Pros: Friendly, Smart, Unique, Good Layer, Not Messy!

Cons: Cant think of one (they even taste great)

I've had them for nearly a year now and they are such a great chicken.
Really entertaining to watch them grow up and they look different from other chickens most people know so its easy for others to understand the pet chicken idea. They lay very steady and mine have good sized eggs, nice white ones so anyone who doesn't know where eggs come from wont know the difference with these.

They are quite smart and will learn quickly, my Houdans learned to peck the back door to come inside from watching the dog scratch at it. Most important they really have unique personalities and if they get friendly with you it lasts for life. They will notice when someone or something is missing too, if we ever have a girl who goes broody or gets sick the rooster will pace along the door until we put her back. Even after 29 days the rooster was still looking for his broody girl and welcomed her back like nothing changed chicks and all.
That in mind there are always the special ones, but any breed makes a dunce or two every generation.

My favorite part is that although the crest will get beat up doing normal chicken things they are by far a clean breed. Compared to other standard breeds they shed much less dust, appear to be more poop conscious (less in the food etc.) and are always less messy when you pick them up. It's as if they know they are borderline house chickens and want to keep clean for those special days the door opens.

Get them, keep them, love them.
Best Chickens I have ever seen.


Pros: So docile, very quiet, great with kids

We have two gorgeous Houdans, Dorothy and Peppa.  Neither is show quality but both are such sweet, quiet chickens.  Dorothy has bright yellow legs.  Peppa just has the top knot and not the beard but her top knot is all white at the back which looks very cute (especially when she gets a bit damp in the rain and it goes spikey).  We keep them with four Old English Game Bantams and two Bantam Wyandottes.  They have caused no trouble during introductions (which were very short) and they all get along very nicely.  Dorothy's little shadow is our smallest chicken, a mis-marked/unusually coloured OEGB and Dorothy doesn't mind a bit.  I love their low voices and Dorothy starts honking at me as soon as she hears me coming - I do think she is queen of the coop.  Peppa is very quiet and sweet and they both tolerate, with eternal patience, being caught and cuddled by our kids.  We travelled a long way to get them (it was a six hour round trip) but it was totally worth it as they have been adorable additions to our little flock.


Pros: Unique

Cons: Limited Eyesight

I received two Mottled Houdans in my Ornamental Layers Collection from Murray McMurray Hatchery. My first impression of the breed as I watched them grow was how interesting their appearance is! Their feathers are not stiff like most chickens, I noticed they are more soft to the touch. I had so many chickens running around I didn't notice that this breed had extra toes until about 2 months of age. You can imagine my surprise! I was not impressed that one hen had only an extra toe on one foot - that seemed like an odd mutation. The other had five toes on both feet, apparently natural for this breed. They certainly added personality to my flock and I regret selling them!






Pros: Fabulous foragers, easy to pick up, and seem to love attention

Cons: Only the schizophrenic behavior of one of my pullets

I have two Mottled Houdans that were sold to me as Mottled Javas.  It was quite OK with me as our chickens are pets and we don't plan to breed or anything.  Tink and Leah were handled extensively by myself andf my 3 year old daughter and they seemed to love it.  They learned their names quickly and run/fly across the yard or street or wherever they have wandered when we call them.  They are crazy good foragers.  They still (at 9 months old) squeeze through the bars of our fence to forage in our front yard....neighbors yards... across the street on city land.... totally crazy. They have both started laying before my other breeds who are older (RIR, speckled sussex, and cochins) and lay reliably every other day...about 3-4 medium white eggs per week. At lay, Tink became crazy.  She pecks us (hard) on feet and bites if she gets the chance when we are in the yard. With her crazy poofed head feathers she is easy to pick up and put back in the run as she can't really see me coming from behind.  I have to put her in the run while my kids are in the yard (unless she if out foraging like a crazy chicken).  She will be fine and friendly and then turn and attck boots/legs the next.  I am thinking of changing her name to Sybil.  Leah on the other hand, is the sweetest gal and bottom of the pecking order.  They both love to be held, which was a surprise to me. I think they are great additions to my flock (other than the days of bites from Tink) and they are laying even though it is winter and the days are so short.




Pros: Sweet, inquisitive, gorgeous mottling

Cons: Extremely submissive in a mixed flock, large crest and beard obscuring sight

For around six months now I have own a wee Houdan, named Houdini.

Houdini is a sweet wee bird and loves to eat out of my hand. She can be a bit picky when offered food on the ground, but loves munching up wheat when her mumma offers to it out of the hand. She is a truly stunning looking chicken, but takes a little maintanence as my hens free range. For a while I did not trim her beard, muffs or topknot back, and she was extremely flighty and came across as stupid or slow. However, as soon as I gave her a trim, and she had her peripheral vision, she turned into a sweet and endearing bird and was no longer left behind by the flock. 

If you're looking for a sweet, gorgeous and inquisitive chicken, I would recommend a Houdan



Houdini on her first day at her new home, before her new feathers covered her eyes


Pros: adorable, makes funny noises, pecks at my feet for attention, actually does lay eggs, can't fly over the fence

Cons: lays about 3 eggs a week

My Mottled Houdan is named Phyllis Diller and she really is a character.  For the first 4 or 5 months I had her she only laid one egg.  I bought her around molting time so I attributed it to that.  Now she lays about 3 eggs each week.  They are beautiful small/medium white eggs.  Her yolks are my most orange because she cannot hop the fence and eat the neighbor's crap dog/goat food like most of my flock.  She makes a lot of funny noises.  I think she talks to herself.  She seems content on her own, but I think it's because her vision is blocked with feathers so she must think that she has chickens around her in her peripheral vision.  We call it her "feather fan club."  When I hang out with the flock, she'll come over and hang out with me, sometimes sitting in my lap.  She will randomly peck at my feet and pants, much harder than any of my other chickens, so I guess it is likely for attention.

Even though she cannot hop the fence, she has no trouble getting to her roost as long as it is not too dark.  Her roost is about 4 feet high.

She isn't very high on the pecking order, but she's higher than all my pullets because she sneaks up on them and pecks them.  Hilarious to watch.

Her egg shells have always been thin.  I don't think she absorbs calcium as well as my other hens, but that may not be a breed-wide trait.


I love my Phyllis, even if she does only give me enough eggs each week for a Saturday morning breakfast. :)


Pros: Extremely good foragers, Fairly good layers, and great pet chickens.

Cons: Don't have any yet!

  I'm really hoping I can get some Houdans next year! There one of the top ranked foragers, Pretty good egg-layers, Ornamental, and ideal pet chickens.


Pros: personality, show, eggs

Cons: creast may be picked on by other birds

Houdans are a wonderful breed that is very pretty and sweet! they r more layed back than a Polish and have a heavier look to them. they r great for families and 4Hers!!!!!!woot.gif


Pros: very sweet, talkative, docile

Cons: gullable

I have a 12 week old mottled houndan and she is my favorite so far. She likes to be cuddled like a stuffed animal. Her head feathers tend to get dirty and need to be trimmed so she can see where she is going. I cant wait to see her eggs once she starts laying. I concider her more of a pet. If I sit outside by her she always jumps in my lap or cuddles up next to me for a nap. love.gif    Always is a convo starter for guests.


Pros: looks odd

Cons: dumbest chicken I have ever seen

I have owned or own 23 different breeds of chickens. I decided to order a Hudan back this spring. I picked them up from the post office back in February and put them in the chicken coop with there food, water and heat lamp no problems. After 6 weeks and they were fully feathered, I opened the door in the rousting area to let them out in the run which is under the rust area of my coop. The chickens have to walk down a 6ft ramp to get to the bottom. Its 3 ft from the floor of the run to the bottom of the roost. Once I could let them down into the run I took their food and water down to the run so as not to ruin the sheet of plywood which is the floor of the rust. All but the Hudan figured out that hey to eat and drink I must go down to the bottom. I left her up there for 2 days and she never came down so I decided to put her down myself. At night all the other chickens went back up to roost except for the Hudan who basically cried most of the night because she was alone. The next day I went out and saw she had finally decided to go back up and that is where she stayed until I had to put her down again to get food and water and the same thing happened, she wouldn't come back down again to eat and drink. In the mean time I had ordered a new order of Dorkings Buckeyes and Javas and built a house for them same as the first one, so I decided to put her in with them as they couldn't go down yet and i wouldn't have to feed and water her separate from the others. After another month the new ones were 6 weeks old and I was able to let them down as well but the Hudan would not come down to eat or drink so I keep the food and water up there for her until I finally finished the door. Once I built the door to let them out to free range I took the Hudan out to let her forage along with the rest of her flock. The Hudan decided she wanted no part of the rest of the flock and took off on her own. My wife went and got her once she had gone around 300 ft from the rest of us and put her back with her flock but same thing, she took off. That was the last time we saw her lol. I have no idea what happened to her as she didn't come home that night. These chickens are very high maintenance. you have to look after Hudans more than other chickens or at least that was the way it was with mine. If they cant take care of themselves somewhat and don't come home at night then they are not worth having for me. I will never buy any more Hudans


Houdan are an old French breed, once known as the Normandy fowl. They were first imported into England in 1850, and to North America in 1865. They were given the name Houdan because large numbers of these birds were bred in the town of Houdan in France. Once valued in France for their fine white meat and large eggs, they are now considered an ornamental breed. Houdan have crests, beard and muffs, and five toes. It is believed they were bred from Crevecoeurs, Polish and possibly Dorkings. Cocks may weight up to 8 lbs. and hens 6 1/2 lbs. Houdan come in two colors; mottled and white. The white Houdan originated in America. It is the result of a white Polish and Mottled Houdan cross. In 1874 the Houdan appeared in the first edition of the American Standard of Perfection.

Breed PurposeOrnamental
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ColorWhite
Breed TemperamentBears confinement well,Docile
Breed Colors/VarietiesMottled, White
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Comb: V-Shaped
Broodiness: Seldom
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: White

Breed Temperament:

Bears confinement well,Docile

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Mottled, White

Breed Details:

These are probably the calmest chickens I have so far. They are very like Polish in the fact that they can't see very well because of their crests, but they don't seem to be startled as easily because of it. Easily handled and seem to like human companionship.