The Chantecler chicken may not be a breed you’ve ever heard of, but that doesn’t mean this breed isn’t a valuable one. These chickens are exceptionally rare but hardy and produce large eggs. They are gentle and pleasant chickens, making them a nice addition to hobby farms. Their name is derived from the French words “chanter”, meaning “to sing”, and “clair”, which means “bright”. Let’s talk more about the Chantecler chicken divider

Quick Facts about Chantecler Chickens

Breed Name:Chantecler
Place of Origin:Canada
Uses:Eggs, meat
Rooster (Male) Size:9 pounds
Hen (Female) Size:6.5–7.5 pounds
Color:White, partridge, buff (not standard)
Lifespan:8–10 years
Climate Tolerance:Cold hardy
Care Level:Easy to moderate
Production:Moderate to high

Chantecler Chickens Origins

The Chantecler chicken was developed in Quebec, Canada. Development began in 1908, but the Chantecler was kept relatively under wraps until 1918 when it began being introduced to the public. In 1921, the Chantecler chicken was admitted to the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection.

This breed was developed because Brother Wilfred Chatelain recognized that all of the chicken breeds he worked with were European or American breeds. He recognized the need for a hardy breed to handle the harsh winters of Canada, a high producer of both eggs and meat, and appetizing to Western consumers.

Chantecler Chicken
Image Credit: rweisswald, Shutterstock

Chantecler Chickens Characteristics

These chickens get relatively large, with males reaching up to 9 pounds and females reaching up to 7.5 pounds. Hens produce around 200 eggs per year. For perspective, 250 eggs per year is considered to be high production. Hens will not produce an egg every day of the year since it takes 22–24 hours to produce a single egg for laying.

They have light yellowish skin and beaks. The Chantecler chicken lays brown to pinkish eggs that are large in size. Their feathers stay tight against their bodies, and they have lots of fluff, both of which help them maintain a proper body temperature, even in excessively cold environments.

They tend to be gentle chickens that are pleasant to be around. However, some Chanteclers are known to become somewhat temperamental when kept in confinement. To prevent this from occurring, it’s best to give your Chantecler chickens plenty of space to move around. Start handling them while still young to get them used to human interaction, which will make them easier to handle as they get older.


Chantecler chickens can be used for both meat and egg production. Since females are moderate to high egg producers, they are a great egg laying option for many farms. The large size of these chickens and their light-colored skin also make them suitable as a meat breed. Many Western consumers don’t like dark-colored skin on chickens, so the light skin color of the Chantecler makes them a good option.

Appearance & Varieties

White and partridge are the only colors of Chantecler chicken that meet the breed standard. This is because white chickens tend to have lighter-colored bodies, making them more appetizing to Western consumers. Partridge chickens may have slightly darker but still light-colored skin. Chantecler chickens do show up in a buff color as well, but this color is out of standard and is not sought after.

This breed is known for having small or absent wattles, as well as small combs. This makes them more resistant to cold weather by reducing their risk of developing frostbite on the wattle and comb in extremely cold weather.


The Chantecler chicken is listed by The Livestock Conservancy as a heritage breed to watch. This means that there are fewer than 5,000 registered Chantecler chickens in the United States, with ten or fewer primary breeding flocks. This also means that there are estimated to be fewer than 10,000 Chantecler chickens in the world.

Are Chantecler Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?

The Chantecler chicken is a fantastic option for small-scale farming. This has the potential to help increase their numbers, protecting this breed from extinction. However, they are difficult to acquire due to their rarity. If you can get your hands on some Chantecler chickens, you won’t be disappointed in this fantastic, high-producing chicken.

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We hope that you have learned some new information about the Chantecler chicken. If you are a small-scale farmer or a homesteader who wants to own a small flock, consider the Chantecler chicken. This chicken can be used for both meat and eggs, which means you have options for making income from this breed of chicken.

Featured Image Credit: Pat Stornebrink, Shutterstock