Houdans are one of the oldest French breed of chicken, named after the town of Houdan. Houdans are large, heavy looking birds, bred for the table and have a bold, active character. Their head is large and crested with a short beak, leaf type comb, muffled face, small rounded wattles and earlobes. Their legs are mottled black, free of feathers and like the Faverolles and Dorking, have a fifth toe.
Houdans do tend towards broodiness but are not good sitters as they are too heavy and tend to break the eggs. They do need a special drinker as their large crest and beard get wet and dirty if they use conventional ones so require just a little water in a bowl.
Houdans are extremely docile in nature and like to be handled especially if they have been raised from young.