Houdan Bantam Chicken
Houdan Bantam Chicken is an old French breed that was known as the Normandy fowl when first imported into England in 1850. It takes its present name from the town of Houdan, located in a section of France where large numbers of Houdan Bantam Chicken’s were bred and raised in past years for the Paris and London markets.
In shape, Houdan Chickens, resembles the Dorking, to which it probably owes its fifth toe. Crevecoeurs and Polish may also have been used in the original crosses. The Houdan is rated highly in France for its fine meat qualities and its large white eggs. A fictional story ‘The Seventh Pullet’ was written about them by the author Saki.
Characteristics: Because of fancy feathering,not well suited for foul weather. May have problems with freezing crest feathers. Houdan Bantam Chickens are extremely docile in nature and like to be handled especially if they have been raised from young.
- Standard Weights: Cock-34 oz; Hen-30 oz; Cockerel-30 oz; Pullet-26 oz.
- Varieties: Mottled, White
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: France
Bantams are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam hens are also used as laying hens, with some breeds laying up to 150 eggs per year. However, Bantam eggs are only about one-half to one-third the size of a regular hen egg. The Bantam chicken eats the same foods as a normal chicken. In commercial situations they are fed grain-based foods because this is convenient and efficient for the producer. Chickens in the wild eat more insects and vegetation than grains.
Bantams have become increasingly popular as pets as well as for show purposes because they are smaller and have more varied and exotic colors and feather patterns than other chickens.
In contrast, the Bantam rooster is famous in rural areas throughout the United Kingdom and the United States for its aggressive, “puffed-up” disposition that can be comedic in stature. It is often called a “Banty” in the rural United States.
Many bantam hens are renowned for hatching and brooding. They are very protective mothers and will attack anything that gets near their young.
Bantams do have a higher mortality rate when they are kept as backyard pets. They are easy targets for hawks, cats, foxes, or any other small predator.