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The Houdan chicken breed is a popular dual-purpose chicken known for its unique appearance and excellent meat and egg production capabilities. Houdan chickens are distinctive due to their feather crests and beards, which give them a unique and attractive appearance.

This breed originated in France and has been prized for its high-quality meat and flavorful eggs for centuries. Houdans are known for their friendly and docile nature, making them great additions to backyard flocks. They are also quite hardy and adaptable, thriving in a variety of climates.

With their ability to lay approximately 150-175 large white eggs each year and their tender and flavorful meat, Houdan chickens are a favorite among both hobbyists and professional farmers. Whether you’re looking to add a visually stunning bird to your flock or seeking a versatile breed for your small farm, the Houdan chicken is an excellent choice.


Houdan chickens are a fascinating breed with a rich history. This breed is known for its unique appearance and gentle temperament. In this section, we will explore the history of the Houdan chicken breed and highlight its notable characteristics.

Origins And Development

  • The Houdan breed originated in the small town of Houdan, France, in the early 19th century.
  • It is believed to be a result of crossbreeding local French chickens with Polish and Crevecoeur breeds.
  • Houdans were mainly developed for their exquisite plumage and were popular among French nobility.

Exhibition And Preservation

  • Houdans have gained popularity in poultry exhibitions due to their distinctive appearance.
  • Organizations such as The American Poultry Association actively work towards preserving and promoting this breed.

The Houdan chicken breed holds a significant place in poultry history, with its captivating looks and charming personality. Whether you’re looking to showcase them in exhibitions or simply enjoy their beauty in your backyard, Houdans are a breed worthy of admiration.

Houdan Chicken
Ann Porteus, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

General Characteristics

The Houdan chicken breed is known for its distinctive appearance with its crest of feathers and five toes. It is a dual-purpose breed, valued for both its meat and eggs. With its calm and docile nature, it makes a great addition to any backyard flock.

The Houdan chicken breed is a fascinating poultry breed known for its unique characteristics. With its distinctive appearance and charming demeanor, the Houdan chicken breed stands out among other breeds. In this section, we will explore the general characteristics of the Houdan chicken breed and discover what makes it so special.


  • This breed features a crested head, adorned with a tuft of feathers, which gives it an elegant and regal appearance.
  • The crest is usually composed of white feathers, which beautifully contrast with the rest of the chicken’s plumage.
  • Houdan chickens have medium-sized body with a well-rounded shape. Their bodies are generally compact and muscular, making them an ideal breed for both egg production and meat purposes.
  • With a petite stature, the Houdan chicken breed typically weighs around 4-6 pounds, making them a manageable size for backyard flocks.
  • Their plumage comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, and mottled. The striking combination of black and white feathers adds to their visual appeal.
  • The mottled variety, in particular, showcases a unique pattern of dark spots on a white background, creating a visually captivating effect.

Egg Production

  • Houdan hens are reliable layers, producing a respectable number of eggs each year.
  • On average, a Houdan hen can lay between 150-200 medium-sized white eggs per year.
  • Their egg-laying capacity tends to be influenced by various factors, such as diet, living conditions, and overall health.
  • It’s important to note that Houdans are not considered exceptional layers compared to some other specialized egg-laying breeds. However, their eggs are prized for their quality and taste.


  • The Houdan chicken breed is known for its adaptability to different climates.
  • They can withstand both hot and cold temperatures, making them suitable for a variety of geographical regions.
  • With their hardy nature, Houdans can thrive in both free-range settings and confined spaces.
  • They are generally active birds but can adapt well to backyard setups or smaller coops.

The general characteristics of the Houdan chicken breed make it a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts. From its unique physical attributes to its friendly temperament, the Houdan breed brings beauty and joy to any flock. Whether you’re looking for an attractive addition to your backyard or a reliable egg producer with a touch of elegance, the Houdan chicken breed is definitely worth considering.


The Houdan chicken breed is known for its calm and gentle temperament, making it a great addition to any backyard flock. With its friendly disposition, this breed is easy to handle and a favorite among poultry enthusiasts.

Houdan chickens have a unique and charming temperament that makes them a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts. Here are some key characteristics of the Houdan chicken’s temperament:

  • Friendly and sociable: Houdan chickens are known for their friendly and sociable nature. They enjoy human company and can easily be tamed and handled.
  • Calm and docile: These chickens have a calm and docile temperament, making them well-suited for families and small farms.
  • Curious and active: Houdan chickens are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings. They enjoy scratching the ground and foraging for food.
  • Good with other chickens: Houdans generally get along well with other chicken breeds, making them a suitable choice for mixed flocks.
  • Gentle and tolerant: Houdans are gentle birds and are generally tolerant of children and other pets, making them a great addition to a family.

So whether you’re looking for a friendly companion in the backyard or a calm and gentle bird for your small farm, the Houdan chicken’s temperament makes it an excellent choice.

Comb Types

Houdan chickens are known for their unique comb types, which set them apart from other chicken breeds. The comb refers to the fleshy crest on top of a chicken’s head, which serves various purposes including regulating body temperature and attracting potential mates.

In the case of the Houdan breed, their comb types add to their distinctive appearance and charm. Let’s explore the different comb types found in Houdan chickens:

  • V-Comb: The V-Comb is a characteristic feature of the Houdan breed. It is named after its V-shaped structure, which extends backward from the top of the chicken’s head. This striking comb type gives Houdan chickens an elegant and regal look.
  • Buttercup Comb: Some Houdan chickens exhibit the Buttercup Comb, which is unique in its appearance. This comb resembles a small cup placed on top of the chicken’s head, with multiple points radiating from the center. The Buttercup Comb adds an extra touch of beauty to Houdan chickens.
  • Cushion Comb: Another comb type seen in the Houdan breed is the Cushion Comb. It is called so because of its cushion-like shape. The Cushion Comb is compact and rounded, sitting neatly atop the chicken’s head. This comb type contributes to the overall charm and distinctiveness of the Houdan breed.
  • Pea Comb: While less common in Houdan chickens, some individuals may have the Pea Comb. This comb type is small and compact, with three distinct lobes. Although not as prominent as the other comb types, the Pea Comb still adds to the overall appeal of Houdan chickens.

Houdan chickens possess a variety of comb types, each enhancing their unique appearance. Whether they sport the V-Comb, Buttercup Comb, Cushion Comb, or Pea Comb, Houdan chickens are truly a captivating breed to behold. Embracing their individual comb types, these chickens stand out from the crowd, making them a favorite among poultry enthusiasts worldwide.


The Houdan chicken breed is an excellent choice for both backyard enthusiasts and professional farmers alike. Its unique appearance, with its feather crests and muffs, makes it a standout in any flock. Houdans are known for their docile temperament, making them great pets for families with children.

Not only are they eye-catching birds, but they also provide a valuable contribution to any farm with their ability to produce both eggs and meat. Their eggs are known for their superior taste and quality, and their meat is tender and flavorful.

Additionally, the Houdan breed is hardy and adaptable, able to thrive in various climates. Whether you are looking to add beauty to your backyard or seeking a productive breed for your farm, the Houdan chicken is a fantastic choice. Invest in these enchanting birds and enjoy the rewards they bring to your life.

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