The Dong Tao chicken, also known as the Dragon Chicken, is a unique Vietnamese chicken breed with swollen feet that originated in Dong Tao village in the Khoái Châu District near Hanoi.
Dong Tao chickens are prized delicacies in Vietnam, and they were once bred exclusively for the royal family and mandarins.
The imposing Dong Tao chicken has a strong physique and stout, reddish-scaled wings. A male adult Dong Tao chicken can reach a weight of 6 kilograms and have legs as thick as a human wrist. The hens’ feathers are all white, whereas the cocks’ feathers are a variety of colors. Females can weigh up to 4.5 kilograms, with male and female leg weights both contributing to their massive size.
Hard to Breed
Each one will take years to raise and will require particular care, and the best will also compete in beauty contests in Vietnam.
They are difficult to reproduce because their large legs make hatching problematic, and they are frequently vulnerable to temperature changes. Because the chickens’ large legs frequently split the eggs, they are normally kept in an incubator.
The chickens are extremely vulnerable to weather changes and lay fewer eggs than conventional hens. Because the hens’ unhelpfully huge feet impede the hatching process, breeders may assist them in creating chicks. A baby chick takes eight months to a year to mature into a three- to five-kilogram sellable egg.
When the hens weigh five to six kilograms, which takes eight to one year, they are ready for slaughter. Its meat could cost between 350,000 and 400,000 VND ($15.20) per kilogram. While this may appear to be a decent price in some areas of the world, it is significantly more expensive in Vietnam, where the average daily pay is 142,915 VND ($6.51). Only the top classes in Vietnam can afford to eat this rare chicken meat developed for personal or expensive consumption.
These chickens are even more expensive outside of Vietnam’s borders. On the market, these long-legged birds will fetch more than $2,000 per bird.
Dong Tao Village
Đông Tảo Village continues to grow the vast majority of these chickens. Although the breed’s exact origins are unknown, it has been around for hundreds of years and is believed to have been bred for cockfighting due to its large and sturdy legs. Nowadays, the birds are something of a decorative breed that is often consumed for their distinctive meat.
It takes a lot of effort to care for the chicken while being prepared for sale or competition. They’ve been on a special high-protein diet for around a month, and their legs have been carefully washed in a combination of tea and salt. It’s still not just about the foot when it comes to physical appearance.
When it comes to grading, anything from symmetrical wattles and earlobes to uniformly coated glossy black feathers is significant. While many birds are sold for their meat around the holidays, the precious chickens are frequently held by the farmers and entered into beauty contests.
Taking care of the chickens as they are being trained for sale or competition takes a lot of time and effort. They’ve been on a high-protein diet for about a month, and their legs have been meticulously washed in a tea and salt solution. When it comes to body presentation, it’s always not just about the foot.