span to ensure the chickens’ comfort, especially during seasonal changes.
Reliable lighting also plays a pivotal role in egg production, with female Cochin bantams needing 14 to 16 hours of light daily.
In order to simulate natural daylight, a 40-watt bulb set about seven feet above the coop floor can be used. This setup will evenly distribute light throughout the pen, allowing for consistent egg production.
How Much Does a Cochin Bantam Cost?
Cochin bantam chicks are quite affordable. They usually fall between $3 and $10 each. Yet, note that the exact price can vary based on factors like color, quality, and the breeder’s reputation.
For enthusiasts ready to invest in adult Cochin bantams, though, prices climb to a range of $150 to $300 for a pair. This higher cost reflects the maturity of the birds and the care invested in raising them to adulthood.
With regard to where you can buy them, hatcheries offer a convenient way to purchase these chickens, with many options available online. They can just ship your selection right to your doorstep.
Also, social media platforms like Facebook host numerous groups for Cochin bantam lovers. These can be valuable resources for buying fowls, gaining insights, and connecting with reputable breeders.
Pros and Cons of the Cochin Bantam Chicken
When considering adding Cochin bantams to your flock, weigh their advantages and disadvantages first. Understanding both sides ensures you make an informed decision that aligns with your poultry-keeping goals.
To start, here are the pros of owning bantam Cochins:
- Early maturity: Bantam Cochins reach maturity quicker than some other chickens. As a matter of fact, they only need about 19 to 22 weeks before laying their first egg.
- High broodiness level: Cochin bantam hens are exceptional mothers. They are reliable when it comes to incubating eggs and can even be used to hatch eggs from other breeds.
- Easy to handle: The bantam Cochins’ docile temperament makes them easily tameable. This makes them an excellent choice for families with children, first-time chicken keepers, or individuals who want a more hands-on experience with their birds.
- Compact size: The small size of Cochin bantams means they don’t require as much space as larger breeds. They are well-suited for smaller backyards or gardens, and their limited range makes managing their environment much easier.
On the other hand, the following are the cons of owning Cochin bantams:
- Prone to obesity: Cochin bantams are susceptible to weight issues. A diet that’s not carefully monitored can lead to obesity, which in turn can cause a variety of health problems.
- Easy prey for predators: Their small size and fluffy feathers make bantam Cochins more vulnerable to predators. Extra precautions, such as secure housing and supervised free-ranging, are necessary to keep them safe.
- Predisposed to frostbite: Since Cochin bantams are known for their heavily feathered feet and legs, they are highly susceptible to frostbite.
- Not well-suited for large flocks: While Cochin bantams can live happily in small groups, they may not thrive in larger flocks. Their gentle nature can make them susceptible to bullying by more assertive breeds, and they may struggle to compete for food or other resources.
It is evident that Cochin bantams are a delightful breed with many appealing qualities. However, potential owners must consider the level of care these chickens require due to their specific vulnerabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Cochin Bantams Good For?
Cochin bantams excel as ornamental birds, as they enhance the beauty of any setting with their striking appearance. They’re also ideal for small-scale egg production, offering a modest but steady supply.
Additionally, these chickens are excellent brooders, often used to incubate other hens’ eggs.
Are Cochin Bantam Chickens Friendly?
Cochin bantam chickens are known for their extremely friendly and docile nature, qualities that make them excellent pets, particularly for families with kids.
Are Cochin Bantam Chickens Good Backyard Chickens?
Yes, Cochin bantam chickens are excellent for backyards. For one thing, they’re friendly, calm, and easy to tame. Moreover, they display all the desirable physical traits of standard-sized Cochins in a petite frame.
So, what do you think of Cochin bantams? Do you believe they’re a good idea for someone looking to get into chickens? We’d love to hear your thoughts and any questions you might have in the comments below!