are hundreds of different varieties of chickens out there to choose
from, so figuring out the right one for your needs can be a bit
daunting. This week, I'm going to highlight the pros and cons of
the chicken breeds I've had personal contact with. I hope you'll
chime in and let me know your favorite breed(s) and why you love
them. Are they good pets, wonderful mothers, prolific egg-layers,
great meat birds, or something else entirely?
I'm going to start off
the week with a bit of a dud. Two years ago, we went in on a
somewhat random assortment of chickens with a friend. We brought
home Golden Comets, Barred Rocks, and a White Cochin, the last of which
was our least favorite by far.
First, I should mention
her good point --- she's very, very broody. At one year of age,
our White Cochin decided it was time to become a mother and she started
sitting on the nest. Since we don't have a rooster in our flock,
this broodiness went for naught. All summer, we pushed her out of
the way to take out the eggs, but she just kept sitting. Finally,
we gave in and got some fertilized eggs from another friend for her to
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Here's where the White
Cochin showed her mettle --- even after trying to brood for months on
end, she sat on
that nest all day and all night. Finally, the chicks
started hatching...and our broody hen pecked them to death.
Apparently, our White Cochin was smart enough to realize that the black
chicks coming out of those eggs couldn't possibly be her offspring, but
that intelligence made her pretty worthless to us since we couldn't
even use her as a brood hen.
Except for her tendency
to go broody, our White Cochin seems to have no clue how to live on a
farm. While her tractor-mates are busily scratching
in the weeds to find bugs, she usually hops up on a perch and takes a
nap. Her eggs are a slightly different color than everyone
else's, so we can tell that she rarely lays. Actually, as I write
this, I can't quite realize why we haven't eaten her yet. I would
recommend a White Cochin only to someone who wants a gentle pet with no
redeeming livestock features.
Have you had experience
with a cochin and disagree? Leave a comment and let me
know! Meanwhile, check out our homemade chicken
just as much by a broody cochin as a hard-working egg-layer.