The Dragon chicken is a very rare, extra-large breed of chicken that hails from Vietnam. They are often served in luxury restaurants, given as gifts, or sold for special holidays like the Vietnamese New Year. These chickens are very expensive; a male-female pair can sell for up to $2,500.
Because they are large, they take longer to mature than most other chicken breeds. Hens and roosters take 8 months to one year to reach maturity. They also live longer than most chickens and can survive up to 6 to 7 years if cared for properly.
Their eggs are very expensive and can sell for around $55 per half dozen in the United States. It is more common for them to be raised for meat due to their large size. They are generally ready for the market between 8 months to one year of age and have excellent quality meat.
Dragon Chicken Breed Quick Info
Dragon Chicken Description
|Dragon Chicken Type/Size:||Standard|
|Dragon Chicken Ease of Raising/Keeping:||Difficult|
|Dragon Chicken Special Care Needs:||Yes|
|Is the Dragon breed a common, rare, or protected breed of chicken?||Rare|
Dragon Chicken Use
|Dragon Chicken Temperament:||Docile, calm, friendly|
|Dragon Chicken Ability/Likelihood to Free Range:||Yes|
Dragon Chicken Egg Production
|Egg Color||Tinted White|
|Egg Size||Extra Large|
|Estimated Number of Eggs Per Year||60|
|Likeliness to Brood Eggs/Raise Chicks||Medium|
Dragon Chicken Meat Production
|Dressed Weight Male||9.25 lbs|
|Dressed Weight Female||7 lbs|
Dragon Chicken Climate Tolerance
Dragon Chicken Age to Maturity
|Number of Months to Reach Full Size||8-10 Months|
|Number of Months to Start Egg Laying||4-6 Months|
|Number of Weeks/Months to Reach Meat Harvest Size||8-10 Months|
Dragon Chicken Size at Maturity
Origins of Dragon Chicken
Dragon chickens are very difficult to find outside of Vietnam. For the most part, they are raised near the Hanoi region of Vietnam. In fact, they are called the “Dong Tao” chicken throughout Vietnam and Asia.
They were originally bred for royalty and their subjects (bureaucrats) and for ritual offerings. Today, they are popular throughout the country of Vietnam.
Some Things to Know About Dragon Chicken
This breed is most known for its massive legs, which can be as large around as a human’s wrist. Their legs are scaly and reddish, which is why they are called “Dragon Chickens.”
Dragon chicken hens are white or light brown mixed with white. Roosters are multi-colored with feathers that are black, white, red, and grey.
How Easy is it to Keep Dragon Chickens?
Despite their intimidating appearance, Dragon chickens are actually very affectionate and friendly. They can be raised as pets and make a great family chicken breed. They are even known to be playful with their human caregivers.
They cannot fly more than 3 feet off of the ground due to their large size, so fencing should be at least this height. They do well as free-range chickens and are excellent foragers.
In Vietnam, they are most often fed crickets or rice and corn if used to produce eggs.
Special Care and Considerations for Dragon Chickens
The Dragon chicken is a very sensitive bird, despite their tough appearance. They are very sensitive to changes in weather and are quite cold-sensitive until they grow in all of their feathers.
Hens will stop laying eggs if they are too cold or uncomfortable, as well. Their thick legs are actually quite delicate, which means they need to be in a controlled environment that protects them from the elements and harsh weather.
They are also in a risk for frostbite. Vaseline can help to protect their legs and combs from freezing in low temperatures, but care should be taken to keep them indoors.