The Houdan is an old, crested breed which is native to the Île-de-France region of north-central France. It has historically been valued for its meat and egg production. The Houdan was first exported to England in 1850, and to North America in 1865.
The Houdan chicken has attained the sought after "Label Rouge" certification, for their excellent production and taste in France.
Types: Bantam, Largefowl
Varieties (V Comb): Mottled, White
Uses: Eggs, Meat, Ornamental
Bantam: 800 - 900 grams
Largefowl: 6.5 - 8 lb
Personality: Docile and sweet tempered.
Preferred Climate: Moderate
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: White
Egg size: Large
What else you should know:
Roosters are highly active and require larger flocks of hens.
Distinctive Chickens, good layers, Awesome Pet Chicken, easygoing hens, head crest feathers
heavy scratchers, excellent hatch rate, hilarious plumage, Mottled variety, punk rock chickens
Unique and interesting bird
We have the Mottled variety of Houdans. I love my Houdans dearly but Houdans are strong willed birds. The hens, while fairly docile are still quite vocal. We have found the roosters while not prone to jump humans, are very protective of their hens and can be easily provoked to attack if they believe a hen is in danger. On an 8 oz chick it may be cute but on a 6 lb rooster with spurs...not so much. Their spurs must be trimmed often as they grow quickly and can easily injure the hens by filleting their sides. Our experience with these birds has shown them to be very inteligent & active. They are heavy scratchers and will hunt their own food given the opportunity. Any mice that make the mistake of visiting an Houdan pen will likely not make it out alive. Mottled Houdans value their territory and do not like other birds or animals to encroach. I was in the pen next door one day when a young sparrow flew through the flight netting on the top into the Houdan pen. It took less than 2 minutes for Keith (one of our roosters) to jump on the poor sparrow and in less than 5 minutes the entire group was sharing lunch and chasing each other around making a game of the whole affair. While not totally opposed, I would generally not recommend these birds for children - their breeding as self sufficient farm birds makes them unsuitable for the inevitable snuggling children like to do. Houdans are however can be a very valuable addition to any farm given their inbred capabilities. Additionally they provide very tasty sweet meat and are very heavy layers of large white eggs. We have enjoyed an excellent hatch rate for several years and the chicks have proven very hardy and dominate quickly. Our roosters avg around 5 lbs when dressed out and the hens about 3 lbs. Like all heritage breeds these birds grow more slowly and since we do not bombard our birds with scratch grains year round they tend to be slightly smaller than commercial birds but they also have almost no fat. These are wonderful birds and a treat for the eyes as well..
From Birds4me May 28 2013 9:20AM
Fancy Leslie, the Mottled Houdan
I purchased Leslie, my mottled houdan, in a group order based solely on the fact that she laid white eggs. I typically buy brown egg or colored egg layers in most of my orders but I will usually order one or two white egg layers just for the variety it adds to the carton. Leslie was a decent egg layer and a very colorful bird. Her temperament is one of the best I have seen and she was easy to catch and carry, making her our primary bird for introducing chickens to small children and people unfamiliar with the animal in general. Houdan head crest feathers differ from Polish chickens in that they do not completely obstruct the vision and they are therefore less excitable and better foragers. The only drawback I really had with Leslie was her ability to get extremely dirty and ratty looking. After a molt, she was beautiful but within a couple months, her style proved to be too hard to maintain and she would have yellow or brown feathers where the white feathers should have been. Periodically, friends become interested in keeping a small backyard flock of chickens and I really enjoy getting someone started with a little flock. Leslie was chosen to become such a starter bird for someone else and has won a devoted fan base as a result. Houdans are a fun, friendly breed..
From goatherdgirl Nov 20 2014 2:41PM
Houdans are kinda useless... but they look cool!
I have no idea why we kept Houdans - we never ate them, they never laid egg that were worth talking about - but I guess it's because they looked really cool. I used to call them the punk rock chickens on account of their punky plummage and we named the first two Sid and Nancy, but much like Sid and Nancy, they were just kind of a waste - they took up time and resources and for what, really? My mother claims that they were friendlier than other chickens (which merited a lot of "seriously, Mom! they're freaking chickens, they're not your friends!") and I'll admit that they were a conversation starter. I guess they're like those fancy, expensive coffee table books that have pretty pictures but no actual substance. Great purchase for the hobby farmer who has some extra time on their hands and a streak of ecclectism..
From bondgirlintl Jul 7 2013 11:05AM