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Breed Standard

OldDesignShop_RoosterHenPartridgeCochinsLarge Fowl

Origin: Asia
Classification: Heavy, Soft Feather
Egg colour: Tinted

The Cochin as we know it today, originally came from China in the early 1850s, where it was known as the Shanghai, and later still as the Cochin-China. The breed created a sensation in this country in poultry circles because of its immense size and table properties. Moreover, it was an excellent layer. It was developed, however for wealth of feather and fluff for exhibition purposed to the extent that its utility characteristics were neglected, if not made impossible, in winning types. There are no Cochin bantams.

General Characteristics


Massive and deep. Carriage rather forward, high at stern, and dignified.


Body large and deep. Back broad and very short. Saddle very broad and large with a gradual and decided rise towards the tail forming an harmonious line with it. Breast broad and full, as low down as possible. Wings small and closely clipped up, the flights being neatly and entirely tucked under the secondaries. Tail small, soft, with as little hard quill as possible, and carried low or nearly flat.


Small. Beak rather short, curved and very stout at base. Eyes large and fairly prominent. Comb single, upright, small perfectly straight, of fine texture, neatly arched and evenly serrated, free from excrescences. Face smooth, as free as possible from feathers or hairs. Ear-lobes sufficiently developed to hang nearly or quite as low as the wattles, which are long, thin and pendant.


Rather short, carried somewhat forward, handsomely curved, thickly furnished with hackle feathers which flow gracefully over shoulders.


Thighs large and thickly covered with fluffy feathers standing out in globular form; hocks entirely covered with soft curling feathers, but as free as possible from any stiff quills(vulture hocks). Shanks short, stout in bone, plumage long, beginning just below hocks and covering front and outer sides of shanks, from which it should be outstanding, the upper part growing out from under thigh plumage and continuing into these sections. Toes, four well spread, straight, middle and outer toes heavily feathered to ends. Slight feathering of other two toes is a good sign to breeders.

With certain exceptions the general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for the natural sexual differences. Comb and wattles as small as possible. The body more square than the male’s and the shoulders more prominent. The back very flat, wide and short, with the cushion exceedingly broad, full and convex, rising from as far forward as possible and almost burying the tail. Wings nearly buried in abundant body feathering and the tail very small. Breast full, as low as possible. General shape is ‘lumpy’, massive and square. Carriage is forward, high at cushion, with a matronly appearance.



Rich black, well glossed, free from golden or reddish feathers.


Beak yellow, horn or black. Comb, face, ear-lobes and wattles bright-red. Eyes bright red, dark red, hazel or nearly black. Legs dusky yellow or lizard.


Hackle, back and tail level shade of rich dark blue free from rust, sandiness or bronze. Remainder even shade of blue free from lacing on breast, thighs or fluff and free from rust, sandiness or bronze.


One even shade of blue free from lacing; pigeon blue preferred.


Beak yellow, horn or yellow slightly marked with horn. Comb, face, ear-lobes and wattles bright red. Eyes dark. Legs and feet blue with yellow tinge in pads.


Breast and underparts any shade of lemon-buff, silver-buff or cinnamon provided it is even and free from mottling. Head, hackle, back, shoulders, wings, tail and saddle may be any shade of deeper and richer colour which harmonizes well – lemon, gold, orange or cinnamon – wings to be perfectly sound in colour and free from mealiness. White in tail very objectionable.


Body all over any even shade, free from mottled appearance. Hackle of a deeper colour to harmonize, free from black pencilling or cloudiness, cloudy hackles being especially objectionable. Tail free from black.


Beak rich yellow. Comb, face, ear-lobes and wattles brilliant red. Eyes to match plumage as nearly as possible, but red eyes preferred although rare. Legs bright yellow with shade of red between scales.


Dark blue-grey bands across the feather on blue-grey ground, the male’s hackle free from golden or red tinge, and his tail free from black or white feathers.


Beak rich bright yellow, but horn permissible. Comb, face, ear-lobes and wattles as in the black. Eyes bright red. Legs brilliant yellow.


Neck and saddle hackle rich bright red or orange-red, each feather with a dense black stripe. Back, shoulder coverts and wing bow rich red, of a more decided and darker shade than the neck. Wing coverts green-black, forming a wide and sharply cut bar across the wing; secondaries rich bay outside the black inside, the end of every feather black; primaries very dark bay outside and dark inside. Saddle rich red or orange-red, the same colour as, or one shade lighter than, the neck. Remainder glossy black, as intense as possible, white in tail objectionable.


Neck bright gold, rich gold, or orange-gold, with a broad black stripe in each feather, the marking extending well over the crown of the head. Remainder (including leg feathering) brown (darker in the grouse), distinctly pencilled in crescent form with rich dark brown or black, the pencilling being perfect and solid up to the throat.


Beak yellow or horn. Comb, face, ear-lobes and wattles as in the black. Eyes bright red. Legs yellow, but may be of a dusky shade.


Pure white, free from any straw or red shade.


Beak rich bright yellow. Comb, face, ear-lobes and wattles as in the black. Eyes pearl or bright red. Legs brilliant yellow.




4.55-5.90 kg (10-13 lb)

3.60-5.00 kg (8-11 lb)



4.10-5.00 kg (9-11 lb)

3.20-4.10 kg (7-9 lb)

Scale of Points

Feathering (cushion 8, fluff 7, tail 5, hackle 5, legs 10) – 35
Colour (or markings in cuckoo or partridge) – 20
Size – 15
Head (ear-lobes 5) – 15
Type – 10
Condition – 5
Total – 100

Serious Defects

Primary wing feathers twisted on their axes. Utter absence of leg feather. Badly twisted or falling comb. Legs other than yellow or dusky yellow, except in blacks and blues. Black spots in buffs. Brown mottling (if conspicuous) in partridge males, or pale breasts destitute of pencilling in partridge females. White or black feathers in cuckoo. Crooked back, wry tail or any other deformity.