Barbu Uccle

Other Names: Belgian Bantam

Type: Bantam

Colours: Millefleur, Porcelaine, Blue, Lavender, Black, Mottled, Cuckoo, Silver, Golden Neck

The Belgian d'Uccle Bantam is a true bantam with no full sized counterpart. It gets its name from the small municipality Uccle at the south-east border of Brussels, where it was developed. The bird is cobby and should be small, with males weighing approximately 700 - 800 grams and hens roughly 550 grams. A very good Barbu d'Uccle must have a low posture, a short but well developed neck and a rather open tail-feathering. The tail must not be too wide and has to make a triangle on the cock as well as on the hen. The wings are carried low in both the male and female. They often cover the vulture hocks which are made up of quill feathers starting from the lower outer thigh and inclined at the same angle as the wings.

The Barbu d'Uccle was not recorded until the start of the twentieth century and Michel van Gelder is credited with its creation. He wanted to breed a booted bantam with a lower posture and more compact body than the available booted bantams. The new breed also had to have a rather full beard. Most authors assume that Van Gelder started with the Dutch booted Sabelpoot and the Antwerp bearded bantam, although this remains conjecture.

It is unknown when the Belgian d'Uccle Bantam first came to Australia, but it is certain that the Millefleur variety was available in the 1970s and other colours were bred up from these through introduction from the Pekin.

In Europe, the Barbu d'Uccle is regarded as very rare and whilst still relatively uncommon in Australia, has been gaining in popularity.

One of the biggest features of the breed is the variety of colours that are available, from the straight solid colours through to the most intricate of colour as in the Porcelaine. The Millefleur would be the most popular colour, being Orange-red to Mahogany-red in colour with each feather having a black triangular tip, and a white pea shaped spot on the tip. The Porcelaine is a dilute of the Millefleur with the Mahogany red being turned buff, the black to Lavender and the white pea shaped tip remains white. The Blue in the Belgian is an Andalusian Blue, being a slate blue in colour with a dark Lacing on the edge of each feather. Other colours available are Black, White, Black Mottle (which has white tips on each feather) Lavender Mottle (as with Black Mottle), Blue Mottle, Silver Millefleur (white bird with black triangle on the end of each feather and a white pea shaped tip) Ermine, Fawn Ermine (Buff Columbian) Quail, Blue Quail, Silver Quail, Lavender Quail, Silver Porcelaine, Blue Millefleur, Cream, Blue Silver Quail, Lavender Silver Quail, Gold Laced, Silver Laced, Partridge, Splashed, Splashed Quail and Buff Mottled.

The Barbu d'Uccle should not be confused with the Barbu d’Anvers which is a very similar looking bird. The main difference is that the d’Uccle is feather-legged and has a single comb, whilst the Barbu d'Anvers is clean-legged and has a rose comb.

The d'Uccle is a generally quiet passive bird and make excellent pets for children. They require little care and are easy to handle. They often form a clutch of about 20 eggs before going broody.

 

Comment: Whilst considered a rare breed, it is slowly gaining popularity in Australia

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