Cochins

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Cochins

Postby gecko » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:17 am

Was talking to Roger McCormick (who started the redevelopment of the Cochin in NZ.)
When I asked him about some of my choices for the next stud, he suggested I weigh all 3 of my candidates. The one that was my favourite as a younger cockerel turned out to be considerably lighter than he looked. The lightest LOOKING one was actually the heaviest! (He is a bit shorter in the leg).Quite a surprise...So it obviously pays to weigh your birds prior to decision time!
I use a mini electronic scale which weighs up to 40 kg digitally and very accurately.(Price $39.95).
Just gently put the bird(s) in a polyweave sack and hang on scale. It appears to me the kindest way of weighing. No distress if you do it at night with a torch.The weight of some of my hens also was a surprise. The plumpest looking one was just average weight and the second largest looking bird of the batch was the second lightest. Large frame,little substance.
Fortunately my most typey and best looking pullet was also right up to scratch for breed weight-for-age.
They have been laying since May. (6 months from hatching). So great start for a heavy breed. Hope we can continue to keep them as a utility fowl in New Zealand.
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Re: Cochins

Postby DRG » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:19 pm

Are there many breeders of Cochin's in NZ? Or still fairly new?
Are you selling at the moment or still working on developing them further?
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Re: Cochins

Postby gecko » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:26 pm

Distribution is still somewhat haphazard. I know of a few people in the South Island and 1 or 2 in the North. Since the article in 'Lifestyle Block' (Nov 2009) by Maria Steinke, Roger Mc Cormick (the original developer)has had a lot of call for hatching eggs.The article also has an illustration of the Cochin as it looked in 1883 with feathering not dissimilar to the Croad Langshan. It was supposed to be a very good layer then. It appears that-as breeders moved toward 'show'type- egg production decreased as feathering increased. Don't want to make that mistake.
I want to keep the very good production I am getting from mine so far,so that will have to be one of my selection criteria.
And also the rapid growth rate that allows me to cull non-required cockerels at 12 to 14 weeks with a meaty carcass.

I am building up numbers and will start my formal breeding programme early next season.
I will be selling eggs from then on (late July /August).
I shall try and devise a data-base of people owning/breeding Cochins and try and get a group formed ,so as to exchange information and possibly eggs/stock eventually.The Cochins have an amazing temperament and are very easy to handle.
Having had poultry since my youth,I would say this would be the most engaging and intelligent of the breeds I have kept.

I am looking forward to developing them further so as to get consistency of type. Am still getting the odd throwback,but with ample numbers,I should be able to select.I am aiming for the Cochin type that existed when they first came to New Zealand.(There is a good example of this in 'Poultry for Exhibition' by John H Robinson).

Appreciate your questions DRG. That is what this website is supposed to be about -dissemination of relevant (and sometimes not so) information! You're doing a great job responding to people.
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Re: Cochins

Postby lickin » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:35 pm

i heard from a friend that feather footed bantams dont scratch up the ground as much, is this the same with cochins? like i know they are a larger breed but do they scratch up the ground like other chickens or not as much?
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Re: Cochins

Postby DRG » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:55 pm

gecko wrote:Appreciate your questions DRG. That is what this website is supposed to be about -dissemination of relevant (and sometimes not so) information! You're doing a great job responding to people.


Thanks! :mrgreen:
I do my best! I can't wait to see this breed more readily available! Good work :!:
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Re: Cochins

Postby gecko » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:40 pm

lickin wrote:i heard from a friend that feather footed bantams dont scratch up the ground as much, is this the same with cochins? like i know they are a larger breed but do they scratch up the ground like other chickens or not as much?


The don't as much, but still have a fair go. I don't intend to have excessive feathering on the legs of mine anyway,but expect that with increased feathering ,scratching would decrease. When showing featherfooted breeds exhibiotors generally keep them well out of harms way .
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Re: Cochins

Postby MountainMan » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:30 am

Hello, i am just trying to find 'Herpret' they had some questions regarding cochins, hope im in the right place.
Cheers If i am fire away ill try my best.
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Re: Cochins

Postby gecko » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:39 am

MountainMan wrote:Hello, I am just trying to find 'Herpet'. He had some questions regarding Cochins, hope I'm in the right place.
Cheers .If I am, fire away. I'll try my best.


Hello MountainMan!

Thanks for your response.I operate as 'gecko' on this forum as you will have seen by the photo of one of my Cochin hens.
I am trying to build up a file of people who breed Cochins reasonably seriously (and want to assist in the development of this new breed).I would also like to have somewhere people can ask questions and find sources for stock and or eggs.
As it is possible to contact people privately through this forum (once basic criteria have been met),it would appear to be a good place to keep those interested connected. So if you feel you are interested,please tell us about your involvement with the breed,what you plan to achieve and whether you are likely to have eggs and are stock for sale at any stage.
As it is possible to display photos on this site,you may wish to add one or more at some stage (instructions as to how to are on this website)

Recently saw a 'breeding pair of Cochin' advertised on 'Trade Me'.(Nelson Area). Was hard to tell what the hen was like (she had darker hackles, but the roo was as good an example of a Buff Cochin cockerel as you are going to get at present.

I believe with the restricted genepool we are likely to have for some time,it will be good to know where to go for an eventual outcross which will still be related and therefor 'linebred'.Especially when it comes to improving the colouring on the buffs,which in a lot tends to still be rather 'mealy'

It will also be good to develop a basic 'standard' to aim for (i.e.as per the article in Lifestyle Block where Roger McCormick refers to the Cochin that was here in NZ in 1863).
For that to happen,interested parties need to be able to communicate with each other and I hope this may be the vehicle to eventually do so.
Looking forward to your response.
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Re: Cochins

Postby MountainMan » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:56 pm

Hello Gecko

Thats a real nice looking Cochin hen on your pic.
You are welcome to add me to your file of people who breed Cochins.
At this stage i have about 15 buff Cochin hens/pullets, i have about a third of that with a good buff coat with good leg feathering, most my heavily leg featherd birds have a bit of blue or black in wings and tail so as part of my breeding program i keep a rooster with blue in the tail a rooster with black in the tail and also have a straight buff rooster. With the black and blue tailed chaps i will breed 'like to like' with the hens. In my opinion 'sofar' the blue tailed birds seem to hold genetics for chunkier birds but more squat and the black tailed birds holding that more asiatic taller look so im also working on a blend of the 2 to produce a bigger bird. I also have 4 buff columbian hens. I will try adding a few photos a some stage.
The hen on trade me looked more columbian and not that great in my opinion, but as you say that rooster is quite exceptional.
The buff colouring does need alot of work still, i am happy to work with others interested.

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Re: Cochins

Postby DRG » Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:07 pm

MountainMan wrote:You are welcome to add me to your file of people who breed Cochins.


Would you like me to add you to the PoultryCentral breeders database?
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Re: Cochins

Postby MountainMan » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:33 pm

Hi there yes thats fine.
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Re: Cochins

Postby gecko » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:42 pm

Thanks for the compliment MountainMan!

I will add you to the list and of course you'll be on the PC database for reference also.
Good of you to give us that detailed info for future reference. I am also pleased to see that you have a goodly number of Cochins to do something with seriously.

In my flock so far I found that the DarkBuff/Blacktailed birds are more squat and the 'blonde'/buff have the larger frame. I was surprised when following Roger's advice to weigh my breeding birds before making breeding choices, that the darktailed roo,despite his shorter stature,actually weighed the most (not by a great deal) and the one that showed the most promise as a youngster LOOKED big, but was the lightest of the 3 I kept. Now that they are maturing. the bird that I originally thought I would keep as a back-up,is now my best looking and heaviest male.
I read in a book about genetics that many who breed Buff coloured poultry,keep a dark-tailed line to keep the colour a richer buff. The eggs I have hatched from R.McC this year have rersulted in VERY well feathered birds (esp. leg feathering) But they also have a paler buff colour so far.Earlier this year I did a trial mating with a New Hampshire Red roo.The colour certainly became a beautiful/even rich buff on the offspring. Won't be keeping those of course,but it did hint at what we need to do to improve that 'mealiness' in some.
But I think for now we need to concentrate on type.
I am aware of the 'Cochin' breed standard as published in Ian Selby's volume,but personally donot aspire to breed such 'overfeathered' birds.This emphasis on feathering has made Cochins into showbirds everywhere else in the world.
But I like the type of bird that was here in NZ in 1863 and was productive.
My Cochins certainly excell in the laying department (only equalled by quite an exceptional Barnie we have) and the young male birds dress out really well at from 12 to 18 weeks (depending on the type of meat you want) Have you found the same?
How do your Cochins compare in that regard to the other breeds you own/breed?
Keep in touch when you can and would love to see a photo or 2 when you can manage.Appreciate your input.
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Re: Cochins

Postby MountainMan » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:11 pm

I have one light buff hen with a large fame also.
Yes definitly weigh the birds its quite deceiving, especially when they have the fluffier orpington feathering.

My black tailed rooster gave me my most consistent coloured hens that i now have from last season so i can see truth in that. But im just going to test that breeding like to like theory more this year.

Interesting, i am yet to get more eggs from Roger. Im busy dealing with what i have here.

I agree the type has to take presidence over the colour. and that is what im mainly trying to do here get big heavy birds of the right type.

It was quite odd last year i hatched probably 80% pullets from all cochin eggs, and only kept the very best rooster, who has turned out my heaviest to date, mind you my other 2 older lads were autumn hatched. so not alot to survey.

My cochins lay the best overall, and my langshans and cochins seem to be my best winter layers, only 4 of my cochin hens seem to lay big eggs the rest are of average size. They mature rather quick for heavy fowl.

I had sent 2 private messages regarding some blue and black birds did you receive this?

Ill try get some pics on.
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Re: Cochins

Postby gecko » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:29 am

Hi MM,
Good to hear that you find the Cochins good layers also. The Langshans have always had a pretty good reputation as winter layers.
It will be interesting to see if we can keep those very desirable qualities over the next few generations....
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Re: Cochins

Postby MountainMan » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:21 pm

Heres that blue Cochin/Langshan pic[img][IMG]http://i872.photobucket.com/albums/ab290/Chookman/Chooks%20%201/DSC07601.jpg[/img][/img]
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