D'Uccle Flight Behavior Query

makemineirish

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 1, 2012
76
5
48
Austin, TX
I understand flight CAPABILITY, but have a question as it pertains to flight BEHAVIOR.

I am working on a chicken coop to be completed by spring and window shopping "pretty" and personable chicken breeds.

I live in town on an 0.8 acre fenced lot. The proposed chicken coop is sufficient to serve as the only space (42.25sqft hen house, 120.25sqft roofed run)....but sufficient is never my goal. I can add more run space or build an accompanying tractor, but would like to allow the chickens some semi-supervised free-range time if possible.

My research indicates that D'uccles are VERY flight capable. Clipping wings is great, but guaranteed to result in a Murphy's Law moment when I miss a scheduled trimming. Even with clipped wings, they can very likely go over my fence (where they would be prey to my neighbor's less than chicken-friendly dogs).


So to my question....

IF I hatch and handle the chicks from "birth", socialize them with my dogs, and do not let them about the yard until mature....is it possible that they will not form flight "habits"?

Or is it the reality that unclipped D'uccles will announce their presence by perching on my neighbor's rooftop unless I make the decision to contain them at all times?


P.S.- I am still deliberating my options but would appreciate any recommendations of breeders with especially gorgeous birds, particularly in Mille Fleur.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
700
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
My d'Uccles fly and sit on top of the shed coop they live in effortlessly.

They LOVE to perch up high and fly. They don't like to range far from the coop, however. They mostly stay inside my 5 foot high fence even though they can fly right out since they like the security of being near their home. They basically refuse to range as far as my large fowl do even in our large fenced garden.

I wouldn't want to trim their flight feathers in my yard so they can escape predators quickly. They aren't very fast on their feet because of their foot feathering. So I would put some netting over your run if you can do so while thinking snow load at the same time (heavy knotted netting).

My d'Uccles that I used to let free range didn't fly up to the house roof, however. I don't believe that socializing them will affect their desire to fly.
 
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makemineirish

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 1, 2012
76
5
48
Austin, TX
My d'Uccles fly and sit on top of the shed coop they live in effortlessly.

They LOVE to perch up high and fly. They don't like to range far from the coop, however. They mostly stay inside my 5 foot high fence even though they can fly right out since they like the security of being near their home. They basically refuse to range as far as my large fowl do even in our large fenced garden.

I wouldn't want to trim their flight feathers in my yard so they can escape predators quickly. They aren't very fast on their feet because of their foot feathering. So I would put some netting over your run if you can do so while thinking snow load at the same time (heavy knotted netting).

My d'Uccles that I used to let free range didn't fly up to the house roof, however. I don't believe that socializing them will affect their desire to fly.


"Snow load"
lau.gif


I live in Austin, TX. The only snow I usually get to see is in photographs or traveling. If the temperature drops below freezing, the grocery stores sell out of "survival" supplies like bottled water, canned goods, and firewood.

Thanks for the helpful info. I am planning for the coop to sit 3-4' inside my shared fence with one neighbor. The run will be completely roofed with composition shingles thanks to demoed construction material from my home remodel.

It sounds like I need to commit to complete containment of the D'Uccle at all times...or pick a different breed. There are currently several tickling my fancy, but I keep mooning over D'Uccle pictures and owners' descriptions of their personalities.
love.gif


Friendly is important, but I am torn between "pretty" chickens or gorgeous eggs.
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
700
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Quote: Oh you can use that fruit tree bird netting then- I use it seasonally. It comes right down with snow but you have no worries. You can put up some welded wire field fence and cover it with that netting as it isn't that expensive compared to the heavy netting.

You can even use deer netting if it is the lightweight stuff over a run. Only thing is you need U-posts in the middle to hold up the netting.

I have had lots of fun moving around fencing and netting for my chickens. It is great because it gets them different foraging spots.
 

makemineirish

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 1, 2012
76
5
48
Austin, TX
Oh you can use that fruit tree bird netting then- I use it seasonally. It comes right down with snow but you have no worries. You can put up some welded wire field fence and cover it with that netting as it isn't that expensive compared to the heavy netting.

You can even use deer netting if it is the lightweight stuff over a run. Only thing is you need U-posts in the middle to hold up the netting.

I have had lots of fun moving around fencing and netting for my chickens. It is great because it gets them different foraging spots.
Thanks
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mstricer

Crowing
12 Years
Feb 12, 2009
7,508
228
396
Ohio
My d'Uccles are totally the opposite. They fly only when spooked, then they can really fly far. I've seen them go as far as 200 ft in one soar. I have a Porcelain girl that lives with the LF and she will go as far as they go, they go to the woods, she goes, they go to visit my neighbor (still not sure if it bothers her, she says it doesn't). Mine breeders have perches in their run, but don't really use them that much. Your coop is good size for d'Uccles. Make sure you can have roosters, they crow a lot and it is high pitched.
Michele
You will love them.
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1muttsfan

Up Northerner
10 Years
Mar 26, 2011
22,021
10,171
827
Upper Peninsula Michigan
You can get heavy-duty poultry netting that works great for covering the run - I got some off ebay that was very reasonably priced. Place a tall post in the middle of the run to support the netting. I would recommend this over cheap netting, as it is strong enough to keep out predators such as hawks.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
700
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Quote: One thing to consider is that the "broody banty" type of chicken will give you fewer eggs than the "egg layer" chickens. So I would advise getting both. If you get them all at once they have a much better time acclimating to one another and there is less stress in the flock.

For example, I have Buff Orpingtons for a nice constant egg supply. But my bantams are my joy!
love.gif


Note: d'Uccles are timid birds and are low in the pecking order from my experience when large fowl are present. It really helps to have two feeders and to have plenty of roost space. Once I tried to integrate LF with d'Uccles in the same coop after they had grown up. Well the d'Uccles slept on the floor! But if given enough roost space (I got rid of some LF) they went up to the roosts.
 
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Lorilyn Farms

Songster
7 Years
May 29, 2012
745
62
118
Rogue River, Oregon
The only time my d'uccles fly is coming out of the coop in the morning, jump/flying out of the nesting boxes, and flying onto my head when a persistant male doesn't take no for an answer. Only one bird out of thirty flew onto my roof, she's still with me and doesn't do it any longer. However, I have heard horror stories of neighboring dogs that break thru the fence and kill chickens. I don't think your birds will go over the fence, but just sitting on top might be enough to whip the dogs into a frenzy and go after the birds. Double-check the fence between the yards and the breed of dog your neighbor has. Some can easily clear fences, they just don't choose to do so. A nice chicken morsel might tempt them....
 

MANNA-PRO

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