What a bantam chicken breed lacks in size, they more than make up for in personality. The Barbu D’uccle breed is no exception! This Belgium bantam breed is loved by all who own them for their affectionate personalities and lovable natures.

Whether you have limited backyard space or a larger homestead, a Barbu D’uccle will fit nicely into many flock situations and produce a decent number of eggs for you and your family. Read on to learn all about this breed to determine if they are right for you!


Quick Facts About Barbu D’uccle Chicken

Breed Name:Barbu D’uccle
Place of Origin:Belgium
Uses:Egg production, pet
Cock (Male) Size:700 – 900g – average 750g
Hen (Female) Size:550 – 790g – average 650g
Color:Varied (28 color varieties)
Lifespan:10+ years
Climate Tolerance:Good
Care Level:Easy
Egg Size:Small/medium: 30g
Egg Color:White/cream
Egg Productivity:Moderate: around 100 per year


Barbu D’uccle Chicken Origins

The Barbu D’uccle was bred initially into existence in the early twentieth century in the town of Uccle, in central Belgium. This geographic origin gives rise to the “D’uccle” part of this breed name, with “Barbu” translating to “Beard,” a reference to their dense neck feathering.

The Barbu D’uccle results from a crossbreed between the Sabelpoot and the Barbu d’Anvers breeds, both preexisting bantam breeds. The Barbu D’uccle was first shown as a recognized breed in 1905 and was then exported to the United Kingdom in 1911. It quickly made its way across the world and was added to the American Poultry Association’s “Standard of Perfection” in 1914.


The most pronounced characteristic of the Barbu D’uccle bantam is their friendly personality. They are known to relax easily in the presence of humans and well-socialized individuals, even enjoying perching on their owner’s shoulders! As far as chickens go, they are amongst the friendliest, making them great candidates for pets.

In addition to their gentle nature towards humans, they are known for being some of the best mothers in the chicken world. If you want to get endless eggs, this breed is not for you as their laying is relatively low. Instead, they tend to get broody often in attempts to hatch and raise young.

This makes them the perfect choice if you want to breed or hatch fertile eggs. The Barbu D’uccle hen will happily hatch her eggs or any other eggs placed beneath her when she is broody. Because of her relaxed nature with humans, she isn’t likely to abandon the nest as you clean the coop around her. Instead, she will happily sit, and once the chicks hatch, she will prove to be a devoted mother and carer. She will eliminate the need for you to use an incubator and care for needy, messy chicks!

In addition, the rooster Barbu D’uccle is not overly noisy, making him a comfortable addition to even urban areas. He will crow mildly, but his small stature only allows for a quiet and high-pitched crow.

Be aware the Barbu D’uccle is an excellent flier, despite its small size! Ensure you have a closed-in run or a very high fence to keep these aviators contained.



As we mentioned, this chicken breed is not the more egg-efficient breed. They will not be egg-producing powerhouses, but they will lay a moderate number of eggs—around 100 per year. They can provide a reasonable number of eggs to a family who doesn’t need many, or fit nicely in a flock with other higher egg producers.

Barbu D’uccles are used for their broody nature to hatch fertile eggs. But mostly, this breed is adored to add their sweet nature to a flock. They make good pets and get along well with most other chickens. Their small size makes them not very suitable for meat birds.

Appearance & Varieties

The Barbu D’uccle has the classic bantam style of having fluffy, feathered legs. This boot leg style gives them an adorable 70s style but tends to collect dirt and mud more than a clear scaled leg!

They are identifiable by their distinctive body shape. The tail extends down from the back in a shape that resembles a “V” rather than a “U”. They hold their head and tail high in the air, and their chest is broad with a puffed-out beard.

Barbu D’uccles come in a massive range of color varieties, with 28 described variations. The most common is the Mille Fleur – a mottled or speckled coloration. This is the most popular color variation, and the Barbu D’uccles are often called the Mille Fleur or simply Milles.


Population, Distribution & Habitat

The Barbu D’uccles is an entirely domesticated breed of chicken. They were bred in captivity are only found as stock or pets. As such, their population records are kept by the “Domestic Animal Diversity Information System,” which is part of the Food and Agriculture branch of the United Nations.

As of 2020, the Barbu D’uccles has a population listed as “critical” under this system, meaning they are a scarce breed. While rare in the United States, they remain in Belgium’s top three most common bantam breeds, their country of origin.


Are Barbu D’uccle Good for Small-Scale Farming?

When keeping the Barbu D’uccles breed, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, their feathered legs mean they are more prone to becoming dirty and matted, meaning they need a dry and covered area to reside in. In additon, they are more prone to mites than other chickens so need space to dust bath regularly.

Due to not producing many eggs or having very much meat, the Barbu D’uccles is not the most efficient and profitable breed in small-scale farming. They do, however, make a great addition to a multibreed flock. Their loving natures make them good additions as either pets or hatching chickens.

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Featured Image Credit: vickypawprince, Pixabay