Mottled Cochin Bantam
This breed is one of the most delightful breeds at our farm. They enjoy human companionship which makes the great pets. Excellent breed for exhibitioning at Poultry Shows. They take up little space and love to freerange. But these bouncy showy little sweeties are easy targets for chicken hawks so free range should only be done with supervision.
Soldiers returning from China brought the first Cochin bantams to England in the 1860’s. They were known as “Pekin” bantams then and are still referred to as “Pekins” in many parts of Europe. Cochins are heavily feathered down the shanks and toes and appear to be much larger than they actually are.
They are very gentle, excellent setters, require little space, and with their many color varieties are absolutely beautiful to look at. Cochins are the most popular of the feather legged bantams and one of our best setters.
Cochins have a lustrous, greenish black base color with many of the feathers tipped in white - a color contrast that really makes them stand out in a flock.
In my opinion this bantam breed has been one of the easiest to care for. They are cold hardy and have playful attitudes which means they adjust well. I love the affection this breed shows. They have quickly became one of my favorites.
Chick Care Guide
BANTAMS: Keep Bantam chicks in a separated area until they are strong enough to hang with standard size chicks. They need an area where they have free accessibility to food and water. They cannot compete with the larger breeds for food and water. They need an area snuggly and warm with no drafts. They do not have the ability to regulate their body temperatures and drafts could be a death sentence.
- box – can be as simple as cardboard box petitions or wooden box.
- shaving – should be larger shaving. They will eat the smaller ones and it will kill them. Put an inch of large pine shavings in the floor of the brooder box. Don’t get it too deep. Do Not use cedar shavings.
- Starter Grower feed - start by pouring a small amount on the floor on paper towel.
- lamp - (preferably the infrared red heat lamps. White lights cause pecking)
- - placed on something to hold it up about an inch high to prevent drowning.
- - after the chicks have been eating from paper towel for about a week fill feeders with starter grower feed.
Day 1: Acclimating Chicks
- Warm the brooder to 90 degrees before adding chicks. Keep drafts away from chicks. Since they have not grown out their feathers yet, they catch colds easily. Without feathers, they are basically naked.
- Temperature: 90 degrees bring temperature up or down according to behavior. If your chicks are huddling together in clumps, they are cold, if they are plastered all around the walls trying to get away from the heat they are too hot. Drop the temperature down 5 degrees each week until reaching 70 degrees.Caution! Please don’t let your birds get any hotter than 90 degrees. Heat exhaustion will kill and is identified by gasping, and water will go out their mouths and butts. If the outdoors is 90 degrees you may not have to use a heat source at all.
- Water: First thing to do when baby chicks arrive is to take one at a time and dip their beaks in the water and be certain they drink; this step is essential to survival. If you can set the waterer above the shaving on a one inch high platform, it will help prevent them from filling with shaving and hopefully prevent them from drowning.
- It is a good practice to put a teaspoon of sugar in warm water when arriving in the mail, this rejuvenates them and allows them strength to eat and drink.
- Feed: Until chicks catch on, the best way to get them to eat is by scattering starter chick feed on a piece of paper towel. After about 2-3 days, add a feeder.
- Location: Keep feed and water on outskirts of heat lamp, ideally on opposite sides (with heat lamp in the middle) to keep water from feed.
- Sleep: Expect the chicks to sleep quite a lot during this first week.