I talk about the diversity in our flock all the time. We like to have lots of different birds together, they make life with backyard chickens exciting.
For those of you who don’t know about ornamental chickens, I thought I’d introduce some of our more exotic breeds.
This is Ives (of the pair Currier and Ives). Currier turned out to be a rooster and was subsequently shipped to a farm up north in order to be the studly friend of two beautiful porcelain d’ Uccle hens.
Ives is a Mille Fleur d’Uccle (sometimes called a Millie) and is considered an ornamental bird. Her breed is Bantam (miniature sized) and her ancestors were original imported from Germany early in twelfth century.
Millies have feathers on their feet (boots) and “vulture hocks” which are those stiff feathers coming out of the lower thigh. All of those feathers down yonder sort of give them a gangsta kind of look, you know large puffy pants that are kind of falling down. Unfortunately though, the feathers must be very stiff because these birds walk funny making them look not so much like a gang member but more like a toddler with a load in his pants.
For a little bird, the males of this species can certainly crow loudly. We had figured that we might be able to keep Currier even after we were absolutely certain he was a male but that shrill, piercing, caw in the middle of the night put an end to that thinking very quickly. Male Millies are not going to become neighborhood favorites anywhere.
Millies have a single comb (that red blob on the top of her head) and their coloring (Mille Fleur) is primarily orange with white and greenish black accents. They are striking, handsome little birds looking a little like a Jackson Pollack painting done in autumn colors. .
Millies lay small white eggs and are considered good layers for a Bantam although you are not going to find any of these birds in those mass egg producing factories.
Ives is a chipper little bird, not the most cuddly of our girls but always one to join in the fun. She is a little skittish and doesn’t like to be left behind in the coop with the youngsters preferring instead to join the older kids. Because of her size she can duck under fences and can get a fair amount of distance when she flies making her one of our two birds who we constantly find outside the dog pen.
Ives is also consistently one of the birds people will always point to and say, “Wow, look at that one, I didn’t know chickens could even look like that!”.