Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Climate Tolerance:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Light Brown
    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly and Docile
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    White and Partridge, Buff Widely Bred but not Recognized
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl and Bantam
    APA/ABA Class:
    Buy URL: (Look for Breeders Directory)

    The Chantecler is a dual purpose Canadian breed that was developed starting around 1908 by Brother Wilfred Chatelain, in the agricultural school associated with, Cistercian Abbey in Oka, Quebec. He set out to create a tough and hardy breed that was well suited to the harsh Canadian winters, as well as being a good layer and good meat bird. The breed was introduced to the public in 1918, and became a useful breed for very cold climates. The Chantecler is notable for having a very small cushion comb and almost no wattles, making it very resistant to frostbite. Its temperament is generally calm and quiet, though young birds can be flighty. They are generally very good foragers. The hens are excellent winter layers of large brown eggs, do go broody fairly often and make good mothers. They are considered an excellent table bird.

    The Chantecler is one of only two chicken breeds developed in Canada. The name Chantecler was created from the combination of the French ‘chanter,’ “to sing,” and ‘clair,’ “bright”. The original Chantecler developed by Brother Chatelain was a White bird, later Dr. J. E. Wilkinson of Alberta, Canada developed the Partridge color for a bird more suitable for keeping free range. Buff and Red among other colors have also been developed. Breeds were used in the creation of the Chantecler, including Dark Cornish, Cochins, Leghorns, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds and Wyandottes.

    Commercial breeds replaced the Chantecler over time, and by 1979 the Chantecler was no longer found in the university or commercial hatcheries and in danger of extinction. A number of small flocks persisted, and it has regained popularity in the last ten years or so, and can again be found available in a number of commercial hatcheries.

    The White variety was created by brother Wilfrid, a Trappist monk, at the Oka Agricultural Institute in the Province of Quebec. It was first presented to the public in 1918 after 10 years of effort and refinement, but it was not admitted to the Standard until 1921. Four crosses were used in the production of this variety: a Dark Cornish male over a White Leghorn female and a Rhode Island Red male over a White Wyandotte female. The next season, the pullets from the first class were mated with a cockerel from the second class. Select pullets from their offspring were bred to a White Plymouth Rock male and the subsequent breedings produced the fowl as it is today.

    The Partridge variety originated in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Four breeds were used in the production of this variety: Partridge Wyandotte, Partridge Cochin, Dark Cornish, and Rose Comb Brown Leghorn. Some claim Dr. Wilkinson also used Orloffs to create this new bird. It was originally named the Albertan but upon presentation to the APA for recognition they deemed it so close in character to the existing White Chantecler they classified it as another variety of Chantecler.

    The Buff variety is a commonly bred and quite spectacular bird that unfortunately has not been recognized as of yet. There are many dedicated people working on it, however, so I expect we will see it in some future edition of the Standard of Perfection.

    It was recognized by the APA in 1921 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Critical list.

    Chantecler eggs

    Chantecler chick

    Chantecler juvenile

    Chantecler hen

    Chantecler rooster

    For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
  • 472a8f32_chantecler-14174-256556.jpeg f7387221_Dark2520Brown.jpeg c15817b5_1338572_orig.jpeg dd78e23a_5319362_orig.jpeg a2fdafec_9632864_orig.jpeg 7ty00.jpeg ty.jpeg index.jpeg IMG_7796 (3).JPG ggfgf.jpeg tyuyt.jpeg roo.jpg Juv.jpg

  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb: Cushion
    Broodiness: Average
    Climate Tolerance: Cold

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size: Medium
    Egg Color: Light Brown

    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly, bears confinement well, noisy

    Breed Colors / Varieties:
    White and Partridge, Buff not recognized
    Breed Details:
    In my experience Chanteclers are a great bird. They lay a medium sized egg that is a light brown to pinkish in colour. They are good layers, they give an egg almost every day, and only take a break once in a while. They are great birds for places with cold weather, because their combs and wattles are small enough that they don't get frostbite. They're also nice and plump and have firm feathering to keep the cold breezes out. They probably would not do well in places with high temperatures at a constant rate. They will go broody (some birds more than others) and they are great mothers that can cover a large amount of eggs. I would highly recommend Chanteclers to anyone.

    White Rooster (Photo credit @Folly's place )

    Partridge Rooster (Photo credit @duluthralphie )

    Buff Pullets (Photo credit @nissalovescats )
    White Hen (Photo credit @Folly's place )

    Partridge Chantecler Eggs (Photo credit @duluthralphie )

    Partridge Chicks (Photo credit @duluthralphie )

    Partridge Adolescents (Photo credits @BantyChooks )
    SMOL BIRB.jpeg

BlackHackle and The Angry Hen like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. BantyChooks
    "Wonderful cold weather bird"
    I've owned a whole gamut of breeds over the years, but Chanteclers are easily the best of all of them. They're very cold hardy and have small combs and wattles, so I don't have to deal with winter trimming every year. They have nice large frames that makes processing old hens and extra cockerels worthwhile, and those same large frames give extra room for egg production. They're docile, yet range wary and certainly not dumb birds. If you live up north, please give these birds a shot.
    BlackHackle likes this.
  2. Sparkle110
    "Stunning brids"
    Pros - Good layers, Have Great temperments, Roosters are super frendily, Can handle the worst bilzzard no problem!
    Cons - Roosters can get a little agressive with each other, Can't think of anything else
    Got some white ones, and I was love at first sight, Great brids, I have 2 that raised 3 white ones together!

    They are good, I just got myself some of the buff, and I'm not dissipointed!

    Just fantastic brids, double thumbs up! :thumbsup
    BlackHackle likes this.
  3. josy
    "A great breed"
    Pros - friendly and calm, beautiful, cold hardy
    Cons - none so far
    I see a lot of people are saying that Chanteclers are flightily. That has not been my experience at all! They are the most friendly and curious of all my breeds. When I'm in the run there is usually at least one tapping at my leg wanting treats or picked up. Yes they like to be picked up and just being near you. They are also good foragers and are brave. Very smart. They do have a bit of an attitude like they just know they are special. They make unique noises, not loud just chatting. They are not bullies but will stand up for themselves. My rooster is very much the gentleman and sweet natured he has never shown any aggression at all, a bit shy in fact. He doesn't crow much and when he does its a bit different than your average, less obnoxious. The

    hens are quite a bit heavier than my other heritage breeds. They would be a very good dual purpose bird if thats what you are looking for. When I chose to get them my reasons were primarily that they would do well in a cold climate and I also have to say that they have done just as good or better on hot days compared to my others. If I could have only one breed they would be it. In the pic my roo is 4 1/2 months old.
    BlackHackle likes this.

User Comments

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  1. 3-Bearss
    So we found lady selling Partridge Chanteclers, 1 rooster and 4 hens all one year old. Chicken Run road trip day 1, 1100 kilometres. Day 2, got my 5 Partridge Chanteclers, 1100 km and home by 10 pm! Settled the new members of our flock and our only Chanteclers. Next day 2 eggs ... these chickens travel well! We also got 3 Black Copper Marans chicks and a 3 month old Cuckcoo Silkie cockerel. Let my Partridge Chantecler adventure begin.
    Our new rooster is Albert (the original creator of this hardy chicken wanted them call Albertans)

    Update: well our Partridge Chanteclers are doing well, we hatched 6 of 7 eggs in our first group and all 7 had live embryos right up to lockdown. Batch 2 was 17 eggs and at day 12 only 9 had live embryos this time. I would seem since the 8 infertile eggs were likely from the same hen (1 dud from each day of collection), Albert is neglecting one of his girls. Hoping for the last 9 to all hatch.
    1. BantyChooks
      Congratulations! I hope you enjoy them.
      BantyChooks, Apr 26, 2018
      3-Bearss likes this.
  2. CuteChicks4Life
    Hi.. I have been trying to find some information on what a "show quality" partridge Chantecler should look like. I hatched some in the summer and of the two hens i have left they look totally different. One is really robust and has the single lacing on her feathers. The other one is not a robust and has double lacing on her feathers (the only one of all the hatched chicks to have this quality) .
    1. BantyChooks
      I'll PM you some examples. I can't attach pictures to a comment.
      BantyChooks, Feb 22, 2018
    2. CuteChicks4Life
      Thank-you so much!
      CuteChicks4Life, Feb 22, 2018
  3. GranolaLight
    I live in northern BC and read about these in Small Farm Canada. Where can you get hatching eggs or chicks?
    1. BantyChooks
      Check the breeders' directory at Chantecler Fanciers International; link in breed description. There are many Canadian breeders that will either ship eggs/chicks or deliver to shows.
      BantyChooks, Jan 9, 2018
      GranolaLight likes this.
    2. GranolaLight
      Thanks BantyChooks. I will look into that. This excites me.
      GranolaLight, Feb 3, 2018
      BantyChooks likes this.
  4. Gavinthesheep735
    can i ask are the eggs that are pictured Chantecler eggs they seem pink ish
    1. View previous replies...
    2. BantyChooks
      That's good news, well-behaved roosters are a joy to have around.
      BantyChooks, Dec 3, 2017
    3. Gavinthesheep735
      yesterday i bought 2 Partridge Chantecler hens, so excited they are almost egg laying age so i can't wait till they start laying eggs
      Gavinthesheep735, Dec 6, 2017
    4. Gavinthesheep735
      My hens started laying eggs in march I think? Then they stopped again well yesterday May 10 there was an egg too day there is another one hope soon they start getting broody
      Gavinthesheep735, May 10, 2018
  5. Patti Rae
    Thanks so much for that article. I had read information to the contrary several times but this article clears up any misunderstanding. Those Partridge Chanteclers are sure pretty.
  6. Patti Rae
      Gavinthesheep735 likes this.
    1. BantyChooks
      Sorry, but is has been determined by the APA that Partridge Chanteclers are a variety of the Chantecler and have the same claim to the name that the white variety does. I have edited the description to make the information pertain to both varieties.
      BantyChooks, Oct 2, 2017
    2. Gavinthesheep735
      there are white Chanteclers pictured as well
      Gavinthesheep735, Dec 3, 2017
  7. WannabeMothergoose
    I also have chantecler hens and a room. Then hens (4) are a year and a half. There not laying every day and some times not at all. They don't seem to sick there combs are bright red. Its been pretty hot here lately. My question is Have you had this problem. Thanks. I'm also in Canada.
      Gavinthesheep735 likes this.
  8. CrazyHenLady386
    The ones my friend have would do well in Canada and the mid and northern states. They react to heat just as good as other breeds. They are very gentle and love being hugged. RULE OF THUMB: The BIGGER the bird the more gentle and laid back they are.
      Gavinthesheep735 likes this.
  9. syl20c
    Flighty Chanteclers? Never seen one in my flock... Probably too much Leghorn influence in whatever line of bantam you had bantamfan4life.

    The Standard Chanteclers are cold hardy and are very good foragers, they'd rather forage than eat from the feeder. They lay very well in the winter without artificial light. The hens can grow quite large but it usually means a poor layer so I eat the bigger ones. The cocks can get very big and a few of them will get aggressive, a trait you need to assess against your needs. If you have many predators, you want that mean one. Overall a decent dual purpose breed gaining in popularity in the northern hemisphere. A recent export to Poland has been reported too.
      Gavinthesheep735 likes this.
  10. hellbender
    PS...I may be coming to you for a cockerel in a year or so!!! NOT kidding.
      Gavinthesheep735 likes this.

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