Belgian d’Uccle Chicken Breed Guide: Eggs, Height, Size, and Raising Tips

Unique looking chickens always make a great addition to the flock. You can talk about them with your friends. One breed that makes for an excellent conversation starter is the Belgian d’Uccle, which comes in several brightly colored varieties, like the Mille Fleur d’Uccle. If you’re shopping around for friendly and adorable chickens for your yard, this is one breed that you to know about.

History of the Belgian d’Uccle Chicken Breed

belgian duccle chickens
Photo credit: Flickr

As you may be able to guess from the name, the Belgian d’Uccle breed hails from the city of Uccle in Belgian. It’s estimated that between 1890 and 1900, a man named Michael van Gelder, a wealthy Dutch businessman, bred the first of this breed as a cross between the Antwerp Bearded and the Dutch Booted Sablepoot breeds (others claim a cross between the Barbu D’Anvers and Sablepoot), both of which were bantam sized.

Van Gelder spent a lot of time and money working with his friend Robert Powels to develop this near perfect breed. By 1905, the Belgian d’Uccle had even gained popularity in the US.

In 1914, the American Poultry Association (APA) was accepted as a recognized breed. Three colors were recognized in the beginning: mille fleur, white, and porcelain. Presently, there are six colors recognized by both the APA and the American Bantam Association (ABA). In Europe, there are over twenty recognized colors, including the quail coloring that was developed by the English.

To this day, the breed is remarkably popular throughout Europe, the UK, and the US. If you love attending poultry breed shows, there is a very high chance that a gorgeous Belgian d’Uccle is going to be the champion.

Breed Appearance and Standard

d’uccle chicken
Photo credit: Flickr

The Belgian d’Uccle is often mistaken for similar breeds, including the Booted Bantam, Sablepoot, and Bearded Antwerp. For this reason, careful observation is needed to accurately guess which breed of chicken you are looking at, especially if you don’t have much experience.

The Belgian d’Uccle has red or orange eyes and a single comb. The chicken also has an owl-like appearance, due to a beard and muff that wraps around the head. Their beak has traditional horn coloring. Females may have small wattles or none.

You will notice that the Belgian d’Uccle always has beards as well as fully feathered feet and legs. These are called boots, and they’re very cute. As per APA standards, you shouldn’t be able to see the scales on the legs and feet of a Belgian d’Uccle. The breed also has downward pointing vulture hocks and four toes. These chickens have strong, broad bodies, as well as short but thick necks.

There are many colors available. Currently, the American Poultry Association recognizes Mille Fleur, Golden Neck, White, Black, Porcelain, Mottled, and Lavender. Yet, while their plumage is also beautiful, one of the most distinguishing features is their broad chest and head, which is always held high. This forms the characteristic “V” stance.

Full grown roosters weigh about 1 lb 10 oz; hens average around 1 lb 6 oz.

Belgian d’Uccle Chicken Personality

If breeders had to describe the Belgian d’Uccle in two words, they would say this breed is cheerful and talkative. In the best conditions, they are friendly, calm, and quiet throughout the day, though the roosters are known to crow at a higher pitch than most breeds. This can be alarming if you’re not prepared for it. Also, the hens sing a song while laying eggs.

Since these chickens are so friendly, they can be companions. With a low flying ability, they may even seek to perch on your shoulder and look for pets. They enjoy interaction with humans and love being held. Keep in mind that these birds are tiny, and so they aren’t much for producing eggs or even meat. If you want chickens for feeding your family, this isn’t the breed for you.

Anyone who wants pest control in the yard and some feathered companionship will do well with this breed.

Anyone who wants pest control in the yard and some feathered companionship will do well with this breed.

Unfortunately, due to their small size, Belgian d’Uccle chickens are often low on the pecking order in the flock. Having bigger breeds of chicken most certainly means they are going to get bullied. If you have a varied flock, it’s recommended that you keep your bantam chickens in a separate coop. Otherwise, these chickens will struggle with getting food and water.

During mating season, a Belgian d’Uccle rooster may get a bit noisy, but they are rarely aggressive towards others, be it human or chicken.

Belgian d’Uccle Egg Laying

two week old belgian d'uccle mille fleur
Photo credit: Flickr

As with most bantam chicken breeds, the Belgian d’Uccle shouldn’t be expected to deliver hundreds of eggs. You can anticipate your Belgian d’Uccle hens settling down to lay an egg once or twice a week. In total, that equals about 100-200 eggs a year, as long as the hens don’t get broody.

The eggs are small and white, though some may have a tint to them. Belgian d’Uccles tend to lay eggs later, producing a number of eggs all the way through winter. The hens are very good mothers to their chicks, devotedly sitting until their brood hatches. With the mother hen working, most of the chicks will survive.

Tips for Raising Happy Belgian d’Uccle Chickens

If you want to raise Belgian d’Uccle chickens, you need to know what they need to thrive. Raising chickens isn’t very difficult, and this breed is hardy. Here are some things you should prioritize to give your Belgian d’Uccle chickens the best life:

Space

belgian d'uccles in various colors
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

One thing you’ll observe right away is how energetic this bantam breed can be. Belgian d’Uccles do not take to confinement well. They want to run around and forage. Make sure they have space to exercise. You also need enough room in the coop for each chicken to stretch out its wings.

Covered Run

If you only have experience working with regular-sized or larger chicken breeds, you’re in for a surprise with the Belgian d’Uccle. Despite their tiny stature, these chickens can easily clear a 4-5 foot tall fence. Because their bodies are so lightweight, Belgian d’Uccles can fly rather well. If the top of the chicken run isn’t covered, you can expect these chickens to escape.

Dirt Baths

A drawback to having feathered legs is the parasites. When Belgian d’Uccles walk around, they might pick up mites on the ground. Those mites can quickly invade the feathers between their toes, infecting the skin there.  The best way for Belgian d’Uccles to combat infestation is with dust baths. So make sure you give them plenty of space to make dirt baths.

Why does bathing in dirt help? Rolling around in dirt can knock off the parasites and suffocate insects in the dust.

Separate Food and Water

Unless your backyard has only bantam breeds running around, you’re going to need to place way more food and water stations around than you previously thought. As mentioned earlier, Belgian d’Uccle are always going to be the target of bullying, especially when most breeds have 5-8 lbs on a matured Belgian d’Uccle rooster.

Since you don’t want your Belgian d’Uccles starving or becoming dehydrated, you need to give them their own watering and food spots.

Since you don’t want your Belgian d’Uccles starving or becoming dehydrated, you need to give them their own watering and food spots.

Health Issues and Care

Most chicken breeds are susceptible to illness, though some are more resilient than others. When you start keeping chickens, it’s important that you know which diseases are common among the breeds you own. There are two conditions that can affect any type of chicken, including Belgian d’Uccles: coccidiosis and Marek’s disease.

Coccidiosis comes from chicken droppings and can be treated. Marek’s disease often requires the chicken to be put down.

Belgian d’Uccle need the same kind of balanced diet as other breeds. Make sure you are providing them with a high quality pellet feed alongside their foraging. This ensures longevity, as well as better eggs! As long as you keep the coop clean and remain devoted to the health and happiness of your flock, your Belgian d’Uccle chickens should have a long, satisfying life.

Conclusion

Should you get a Belgian d’Uccle? If you want an outstanding breed of chicken for your flock, look no farther than the Belgian d’Uccle. They are consistently ranked as some of the best breeds for backyard chicken keepers. Aside from their charming appearance, they have great personalities. Just keep in mind that these chickens don’t do well with larger breeds.

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