Whether you live close by to intolerant neighbors or simply have a low tolerance for noisy squawkers, knowing how much noise to expect from your chickens is important.
Cochin chickens are well-suited to the urban environment, but are they noisy?
Cochin hens are one of the quieter chicken breeds available today, comparable to the Buff Orpington or Barred Rock. Their calm temperament and friendly nature make them unlikely to engage in fights or disruptive behavior. The egg song will likely be the most you will hear from your Cochins.
You might wonder what makes certain breeds quieter than others or what to expect from the hens you have.
Keep reading to learn about Cochin hens, what makes birds more vocal, and our favorite chicken breeds that are good at keeping quiet.
How Loud Are Cochins?
I have never met a chicken who had nothing to say.
Some breeds are quieter than others, and Cochins fall into this category.
Many farmers with experience raising these fluffy birds report being less vocal than other breeds, even as baby chicks and pullets.
They are not active or aggressive and tend to stick close to the nesting boxes.
They have a reputation for being some of the broodiest mothers in any backyard flock.
For these reasons, Cochin does not tend to make much noise.
Most every hen has an egg song, and the Cochin is no exception.
However, her egg song tends to be quieter than most.
Furthermore, Cochin hens are not as frequent layers as breeds like the Rhode Island Red, which means she sings less often.
The Cochin’s personality does not lend itself to a loud and aggressive bird but to a quiet, attentive mother.
Further Reading: Pros and Cons of Cochin Chickens
Why Cochins Might Get Noisy
There are a few reasons your flock might start kicking up a fuss and squawking non-stop.
Even Cochin hens will get loud when their needs are unmet, or they do not feel safe.
Here are some things to do if your flock is being noisy and you need to calm them down:
- Check for predators
- Clean the coop
- Refill food and water
- Ensure there is enough space
Chickens have a flight instinct whenever they see, hear, or sense a predator nearby.
In the chicken yard, they have limited autonomy to get away from the perceived threat, which is why they are likely to begin vocalizing.
If your Cochin birds are being particularly noisy and you know this is out of character for them, it is a good idea to look around the coop.
Keep an eye out for both ground and aerial predators.
Clean the Coop
Wet conditions are bad for any chicken, but Cochins need dry conditions especially badly.
Their full-feathered feet make them especially susceptible to getting damp feathers in wet conditions.
This increases their risk for illness, frostbite, and other health problems.
In a dirty coop, their feathers are likely to get dirty pretty fast, especially those on their feet.
Part of caring for feather-footed birds is maintaining their plumage, so be ready to keep the pen clean and work on their feet from time to time.
Food and Water
If you do fixed feeding times and your birds frequently run out of food before you refill it, it may be a good idea to start giving them a little more.
Squawking birds might be hungry or thirsty without access to more food or water.
Cochin hens are especially good candidates for this problem because they have higher weight and body mass but very docile temperament.
They are unlikely to fight other chickens in your flock for access to the coop’s feed or water.
This is something else to check on if your birds start making a ruckus.
Related Reading: Can Cochin chickens be sexed?
Cochin chickens do surprisingly well with confinement considering their body size.
Compared with other backyard poultry, though, they are remarkably content to hang out in the coop all day and even sit in a little nesting box for days.
This makes them a great breed of poultry in winter for anyone who lives in a colder climate and struggles to find birds who tolerate being shut in during the cold months.
It also makes them the perfect breed for an urban setting, as they tolerate having a little less space than other birds of their size.
However, they are not very tolerant of heat.
Further Reading: How to help Cochin chickens in the summer heat
So, too cramped an environment would result in some unrest in your coop.
More on Cochin Chickens
If you are not sold on the Cochin hen, bear in mind the color varieties they come in.
Their full-feathered feet and heavy feathering make every variety of Cochin stunning and adorable.
Their striking appearance and reputation for being excellent mothers have made them very popular birds in recent years!
Who needs to buy from a breeder or hatchery when you have a Cochin hen?
Because they are so gentle, these sweet-hearted balls of fluff are frequently kept as pets, especially in their Bantam Cochins variety, and used in shows.
Their lush plumage requires some extra care but is worth it because the Cochin is essentially a mass of soft feathers.
They are also productive birds who double as meat birds and decent egg layers.
Further Reading: Can you really eat Cochin chicken meat?
Mostly, though, they stand out in every poultry-yard they enter.
Quiet Chicken Breeds
If the fluff balls discussed above do not appeal to you, fret not.
There are plenty of other chicken breeds with quieter egg songs and docile temperaments.
- Buff Orpingtons
- Rhode Island Reds
Buff Orpingtons share the massive appearance of the Cochin hens but without the feathered feet and struggle with body temperatures.
The plumage of a Buff Orpington is not as dense and fluffy as a Cochin’s feathers, making it easy for their rounded bodies to keep cool in the summer months.
All the breeds listed here are also cold-hardy, and many are known for being more productive layers than the Cochin hen.
Rhode Island Reds tend to be more active and therefore need more space to move than the Cochin hen, which is a challenge for anyone raising their flock in an urban setting.
While no hen does particularly well in wet conditions, none of these birds are as sensitive to cold conditions when their feathers get damp.
The Cochin needs dry conditions or risks serious frostbite and other health problems.