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An illustration of a Mottled Houdan male in the American Standard of Perfection

The Houdan is a breed of chicken native to France. Named after the city of Houdan, near Paris, it is an old breed. It was first exported to England in 1850, and to North America in 1865. It also appeared in the first edition of the American Standard of Perfection in 1874. With an attractive appearance, the Houdan combines the distinctive features of the breeds that contributed to its development. The Crèvecœur and Polish gave the Houdan its crest, and the Dorking (or perhaps other native French chickens) are thought have to resulted in the Houdan's five toes (most chickens have only four). Houdans have small earlobes and wattles hidden by the crest and feather bearding. Their V–shaped combs are red.

In terms of plumage, the Houdan comes in two common color varieties: White and Mottled (black with white spotting). Originally a dual–purpose fowl kept for both eggs and meat, the Houdan today is primarily a rare show bird. However, with a fairly quick rate of maturation and the ability to lay a respectable number of white eggs, it is still occasionally kept in backyard flocks. Classified as a light breed, males are generally 8 lb. (3.6 kg), and females are 6.5 lb. (3 kg). It also comes in a bantam variety.

See also

An illustration of a Mottled Houdan female in the American Standard of Perfection


  • Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds. 210 MAS MoCA Way, North Adams MA 01247: Storey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58017-667-5.  
  • Graham, Chris (2006). Choosing and Keeping Chickens. 2-4 Heron Quays London E14 4JP: Octopus Publishing. ISBN 9780793806010.  
  • Hobson, Jeremy; Celia Lewis (2007). Keeping Chickens. 4700 E Galbraith rd, Cincinnati OH 45236: David and Charles Ltd. ISBN 0-7153-2567-1.  

External links

  • Houdan at
  • Houdan at the University of Oklahoma's Dept. of Animal Science breeds list


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