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.
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Houdan Chicken | Breed Profile
Country of origin:
Male: Standard: 2.5–3 kg
Sweet, Easily handled
Egg production (annual):
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: