Houdan

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The Houdan, originating from France, is an old breed of chicken named after its namesake city located near Paris. For decades, these chickens supplied Paris its eggs and meat, and were later exported to England in 1850. Fifteen years later, it was introduced to North America and recognized as an official breed by the American Standard of Perfection in 1874. Although they are still found in many backyards, the Houdan often graces exhibition tables because of its distinct appearance. The Houdan breed appears to have Crevecoeur, Dorking and Polish genes.

While these chickens often serve as ornamentals, they do provide growers a high conversation rate of food to meat. The hens are fair egg producers - two small, white eggs per week. Although they are not prolific layers, they do make up for it in longevity. Houdans have the capacity to lay eggs well into old age. As an advice for continued egg production, supplement their feed with protein and calcium.

For their appearance, their most distinguishing trait are their prominent comb - in American standards, it's V-shaped, while in the British, French and Australian standards, it's butterfly-shaped. They have small wattles and earlobes, and five toes - a characteristic common in most French breeds. These chickens walk in a classic Houdan skip as a result of the fifth toe's orientation.

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REVIEWS(2 Total Reviews)  Add A Review

    5 of 5 | November 2, 2012 at 07:48 PM The main difference in Houdan and Polish are toes

    Pros: Lovely Chickens

    Cons: Mistaken for Polish

    Recommended? Yes

    I have a white with black speckled Houdan hen, named Splash and for the longest time thought she was Polish. She has been the mate of my Polish Rooster, Elvis since I got them. They are inseparable, so they have mated and I thought I was producing Polish chicks.
    It wasn't until I entered them in the fair this summer that I found out that she was Houdan. Unfortunately, she was disqualified because I had her labeled as a Polish. Houdans have 5 toes instead of 4. I believe Polish hens also have wattles and Houdan hens do not. They are only accepted in about two colors which are white and Mottled. Splash is a very sweet hen and tends to be calm and easy going. Beautifully soft feathers.
    Interestingly enough, after finding out that she was a Houdan, I went home and checked her off spring. Some are Houdan and some are Polish. I have hatched her eggs which are always a nice medium sized white egg and she generally has 1 out of 3 that will be a hen. The hens are always a solid black with white crests and the roosters are always gray. Unfortunately, the feed store that I got these birds from received them from a hatchery as all polish, straight run.
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    Houdan - killingart - img-281.jpg
    4 of 5 | August 21, 2012 at 05:21 AM Fairly easy to keep breed .

    Pros: Dual propose breed.

    Cons: Extra care needed of the birds crests .

    Recommended? Yes

    Good meat and egg breed 
    Make delightful pets .

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