Top 11 French Chicken Breeds (With Pictures)

French chicken breeds are an excellent choice if you want a unique and lovely addition to your flock. They have a long back history.

These birds are known for their distinctive features, including feather patterns, egg color, meat, and personality.

This article will explore the history and characteristics of 11 famous French chicken breeds, answer some frequently asked questions, and explain why French hens are a great addition to your flock.

Introduction to French Chickens

France is known for its culinary traditions, and French chickens are essential to that culture. French chicken breeds are known for their meat and egg quality; many have been bred for centuries. 

In addition, these birds are often raised for their unique flavor and texture, which is attributed to their diet and living conditions.

History of French Chicken Breeds

French chicken breeds have a long and storied history. Many breeds of French chickens were developed in specific regions of France and bred for specific purposes. 

For example, the Bresse Gauloise chicken was bred in the Bresse region of France and was used primarily for its meat. 

The breed is considered one of the best-tasting chickens in the world and is still highly prized for its culinary value.

Below is the list of 11 popular french chicken breeds:

1. Crevecoeur Chicken

Crevecoeur Chicken Breed very fluffy french chicken breed
  • Save

The Crevecoeur chicken is a medium-sized bird known for its beautiful black plumage.

The breed was developed in Crève-Coeur en Ange town of Normandy, France, and was first mentioned in the 18th century. The breed was introduced to America in 1852, 1867, and again in the 1870s.

This French chicken breed is known for its calm and friendly disposition and is a good choice for backyard flocks. The hens lay medium-sized white eggs and are considered good layers, averaging 120–160 eggs annually. 

Crevecoeur chickens are known for their meat production and are considered a delicacy in France. They have solid black plumage and a distinctive V-shaped comb. Crevecoeur roosters weigh 8 lbs. and hens weigh 6.5 lbs.

2. Bresse Gauloise Chicken

bresse chicken is another popular french chicken
  • Save

The Bresse Gauloise chicken is considered one of the best-tasting chickens in the world. The breed was developed in the Bresse region of France and is known for its white plumage and blue feet. It is a 450-500 years old chicken breed.

The chickens are raised in a specific manner, which includes a corn-based diet and free-range living conditions. The hens lay medium-sized white eggs and are considered excellent layers, averaging 250–300 eggs annually. 

This French chicken breed is protected by AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) and is popularly known as the “queen of chickens.” Bresse Gauloise roosters weigh 6.5 lbs. and hens weigh 4.5 lbs.

3. Coucou de Rennes Chickens

Coucou de Rennes french Chicken
  • Save

The Coucou de Rennes, chicken, is a medium-sized bird known for its distinctive “cuckoo” feather pattern. 

Coucou de Rennes was a historic breed that had nearly disappeared by the late twentieth century. However, since 1988, when the Ecomuseum of Rennes began breeding the breed, the breed has recovered.

The French chicken breed was developed in the Rennes region of France and is considered a dual-purpose bird, meaning it is raised for meat and eggs. 

The hens lay medium-sized brown eggs and are considered good layers, with an average of 180–200 eggs per year.

4. Faverolle Chicken

faverolle chickens
  • Save

The Faverolle chicken is a medium-sized bird known for its unique feather pattern and beard. Faverolle roosters weigh 10 lbs. and hens weigh 8.5 lbs.

The French chicken breed was developed in the Faverolle region of France and is considered a dual-purpose bird.  It is believed that the Faverolles originated in France around the 1800s.

The hens lay medium-sized light-brown eggs and are considered good layers, with an average of 150–200 eggs per year. They have fluffy, soft plumage and a beard and muffs.

5. Houdan Chickens

houdan is a popular french chickens
  • Save

The Houdan chicken is a medium-sized bird known for its distinctive feather pattern and crest. The breed was developed in the Houdan region of France and is considered a dual-purpose bird. 

The origins of Houdan chickens date back to around 2,000 years. The breed is believed to have been developed over centuries using the common five-toed fowl that existed during the Roman author Columella period, 4 CE to 70 CE.

The hens lay medium-sized white eggs and are considered good layers, averaging 150–200 eggs annually. It is a rare breed that originates from Houdan, France. Houdan males and females weigh 8 and 6.5 lbs, respectively.

6. Leghorn Chicken

Leghorns are great chickens
  • Save

The Leghorn chicken is a medium-sized bird known for its excellent white egg-laying abilities. The breed was developed in Italy, but French breeders refined the breed further. 

The first birds to be exported to North America came from the port city of Livorno, on the western coast of Tuscany, in 1828. At first, they were called “Italians,” but by 1865, they were called “Leghorns.”

The chickens are known for their white plumage and are considered some of the best layers, with an average of 280–320 eggs per year.

They are commonly used for commercial egg production. Leghorn roosters weigh 7.5 lbs. and hens weigh 5.5 lbs.

7. La Flèche Chicken

a popular La Flèche chicken from france origin
  • Save

The La Flèche chicken is a medium-sized bird known for its distinctive V-shaped comb and black plumage. 

The French chicken breed was developed in the La Flèche region of France and is considered a dual-purpose bird. La Flèche roosters weigh 8 lbs. and hens weigh 6.5 lbs.

During the 15th century, the breed was believed to have been developed in Le Mans, then in Mizeray, and finally in La Flèche.

In the farmers market in La Flèche, these birds are sometimes sold as “Le Man’s fowl.” In the 1850s, a lot of La Flèche chickens imported to America.

The hens lay medium-sized brown eggs and are considered good layers, with an average of 180–220 eggs per year.

8. Marans Chickens

marans are great french chickens
  • Save

The Marans chicken is a medium-sized bird known for its rich, dark brown eggs. The breed was developed in the Marans town of southwestern France in the 18th century.

It is considered a dual-purpose bird. The hens lay medium-sized dark brown eggs and are considered good layers, with an average of 150–200 eggs per year. 

This French chicken is known for their dark, richly colored eggs and are famous among egg collectors. Marans roosters weigh 8.5 lbs., and hens weigh 6.5 lbs.

9. Light Sussex Chickens

  • Save

The Light Sussex chicken is a medium-sized bird known for its calm and friendly disposition.

Around the time of the Roman invasion of AD 43, Sussex chickens are believed to have been first bred in Britain. The breed was developed in England, but French breeders helped refine the breed further. 

The chickens are known for their white plumage and are considered good layers, with an average of 250–300 eggs per year. 

They have white plumage with black tail feathers and a single comb. Light Sussex chickens are known for their friendly temperament and high egg production. Males weigh 9 lbs. and females weigh 7 lbs.

10. Estaires Chicken

Coq en pied
  • Save

The Estaires chicken is a medium-sized bird known for its beautiful black and white feather pattern. The breed was developed in the Estaires region of northern France.

It is a variety of the Langshan breed that was imported to England from China in 1872. Then it is exported to Europe.

It is considered a dual-purpose bird. The hens lay medium-sized brown eggs and are considered good layers, with an average of 150–200 eggs per year. Males weigh 11 lbs. and females weigh 9 lbs.

11. Ardennaise Chicken

  • Save

The Ardennaise chicken is a bantam bird known for its unique feather pattern and friendliness. The breed was developed in the Ardennes plateau of France during 1882.

The hens lay small-sized brown eggs and are considered good layers, with an average of 180 eggs per year. They make great pets and garden buddies. They easily mix with most of the chicken breeds.

FAQs about French Chickens

How French chicken breeds are different from other chicken breeds?

A French hen is a chicken breed that was developed in France. French chicken breeds are known for their unique feather patterns, egg color, and personality. 

In addition, they are often raised for their meat and egg quality and are highly prized for their culinary value.

What do French chickens look like?

French hens come in various colors and patterns, depending on the breed. However, some common characteristics of French hens include unique feather patterns. 

Moreover, the “cuckoo” pattern of the Coucou de Rennes chicken, and specific physical features, such as the V-shaped comb of the La Flèche chicken.

How to care for French chicken breeds?

French hens require the same primary care as other chicken breeds. They need access to clean water, high-quality feed, and clean and dry living space. 

It is known that French hens are hardy and adaptable, but proper care is essential to ensure their health and wellbeing. They also require regular health checkups and protection from predatory animals.

Where to buy French chickens?

French hens can be purchased from breeders, hatcheries, or online retailers. Analyzing and choosing a reputable source is crucial to ensure you get healthy and high-quality birds.

Conclusion: Why French Chicken Breeds are a Great Addition to Your Flock?

French hens are an excellent choice for backyard flocks. These birds are known for their unique feather patterns, egg color, and personality. 

Furthermore, French chicken breeds are often raised for their meat and egg quality and are highly prized for their culinary value. 

French hens can be a beautiful and productive addition to your flock with proper care. Therefore, you should consider adding a French hen to your flock today.

Bijaya Kumar
  • Save

Leave a Comment

0 Shares
0 Shares