Chantecler Chicken – Why Is This Breed So Underrated?

One thing that you do not tend to see all that much is a Canadian-bred chicken. This is something that has always baffled us. This is because Canada can get quite cold at times, so you would think that the country would be breeding chickens to cope with that weather. Thankfully, the Canadians have worked on a couple of breeds that do well in the country. The Chantecler chicken is one of the most popular of them.

Facts at a Glance

Eggs150 – 180 per year
Egg Shell Color Brown
Temperament Flighty
Recognized VarietyPartridge and White
UseEggs + Meat
Skin ColorYellow
Comb TypeCushion
WeightMale Standard: 8.5 lb. (3.9 kg)
Male Bantam: 34 oz. (965 g)
Female Standard: 6.5 lb. (3 kg)
Female Bantam: 30 oz. (850 g)
Country of originCanada
ForagingGood
Admitted to APA1921
StatusCritical
Chantecler Chicken Breed Facts

Where They Come From?

The Chantecler chicken was bred out of the fact that Canada didn’t have any chicken breeds of its own.

A breeder determined that the country was relying too much on British and American chickens, and he decided that Canada needed something that it could lay a claim to. So, this guy started to develop the Chantecler chicken.

The breed was created by combining a lot of different breeds. The intention was to create a chicken that would do incredibly well as a meat chicken breed. This meant that it had to be white, hardy, and able to produce a lot of meat. Therefore, the following breeds were involved:

In US it was recognized in 1921. In the following decades, more and more breeders entered the mix, creating different looks for the Chantecler chicken, some that were not white, for instance. However, the breed never really took off in the commercial chicken industry.

By the 1980s, it was determined that the breed was extinct. However, despite this, there were still some smaller breeders raising the chicken. Granted, it is still on the brink of extinction, but it is not quite there yet, assuming these breeders are able to continue producing the Chantecler chickens.

The Look of the Chantecler Chicken

The Chantecler chicken can grow to quite a large size. It is not uncommon for males to be over 8.6 lbs. (4 kg) in size and hens to reach 6.5 lbs. (3 kg).

As we said before, one of the main intentions of this bird was to create something that was suitable for the meat industry. They also wanted to create something that was able to deal with the cold weather of Canada fairly well.

Even today, there are some people that claim that the Chantecler chicken is one of the best chickens in the world for those that live in cold regions.

The cold hardiness is all thanks to the fluffy plumage that the bird offers. It is tight against their skin but carries a decent amount of weight. This can help to protect them, even if it is snowing outside.

The earlier Chantecler chickens had larger combs but, in order for the chicken to deal well with the colder climate, they were bred so this comb became a little bit smaller.

Because of the rarity of this breed nowadays, there does seem to be less standardization between the breed than you would have had in the past.

This is because each breeder seems to be doing their own thing. So, if you are going to be getting one of these birds, the you will probably want to know what you are buying.

By the way, you may have already noticed that this breed looks very similar to the American Buckeye chicken.

Chantecler Chicken Colors

The Chantecler chicken comes in two colors: White and Partridge.

The White Chantecler chicken has yellow beak, shanks and toes and white plumage. It was admitted to the APA in 1921.

The Partridge Chantecler chicken has dark beak, yellow shanks and toes and partridge plumage. It was admitted to the APA in 1935.

As a Show Chicken

Despite this chicken having a rather unique look to it, you are not going to be finding it in use as a show chicken. It is just too rare. There are only a few breeders in Canada that are properly raising the Chantecler chicken nowadays, and they are going to be far too spread out for chicken shows featuring this bird to be viable.

As we said before, there is very little standardization between this breed nowadays too. This means that it probably isn’t really going to be the same as the shows that featured it in the past.

The chickens would just be far too different and the breed standard would have to be completely rewritten.

If you live in a colder climate, then this is probably going to be one of the best ornamental chickens that you can obtain, though. It is nice and fluffy and will look brilliant wandering around your land.

As a Meat Chicken

This chicken was always intended to be a meat chicken. So, as you can probably expect, this is where this breed really does thrive.

It grows nice and large, and it is a fairly decent grower too. A lot of people love the especially plump breasts that the Chantecler is able to offer.

So, if you are looking for a meat chicken that you can raise in a colder location, then this may be one of the better options available to you.

Eggs

For some obscure reason, not a lot of people discuss the Chantecler chicken for its egg benefits. This has always surprised us, because this breed is fantastic when it comes to laying eggs. It is able to produce almost 200 eggs per year.

So, you will get about 4 per week from the average chicken, so if you have a decent flock of them, you will have an almost steady stream of eggs rolling in.

Because this is a breed that has been designed for colder environments, you do not have to worry about your chicken egg production stopping during the winter months too!

This is a chicken that is able to produce eggs throughout the year with ease.

Raising the Chantecler Chicken

This is a hardy chicken breed, so you won’t actually have to put that much effort into raising it. However, do bear in mind that while it is a chicken that can cope with the cold, you probably shouldn’t be leaving it outside if the temperature plummets.

It can still get frostbite on the comb, especially when it is snowing.

Due to the thicker plumage of the Chantecler chicken, we wouldn’t really recommend that you raise this chicken in a warmer environment.

It would give it heat stroke, and you are going to end up with dead chickens if that happens. Please keep this limited to colder locations.

Scroll to Top