Padua Chicken: An Excellent Ornamental Chicken Beed

 Among the group of birds are chickens, and domesticated fowl that have undergone a process of domestication. This process has led to a great diversity of breeds, to the point that there are more than 1,600 chicken breeds in the world, among which is the Padua Chicken or Padovana, as it is called in Italian.

Padua Chicken: An Excellent Ornamental Chicken Beed
Padua Chicken: An Excellent Ornamental Chicken Beed

In this article, we present all the characteristics of the Padua Chicken so that you can learn more about this curious breed. Enjoy reading!

Padua Chicken Standard

Origin: England

General appearance: a common type of bantam, of medium size, slightly built; alert; a little upright; of medium height; round, full crest, and dense beard; well-developed plumage tightly held to the body. Calm and familiar temperament.

Body: wide at the shoulders, tapering towards the rear.

Back: of medium length; slightly sloping, rising in a short concave line towards the tail; abundant sickles.

Head: broad, with a strong protrusion; no comb.

Neck: medium, held upright, slightly arched; abundant hackle.

Crest: beautiful, large, spherical, with long feathers regularly directed on all sides; long and narrow feathers.

Beard and muffs: strongly developed, entirely covering the throat.

Wattles: insignificant.

Earlobes: small and hidden.

Face: red, smooth, hidden by the muffs.

Eyes: large, bright; iris reddish.

Beak: medium length, strong; nostrils well pronounced.

Rooster's tail: well-developed, not too low; broad and fairly open rectrices; long and nicely curved sickles; rich in small sickles.

Thighs: straight, fairly strong, of medium length; tight plumage.

Shanks: medium, fairly strong; four toes; smooth.

Varieties: The most common varieties are black, chamois, and blue. They also come in golden laced black, silver laced black, white, and cuckoo.

Ideal Weight:

  • Rooster: 900 g
  • Hen: 700 g
  • Hatching Eggs: Minimum 35 g; white shell.

Origin of the Padua Chicken

The origin of the Padua Chicken is the subject of some controversy, as it is attributed to a relationship with breeds originating from Poland and Holland. It was the famous physician, astronomer, alchemist, and engineer Giovanni Dondi dell'Orologio, originally from Padua, who, around 1300, introduced this breed to the region that he brought from Poland to beautify the orchards. However, some people say that there is no evidence of this fact. Thus, although this cannot be absolutely ruled out, documents from that time do not mention any contact of the aforementioned person with the Polish region. Therefore, the breed is considered to be of Italian origin.

Characteristics of the Padua Chicken

The Padua Chicken is a breed of the subspecies Gallus gallus domesticus. This breed is of medium size, with females weighing between 1.5 and 2 kg and males between 1.8 and 2.3 kg. It has a medium-sized head, without a comb, but with a rather voluminous plume, very characteristic of the breed. Its eyes are usually large, round, and striking, most often brownish in color, but in some specimens, especially whites, they take on an orange hue. Its respiratory orifices are also wide. In addition, it has a strong and somewhat curved beak.

On the other hand, the Padua Chicken or Padovana does not have any visible wattles or those that are barely visible due to the dense beard. Their body is wide towards the shoulders, but narrows towards the back, at the hip level. The posture of this chicken is straight, with the trunk somewhat elongated and with a certain inclination.

It has sexual dimorphism. The body of females is more compressed and lower, and it has a more horizontal shape than that of males. The roosters have a dense globular tuft, and the feathers on their head are drooping, narrow, and pointed. In hens, the spherical plume, although also dense, is firm, and the feathers do not hang down. In both cases, the neck is well-furnished.

Their wings are attached to the body, of medium size, and arranged horizontally. The tail, on the other hand, is dense, and wider in males, and the angle it forms in males is larger than in females. The plumage is well-developed, and the individual ends are rounded.

There is a dwarf variety of the Padua Chicken, which has the same characteristics but differs in weight, as the male weighs between 0.8 to 1 kg and the female from 0.7 to 0.9 kg.

The colors of Padua chicken

Although the black Padua chicken is the most famous, there are other colors available:

  • Black
  • White
  • Tricolored
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Pearl gray
  • Blue with a golden border
  • Gold with a black border
  • Silver with a black border
  • Fawn bordered with white
  • Habitat of Padua chicken

The species Gallus gallus is originally from Asia, specifically from the southern region, but with the process of domestication, it has had a global distribution. Today, with the existence of globalization, it is found in many countries.

As we mentioned, the Padua chicken breed is originally from Italy and was considered an orchard animal, so its habitat is associated with these spaces. Like any bird, it needs sufficient space to move freely. Another important aspect is that it should not be kept in damp places as exposure to such conditions can affect it. Therefore, it is better for it to live in dry spaces.

The Character of Padua chicken

This bird is described as having elegant behavior, which is seen in its gait. It is also said to have a confident character. It is not aggressive, tends to have a rather docile behavior, and can develop trusting relationships with people, provided they receive good treatment and care, like all animals.

On the other hand, this chicken is a gregarious animal, so it should be raised in groups of several individuals where there is a hierarchy.

Care and Feeding of the Padua Chicken

In the wild, animals can fend for themselves because they have adapted to their environment. Domesticated animals, on the other hand, are completely dependent on humans, as domestication has limited their ability to be independent. In this regard, the Padua chicken is no exception and requires certain care.

An example of care for the Padua chicken is the need to trim the abundant plumage on its head, as it tends to grow so much that it limits its vision. On the other hand, it is important that the chicken is not kept in damp areas and that the availability of water is controlled in a container to avoid overflowing.

As for feeding, the species is originally omnivorous, feeding on various grains, cereals, insects, worms, or larvae. However, since it usually lives with us as a pet, it can be offered pellets. Nevertheless, the Padua chicken, like all birds, has nutritional needs that include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals, so all types of pellets must provide each of these components or offer a variety of nutritional options through which it can satisfy all its nutritional needs. Of course, commercial foods must be of high quality. A medium-sized chicken needs about 135 grams of pellets per day.


These chickens rarely sit on their eggs, but this may obviously vary from one strain to another. Many Padua chickens are raised for decoration and exhibition, but some breeders have chosen to remain more faithful to the origins of this fowl, and these chickens are more likely to be better layered and have a tendency to brood.

If you want to see your chicken reproduce, try testing its instincts by placing fake eggs in a nest box to see if it shows interest, or invest in an electric incubator.

The health of the Padua Chicken

Maintaining the health of the Padua chicken involves three main aspects. The first is the regular trimming of the plumage if it grows too much, it limits the chicken's vision, which can cause stress.

On the other hand, there is the problem of humidity. This is a bird that can get sick if it is in damp areas, so it is vital that its habitat is dry.

Finally, there is the issue of feeding. As mentioned, these animals are generally dependent on our care and almost exclusively feed on what is provided to them. In this sense, a Padua chicken that is offered only corn, for example, will have health problems because it will lack certain nutrients. It is, therefore, necessary to offer them varied and truly nutritious food, as well as allow them to roam the garden or yard to consume certain insects or worms that are beneficial to them.


This original bird will definitely make you smile when you see it! They may not be prolific egg layers, but they are certainly worthy of a place in your flock for their visual appeal alone.

It would be a shame for the last king of Poland to go to all this trouble only for his breed to become extinct! We sincerely hope you will think about adding this lovely bird to your list of "must-haves."

The Padua chicken is a fun addition to have in your flock. Although flighty, they are an excellent conversation piece for those looking to decorate their flock with this ornamental breed.

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Islam Khennoucha

Islam Khennoucha is an Australian author and chicken farmer who has dedicated his life to the study and care of these fascinating creatures. He was born and raised in Algeria, where he developed a love for nature and animals, especially chickens. After moving to Australia, Islam purchased a farm where he could fulfill his passion for raising chickens.
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