Dong Tao Chicken Breed Guide: Size, Feet, Eggs, Care, & Pictures

Dong Tao Chicken, or The Vietnamese Dragon Chicken, will surprise you with its different attire. It is also popularly known as Ga Dong Tao chicken.

They have thick, heavy, and scaly legs, which are unusual among many chicken breeds. Dong Tao Chickens have gained popularity among the Vietnamese with their unique appearance.

The price of the meat of Dong Tao chickens is relatively high among different restaurants in Vietnam. Wealthy people can only afford the meals made of Dong Tao chickens.

In this article, you will learn briefly about Dong Tao chickens, their egg production, temperament, benefits, and problems while raising this breed. 

What Is A Dong Tao Chicken?

Vietnamese Dong Tao or Dragon Chicken
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Dong Tao chickens are a healthy breed recognized as royal chickens in Vietnam. Vietnamese believe that Dong Tao chickens serve the mandarins and the royal family with their delicious meat.

The name Dong Tao was given to this breed by the mandarins as they served them for many years.

A Dong Tao chicken’s leg is shaped like a human’s wrist and is scaly. Because of their unique and extraordinary legs, people call them ‘dragon chickens’.

You cannot turn your eyes back from their legs. The legs are the reason for the attraction. The shape of the legs is just like the dragons’ legs.

Hens of Dong Tao chickens are white, and the roosters have colorful feathers. Because of its shorter supply and higher demand, the pair of bird’s prices are pretty high. The cost of a pair of Dong Tao chicken is about $2,500

This breed is prevalent in the Dong Tao community. You will find these chickens in the Khoai Chau district. Many historians say that this breed serves the mandarins and royal family.

Many chicken breeders want to add this breed to their coop, and the pricing for this breed has risen nowadays.

Dong Tao Chickens Lifespan

Dongtao chickens have a reasonable life expectancy compared to other large chicken breeds. The average lifespan of a Dongtao chicken is about 6-7 years.

Egg Production

Dong Tao chickens, a well-known breed in Vietnam, are not a good option for egg-laying to the breeders. The hens of Dong Tao chickens can lay up to 60 tinted white eggs annually.

The amount is insufficient, so if you are looking for some chickens that lay lots of eggs, you can read our list of best egg-laying chickens.

Many breeders have tried their best to give enough nutrition to enhance the egg-laying capacity of the Dong Tao hens, but it does not work because hens are not that good for egg-laying performance. The change in weather has a significant impact on their egg-laying performance.

The hens of this breed are not fond of different climate changes. Breeders looking for an excellent egg-laying option as their top priority should not go for this breed.

Temperament of Dong Tao Dragon Chicken

The attribute of Dong Tao chickens is friendly. They adore human companionship. You can hold them with your hands and notice the way of their cuddle. They enjoy staying inside your hands and love to cuddle.

Sometimes, you will notice their cuteness at the time of their play. These fowls enjoy their ‘searching for food’ strategy in your courtyard.

There is no way that this group of chickens will cause you any harm. The legs are a significant attraction, as their shape is just like the legs of a dragon.

The hens are friendly, and the roosters are somehow a little aggressive when they feel any change in the behavior of the breeder.

Some breeders claim that their roosters become pretty violent when they see the predators around the firm. This is obvious as the roosters of different breeds possess the nature of violence. Otherwise, hens of the Dong Tao breed are decent with other breeds and with the breeders.

They admire the human presence while hatching their eggs and do not cause any harm to the breeder’s children. So, you can say that the Dong Tao chickens are good with children.

Color, Size, Appearance Characteristics of Dong Tao Chicken


The colors of Dong Tao chickens vary with their gender. The roosters have multicolor feathers, whereas the hens have white feathers. You can easily distinguish between a hen and a rooster.

Their color combination will not matter much, like their legs. The color of their skin is reddish-white, and the Dong Tao chicken comb is like a pea comb.

Tinted white is the color of their eggs. You may see a single comb in a few hybrid Dragon Chickens.


This big, heavy bird has a vast, muscular body that gives it an intense look. Roosters have red, green, and black feathers on their bodies, which gives them an array of colors.

Hens have primarily white feathers, with tiny bits of light brown feathers here and there. The color of their skin is a mix of pink, red, and white.

The single-type combs of both males and females are bright red. But the single combs are “small” compared to other single-comb chickens. This single comb is a thick, heavy comb that is scaly like their legs.

The beaks of these birds are brown. Some have wattles the same size as most, while others have thick, heavy, or long wattles with scales like their legs.

The earlobes are large in size and red in color. Both males and females have big, reddish scales on their feet and legs. Their toes are pretty long.

This breed is known for having thick, muscular legs covered in scales to keep them from getting hurt.

Most of the time, these legs are as thick as a person’s wrist. People say that the bird’s big, scaly legs and feet look like the legs and claws of a dragon.

Varieties and Types of Dong Tao Chicken

Dong Tao chickens are seen in Vietnam. The breed has few varieties globally. In the Philippines, a rare crossbreed of Dong Tao chickens is found. Local people name this breed Ayam Cemani.

This breed is quite expensive. Dong Tao comes after the breed when we shorten them with pricing. Many breeders focus on the hens and roosters to speed up their reproduction. 


A healthy body is the most significant feature of a Dong Tao chicken. You will find this breed adorable; they love growing in your backyard.

The big feet are pretty challenging for the hens for hatching the eggs. Many breeders provide their help to the hens at the time of hatching. Dong Tao chicks will take up to 8 months to grow into adults.

Benefits of Raising Dong Tao Chicken

Ga Dong Tao Chicken
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Dong Tao chickens are known for their special appearance. Breeders in Vietnam keep this category of chickens to make their production quite valuable.

This breed can benefit their breeders in many aspects. The following points will show the importance and benefits of keeping this breed:

A Great Chicken Breed for Meat

Vietnamese breeders add this breed to their farms to get paid in bulk. The breeders care for Dong Tao chickens as they serve the best for them.

Feeding, shelter, and other aspects are necessary to keep them growing quickly.  A confined environment is essential, as this breed will not perform well against climate change.

Breeders are taking care of their shelter during the winter. Despite this region, you can still make a profit from this breed.

Took a Few Times to Grow

Dong Tao chickens are excellent in growth. The breed can grow into its complete form within 28 weeks at most.

Some also take 16 to 20 weeks. The size of their eggs is decent. The egg’s weight and the yolk’s weight are also eye-catching.

There are many experiments conducted on their egg production. The results are insignificant; however, the egg size differs from the other breeds.

Great Option for Making Your Meal Delicious

You can prepare beautiful meals from Dong Tao chickens. Many restaurant chefs prepare delicious meals such as firm and crisp sweetmeat, delicious thigh meat, and pink brisket recipe from Dong Tao chickens.

People admire the meal of Dong Tao chickens as their meat can attain your satisfaction level. Many restaurant owners are in contact with the breeders of Dong Tao chickens for their meat supply.

Dragon Feet – the Center of Attraction of Dong Tao Chickens

You may have seen chickens of different breeds with their thin and tiny feet. Many people do not concentrate on the look of their birds.

However, the breeders who want to add some special members to their coop will find Dong Tao chickens different from others. 

What is the reason? Well, it is their feet. A Dong Tao chicken rooster’s legs are the shape of a dragon’s. The roosters and hens of Dong Tao chickens are pretty attractive with their legs.

The white-colored hens and multicolored roosters are making quite different appearances. Breeders love to keep this breed in unique attire for their coop. 

Problems in Raising Dong Tao Chicken

Every breed has problems at some point. Breeders may face some problems while raising them after hatching. The following points will show you how this breed may cause problems for your coop:

Do Not Perform Well Against Climate Change

The breed of Dong Tao chickens does not show a great response against weather changes. Their survival will not last long at the extreme temperature changes.

You do not want your breed to suffer while keeping them in your coop. They may give you a headache with different weathers.

Cannot survive without proper care

Breeders must take care of this breed by feeding and nourishing it. You should take care of their medicines and supply the water in the summer.

The breeders should provide enough shelter with definite items to make the winter comfortable for Dong Tao chickens.

The Cost of Raising This Breed Is High

Breeders of Dong Tao chickens must prepare to invest a massive amount of money while raising them.

This breed requires decent shelter, food, and water to cope with climate change. The maintenance cost is too high; this breed will require enough care and medication to live.

FAQs on Dong Tao Chicken

Below are the frequently asked questions about the Vietnamese Dragon Chicken:

Why are Dong Tao chickens so expensive?

Dong Tao chickens are expensive because they are hard to raise, hard to find, and in high demand. They develop slowly and have enormous legs but may do well under certain circumstances.

Their eggs are sensitive, and fail to hatch many of them, so they need an incubator to hatch. They are also made pretty for beauty shows.

Their meat has a strong smell and is served in expensive places. All of these things make Dong Tao chicken so expensive.

Why do Dong Tao chickens have big legs?

The legs of the Dong Tao chicken, also called the Vietnamese Dragon Chicken, are known for being big, thick, and covered with scales. This unique feature came about because of genetic mutation and careful breeding.

Their big, red legs probably came about because of a change in their genes. Over many generations and hundreds of years, this trait was passed down through careful breeding.

The chickens were raised in specific ways that helped them grow this unique leg. Because of this process of careful breeding, the Dong Tao chicken has legs that are sometimes as thick as the wrist of an adult man.

These legs have scales resembling dragon skin, which is how they got the name “Dragon Chickens.”

What is Dong Tao Chicken Price?

Dong Tao chickens, sometimes called Vietnamese Dragon Chickens, are incredibly rare and fetch high prices due to their high production costs.

A pair of Dong Tao chickens can cost as much as $2,500. Just the meat can cost up to $19 a pound.

These prices are because of how rare they are, how much care they need, how desirable they are, and how much people want their unique meat.

What is the taste and quality of Dong Tao chicken meat?

The Dong Tao chicken has delicious meat. The meat is dark, like beef, and tastes great. The meat from both feet and legs is known for being juicy and flavorful.

It’s often served in a pot with lemongrass and other fragrant herbs. The meat on a Dong Tao chicken’s breast and wings is standard. Its unique flavor and high quality make it a good choice for food lovers and chefs.


Dong Tao chickens in Vietnam people also name this breed The Vietnamese Dragon Chicken. This breed is a rare Vietnamese chicken with a unique look.

You will find enlarged-leg Dong Tao chickens that come from the village Đông Tảo in the District of Khoái Châu. This place is near to Hanoi.

In Vietnam, the delicacy of the Dong Tao chickens is valuable. Breeders may find it challenging to raise them.

The structure of their large legs creates difficulties for hatching the eggs. You may notice that the Dong Tao chickens are sensitive to the change in temperature. 

Hens of Dong Tao chickens sometimes break their eggs with their large and bulky legs. Therefore, breeders keep their eggs in an incubator.

Here is the list of the best incubators for egg hatching. These massive leg flocks may take six months to 1 year to turn into a fully-grown chicken weighing five to six kilograms.

I hope you liked this informative post on The Vietnamese Dragon ‘Dong Tao’ Chicken.

Bijaya Kumar
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