Houdan Chicken


Last Updated on February 9, 2021 by Pauline G. Carter

Houdan Chickens are a French bred chicken, being named after the French city, Houdan, about 100 miles away from Paris. The city of Houdan was always associated with producing poultry and supplying Paris with its eggs and meat.

The Houdan was once known as the Normandy Fowl. It is thought that this breed dates back to ancient Roman times, between AD7-AD40. They were imported to the UK somewhere during the 1850’s and introduced to the USA in 1867.

It arrived also in North American around 1865. In France, these birds were highly valued for their fleshy white meat and their large eggs. Today they are considered more as ornamental chicken breeds. The Houdan appeared in the American Standard of Perfection (first edition) in 1874.

Houdan Chicken | Breed Profile

Houdan Chicken

Country of origin:France
Primary use:Dual-purpose meat/eggs
Weight:Male: Standard: 2.5–3 kgBantam: 900 gFemale: Standard: 2–2.5 kgBantam: 800 g
Temperament:Sweet, Easily handled
Recognized Varieties:Mottled, White
Egg production (annual):150
Egg color:White
Egg size:Medium
Comb type:Shaped like a butterfly or oak-leaf

Characteristics Of The Houdan Chicken

These birds have crests with V-shaped combs. They have 5 toes. Because of the fifth toe, baby chick Houdans look like they walk with a kind of skippinggait. The cocks can weigh up to around 8 lbs and he hens to about 6½ lbs.

Cockerels weigh around 7 lbs and pullets around 5½ lbs. They make excellent table birds. They are calm, placid and gentle but still bold and active tending towards broodiness.

They don’t really make good sitters on their eggs, because of their heaviness; sometimes they break their eggs. Their heads are large and crested. They have short beaks with small and round earlobes and wattles.

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The earlobes are white whilst the wattles and comb are red. They have mottled-black legs with no feathers. Their eyes are the color of reddish-by and beak, toes and shanks a pinkish-white color. Their plumage is a standard white color.

The Houdan breed only has few varieties. These are white, lavender and black-mottled Houdan chicken.


The Houdans enjoy interacting with humans. If you handle them with care and calmly, fromvery young, they make tame pets. However, their large crest limit their eyesight a bit, causing them to be a bit flighty.

They can reach up to 8 years. As an excellent meat producer as well, it has been served at tables of aristocracy, called the “queen of birds” and also “bird of kings” for the firm and flavoursome meat.

The Houdan will withstand confinement, but you will find that they love to free range, obtaining a lot of their nutritional needs just being allowed to roam.

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What we like and what we don’t like about the Houdan Chicken:

We Liked

  • Very good natured
  • Excellent Houdan chicken eggs and meat producer
  • Good for backyards
  • V-Shaped Comb
  • Breed Size is Large
  • Inquisitive natures
  • Good winter layers

We Don’t Like

  • Their crests obstruct vision making them target for predators

Is The Houdan Chicken A Good Choice For You?

  • The Houdan chickens need dry, spacious and safe runs where they can forage.
  • The have vision-limiting crests which make them an easier target than others for predators.
  • They love to eat their grains and love to gather their own food, foraging around for nutrients. Breeders need to take note that feeding and water containers need to be designed in such a way as to keep the crest of the bird dry and clean.
  • hand-o-rightThese birds lay their eggs well, even into their old age. If their food is supplemented well with extra protein and calcium, the egg production can be excellent, around 150 eggs a year. The Houdan chicken hardly ever hatches its eggs. You would need to use an incubator to do this, or a surrogate sitter. Houdan chicken for sale is better hatched in the warmer months to take advantage of the warmth.
  • hand-o-rightAll round, Houdan chickens make a good choice for small farmers.

1 thought on “Houdan Chicken”

  1. quite an exhaustive and informative posts on the houdan chicken. I feel this breed will do well on a small scale poultry farm than in large farms. The inability to hatches its own egg is a huge impediment to me.

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