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The Houdan is an old breed of chicken native to France. It was raised extensively on the many small farms near the village of Houdan; and this locale and the lovely black plumage in which many feathers are tipped with V-shaped white spots give them their name. The flowing crest, V-shaped comb, muff of feathers at the throat, and the 5th toe give them an unusual appearance and make them a standout in any poultry show. With an attractive appearance, the Houdan combines a number of distinctive features, giving rise to speculation about the breeds that contributed to its development. The Crèvecœur or perhaps the Polish is suspected to have given the Houdan its crest, and either the Dorking or the native five-toed fowl of France is thought have to resulted in the Houdan’s five toes (most chickens have only four). Originally a dual–purpose fowl kept for both eggs and meat, the Houdan today is primarily a rare show bird. However, with a fairly quick rate of maturation and the ability to lay a respectable number of white eggs, it is still occasionally kept in backyard flocks. They are extremely docile and gentle and make good pets.
Modern Games are a breed of poultry that were developed following the outlaw of cock fighting in Great Britain in 1849. They were developed from the Old English breed and have a unique, upright posture that distinguishes them from other chickens. They are used mainly for exhibition purposes and make wonderful birds for both children and adults to show and raise. Out of all the breeds of poultry, many people find the Modern Game to be the most entertaining and rewarding of the lot. They have a very friendly, spunky personality that has won the hearts of many, and their long legs make them fun to watch. Modern Games were featured in the first Standard of Perfection in 1874 and have since dominated the shows, residing in the top 10 most popular exhibition breeds.
The Minorca chicken takes its name for the Island of Minorca, off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, where it once could be found in large numbers. Spanish tradition relays that the breed came to Spain from Africa, with the Moors. In fact, it was sometimes referred to as the “Moorish fowl.” Minorca chickens are the largest of the Mediterranean class. They are non-sitters, excellent layers of large white eggs, and are very hardy and rugged birds. The breed has proven excellent on all soil types and adapts readily to range or confinement. In America, the breed made a name for itself due to its great egg laying ability combined with its hardiness and proclivity to excel on range.
The Minorca chicken is just one of the many unique and beautiful birds you can see at Spokane’s premiere Petting Farm, brought to you by Mountain Valley View Farm. We have both Black and Buff varieties.