Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred animal myself
Seymour, Tennessee, United States
Posted Jan 30, 2012
When I decided I wanted to devote my coop space to show birds, I looked through books on poultry breeds and read up on temperaments and other qualities. What I read about d'Uccles has proven to be true. For the most part, they have been endearing and beautiful clowns! They are smarter and more observant than most chickens I have ever known. I credit this to their long history as strictly showbirds and companions.
I recommend these birds to anyone who is less concerned about eggs, but wants pretty birds that are friendly and inexpensive to keep. D'Uccles are awesome foragers, under supervision. They are easy prey for hawks, dogs, and cats as well as possums, raccoons and other nocturnal predators. Be ready to build a tight coop for your flock, with a securely attached run made of hardware cloth buried at least 6" below the ground. When you have time, you let them out and sit with them to indulge in what I call "chicken tv". The more time they get free-ranging, the less feed they will consume. They can also eat left-overs of minimally-processed foods. Being small, they need less space per chicken. Their coop should be made to keep them out of wind & rain during inclement weather. I have friends in Alaska that have d'Uccles and say they do just fine as long as they have a shelter where they can be dry and huddle together to share warmth. They do not require a heated coop.
The more you interact with your d'Uccles, the more you will get to know their individual personalities. Like any animal, there may be some that are not as friendly and social. Sometimes the roosters can be cantankerous, especially if they see you as a threat to their hens or their own flock dominance. But after a while, you will notice that you have some birds that actually seem to enjoy sitting with you and 'chatting' rather than running around. D'Uccle hens have a different voice than other chickens, and you can tell when you are being scolded for some slight or oversight! They can be downright bossy at times, and underfoot when you are trying to do chores.
Because of their long foot feathers, d'Uccles need to be monitored for broken foot feathers that may bleed. Also, they may require a bit more protein to support strong feather growth. This is not a problem if they get to frequently free-range, as they can eat more bugs to fulfill this protein need.
They come in a variety of colors. The accepted standard colors for poultry shows are mille fleur, porcelain, golden neck, self-blue, mottled (black with white spots), black, and white.
Other colors that may be available are quail, blue mottled, blue, butterscotch, black mille fleur, citron mille fleur, brown red, and many more.
If you are interested in showing d'Uccles (or any poultry), check with the American Bantam Association, or the American Poultry Association, to find shows in your area. If you already have d'Uccles, be sure to enter them! If you don't, check at the show to see who might breed them in your area. If you can't find a breeder, several poultry companies sell & ship d'Uccle chicks as do some smaller breeders. A source for more information on d'Uccles and breeders is belgianduccle.org
I own, show, and breed mille fleur, black, and self-blue (lavender) d'Uccles. I am located in East Tennessee, and show in GA, KY & TN. There will be a new bantam show in Knoxville TN on April 14, 2012 at the poultry building on the TVA Fair site.