Ad ID: 301
Added: November 12, 2018
Sale Price: $ 500
Regular Price: $ 600
Location: United Kingdom
Are you looking to add a touch of fanciful beauty to your flock? With bright colors and delightfully fun feathers, our fancy chicken breeds are just the thing for you. Many of these breeds also lay eggs, making them as productive as they are entertaining. In this blog post, we explore fancy and exotic chicken breeds that we carry at The Cheshire Horse. We are excited to help you bring some feathered beauties home to your coop!
To learn more about the chicks available in the 2021 season, refer to our Chick Season 2021 page
The Mottled Houdan chicken originated in France and gets its name from the city of Houdan, near Paris. They were first exported to North America in 1865. The Houdan Chicken is similar in build and feather type to the Crevecoeur Chicken and the Polish Chicken. They differ from the Polish and Crevecoeur in that they are always bearded and have five toes. They are extremely heat tolerant but not exceptionally cold hardy.
Roosters mature around 8 lb; hens mature around 6.5 lb and lay over 150 medium-sized white eggs per year. Some use the Mottled Houdan Chicken for egg production and their meat; however, most people keep this bird for ornamental and exhibition purposes. This is the type of bird that can add a little beauty and productivity to your farm. Houdan Chickens are exceptionally docile and gentle creatures, which makes them great pets.
Silver Spangled Hamburg
The Hamburg chicken is a plucky little member of the poultry family with origin stories dating back to 14th century Holland. These are one of the snappiest, most alert breeds on the poultry list. Of a rather small size, with light but sweeping, graceful outlines, they are elegant and beautiful. The lustrous greenish black spangles on silvery-white plumage give them a perky polka dot look. With neat rose combs, white earlobes, leaden blue toes and shanks, these are excellent small birds for both beauty and utility. For such a small chicken, they are considered a prolific layer that rarely slows down in production, laying three small white eggs each week.
Hamburgs almost always prefer to free-range; they don’t care for confinement. If you want to see what a chicken looks like, and acts like in the wild, the Hamburg is one of the closest breeds you will find. They are extreme foragers, and when released every morning the frenzy begins. They can fly well and prefer to roost high and fly into trees. This makes them more predator resistant. It’s important to know that the Hamburg is not a person-oriented chicken. They prefer to spend their time with each other and be wild. If you want a beautiful hen and don’t mind an independent forager who will lay a few eggs a week, this is your bird.
The Spitzhauben breed originated in the Appenzell region of Switzerland and comes in several varieties, one of which is the Silver Spangled Spitzhauben, meaning “pointed hood.” The Spitzhuaben has a V-comb and feather crests in males and females. They are primarily a show breed but are decent layers of small white eggs. They are a light chicken, with hens weighing an average of 3.5 lb. The Spitzhauben has an active personality that doesn’t do well in close confinement but adapts to foraging quite well and will roost in trees if given the opportunity. These birds are cold tolerant but do not acclimate to high temperatures easily.
Silver Laced Polish, Golden Laced Polish, Buff Laced Polish, White Crested Black Polish, and White Crested Blue Polish
White Crested Black Polish chicks
White Crested Black Polish chicks, photo: Hoover’s Hatchery
The Polish Chicken has a long history dating back to the 1700s. It is hard to mistake a Polish Chicken, the hen will have a ‘pom-pom’ hairdo which is fairly neat and tidy. The head feathers grow up and then cascade over the head and face, sometimes causing visual problems. The head crest is, in fact, more than just hair, it’s a bony prominence arising from the skull. Polish Chickens are rather petite, with hens weighing only 4.5 lb. In general, they lay about 150 white, medium/large eggs per year. They are fairly hardy, tolerating most climates well, although they do not do well when wet. Polish chickens are great foragers in the yard and can fly fairly well, so be aware of them roosting in trees. Although they may not be prolific egg layers, they are certainly worthy of a spot in your flock for the visual appeal alone! The Polish are generally said to be calm and gentle birds, making them very suitable for children to have as pets.
Mixed silkie chicks, photo: Hoover’s Hatchery
There is no doubt that the Silkie is a very old breed, most likely of Chinese origin. It is believed by many that the Silkie dates back as far as the Chinese Han Dynasty in 206 BC. The Silkie is a breed of chicken named for its unique, fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as dark blue flesh and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot (most chickens only have four). They come in various colors including, black, buff, blue, grey, red, white, partridge, lavender, splash, and cuckoo.
Silkies lay about 120 cream-colored eggs per year, but production is often interrupted due to their extreme tendency to go broody; a hen will produce 100 eggs in an ideal year. They are commonly used to hatch eggs from other breeds and bird species. In addition to being good mothers, Silkies are universally renowned for their calm, friendly temperament. They do well in confinement and interact very well with children. This docility can cause Silkies to be bullied by more active or aggressive birds when kept in mixed flocks. They are fluffy, tolerant, and love sitting in your lap… they even enjoy cuddles!
At The Cheshire Horse, we are proud to be your full-service poultry and farm supply store. If you have any questions regarding the various breeds of chicks that we carry, we encourage you to speak with a member of our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff. We would love to help you select the right chicks to join your homestead.