Houdan Chicken

The Houdan chicken has a round, fluffy crest and five toes on each foot!
Houdan Chicken Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Gallus gallus
Houdan Chicken Physical Characteristics
Grey, Black, White
Fewer than 5000 worldwide
7 to 8 years
6.5 to 8 pounds
Houdan Chicken Distribition

The Houdan chicken has a great deal taking place. It has a famous, rounded, cosy crest, complete muffs, and a beard. It likewise has 5 toes on each foot as opposed to the typical 4. Contribute to that an unique comb that looks a great deal like a red butterfly resting on top of its head, and a buoyant curved tail, and you have rather the image. For all its uncommon attributes, the Houdan chicken is a pleasing bird. As a matter of fact, proprietors claim that the chickens really delight in being snuggled. This as soon as- preferred type gets on its back from near termination simply a couple of years back.

Unbelievable Houdan Chicken Truths

The Houdan chicken, or Poule de Houdan as it is known in France, was named after the small town where it originated.
  • The Houdan chicken is a crested bird similar to the Crèvecoeur and Gloss chickens, yet with 5 toes as opposed to 4
  • This old bird has actually been about as very early as the Roman realm
  • These chickens gained the Tag Rouge in France for their outstanding meat
  • Houdan chickens have difficulty seeing because of the dimension and volume of their crests
  • These chickens do refrain from doing well in chilly, damp environments due to the fact that their crests can ice up
  • This type is called Poule de Houdan in its indigenous France

Where to Locate Houdan Chickens

Houdan chickens came from France around 2,000 years back. Their name stems from the town of Houdan, which has to do with 63 kilometers, or 39 miles, west of Paris. Researchers think citizens from the town initially reproduced the Houdan chicken from old 5- toed chicken that were aboriginal to the location. The chicken prospered in France for centuries prior to the introduction of mass industrial farming.

According to scientists at the Slow Food Structure for Biodiversity, the Houdan chicken was a preferred bird offered at the tables of the imperial court while of Louis XIII. The chicken was very easy to plump and had outstanding meat high quality, both of which triggered its appeal to rise.

Need for the Houdan chicken boosted. It was presented in England in the 1850s and in the USA in 1865. By the very early 1870s, documents reveal that at the very least 600,000 birds each year were offered. Bantam ranges were created in Germany and France after The Second World War.

Today, the Houdan chicken is gradually recouping from near termination. In the very early component of the 21 st century, less than 1,000 of these chickens continued to be around the world, putting them on the Animals Conservancy vital checklist. Absence of need for the Houdan chicken, because of focus on mass industrial ranch types, almost triggered it to pass away out. Many thanks to the job of preservationists, it can still be located in France, the USA, Britain, and various other places, generally in little groups.

Houdan Chicken Scientific Name

The Houdan chicken, or Poule de Houdan as it is recognized in France, was called after the town where it came from. It was very first defined by a French painter called Charles Jacque in 1856. The bird’s scientific name is Gallus gallus or Gallus gallus domesticus, similar to various other tamed chickens around the globe. The red junglefowl of South and Southeast Asia, G. gallus, was called by Linnaeus in 1758. Today lots of various types make up the Gallus gallus domesticus species.

Houdan Chicken Appearance

Houdan chickens have short, pinkish-white legs and feet with five toes on each foot instead of the usual four.
The Houdan chicken has a round, cosy crest and 5 toes on each foot!https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/44396714031/ – Certificate

The Houdan chicken is an unique bird with a big, rounded crest total with muffs and a beard. It resembles it is putting on a big, feathery headdress. This remarkable crest is so complete that it normally hides the bird’s white earlobes and little wattle. Occasionally proprietors need to trim the plumes around the chicken’s face to make sure that it can attend walk around.

The bird’s beak is either pinkish- white or horn tinted and includes large nostrils. These chickens have red combs with a certain form. They are called V- formed in the USA and fallen leave- formed in Europe. The comb looks similar to a red butterfly resting atop the chicken’s head with its wings open up.

Houdan chickens have brief, pinkish- white legs and feet with 5 toes on each foot as opposed to the typical 4. They were at first reproduced from old 5- toed chicken in France. Current hereditary researches reveal that the polydactyly located in Houdan chickens developed individually from that of 5- toed Chinese chickens.

Houdan chickens are sexually dimorphic, with males having bigger and fuller crests and even more noticeable combs. The males likewise have lengthy tail plumes, which are curved and held set up. Males are bigger than females. Roosters evaluate approximately 8 extra pounds, and chickens can get to concerning 6.5 extra pounds.

Various ranges of Houdan chickens are acknowledged as type criteria in various nations. In the UK, just the varicolored range, with white smudges on a black history, is acknowledged. The American Fowl Organization included the varicolored range to its checklist of type criteria in 1874 and acknowledged the white range in 1914. It likewise currently consists of bantam ranges of each. The Houdan chicken’s indigenous France identifies 3 ranges: black, pearl- grey, and white.

Houdan Chicken Habits

Although the Houdan chickens were at first reproduced for egg laying and meat manufacturing, they are currently largely decorative or reveal birds. They are really pleasant chickens and apparently delight in being snuggled. They are not hostile and ought to not be maintained together with such types due to the fact that they will certainly be harassed.

Houdan chickens endure warmth well and grow ideal in cozy and bright atmospheres. As a result of their plentiful plumes and huge crests, they do not prosper in chilly or exceedingly damp atmospheres. If it is also chilly, their crests can ice up, and the chickens can obtain frostbite.

These birds do not see well because of their crests and muffs. Dog breeders can aid by supplying confined and covered go to decrease the threat of predation and direct exposure to damp weather condition.


Houdan chickens are skilled foragers. They eat insects, worms and various other invertebrates in huge amounts. Dog breeders show that these chickens can satisfy the majority of their nutritional demands with foraging if provided sufficient room.

Dog breeders should supplement their Houdan group with industrial feed. A healthy protein- abundant diet is needed for all birds to sustain the development of their plumes. Houdan chickens likewise require a great deal of calcium due to the fact that they lay in between 150 to 230 huge eggs annual. In France, these chickens are fed a grain- based diet& nbsp; supplemented with milk and lotion.

Like various other chickens, Houdan chickens ought to not eat rhubarb, avocado pits, skins, or beans, as these can be damaging.

Houdan Chicken Reproduction

female Houdan chickens can lay several eggs per week, averaging between 150 and 230 per year, but some reports indicate that they can lay as many as 280
The Houdan chicken lays rally the same level with the Leghorn chicken, a type that is a staple of the egg market.ANEK SANGKAMANEE/Shutterstock. com

Due To The Fact That Houdan roosters can be rather ardent, dog breeders advise maintaining a multitude of chickens for every male. Some dog breeders recommend a proportion of concerning one rooster for each 10 chickens to please the males’ propensities without overburdening the females.

Chickens lay a number of eggs weekly, balancing in between 150 and 230 each year, yet some records show that they can lay as lots of as 280. The Houdan chicken lays rally the same level with the Leghorn chicken, a type that is a staple of the egg market. They also lay well throughout the wintertime when lots of various other chickens stop manufacturing. Inadequate fresh alcohol consumption water is among the only restricting variables to this chicken’s egg- laying capacities.

The chickens apparently often tend to obtain broody, specifically in the springtime. Sadly, they will certainly usually rest on way too many eggs simultaneously. This habits has a tendency to trigger the eggs to fracture. Dog breeders can avoid this by eliminating a few of the eggs.

Houdan chicks are readily available from a number of dog breeders. Due to the fact that the chickens lay a lot of eggs, proprietors can develop a successful group. This type was incredibly preferred in France around 150 years ago yet almost came to be extinct by the turn of this century. Although their numbers are still little, these chickens are starting to recoup.

Predators and Hazards

Houdan chickens are tool to huge chickens. Their dimension could aid hinder predators such as& nbsp; owls& nbsp; and& nbsp; hawks, yet their damaged vision makes them at risk to strike. Foxes& nbsp; likewise quickly take advantage of these chickens due to the fact that they can creep up on them undetected.

Proprietors can aid their Houdan chickens by cutting some plumes around their eyes. They can likewise offer risk-free units for the birds with protected runs and fencings that hinder nest predators like& nbsp; serpents

Bloodsuckers like termites are amongst the most significant risks to Houdan chickens. These chickens are specifically vulnerable to termites as a result of their plentiful plumes, specifically around their heads. Proprietors should maintain units and nesting locations tidy and particles- totally free to decrease bloodsuckers. They ought to likewise offer nests and sets down off the ground.

Wetness is the various other significant hazard to the Houdan chicken, specifically in cooler environments. The chickens require great deals of water to sustain egg manufacturing, yet constantly damp plumes can cause condition. In chilly atmospheres, damp plumes likewise ice up and can trigger the birds to obtain frostbite. Proprietors ought to offer water resources that the birds can utilize without obtaining their crests damp.

Life-span of the Houdan Chicken

Houdan chickens live around 8 years generally. That is if they are not consumed initially. These chickens are treasured in France for their top quality in manufacturing and preference. The French federal government offered the Houdan chicken the Tag Rouge classification for outstanding high quality and the Protected Geographical Indications mark. These differences might enhance the possibility of private birds ending up being an exquisite supper. Nevertheless, the boosted need for the high- high quality meat of the Houdan chicken boosts the type’s possibilities of survival generally.

Similar Animals

  • Silkie Chicken – The silkie chicken is a crested chicken of Chinese beginning. It is a lot smaller sized in stature than the Houdan chicken. It has 5 toes, yet the hereditary basis for its polydactyly developed individually from the Houdan.
  • Hamburg Chicken – The Hamburg chicken is a European chicken that came from Holland. It is recognized for its varied variety of shades.
  • Onagadori Chicken – The Onagadori is a Japanese lengthy- trailed chicken that expands exceptionally lengthy tail plumes, approximately 27 feet in size. This heritage type likewise encountered termination not also lengthy ago yet is making a rebound.


  1. The Livestock Conservancy, Available here: https://livestockconservancy.org/heritage-breeds/heritage-breeds-list/houdan-chicken/
  2. Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, Available here: https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/houdan-chicken/
  3. PLOS ONE, Available here: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/comments?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0149010
  4. France-voyage, Available here: https://www.france-voyage.com/gastronomy/houdan-chicken-606.htm
  5. Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité (INAO), Available here: https://www.inao.gouv.fr/eng/Official-signs-identifying-quality-and-origin/Label-Rouge-Red-Label

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