Our pint-sized Mille Fleur booted bantams are four months old this week and so sweet. They are curious, calm and very personable. I can’t believe I have raised chickens for a decade and waited this long to raise bantams. Given their lower egg production and teeny size, I was leery on their purpose on a farm—but now I get it.
They are not the ideal ‘homestead’ animal if you are looking for dual purpose animals on a budget—but if you have young chicken keepers, this breed is a must-have to get your little ones started on their own coop responsibilities. Our son enjoys their company so much. They ride on his shoulder, follow him everywhere, and just love to be doted upon.
This breed of Belgian Bearded d’Uccle has those poofy cheeks and handsome beards that are so stinkin’ cute. They look like little muppets wandering around on the feathered ‘snowshoes’ adorning their dainty feet. Some of the feathers on their feet are six-inches long. Because of this feature, their coop floor and run must be kept dry to ensure the feathers on their feet do not become caked with debris.
Even the frizzles have crazy ‘boots’ but less prominent beards and muffs given the difference in feather types.
A little bit about our Mille Fleur booted bantam Frizzles, and a note to those who haven’t heard of frazzles…
They live in the center of the barn where we keep the quail hutches, where it’s a bit warmer for the frizzles ladies. Given the frigid temps here in Maine I worry about those upturned feathers lacking the insulation needed to keep them warm through the long deep freeze of February.
If you are a seasoned breeder, you know about frazzles—but let’s just touch on that for those who aren’t familiar. Frizzle Mille Fleur booted bantams are literally a mutant. A really, really cute mutant. They have a trait caused by selectively breeding for a gene that causes their feathers to curl up. If two parents have this gene, the breeding will result in what is known as a frazzle.
Frazzles have extremely poor feather durability, causing them to break off and leave bare skin exposed. As responsible chicken keepers, make sure you don’t keep frizzle roosters and hens together if you plan to collect their eggs to hatch. Okay, PSA over.