Originating from the village of Houdan France, the Houdan has five toes, a beard, muffs, and a weird butterfly shaped comb with crests and feather bearding hiding the small earlobes and butterfly comb. They are glossy green black with white mottled patches. They appeared in the 1860’s and 70’s in the U.S., in Briton in the 1850’s. The birds came from the Crevecceur, the Polish, and the Dorking. The Houdans have five toes instead of the usual four toes, evidence of the Dorking bloodline.
There are two main varieties, white and black with white spotting. While they were bred for dual purpose laying and as meat birds they are mostly an ornamental breed these days. They retain their good genetics, mature quickly, and lay a good number of eggs per year, so they are still used in backyard flocks.
Roosters will weight over six pounds, hens around five pounds. There are bantam varieties as well. The hens lay white eggs.