Houdan 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 chickens 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 as is the Bresse and its large white eggs. A fictional story ‘The Seventh Pullet’ was written about them by the author Saki.
The White Houdan originated in American, the result of crossing White Polish with Mottled Houdans.
Characteristics: Houdans possess a crest, beard and muffs and have five toes on each foot. Their rectangular bodies are set on fairly short legs. They are one of the better ornamental breeds for general utility use. Because of their crest, they require plenty of space and feed and water containers that prevent them from getting the crest wet and dirty, especially in cold weather. Because of the fifth toe, baby Houdans often walk with a skipping gait.
- Standard Weights: Cock-8 pounds; hen-6-1/2 pounds; cockerel-7 pounds; pullet-5-1/2 pounds.
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: A good egg and meat producing variety.
- Origin: France
Interested in raising chickens, but not sure which breed might be right for you?
Things to consider:
Geography: Consider geography when selecting a breed. In cooler areas of the country, consider raising heavier birds. In hotter areas, consider lighter weight birds. Some birds have been specially breed for cold climates. Consider these birds if you live in a cold-climate area.
Space: Where will you be raising these chickens? Do you have a lot of farm land for the animals to be raised on, or are you planning to raise them in your backyard? If you have a small space in which to raise the birds, choose breeds with a calmer temperament and avoid birds that are listed as active. Active birds will not be happy in close confinement.
Temperament: When choosing a breed, consider temperament. Some breeds are calmer than others. If raising chickens in a backyard or in the city, you may prefer a calmer breed.