The La Flèche chicken is a broody chicken from La Flèche, France. It’s named for the geographic region of its origin, as well as the distinctive “V” comb shape. This chicken grows slowly, but it can produce large egg clutches and good table meat.

Like other breeds, these birds don’t take well to being tamed, but they’re not aggressive. They’re active birds and love to forage, making them a good choice to live on free-range farming environments. They also tolerate confinement chicken divider

Quick Facts about La Flèche Chicken

Breed Name:La Flèche chicken, Devil chicken
Place of Origin:La Flèche, France
Uses:Meat, eggs, ornamental
Rooster (Male) Size:8–9 lbs
Hen (Female) Size:6–7 lbs
Color:Black, white, cuckoo, blue laced
Lifespan:8 years
Climate Tolerance:Warm
Care Level:Moderate
Production:200 eggs per season
Market Weight:5.5­–7 lbs

La Flèche Chicken Origins

The La Flèche chicken gets its name from La Flèche, a town in the department of Sarthe within the Pays de la Loire region of France. It’s near Le Mans, the famous racing city which gave the chicken the nickname “Fowl of Le Mans.”

The breed is believed to have been produced in Le Mans during the 5th century, and it was celebrated in Paris and Anjou markets. These chickens were brought to America in the 1850s, where they were found to be too delicate and quickly abandoned for hardier breeds. They were recognized by the American Poultry Association as a standard breed in 1874.

La Flèche Chicken Characteristics

The La Flèche chicken is a medium-to-large-sized bird with black plumage that has a green sheen, white earlobes, and a unique V-shaped comb. Though they look delicate, they’re heavy and have tight-fitting feathers. The breed is also known for producing beautiful cockerels.

These birds have the nickname “devil bird,” due to their sharp, red, V-shaped comb, which looks like devil horns. They’re neither friendly nor aggressive. They prefer not to be too close to their humans and prefer to go off on their own.

La Flèche chickens are excellent fliers and may try to roost in trees. They require high fences to prevent escape. They do well on large expanses of land but can be confined easily. If you have other chickens, it’s best to provide plenty of space to allow this chicken to go off on its own.


La Flèche chickens are known for table qualities, such as thin white skin with tender, delicate, and juicy flesh. Their breasts are meaty and full, and the breed fattens easily with good fat distribution. There’s also a small number of edible organs.

These chickens may also be kept for eggs. The hens produce medium-to-large white eggs with clutches around 200. They typically lay between March and October. They’re not known to be broody.

Appearance & Varieties

La Flèche chickens are only recognized in one variety by the American Poultry Association—black. Despite this, they’re also known to come in white, cuckoo, and blue-laced varieties, though it’s unclear if they’re purebred La Flèche chickens or crossbreed.


La Flèche chickens come from a warm environment, so they tolerate heat well. They do need a lot of water and shade to stay hydrated, however. They don’t tolerate the cold, which is why they gained a reputation as a delicate breed for America. If you choose to keep these birds in chilly areas, it’s important to provide warm shelter and put balm on their combs and wattles to prevent frostbite.

new chicken divider

Are La Flèche Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?

La Flèche chickens are dual-purpose chickens that enjoy foraging and roaming, so they’re a good choice for small-scale, free-range farming. They’re slow to mature and may not be ideal for large operations. If you have limited space, this chicken can adapt to confined environments, as long as it’s not crowded.

La Flèche chickens are a beautiful French chicken breed known for its distinctive red comb and good table meat. These chickens are often kept for meat or egg-laying rather than as a pet or ornamental breed, and enjoy open, free-range environments in warm climates.

Related reads: 

Feature Image Credit: Thomon, Wikimedia Commonss (CC BY-SA 4.0)