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Belgian D'Uccle Bantam Chickens - Why are they a favourite Heritage Chicken Breed?

By Edited Oct 27, 2016 1 6

Bantam D'Uccle Chickens from Belgium

One of the friendliest chicken breeds we've had!

If you have never heard of this small chicken breed (or bantams) and are researching suitable chicken breeds for your homestead, farm or backyard, look no further.  We have tried a few bantam breeds over the years, but these remain, far and away the best bantam chickens. 

Mille Fleur Belgian Barbu D'Uccle Rooster

I first saw the Mille Fleur or thousand flower colour in action on the 'Regarding Chickens' video, hatching and brooding chicks.  Their brilliant colours and dedication to mothering struck me.  Seeing a confident handsome little self blue rooster in the 'Storeys Guide to Poultry Breeds' (an excellent and helpful book for the poultry addicted) didn't help matters, so I decided to try the "Millies" as they are often called.

D'Uccles Breed Temperament

Delightful Bantam Chickens full of Personality.

The D'Uccle chickens are quite vocal and talkative.  They seem to be attracted the human head and seem to enjoy conversing with it.  Most will wait for eye contact before launching onto knee, shoulder or head, but not all!  Our 4 D'Uccles each respond to their own names by approaching or noisily replying.

I chuckled reading Feathersite's D'Uccle page, when researching this Belgian chicken breed.  It said they often landed on him unexpectedly.  That definitely attracted me to them, as I like friendly chickens.  Pet chickens make chores so much more fun!

Self Blue or Lavender Belgian Barbu D'Uccle Hen on my head 'Violet'

Their small size and sweet nature makes them ideal for pets for young children.  They are calm even with strangers and don't tend to flap their wings when picked up.

They will go broody occasionally and make wonderful broody mothers. They can be secretive layers. We often find eggs laid in the bottom of the big hens feeder.  Ours are prolific layers and if you find a hidden nest, chances are there will be at least a dozen clean white eggs in it!

D'Uccle Chicken Characteristsics

These Barbu D'Uccle are a beautifully-proportioned, graceful little chicken with heavily-feathered legs and a cheeky beard and muffs. The hens lay fairly big white or tinted eggs for a bantam and lay frequently, though some lines of D'Uccle are less productive. 

D'Uccles are one of the few breeds where the stiff-feathering of the Vulture hocks is desirable and part of the poultry breed standard.  Birds with thickly feathered beards and muffs and heavily feathered "paddle-like" feet and vulture hocks that reach the ground are also more desirable. 

Mille Fleur Belgian D'Uccle Cockeral 'Popcorn' a real pet!
The D'Uccle chicken comes in many colours.  It is common that people with these chickens have more than one color variety of them, probably due to the breed's wonderful temperament. 

In North America the original Mille Fleur is more easily found, with self blue, porcelain, black, lemon,  golden neck, black mottled, and blue mille Fleur also available.  In Europe, the variety of colours of this heritage breed is staggering! 

The chicks are alarmingly small.  On getting hatchery day old chicks, they can escape though 1" square welded wire walls  like it is not there!  With them being so small, their reserves aren't as large and long trips in the mail can result in higher mortality, so try to get chicks in person if you can.

The D'Uccle Chicken - an excellent chicken breed for your henhouses!

Self Blue or Lavender Belgian Barbu D'Uccle Rooster 'Blue Boy'
I hope this has shed some light onto this wonderful colourful rare self blue chicken breed. 

Bantams D'Uccles do lay small eggs that can be harder to sell to eating egg customers, but their pet value is priceless

Pure hatching eggs more than pay for their keep in our area and we usually have a wait list for chicks. 

Whatever friendly rare breed poultry you are interestd in,  consider these friendly Rare Heritage breed chickens

 

If you are looking for more chicken information. Easy Chickenry has lots of free articles on chicken care and rare breeds.  With having so many breeds we have been able to compare the best and write about them!

Dolly, a Lavender D'Uccle Bantam Chicken, laying an egg  secretly

Dolly secretly layng an egg!
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Comments

Oct 26, 2011 2:48am
JudyE
Somehow I missed this. What a great article - and a great breed! I don't know if we have them over here.
Oct 26, 2011 8:05am
skeffling
I would think so. I think Aussies are suckers for friendly chooks too! They are the neatest little banties, they have a real personality and spark....and they are just tiny little birds.

I'll edit and add a bonus pic of these quirky little hens laying an egg in the feeder.
Oct 26, 2011 8:13am
skeffling
Also sorry, I forgot to thanks you for your kind comments. Thanks.
Dec 16, 2011 10:50am
vicdillinger
Are these (in at least one case, the grey one sitting on someone's head) house pets? Do they make good house pets? (a thumb by the way, for entertaining and informing me).
Dec 16, 2011 11:23am
skeffling
Hey Vic, thanks for dropping by and the thumb.

They could be house pets but mine live in the barn. That pic was taken in one of the coops and she flew up there on her own. If someone ever wanted a dusty bird in the house these guys do have a lot of character and are small enough to be fairly innocuous. Unfortunately, wherever there are chickens, there is chicken poop close behind! Hence the barn for them for me.

The reason I say they are dusty, is we hatched some chicks in winter one year and had them in the basement for a few weeks and all the cobwebs had dust on them, it was like a hunted house down there!
Dec 16, 2011 12:06pm
vicdillinger
OK, so not so good as house pets -- got it. Thanks.
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