Yes we love our silkie chickens here, with their fluffy little butts and super sweet natures. But after seeing some Belgian d'uccle millefleurs (meaning chickens from the Belgian province of "uccle") at a local show, I fell head over heels for this quaint little creature. Millefleur means "million flowers", and that's exactly what their gorgeous plumage looks like.
So I hunted down some eggs from a decent Victorian Belgian bantam breeder, and had them posted to Sydney. Disaster struck 2 weeks into incubation when the heating element on the incubator failed, so the eggs were cactus. We have 6-7 incubators running between spring and autumn, but Murphy's Law said it had to be the one containing the mille's that failed.
What's that saying - expect nothing from posted eggs, and if something actually hatches, it's a bonus!
Round 2 of a dozen posted eggs saw 7 of 12 fertile at incubation lockdown. 3 had detached air cells (thanks, Aussie Post!) and were late deaths in shell. 4 hatched OK and have survived the first few days, not withstanding the power going out at 11pm one night & taking down all the incubators and brooding lamps for a good half hour!
I was perhaps unprepared for how TINY these fluffy-footed chicks are. They seem 2/3 of the size of a silkie chick, no bigger than a 20c piece.
Round 3 of posted eggs are on their way. Here's hoping Mr Murphy leaves us alone this time. So that should be enough breeding stock to get us started.
We will be retaining the Belgians hatched this year, but should have chicks available for sale in early 2020.