D'Uccle Flight Behavior Query

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by makemineirish, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. makemineirish

    makemineirish In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2012
    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.
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    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.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. makemineirish

    makemineirish In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2012
    Austin, TX

    "Snow load" [​IMG]

    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.[​IMG]

    Friendly is important, but I am torn between "pretty" chickens or gorgeous eggs.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  5. makemineirish

    makemineirish In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2012
    Austin, TX
  6. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    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.
    You will love them. [​IMG]
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    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.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  9. Lorilyn Farms

    Lorilyn Farms Songster

    May 29, 2012
    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....

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