Houdan Chicken: A French Breed of Livestock

The Houdan chicken is one of the oldest and best known of the French breeds. French breed, probably derived from the unions between Padovana Black, Crevecoeur and local chickens (municipalities of five fingers Houdan). It was imported to England in the mid-nineteenth century and later in the United States. It takes its name from Houdan, head of canton in the department of Seine et Oise, near Paris. In shape and size, it is similar to the Dorking and, like this one, the Houdan is highly esteemed for the quality of its meat.

The Houdan chicken is a breed of domestic chicken originating from Houdan, France. Houdans are crested chickens that come in many different colors and varieties, but all have the same white “crest” on their head. Houdans are intelligent and hardy birds with good meat quality, but they can be difficult to manage for inexperienced poultry keepers. Read more about the Houdan Chicken below!

Houdan Chicken

Characteristics Details of Houdan Chicken

The Houdan chicken is a medium-sized breed. The ears are white and have small bumps. On the other hand, the abdomen is wide. Short gray legs with five fingers. The fifth finger they have is well distinguished and well-spaced; It is implanted inside the tarsus, it is long and it is well upwards. This bird has a huge bow, its particular crest in oak leaf or butterfly with open wings. It is of strong size, broad body, cylindrical, but elegant.

Its plumage is dense and white, with black feathers speckled with white. It is very good meat since it has very juicy, white and tender. It has an annual laying off of 120 to 150 eggs, with a minimum weight of about 65 gr., With the shell in white. For its part, the rooster weighs between 2.5 and 3 kg. while the hen weighs between 2 to 2.5 kg. You can also like to read Phoenix Chicken.

The diameter of the rings of the rooster is 20 mm and that of the hen of 18 mm. This breed comes in the following colors: Mottled black in white, white, black and pearl gray. Chicken is strong enough, wide-body, long and cylindrical, but despite this elegant. Attracts attention to its particular butterfly-shaped crest. While the head is strong, well balanced with a hemispherical cranial hernia, covered with an abundant plume of feathers.

Usually, the trunk is a cylindrical, wide, long incline. In the chicken, it is more horizontally and it is more massive than that of the rooster. It also has a short, powerful beak, with a horseshoe-shaped nose mount; nostrils. The color of the eyes has an orange or reddish iris. They have a rudimentary rumble, well hidden from the beard.

The face is reddish, partially covered by feathers. The ears are small, hidden by feathers; the color is unimportant. It also has a plume of medium size, dense and rich; it does not prevent seeing or hiding the crest; looking back; formed by elongated feathers that are born in ahead of the herniated skull located in the frontal part of the skull.

In the well, tall and spherical hen. Tolerance allowed to improve eyesight. The beard is a good development and thick; swollen and outstanding favorite. In the hen, the feathers are a good development and the full beard completely hides the rudimentary bracelets. The neck is strong, quite short; and with an abundant layer. Also, the shoulders are complete and round.

While the back is wide, medium length and slightly inclined to approach the horizon as much as possible. In the hen, the back is moderately long, wide and horizontal. The tail is very large, well development sickle-shape dotted angle range without being too detect. You can also like to read Cornish Chicken.

In medium and closed chicken, large enough to hang and hold more horizontally than the rooster. While the chest is wide, very deep and descending. In the chicken very complete. On the other hand, short legs, strong enough, not visible, very wide. Tassels of medium length; naked; strong; color according to Variety. Also, they have a well-developed belly.


Houdan chicken has been valuing mainly in meat production. Its fast growth and its juicy, white and tender flesh. While their bones are thin, so their meat is plentiful and of good quality. In the second place, its egg production has been taking into account, which has been early and has an average production.

It does not become a clue, to which methods of artificial incubation are uses. It has not been characterizing as being a winter layer, nor for being an incubator. This race is also ornamental, so it takes to events for its exhibition. You can also like to read Leghorn Chicken.

Special Features

Houdan chicken breeders also greatly admire its black and varnished feathers, regularly finished in a white spot and its abundant and round crest, which is one of the most distinctive characteristics of this breed. So they have high longevity, this breed comes to live between 8 and 10 years.

Defects of the Race:

  • Simple or very large ridge.
  • Very small, split cap.
  • With four fingers, or the fifth finger hooked to the fourth.
  • Beard and small whiskers.
  • Quiet temperament.


The Houdan or Poule de Houdan is one of the oldest breeds in France, and its origins date back to before 1671. It is believed that this breed was taken from Central Asia by the Crusaders during their time fighting there against Muslims. They would have crossed them with chickens they found locally on arrival in Europe, adapting these birds for climate and conditions here. This makes it a very old French chicken variety indeed! If you’re looking for an interesting new addition to your flock, we hope this guide has helped give some insight into what the Houdan or Poule de Houdan can offer you as a small-scale farmer. Good luck choosing your next farm animal!

As a Reference: Wikipedia

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