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Farm and Garden - Chickens

Good Words for the Houdans

By Unknown Author - Naples Record

4 June 1890



The Houdans are of moderate size; they are capable of scratching and searching for their food, whilst they lay a fair sized egg fit for the market. They are also white in flesh, and good eating. The chickens feather quick and they are hardy to rear. What the pure bred hens are for laying, continues a correspondent in Fancier’s Journal, I have not had experience enough to say, but the cross bred hens have turned out to be most excellent layers. One or two cottagers who had this cross have asserted to me that they have laid an enormous quantity of eggs without wanting to sit. In confinement or at large they seem to do well. To my idea not enough room on the show bench is accorded them; they should be known more, and would then be more largely kept. The only thing that is against them is their muff and beard, which, when it gets wiry, hangs flapping on one side.

But if a farmer would introduce some useful blood into his yard, I would advise him to try some Houdans. The Spanish is a good fowl for an occasional cross, good layers, and the flesh is of superior quality. The Hamburg, of which there are several varieties, are splendid layers, seldom wanting to set, but the eggs are small in size. The cocks may be successfully used if the stock hens are of good size. The Brahmas, Cochins and the large varieties are too clumsy, being more useful in confinement; their redeeming quality I consider to be setting. They may be very well to cross, so as to obtain weighty market fowls. They eat too much in proportion to the weight of eggs returned to be a farmer’s fowl.