Mille Fleur d’Uccle: The Ultimate Care Guide

The Mille Fleur d’Uccle is a captivating little chicken.

Their name (Mille Fleur) translate to a thousand flowers, and this goes someway to explain their appearance!

d’Uccles have tons of personality. They are friendly and it won’t take long before they talk to you and sit on you! This gentle little soul is curious by nature and loves to explore.

Do you want to learn more about this breed?

Keep reading to learn about their appearance standard, egg laying and much more…

Barbu d’Uccle

Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chicken Overview

Mille Fleur d'Uccle Close Up

The Mille Fleur d’Uccle is a color variation of the Barbu d’Uccle.

They are a captivating little chicken.

Whatever they lack in size they make up for with their personality. They are talkative, happy, busy, friendly and fun to watch. Their looks make them very appealing with their puffy beard and muffs and their duck footed walk. They are comical to watch.

As bantams they are pretty easy to accommodate.

This makes them a great candidate for a lap chicken, and they make lovely house guests and are sure to entertain you with their almost incessant chattering and curiosity.

They are suitable for kids to keep as pets too.

Not only do they have a wonderful personality but the hens will give you a decent number of small eggs every week.

Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chicken
Beginner Friendly: Yes.
Lifespan: 8 years.
Weight: 22-26oz.
Color: Mille Fleur.
Egg Production: 2-3 per week.
Egg Color: White/Cream.
Known For Broodiness: Yes.
Good With Children: Yes.
Cost of Chicken: $5.

Appearance

Barbu D’Uccle Rooster

The plumage of this chicken makes them instantly recognizable.

Their base color can range from a lustrous chestnut to an auburn color. The black and white flecks throughout make for great camouflage and beauty. The tips of the black tail feathers should have a splotch of white on them making them look like a half moon.

This is a small chicken that is low to the ground with a wide and stable stance.

Interestingly they have vulture hocks, which are long upper leg feathers that sweep back to the tail. Their feet are also feathered giving them a head to toe feathering. Each foot has four toes but only the outer toes are feathered. Occasionally, you will find a stray feather or two on the inner toes but they are usually very short.

When walking their foot feathers will throw their feet out to the side – a bit like a duck’s paddling gait.

You will notice their tail is held almost upright.

Their comb is single and red.

Hens will have small ear lobes and wattles and their face is framed by muffs and a beard making them look a bit like feathered chipmunk.

Size and Weight

Roosters weigh in around 1.6lb and the hens at 1.4lb.

Color Varieties

The Barbu d’Uccle comes in 28 color varieties!

Many of them are recognized by the American Bantam Association, including: black, golden necked, mottled, porcelain, self blue, and white.

However, the Mille Fleur is the most popular color variety. It is by far the most eye-catching feathering and is white, black, light brown and chestnut colors mixed together forming the look of a thousand flowers.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • They are incredibly friendly.
  • Fairly quiet.
  • Their fluffy muffs are adorable.
  • Make great house chickens.
  • Perfect for children to look after.

Cons:

  • Some strains are poor egg layers.
  • There is no full size choice.
  • Feathered feet need extra care.

What Is It Like To Own A Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chicken?

Barbu DUccles Bantam Chicken

Mille Fleur d’Uccles are delightfully happy little hens.

They seem to be happy almost all the time.

This talkative little chicken enjoys nothing more than chattering with you. You can have entire conversations with them. They are also very inquisitive and will check out new things and be intensely curious about you. They may fly up to your shoulders to inspect you up close, or even perch on your head!

Females with hang back a little and maintain a lower and quiet profile. Until they get to know you, they will be cautious with you. Roosters on the other hand, will stand more upright. They will generally stand in front of the girls to protect them. They will be curious and more likely to stand their ground if you try to pick them up.

Once they are comfortable around you they may follow you around the yard (or ride on your shoulder) to see what you are up to. It is impossible to be sad around these funny little chickens.

These little hens are always busy.

They are always doing something or checking something out. They love nothing more than exploring new areas which can get them into trouble. They are good flyers too so if you want to keep them in a certain area you will need to cover the run.

Egg Production

Some d’Uccles can be poor egg layers, whereas others can consistently lay 4-5 eggs a week.

How many eggs they lay will depend on the particular strain you have. Unfortunately there is no way to tell in advance. You will only find out once they start laying eggs.

While their eggs are small, they are still big enough to be used for baking and other foods.

They will lay white/cream colored eggs and tend to stop laying during the hotter months. It is usually around this time they decide to be broody. When one hen goes broody, a couple of others usually follow suit. They do make great broody mothers and will care for their chicks very well.

Egg Production
Eggs Per Week: 2-3 Eggs.
Color: Cream to tinted.
Size: Small to medium.

Noise Levels

Although these little chickens can chatter a lot, they are not very loud.

Even their egg song is fairly quiet so you wont have to worry about your neighbors.

The only exception to this is roosters. The rooster’s crow is a higher pitch than standard roosters and it can be annoying to some folks.

Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chicken Care Guide

Barbu D’Uccle Rooster And Hen

Health Issues

The biggest health concern you will have with these chickens is their feathered feet.

You will need to keep an eye on them (especially if you live in a muddy or snowy area). Mud or snow balls can stick to their feathers and cause problems, frostbite can also be a problem because of this.

A foot soak usually resolves any problem and they seem to enjoy them too.

Otherwise, they are remarkably healthy chickens.

Feeding

As chicks you will need to feed them a good quality starter crumble.

This crumble should contain 20% protein and it is important to give them a great start in life.

Once they reach 16 weeks old you can start to transition them over to a 16% layer feed.

Just remember that d’Uccles are well-known for billing out feed. Billing out means they scoop their feed out of the feeder and onto the floor. You should try to get a chicken feeder that has a lip to prevent this.

Also remember that during their molt they need to be given 20% protein feed. You can also give them high protein treats such as mealworms, tuna, sardines and scrambled eggs. Read What Can Chickens Eat for more.

Coop Setup and Roaming

These bantam chickens need less personal space than standard hens.

A bantam needs about 2 square feet of inside coop space.

This gives them enough space to spread their wings and have a quiet area if they want it.

For the roosts give them each six inches – in summer they will spread out to cool down, but in winter you will see them all snuggled up together to stay warm.

They should not require a coop heater unless the winter is particularly brutal.

Finally, chicken nesting boxes. Nest boxes should be one foot square for comfort. Occasionally you might get two hens bunking together and you can simply move one to another box.

Now onto outside space.

They will each need 4 square feet of run space. The nice thing with bantams is that you can add vertical spaces too. Plenty of perches at varying heights, with small shelves or platforms, old logs and hideaway spots will all be used.

If you let them free range then just be aware they are easy prey for hawks and owls and several other predators.

Breed History

The Mille Fleur d’Uccle is not an old breed and their history only dates back to the 1800s.

They are considered a fairly new breed.

Michael van Gelder and Robert Powels with assistance from Louis Van der Snickt, created this little beauty.

By selectively breeding several different breeds of bantam they finally arrived at the chicken we see today. However, the exact bantam breeds used remain unknown.

It is thought that these three men were driven by history to recreated an extinct bird.

A small bird of similar color was known to exist in the 1600s. It was painted by old Dutch masters and even written about by Aldrovani. What happened to the original chicken we will never know.

The d’Uccle was first exhibited in the early 1900s and she was an overnight success. Their popularity has not diminished over the years.

Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chicken Pictures

Frequently Asked Questions

What color eggs do they lay?
Their eggs are a creamy, off-white color.

When do they start laying?
Most d’Uccles reach point of lay somewhere between 16-20 weeks.

How many eggs do they lay?
They can lay between 200-250 eggs per year, or 4-5 per week.

What colors of plumage are there?
Mille fleur is one of many colors available. Black, porcelain, mottled, blue and self-blue (lavender) are some of the other recognized colors.

Summary

If you are restricted on space or just want a house chicken or two, then perhaps this is the perfect bantam for you.

Mille Fleur d’Uccles are friendly and you will be best of friends in no time.

They love nothing better than chattering away – whether you are listening or not!

Although this beautiful little bird is easy to keep and care for, they have been listed as in need of critical protection to ensure their survival here in the US. They remain a popular breed in their homeland and have dedicated followers and keepers in several countries, but more effort is needed to keep this breed genetically diverse and sustainable.

If you have space then there are several reputable breeders here in the US who will be happy to supply you with some of these charming little chickens.

Do you keep d’Uccles? Tell us about them in the comments section below…

Chris Lesley Bio Picture
Chris Lesley has been Raising Chickens for over 20 years and is a fourth generation chicken keeper. She can remember being a young child when her grandad first taught her how to hold and care for chickens. She also holds a certificate in Animal Behavior and Welfare and is interested in backyard chicken health and care.

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