Georgia, United States
Posted Jan 30, 2012
I have owned chickens, mostly bantams except for a couple of hens for eggs for about 6 years. Most of my bantams are Belgian D'Uccles as I love their appearance with the beards and feathered feet. They are low cost, easy to maintain (mine take more maintenance because I show them). They are hardy and friendly little birds, making good pets easily. They come in a whole rainbow of colors and watching them can't help but put a smile on your face. They don't take much space or feed, just a safe, predator proof house and a little space to exercise if you can't let them free range. They do not like extremes of heat or cold and should have a place where they can get out of the heat in the summer and kept warm in winter. If you have more than just a couple, pine shavings and huddling together will keep them warm.
I have never had any health problems with mine. If you keep their house or coop clean with clean shavings, there will not be a problem. They should be checked periodically for mites, but these are not usually a problem in clean surroundings. The Georgia NPIP (National Poultry Improvement Program) sends a representative out once a year to draw blood to be tested for various diseases. This costs $8/year and is entirely voluntary. Because I show my birds I have to have it done, but would do it anyway for the peace of mind.
All of this is general poultry good housekeeping and not just for D'Uccles. All in all, they are great little birds, excellent companions and a great way for children to experience the joys of having a pet. They have the attitude of a large bird in a small body, and lots of personality.
Enjoy these beautiful little birds whatever you do with them.