Houdan questions

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by chicknmania, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,969
    189
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    We just got one pullet. There were no others available. I am a little concerned about letting her out to free range because of her head feathers, and she seems very timid. She is still quarantined. How well can they see through their head feathers, and how well do they get along with others? Should we keep her confined, or trim her feathers a little so she can see better? She seems desparate to make friends with someone.
     
  2. broadwing

    broadwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    21
    10
    89
    Oct 3, 2007
    Oregon
    I have a houdan pullet too (I was told she's a pullet, but am not sure). I got her last fall at about 2-3 weeks old. She is friendly but very submissive, and I had to treat her with anti-pick goop for a long while. First it was the EE that was picking her mercilessly, so much that I removed the EE to a sky kennel for about a month (still in view but not let out together). Last month I re-introduced the EE to the flock and everybody seems to be getting along mostly well. Some recent picking on the part of the dominant hen (GL Wyandotte) on her head, but they all sleep together snuggled up. The two other hens are laying since last fall; if the houdan is a pullet she should start laying around March.

    I'm not positive this is a pullet because she seems to stretch her neck up sometimes and it reminds me of the EE I had that turned out to be a roo. The tail feathers she's growing in appear straight and no sickles are evident, but the crest feathers (still white) seem straighter, not curly like the drawings I've seen. Still about half-black/half-white, some black feathers on her back have green in them (but the australorp I had was half green too, and she was laying). I haven't heard any crowing yet at about 12 weeks old, and I thought that the EE roo was crowing before that age. Never had a houdan before, bought it locally from a grower who bought it from McMurray in a run of pullets. -- If anyone has good full-body photos of young houdans, please send me some privately. --

    This little one was very skittish when first introduced and I had to clip a wing because she could fly 5 ft straight up. She has mellowed out now and doesn't fly much, even with new flight feathers. She doesn't seem to have any trouble seeing but I was told that trimming feathers was an option if it became a problem. I let them all out together when I'm home and able to supervise. I named her "Pinot" because she's a French chicken that loves grapes. If I can figure out how to post a photo, I'll put one up.
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,969
    189
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Thank you. That seems to be a trait of theirs, the timid thing..ours is, too, but she talks loudly to the others, or to us, when she thinks it's safe. She doesn't have any green on her feathers. If I ever get time I'll send a picture of her. Her head feathers cover one eye and she tilts them out of the way so she can see with the other. I'm pretty positive this one's a pullet...when we buy from the Amish they have never been wrong yet...but you never know for sure, I guess, til they get older. Ours doesn't seem to be able to fly at all...don't know how old she is.
     
  4. herechickchick

    herechickchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    I have polish chickens and they free range with everyone else. So far no problems.
     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,969
    189
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    That's good to know. Moppit just laid an egg yesterday, so we know that yeah, she is a she!
     
  6. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    what size eggs do your Houdan lay?
     
  7. menkot

    menkot Chillin' With My Peeps

    189
    0
    129
    Jun 1, 2007
    I had a houdan roo. The other chickens left him alone other than picking any food out of his crest and face. They were raised with him though so maybe that helped. He did not crow until late. I think maybe 14 weeks? The way I finally figured out how to tell if a roo or hen was the color of the comb. His was small but very very pink starting about 10 weeks. A pullet has a much lighter very pale comb then.

    Good luck. He was always skittish even though the others weren't until he decided he was a teenage boy with the raging hormones. He decided to be mean then. [​IMG]
     
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,969
    189
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Moppit laid a medium sized egg, sorta out of shape, it may have been her first. She hasn't laid any since. She is VERY friendly, tame and curious though...really funny. She is out with the others now and they are slowly getting used to her; two of the hens were bullying her, but I think they are finally leaving her alone; she is very cautious around the others but is getting braver. and they pretty much ignore her. She does not mind being picked up and will stand on your arm or shoulder and ride around; dislikes being petted. I have read they make good pets.
     
  9. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    I am glad the others are getting used to her
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by