I’d like to think of myself as this stoic hardass Maine farm-her, but man, I am becoming obsessed with these adorable Belgian d’Uccle Booted Bantams from Green Grables Farm in Raleigh, NC. I mean, just look at them! How could you not be obsessed? [PHOTO CREDIT: Green Grables Farm in NC.]
ARTILE LAST UPDATED MAY 20, 2022
Notice: Our hatchery has closed for Spring 2022 after the tragic loss of our flocks in fall of 2021. Not to fret, we went on an egg-pic 2,800-mile road trip to collect excellent stock from several states along East Coast, including our first ever bantams and quail. We have live mealworms and frass for sale in the meantime, and will have goat’s milk and tallow soaps in our shop soon. thanks for your interest. SUBSCRIBE to get info on the first chicks. Subscribers are notified before Instagram and Facebook.
I said I’d never have bantams. They are pointless, right? Tiny eggs, low production, and the roosters aren’t worth processing. I scoffed at the silly little things for years.
That is, until my chicken partner in crime, Laurie, and I went to a chicken show last year. I fell in love with this pint-sized breed. They have the feathered legs and feet like Marans, cheeks like Ameraucana, and the cute-factor of Polish. What’s not to love? I especially love how many colors they come in.
What are d’Uccles like?
I have asked around, and these are some of the things I’m hearing about these beauts: Belgian d’Uccles are some of the sweetest, calmest and friendliest breeds of chicken. They enjoy snuggling up for naps on your lap, nibbling treats from your hand, and are excellent with small children. Belgian d’Uccle chickens make excellent broody-mamas and are devoted to raising their broods––saving you the hassle of keeping a brooder.
Green Grables’ breeding program is intended to increase the quality of frizzle d’Uccles. The few frizzled d’Uccles they found were not bred to the standard of perfection. They strive to bring their frizzles closer to the standard. They have begun to develop a line of blue Mille Fleur, and are perfecting the quality of their smooth Mille Fleur and golden neck lines. They have also produced the first lemon Mille Fleur, blue lemon Mille Fleur, and cream mottled d’Uccles in the US. I’m so excited to work with a farm with so much enthusiasm and love for this breed.
We will be receiving more eggs from a second farm in mid-June to add more colors and keep the flock diverse for and intensive selective breeding program over the next five years. They will have the porcelains, which I absolutely love the color of. The reminiscent of the Opal Legbar.
Our youngest son, farmer Danny, has a real sweet spot for chickens, and is interested in learning the trade. He will be taking responsibility for these birds. He has his own incubator, a little notebook to keep notes on specific birds, and will be learning to make hard choices about which birds to breed. He looks at the photos of them often and is already contemplating names, talk about counting your chicks before they hatch!
Belgian d’Uccle produce about 120-160 eggs annually, depending on what source you read. The roosters weigh in at just under two pounds, and are cute as a damn button.
I was so excited to bring these sweet critters home with us on our 2,800-mile trip journey visiting farms up the East coast. We flew down to Miami, FL in late April for my voyage to the Caribbean. My husband, Kevin, surprised me with the vacation after a whole lot of drama, including the eutinization of our 68 chickens, and our middle-son abruptly leaving home.
When we returned to port, we bought a truck and a tent, and stopped at several farms along a meandering route to collect rare, fancy and autosexing chicken breeds all up the East Coast on our way back to our little mountain in Maine.