Polish Chickens: Eggs, Colors, & More

Polish Chickens: Eggs, Colors, & More

The Polish chicken is a cute, quirky poultry friend that is a true delight to have in your flock.

 

With a natural talent to shine in the coop or shows, the Polish chicken has many qualities that can make it a good addition to your flock.

 

They’re also adorable, friendly, full of personality, and make great companions. In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the Polish chicken.

 

Polish Chicken Personalities

What Are Polish Chickens Like?

Polish chickens are quirky, funny creatures that are full of personality and love to be held.

 

They’re best known for the tufts of feathers on their head, lovingly referred to by chicken owners as their “pom pom.”

 

This chicken breed is a stunning mix of white, brown, and black making it a real head turner. The silver laced polish varieties are black and white chickens.

 

They’re great for children since they’re not aggressive, like being held, and are friendly. Because of their size and the crest of feathers (which can cover their eyes and make it hard for them to see), they can be a little skittish around very fast movement.

 

But with consistent handling and treats like black soldier fly larvae, your Polish chickens will welcome your visits!

 

What Are Polish Chickens Used For? (What Is The Use Of The Polish Breed?)

Polish chickens are largely kept for ornamental reasons – because they’re pretty and friendly. They’re also great for children because they like to be held and enjoy human companionship. Polish chickens are fair egg layers, and you can expect 2-3 eggs per week (assuming the hen’s diet is adequate. You can learn more about what chickens eat here and high quality alternative feeds here.)

 

Quick Facts about Polish Chickens:

Appearance Varieties Eggs Personality
Feather crest on head White Crested Black White Friendly
4 toes Golden laced Lay 2-3x per week Quiet in coop
~6 pounds Buff laced ~100 eggs per year Good for children
V-comb, small wattles Silver laced Medium sized Likes treats & toys

Appearance

Polish chickens have 4 toes, a crest of feathers on their head that often covers their eyes, and have a calm appearance. The hens do not have prominent wattles or combs, and both sexes have a v-shaped comb.

 

Polish chicken breed and color varieties:

  • Non-Bearded White Crested Black
  • Non-Bearded Golden
  • Non-Bearded Silver
  • Non-Bearded White
  • Bearded Golden
  • Bearded Silver
  • Bearded White
  • Bearded Buff Laced
  • Non-Bearded Buff Laced
  • Non-Bearded White Crested Blue

 

At most major hatcheries, you’ll find most of these types. The most popular Polish chicken varieties are:

  • Silver laced
  • Buff laced
  • White crested black
  • Golden laced

 

The laced chickens are popular because their feathers are very beautiful, and they’re a colorful addition to any flock. The white crested black variety are prized because they’re black chickens with a contrasting white crest – a real head turner!

 

You can also find “frizzled” variants (the feathers look messy and turn upward, instead of lay neatly against their bodies.). You can learn more about frizzles here.

 

It’s important to note that Polish chickens aren’t very cold hardy, but they’re heat tolerant. So, if you live in a cold area, you will need to pay special attention to them during the cold days. In the summer, it’s also important to note they could get heat stroke – so providing cool, fresh water at all times is critical.

 

Is A Polish Chicken A Bantam?

While there’s full size Polish chickens, there’s also Polish bantams available (you can read more about how to raise bantams here – because of their size, they have some special needs to keep them safe from chicken predators.

 

Full size Polish roosters weigh about 6 lbs and hens weigh 4.5 lbs. The bantam varieties weigh about 2-3 pounds.

 

They’re relatively good fliers, although they’re unlikely to “fly the coop” and wander off. Because of their crest of feathers, they can’t see very well, so they usually stick close to home.

 

Do Polish Chickens Have 5 Toes?

Polish chickens have only 4 toes. Only:

chickens have 5 toes. You can learn about these chicken breeds here.

 

Are Polish Chickens Aggressive?

Not usually. Polish chickens are easy going, and due to their friendly natures, they enjoy human company.

 

What Age Do Polish Roosters Crow?

The age a rooster will first crow varies on the breed, but in general they typically will begin crowing at about four or five months of age, some late bloomers even at 8 months.

 

Eggs

Do Polish Chickens Lay Eggs?

The Polish chicken is not reliable egg layers although they do lay a good number of around 200 medium to large sized eggs/year. Although it does take them a while to get into the swing of laying, but once they do it comes consistently.

 

Despite popular myth, you don’t need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs, although it’s not a bad idea to keep one to protect your hens.

 

How Many Eggs Do Polish Chickens Lay?

Polish chicken hens aren’t great layers – you can expect 2-3 eggs per week. This also depends on her diet (a poor diet can cause chickens to stop laying eggs. It’s best to stick with a 16% layer feed and always offer a calcium supplement. You can learn more about egg laying, including how often chickens lay eggs, here.

 

What Color Eggs Do Polish Chickens Lay?

Polish chickens lay white eggs.

 

Are Polish Chickens Good Layers?

Since this chicken is often used for ornamental purposes their egg laying ability varies on the breed. Polish are sweet natured and beautiful exhibition birds but not reliable egg layers.

 

How Many Eggs Does A Polish Chicken Lay?

Polish chickens lay around 200 white eggs per year.

 

What Age Do Polish Chickens Lay Eggs?

Most Polish hens start laying eggs at about 5 months of age, which is a bit earlier than other popular breeds like Cochins, Speckled Sussex, or Buff Orpingtons. This will depend on her diet and the season – if she turns 6 months old during the winter, she might not lay until spring. Most chickens need 12-14 hours of light a day to lay eggs.

 

Hatching Chicks

Are Polish Chickens Broody?

While any chicken can go broody (even roosters, oddly enough), Polish chickens aren’t bred for their mothering abilities. So, they don’t tend to go broody.

 

How Long Do Polish Chickens Take To Hatch?

Like other breeds, you should expect it to take 21 days for your chicks to hatch. You can learn more about hatching chicks here and discover the incubators I recommend here.

 

Once the chicks hatch, offer a high-quality 18% protein chick starter feed.

Caring For Your Polish Chicken

Full size chickens and the bantam versions have similar needs:

  • A safe coop (you can learn how to build a predator-safe coop here)
  • A high-quality feed (here’s the feed I recommend)
  • Clean water (get my waterer recommendations here)
  • Entertainment, such as a chicken swing

 

To keep predators and pests out of your coop, it’s best to use a chicken feeder that’s easy to clean and/or will automatically close. You can check out the chicken feeders I recommend here. 

 

For all chicken breeds, hardware cloth is a good option to keep them safe – you can learn more about chicken wire here and discover which option is best for your situation here.

 

Do Polish Hens Have Spurs?

No, they don’t. Only the roosters have spurs.

 

Where Are Polish Chickens From?

The origins of this breed is a bit unclear, however,  there are several anecdotes saying that the bird came from Europe. The most notable story is that in 1736, the King of Poland was dethroned and fled to France bringing with him his beloved Polish chickens.

 

They were well loved by the French aristocracy and from then on their future was assured. The Polish chicken traveled from Continental Europe to England (1700’s) and eventually finding its way to the USA in 1830-1840.


Where To Buy Polish Chickens?

Most major hatcheries carry Polish chicks, including:

  • Cackle Hatchery (You can read our review of Cackle Hatchery here.)
  • Meyer Hatchery
  • Murray McMurray
  • Ideal Poultry
  • Stromberg Chickens

 

You might also be able to find Polish chickens at farm stores or local breeders. 

 

 

Bantam Chickens: Owner’s Guide

Bantam Chickens: Owner’s Guide

Looking for an adorable new personality for your lively backyard flock? Then a tiny bantam chicken might be a perfect match for you!

 

These chickens are essentially smaller versions of regular chicken breeds, however, they make for good pets because they lay a lot of eggs that are just as good as a regular sized chickens.

 

If you’re thinking about raising bantam chickens, you’ve made a good choice! In this article, you’ll discover how to rise bantams successfully, and tips to care for your new poultry pals.

 

Bantam Chickens 101

Bantam are small chicken breeds that make a great addition to any flock: they’re adorable, usually fluffy, always full of personality, and they lay eggs!

 

Particularly if you’re looking for a great pet chicken for your children, bantams are usually the way to go. With some notable exceptions (which we talk about below), bantams are friendly, like to be held and cuddled, and love attention – making them perfect for kids or adults who want a new best friend.

 

The hens usually aren’t broody (with the exception of silkies and pekins), and the roosters are typically friendly, and are less likely to flog or attack their owners.

 

You’ll see chicken owners referring to bantams and “true bantams.” This can be confusing (because aren’t all bantams “true bantams?”). Most chicken breeds have a bantam variety – which means there’s a wide array of options available for your flock.

 

However, just remember that a “true bantam” means there’s no full-size equivalent.

 

Read on further to discover the varying bantam chicken breeds available, and discover which is best for your flock!

Which Chicken Breeds Come In A Bantam Variety?

Here’s our bantam chicken breeds chart:

 

Breed Eggs laid per year Egg color Good for families? True bantam?
Belgian Bantam 150 Off white Yes Yes
Frizzle 200 Brown or white Yes No
Pekin 80 Cream Yes No
Araucana 280 Blue Yes No
Naked Neck 200 Brown Yes No
Dutch Bantam 200 Cream Yes, but needs consistent handling Yes
Japanese Bantam 50 Cream Yes Yes
Brahma 200+ Brown Yes No
Sebright 80 White Possibly – roosters can be territorial Yes
Silkie 100 Cream Yes Yes
Serama 160 Cream Yes Yes
Barbu d’Uccle 200 Cream Yes Yes
Polish 150 Cream Yes Yes
Easter Egger 300 Brown, blue, green, or pink Yes No
Cochin 200+ Brown Yes No

 

Belgian Bantam

Belgian bantams originate in – you guessed it – Belgium. They come in a variety of lovely hues and is a lively addition to a flock. They’re one of the more rare chicken breeds – in danger of extinction – so if you choose to raise these chickens, you’ll be helping the breed out! They’re friendly and a true bantam – so they have no full sized equivalent. They are, however, good fliers so you need to ensure that they have a good chicken run and build a coop that’s safe, so they don’t wander off.

 

Bantams tend to be targets for chicken predators because of their size – even skunks, raccoons, and possums can easily pick them off!

 

Where to buy: Murray McMurray Hatchery

 

Pekin Bantam

Pekin bantams originated in China (possibly in the court of the Emperor), and like a lot of other bantam varieties, it has feathered feet! They made their way to Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria, and are friendly birds that are very docile.

 

The hens tend to go broody, although they’re only fair egg layers (approximately 80 eggs per year) – so if your hens do want to hatch chicks, you can always give them eggs from their flock mates! (if you want to hatch chicks, but don’t want to deal with a broody hen, you can see the incubators I recommend here.)

 

Cochin bantam chickens might be related to Pekins, but its not clear.

 

Dutch Bantam

Dutch Bantams come in a few different varieties: Partridge, black, blue, lavender, silver, and many more. According to historians, it was developed hundreds of years ago because peasant farmers (serfs) could only keep small eggs – the larger eggs were the property of the landholder. Today, it’s mostly kept as an ornamental chicken (meaning, because they’re pretty).

 

Some owners report their Dutch Bantams are particularly hardy against the elements, and if not handled regularly, they can be flighty. Because of their size, they eat less than other breeds (you can find out what chickens eat here, and different alternative chicken feed options here.) It’s a good flier, so a sturdy and enclosed chicken run is definitely needed. They’re good layers, coming in around 200 eggs per year.

 

Where to buy: My Pet Chicken, Stromberg Chickens, Welp Hatchery

 

Japanese Bantam

Japanese bantams are popular chickens, and because of their size, they’re regarded as the easiest to keep (although most bantam breeds are pretty easy). You might notice this type of bantam has very short legs – this is due to genetics. In order to be considered a true Japanese bantam, the chicken must have these short legs. Like seramas and sebrights, their wings angle down (instead of horizontal, like other chickens).

 

There’s many color varieties available, black, lavender, red, partridge, as well as frizzle and silkie variations.

 

They lay about 150 small eggs per year.

 

Where to buy: My Pet Chicken, Purely Poultry, Cackle Hatchery 

 

Brahma Bantam

Known for being sweet and friendly, this perfect urban flock chicken that comes in a variety of color combinations, such as:

  • Light
  • Dark
  • Buff
  • Black
  • White

 

They have feathered feet (which can get quite dirty during rainy, muddy days). They were accepted into the American Poultry Standard of Perfection in 1946. This breed is gentle, and is tolerant to cold conditions. They’re decent egg layers that’ll lay about 200 brown eggs a year. There’s also a full-size variety. You can read more about brahma chickens here.

 

Where to buy: My Pet Chicken, Purely Poultry, Cackle Hatchery

 

Sebright Bantam

Sebright bantams are popular (especially silver laced) because they’re very beautiful. They have laced feathers, and rose combs, and are a bright addition to any flock. They’re also very tiny: both hens and roosters lay less than 2 pounds. They’re a true bantam breed, and were developed in Great Britain by Sir John Saunders Sebright, as an ornamental breed.

 

However, choose your breeder wisely – some roosters can be very territorial, and they have spurs. So they’re not really for beginners. They’re also difficult to breed, because the males tend to be infertile. While they’re not known for being a spectacular layer (only about 80 per year), they still are lovely, active birds.

 

Where to buy: Cackle Hatchery, Stromberg Chickens, My Pet Chicken

 

Silkie Bantam

Silkie bantam chickens are possibly the most popular, well-known, and beloved bantam chicken breeds out there. They’re great for children, and make a wonderful family pet. Unlike other chickens, silkies have feathers that resemble down. So, make sure to keep an eye on them in winter and cooler days, since they can’t keep themselves warm very well.

 

Silkies come in a variety of colors, including buff, white, black, blue, grey, splash, and partridge. Like other black chicken breeds, silkies can be susceptible to heat stroke in the summer, so be sure to offer cool shade for them.

 

The roosters aren’t aggressive, and will tolerate being held (especially if you have treats like black soldier fly larvae or shrimp).

 

They’re fair egg layers, and will give you about 100 eggs per year. The hens tend to be great mothers, and go broody consistently, so if you want baby chicks, then silkies can definitely hatch them for you!

 

You can read more about silkie chickens here, and discover fun facts about them here.

 

Where to buy: Purely Poultry, Meyer Hatchery, Cackle Hatchery, Murray McMurray.

 

Serama Bantam

A true bantam and the smallest breed of chicken in the world. Seramas originated in Malaysia, and are distinctive because of their small stature and their profile, which includes a puffed out chest, straight tail, and vertical wings. The name “serama” is a variant of “Rama,” which means king. They can lay up to 160 cream-colored eggs per year.

 

Where to buy: My Pet Chicken

 

Barbu d’Uccle (Belgian d’Uccle)

These adorable bantam chickens have beards and tufts – giving them a unique and cuddly appearance! Developed in Belgium in the 20th century, they come in many varieties, including:

 

  • Blue,
  • Lavender,
  • Mille Fleur,
  • Porcelain,
  • Mottled,
  • Black,
  • White, and
  • Cuckoo

 

The Mille Fleur and Porcelain varieties are very popular because they’re an unusual addition to any flock. They’re very friendly, enjoy human company, and are great for children (especially since the Mille Fleur variety look like cartoon characters.) They’re good layers, and you can expect about 200 cream eggs per year.  

 

Where to buy: Cackle Hatchery, Murray McMurray

Polish Bantams

Bantam polish chickens are friendly and cuddly chickens….that also happen to look like a Dr. Seuss character! With their “pom pom” of feathers that crown their head, they’re a fun addition to any flock.

 

They enjoy being held, and are a good family bantam. Polish chickens probably originated in Holland, and are generally kept as pets for ornamental purposes. They lay about 150 cream colored eggs each year, and come in a variety of colors such as silver laced, golden laced, buff, black, and white crested. The white crested is one of the friendliest black and white chicken breeds.

 

Where to buy: Any major hatchery

 

Frizzle

Frizzles aren’t a backyard chicken bantam breed per se, but more a variety of different bantam breeds. The frizzle effect of the feathers is a genetic abnormality that’s selected for – so many breeds have frizzle bantam varieties.

 

They’re on this list because frizzles look so different from other bantams – their feathers don’t lay flat, but turn up away from the body. They have wonderful personalities. They look adorable, and are friendly, calm, and enjoy human company.

 

Because of their frizzled feathers, children are attracted to them, and this breed enjoys being held. Although they’re getting more popular, frizzles are still a relatively rare chicken breed to find in backyards. You can learn more about frizzles here.

 

The amount of eggs laid per year will depend on the breed of frizzle, but most breeds lay about 200 eggs per year.

 

Where to buy: Cackle Hatchery, My Pet Chicken, Meyer Hatchery

 

Easter Egger

Bantam Easter Egger chickens are miniature versions of the full-size variety. Easter Eggers aren’t a breed, but a hybrid. They’re popular because they’re friendly and lay eggs of varying colors – from blue to green, to pink or brown. (The color of the eggs will depend on the individual chicken.)

 

Easter Egger Bantams are good layers, although their eggs are smaller than their full-sized cousins. They’re friendly, and with their muffs and beards, they have a distinctive profile! Note that they may or may not lay blue eggs, so if you definitely want eggs that color, then consult this list of blue egg layers.

 

You can read more about Easter Egger chickens here.

 

Where to buy: Cackle Hatchery, Meyer Hatchery, Murray McMurray.

Cochin

Bantam cochin chickens make wonderful additions to your backyard flock. They’re very friendly, and lay tiny brown eggs. They’re not the best layers – you can expect about 200 eggs per year.

 

But they make up for it in personality! They love human company, and actively seek their people for cuddles. They’re very small – weighing in at about 2 pounds. With their feathered feet, intelligent eyes, and big personalities, you’ll fall in love with them!

 

You can read more about cochin chickens here.

 

Where to buy: Cackle Hatchery, My Pet Chicken, Meyer Hatchery

 

Naked Neck (Turken or Transylvanian)

These bantams have a very distinctive trait – they don’t have feathers on their necks! They look strange, but they’re friendly birds who enjoy interacting with people. While their full-sized counterparts are fairly common, the bantam variety are more rare, with only a handful of hatcheries actually selling them. The full-sized Turkens lay about 200 brown eggs each year.

 

Where to buy: Dunlap Hatchery

 

Raising Bantams

Where To Buy Bantam Chickens?

You can buy bantam chickens for sale at any of your local farm store or major hatchery. Here’s a list of common hatcheries:

 

  • Cackle Hatchery
  • My Pet Chicken
  • Meyer Hatchery
  • Murray McMurray
  • Purely Poultry
  • Stromberg Chickens
  • Ideal Poultry
  • Welp Hatchery
  • Metzer Farms

 

You can also buy them from breeders. A good place to find them is in Facebook groups or breed associations.

Are Bantam Chickens Good Egg Layers?

Yes, some are, and some aren’t (like all types of chickens). You can see the chart below for which bantams are good egg layers. The best egg laying bantams lay at least 200 eggs a year, so it’s best to keep these breeds, if you’re keeping them just for the eggs. It’s also important to remember that Silkies usually lay smaller eggs than their full-sized chicken counterparts. Many of these breeds also go broody often, and when birds are broody they temporarily cease laying.

 

Breed Eggs laid per year Egg color
Belgian Bantam 150 Off white
Frizzle 200 Brown or white
Pekin 80
Araucana 280 Blue
Naked Neck 200 Brown
Dutch Bantam 200 Cream
Japanese Bantam 50 Cream
Brahma 200+ Brown
Sebright 80 White
Silkie 100 Cream
Serama 160 Cream
Barbu d’Uccle 200 Cream
Polish 150 Cream
Easter Egger 300 Brown, blue, green, or pink
Cochin 200+ Brown

 

What Does Bantam Chicken Mean?

The term “bantam” is a size characterization for chickens – bantams are smaller variations of larger chicken breeds, or have been developed as a separate breed. According to Dictionary.com, this size of chicken was named after the province of Bantam in Java. The word itself comes from the Indonesian word “Ayam kate,” and refers to any small variety of fowl, especially chickens. Since most large chicken breeds have a bantam counterpart, they are sometimes referred to as a miniature.

 

Are Bantam Chickens Friendly?

Most bantam breeds are friendly because they’ve been bred as companion or ornamental chickens (which is why bantams are great for children). However, there are some breeds that are more likely to be skittish. Like other animals, any chicken or bantam that’s not handled regularly, can become skittish. If you spend time with your bantams and give them treats, they’ll be very friendly to their humans, and enjoy your company.

 

How Big Do Bantam Chickens Get?

The size of a bantam depends on breed, diet, and the individual animal. Some types of bantam chickens will only be about 8 inches tall (Sebrights and Seramas are examples), while other breeds might be closer to a foot. The smallest bantam breed in the world are Seramas.

 

What Are Bantam Chickens Used For?

Many people keep bantams as pets, because of their friendly natures. You can also keep them for eggs, although their eggs are smaller, and they don’t lay eggs as well as some full sized chicken breeds. They’re great pets for children, since most bantams enjoy human company and being held. Many people also keep bantams as FFA or 4H projects, or to show in competition.

 

How Much Room Do Bantam Chickens Need?

The perfect bantam chicken coop offers 4 square feet per chicken will be adequate enough if they also have a run. Make sure your flock has enough room, otherwise they might become stressed or develop bad habits, like feather picking. You can read about how to build a coop here, which chicken wire is best for a run, and what your coop should include here.

How Long Does A Bantam Chicken Live?

Bantam chickens can live for between 4 to 8 years depending on the breed and how well they are cared for, just like any other chicken. Some bantams live 13 years. The oldest chicken in the world lived to about 40.

 

What Is The Smallest Breed Of Bantam Chickens?

The smallest breed of bantam chicken is the Malaysian Serama. It weighs in at about 1 pound and is only around 9 inches tall.

 

Can Bantam Chickens Live With Regular Chickens?

Yes they can. Even though they’re small, most bantam breeds do well with full-sized chickens. They’re not pushovers in the flock, so they aren’t at the bottom of the pecking order. Just make sure your rooster doesn’t over mate with the hens (full size roosters are too big for most bantam breeds), and that you put out extra food and water in case they have a hard time getting a dinner.

 

What Do Bantam Chickens Eat?

When they’re chicks, bantams should eat an 18% protein mash. As adults, they should eat a 16% protein layer feed. You can also feed them treats, such as black soldier fly larvae. You can discover a full list of what bantam chickens can eat here, and a list of alternative feed options here. You can also see the chicken feeders I recommend here.

 

Can Bantam Chickens Fly?

Some can and some can’t. Breeds such as Cochin Bantams fly very well. Silkies, on the other hand, can’t fly at all. They can jump short distances and hop onto objects. It’s important to remember this when building your coop – you need to make sure there’s a place off the ground or your Silkie chickens to sleep, otherwise they might get eaten by a chicken predator.

 

At What Age Do Bantams Start Laying Eggs?

Larger and heavier birds like Orpingtons and Plymouth Rocks will start laying on the later side whereas lighter and smaller breeds will start laying sooner. On average, hens will start laying eggs at 6 months of age, depending on the breed.

 

What Color Eggs Do Bantam Chickens Lay?

Bantam chickens can lay eggs of varying color depending on the breed such as brown, blue, green, white,  and so on. You can see the options in the bantam egg color chart below:

 

Breed Eggs laid per year Egg color
Belgian Bantam 150 Off white
Frizzle 200 Brown or white
Pekin 80
Araucana 280 Blue
Naked Neck 200 Brown
Dutch Bantam 200 Cream
Japanese Bantam 50 Cream
Brahma 200+ Brown
Sebright 80 White
Silkie 100 Cream
Serama 160 Cream
Barbu d’Uccle 200 Cream
Polish 150 Cream
Easter Egger 300 Brown, blue, green, or pink
Cochin 200+ Brown

 

Can You Eat Bantam Eggs?

Yes! They’re chicken eggs! Bantam chicken eggs taste the same as any eggs of larger sized chickens. To improve the nutritional value of your bantams’ eggs, you should make sure she has a healthy diet.

 

How Long Do Bantam Chickens Sit On Eggs?

Bantam chickens typically sit on their eggs for 21 days be it a large or small bantam. It takes between 19 and 25 days for bantam eggs to hatch. You can learn about good nesting boxes for broody hens here.

Are Bantam Roosters Aggressive?

Bantam chickens are friendly in nature, however, some breeds can be aggressive when compared to others depending on the bird. Roosters typically don’t attack until they reach puberty and only then if they perceive humans as a threat.

 

Which Bantam Chickens Are The Best Layers?

Easter Egger, Brahma, Cochin, and Dutch bantams lay the most amount of eggs per year (about 200 eggs). You can review the chart below for more information:

 

Breed Eggs laid per year Egg color
Belgian Bantam 150 Off white
Frizzle 200 Brown or white
Pekin 80
Araucana 280 Blue
Naked Neck 200 Brown
Dutch Bantam 200 Cream
Japanese Bantam 50 Cream
Brahma 200+ Brown
Sebright 80 White
Silkie 100 Cream
Serama 160 Cream
Barbu d’Uccle 200 Cream
Polish 150 Cream
Easter Egger 300 Brown, blue, green, or pink
Cochin 200+ Brown

 

How Big Do Bantam Chickens Get?

While it depends on the breed, you can expect your bantam to be between 9 and 12 inches tall. The smallest breed of bantam chicken is the Malaysian Serama. It weighs in at about 1 pound and is only around 9 inches tall. Most bantams weigh between 2-4 pounds. One of the benefits of bantam chickens is they’re small, but if you live in an urban area, it’s best to do a “bantam chicken size comparison” before deciding on the perfect breed for your backyard.

 

Are Bantam Roosters Loud?

They can be. Even though they’re small, bantam roosters still crow. Because of their size, they tend to have “Napoleon syndrome” and forget how small they are – so sometimes, they crow even more than other roosters. Sebright bantams are particularly shrill.

 

Cochin Chickens: Eggs, Colors, Personalities & More!

Cochin Chickens: Eggs, Colors, Personalities & More!

Be ready to fall in love with a big fluffy, friendly mass feathers when you start raising Cochin chickens! Whether you raise the full size version or a bantam cochin chicken, you’re sure to have a new best friend!

 

We own several cochins, including 2 bantams, and they’re the friendliest, cuddliest chickens in our flock.

 

In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about these wonderful types of chickens, including where to buy some, what colors they come in, and how to raise them so they’re happy!

 

Cochin Chicken Breed Profile

Why not start with: what is a cochin chicken?

 

You’ll know it’s a Cochin chicken you’re looking at when you find most of its body covered in feathers – even hiding its legs. Yep – cochins have little “bell bottoms” of feathers that swoosh as they wander around your yard!

 

Traditional size cochins are very heavy birds that can weigh up to 8-11 lbs when mature. If you raise them, you just might find a giant cochin chicken in your flock!

 

Because of their feathers, they look fuller and heavier. So prepare to do some heavy lifting when you try to pick them up hoping for a cuddle!

 

It’s a love and hate relationship with the Cochin’s abundance of feathers –  I love it that it makes them look fluffier, but you’ll soon find that after it rains, they’ll get clumped with mud.

 

It makes them look so dirty! (Although not as soaked and pathetic as my silkie roosters – who just look miserable with their thin, downlike feathers!)

 

Good thing they’re amiable enough to be kept in the coop until the ground dries up.

 

Their friendliness come across physically with their with their warm, golden yellow eyes.

 

Cochin chickens have 5 point combs, wattles, and ear lobes that become very red when they’re mature – they’re beautiful.

 

The feathers on their tails are short and quite uniform with the rest of their body feathers that give them a rounded heart silhouette – perfect!

 

A fun fact about Cochin chickens is that the color of their beak varies from yellow to black. The rule is, the darker the bird, the darker the beak following some sort of palette designed by Mother Nature herself.

 

As you search breed catalogs, you might find Frizzle Cochin chickens. These are an extra lovely variety of the breed. The frizzled feathers are a result of genetics, but no one really knows where the gene comes from (probably an abnormality several generations back).

 

Frizzled feathers make beautiful chickens (and not just Cochins) but these are delicate, and if not taken care of, they can result to baldness.

 

black frizzle cochin chicken

 

There’s also a bantam variety of cochin chickens – and the bantams are tiny (about 2 pounds), and very friendly and cuddly! They love being around people, and would be great as pets for children.

 

Personalities

Cochins have wonderful personalities! They can be human-friendly, kind, and calm. That is, unless they’re broody! They are easy to handle most of the time, but their motherly instincts can get the best of them. They become protective once they get to take care of chicks, even when it’s not theirs! So…are Cochins broody? They can be!

 

Cochins are also very lazy chickens. You’d find it entertaining sometimes when you watch them eat all day – because that’s what they prefer to do mostly. They do not mind being confined as long as they are fed and have environmental entertainment (like suet cakes or other toys). When they’re free-ranged, don’t be surprised if they’re hanging by the chicken feeders!

 

Our bantam hens are pretty lazy too – although they LOVE their chicken swing! They could hang out there all day, if the roosters would leave them alone long enough! It’s also where they sleep.

 

 

Cochin Chicken Colors

The American Poultry Association (APA) varieties/colors of the Cochin chicken. You will be able to find this breed with feathers that are:

 

  • Red,
  • Blue,
  • Brown Red,
  • Silver Laced,
  • Partridge,
  • Buff,
  • Brown,
  • Birchen,
  • Columbian,
  • White Cochin Chickens,
  • Black,
  • Mottled,
  • Lavender,
  • Barred, And
  • Golden Laced Feathers

 

These birds are feathered to a fault and they definitely aren’t boring!

 

There are also Lavender Cochins. Lavender Cochin chickens have an ashy color that must have been derived from genes of the white, blue, or black Cochin chicken.

 

Of the Cochin chicken recognized variety, it’s far easier to get the correct color of white Cochin chickens compared to buff and partridge ones.

 

To produce correct color and markings, partridge Cochin chicken require double mating. But you can’t be careless when it comes to keeping the whiteness of the white Cochin too. You have to stop feeding them maize and grass when the chickens molt. The pigment effects the color of their white feathers, and you would end up with cream colored ones.

 

And that’s just the “standard” Cochin chicken. There is also a Bantam Cochin chicken breed with 16 color varieties. The original of these varieties is the buff Cochin chicken – which is the variety we have on our farm.

 

bantam cochin chicken hen

Eggs Laid Per Year

Do Cochin chickens lay eggs?

Like a lot of larger breeds, Cochin chicken egg production is not that robust. Historically, Cochins are mostly bred for their meat and ornamental uses – not for their egg laying ability.

 

Similar with other large chicken breeds, Cochins only lay about 150 – 180 eggs a year. Cochin chicken eggs are brown and on the average, they’ll give you 2 small to medium eggs per week.

 

They can also produce large eggs in winter months, if the conditions are right, but most of the time, Cochin chicken breeders give their flock a break from laying during the winter.

 

You also might find in the hottest days of summer, your hens stop laying. While the they can lay eggs, many do not lay eggs over long periods of time – 2 to 3 years tops.

 

At What Age Do Cochins Start Laying?

Cochins are slow to mature, and start laying at 8-9 months, not the standard 6 like most egg laying breeds (4 for Leghorns and production hens). Even our bantams took a while to start laying! Again, this breed is mostly kept for ornamental reasons these days.

buff cochin chicken roosters

How Long Does It Take for Cochin Eggs to Hatch?

Like any other chicken eggs, it takes approximately 21 days for the eggs to hatch. You can use an incubator to hatch chicken eggs or a Cochin hen herself (if she’s gone broody).

 

You don’t need to worry about the chicks, they are strong enough! Plus, with a broody mama around, they’ll survive.

 

How Long Do Cochin Chickens Live?

When given good quality feed; a warm, safe chicken coop; and proper veterinary care, cochins can live quite a while. They make remarkably good pets and a pet Cochin should live between 5-8 years.

 

How Many Toes do Cochins Have?

Hidden under their fluffy feathers are 4 toes. Sometimes the middle toe and the inner toe play peek-a-boo with you!

 

Are Cochins Cold Hardy?

The traditional version of this chicken breed is protected from the cold by its feathers and its large, sturdy body is made for winter. However, if the chickens have frizzle feathers, you might find they won’t be capable of holding heat or blocking the wind – so extra precautions will be necessary. The bantam variety does well in winter – however, because they’re so small, extra precautions should be made to ensure they don’t get wet and cold.

 

Can Cochin Chickens Fly?

Because of their size, regular-sized Cochin chickens do not fly, which makes them a favorite for hobbyists. They can be contained in a low fenced chicken run, (made from chicken wire or hardware cloth) and don’t do much roaming or free ranging.

 

The bantam variety loves being around people, and you might find them flying up to sit on your shoulder (mine love sitting on my head). The bantams can fly quite well, but they’re homebodies, and are less likely to fly over to the neighbors. However, their flying ability serves them well – they can get up high and stay safe from predators!

 

Breed History

Well, this chicken breed is undeniably good-looking. It was fitting to be a gift to a queen after all!

Coming all the way from China, it reached English soils when Captain Edward Belcher thought it would make a great gift to Queen Victoria – and he was not wrong.

 

The queen was instantly in love with the exotic bird, called it “Cochin China Fowl,” according to National Geographic. Soon after, all the rest of the British Isles caught up starting the Hen Fever. The hype soon reached the Americas during the Boston Poultry Show of 1849.

 

Eventually, every backyard had to have an exotic cochin!

 

Where to Buy Cochin Chickens

Today, Cochin chickens aren’t that common in every household. BUT, they also are not considered rare.

 

You can find them easily at your local farm store (like Tractor Supply, which is where I found my Cochin bantams) or a Cochin chicken hatchery. You can also find Cochin chickens for sale online and even be shipped to your doorstep.

 

I personally purchase my chickens from Cackle Hatchery because it’s near our farm and has high quality chicks. You can read my review of Cackle here. There’s lots of hatcheries out there, however!

 

So, are cochin chickens for you? Which do you own – the bantam or standard varieties? Leave a comment below!




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Confessions from the Coop: Who’s Laying??

Confessions from the Coop: Who’s Laying??

In this Confessions from the Coop series, I share a “behind the scenes” glimpse of life on the farm! Enjoy!

 

This week, it’s been all about construction on the farm. Well, construction and filming for my new web show series! (Stay tuned for more info about that!)

 

I’ve decided I’m building the ducklings a new fenced in area – they’re already too small for their tractor (the dang chicks stayed in there for a month! Sniff….they grow up so fast!) and it’s warm enough that they’ll be fine in a super-secure fenced in duck house.

 

So, they’ll get their own palace, complete with a pool, a deep waterer for cleaning, a treat bin for black soldier fly larvae and Fluffiest Feathers Ever (yep, it’s full of Vitamin B, so the ducklings have been getting it too – I think that’s why they’ve grown so quickly).

 

As of right now, I’m not going to put flooring on the run besides dirt, but I’m considering brick or other stone so it’s easy to clean and won’t STINK in the rain. You know how easily their poo can turn into a cesspool!

 

The mornings have been getting cooler – I sure hope they have their feathers by October!!

 

Who’s laying??

One of my bantams started laying….and I have no idea who. Based on ages, I’m pretty sure it’s Partridge – a tiny bantam rescue hen someone gave me. But I can’t be 100% certain because I’ve never seen her lay.

 

Previously, she was in a quarantine coop with roosters, and never laid anything. But now she’s in the coop with my Silkies and bantam Cochin hens, and eggs are appearing.

 

The Silkies and Cochins are they’re just a few months old. They’re right on the cusp of laying age, but at just 5 months, it’s a tad too soon for them.

 

The eggs are pure white and about 1/2 the size of a regular egg. I haven’t cracked one open yet to check whether they’re fertile, but if they are….people, I’m hatching bantam eggs. Because the only rooster she’s with is also a bantam. And the chicks will be ADORABLE.

 

backyard chicken eggs

 

I’ve put calendula in the nesting boxes and they’ve been getting Fluffiest Feathers Ever! and Best Eggs Ever! with their feed – which might be why Partridge started laying.

 

We’ve been giving the hens Fluffiest Feathers Ever! lately because the roosters got a bit aggressive earlier this year – and the hens are growing beautiful, glossy feathers back.

 

Some are taking longer than others, but that’s kind of the nature of growing feathers. Some hens just their sweet time!

 

My Blue Copper Marans especially has regrown her feathers quickly. In the span of just a few weeks – less than 4 I think – she’s completely covered where the roosters pulled out all her feathers.

 

She’ll be 4 years old I believe this fall (she was born in November – that much I do recall). The years do pass by, don’t they?

 

We’ve also given Fluffiest Feathers Ever! to the chicks once they reach 5 weeks to help them grow healthy feathers.

 

One of the recent hatches has a completely grey chick.

 

I know this is Hawk’s daughter (I’m sure its female) because the chick has brown tips on the end of her feathers and I KNOW she’s not from my Blue Copper Marans hen (the only other grey hen on the farm) because I didn’t incubate Blue’s eggs. She never lays any, LOL!

backyard chickens

I learned the other day that in Ancient Egypt, there were no chickens (who can imagine such a world?) but there were ducks and quail, and they kept them for eggs and meat.

 

That’s why there’s hieroglyphs of ducks and quail, but not chickens. I thought that was pretty interesting.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos – I’ll see you next week!