20 Fastest Growing Vegetables For A Super Quick Harvest!

20 Fastest Growing Vegetables For A Super Quick Harvest!

Are you super excited about growing your own food? Need to know exactly what the fastest growing vegetables are? You’re in luck – that’s the topic of today’s article!

Back in the day, I was pretty impatient in my garden. I only wanted to plant the fastest growing vegetables, so I could have a super quick harvest. This led to growing lots of radishes, because I didn’t know all of my options!

If you think that all vegetables take from spring to fall to mature, then you, my friend, have been lied to. Whether you’re getting a late start on your garden or you live in a region with a short growing season and want to learn more ways to optimize your brief time, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to extend the life of your garden. To get started, we recommend choosing some of these fastest-growing vegetables for your garden.

The 20 Fastest-Growing Vegetables for a Speedy Harvest

1. Radishes

Not only one of the fastest-growing vegetables but also one of the most delicious, radishes are ready for harvest just 25 to 30 days after planting. The radish is a great plant for those of us who live in areas with short growing zones, too, as they can be planted once in the spring and once in late summer to allow them to enjoy cooler growing conditions. Too much heat can make them taste woody! Look for a quick-maturing variety such as Purple Plush, Watermelon, Black Spanish, or French Breakfast for best results. 

2. Green Onions

Onions seem to take forever to mature – up to six months in many cases. However, you can make the most of a short growing window by harvesting the green onions talks. These are ready for harvest in just three or four weeks!

3. Kale

Kale is one of the best leafy greens to grow if you are looking for one of the fastest-growing vegetables for a cold growing zone. Kale can be grown year-round in many locales, and well into the fall in zones like 3 and 4. 

Not only will you yield a plethora of healthy, bountiful greens, but you won’t have to wait long after planting, either. Most take just 50 to 65 days to mature, but you can also harvest tender immature leaves as soon as three weeks after planting!

4. Lettuce

Lettuce is a great crop to grow if you are interested in planting via succession planting. You can plant multiple rounds of lettuce each year, since most leaf varieties are ready just 30 days from planting. Cut the leaves once they’re two or three inches tall, and keep cutting until the plant bolts. 

5. Turnips 

In most cases, turnip roots can be harvested in just 60 days – but if you don’t want to wait that long, you can also harvest the leaves after waiting for just 40 days.

6. Arugula

Arugula is a tasty green with a peppery flavor. A perennial in some areas, it also matures quite rapidly. It takes less than two months to produce mature leaves, and you can continue cutting leaves whenever you want to enjoy them.

7. Peas 

Peas are cold-hardy crops and they’re also quick to germinate and mature. The seeds typically take ten days to germinate and are ready to be harvested in just 60 short days. 

8. Spinach 

Spinach is another great crop for succession planting. The leaves will be ready in as little as one month from planting, meaning you can get multiple crops in one season. Plus, spinach is exceptionally cold hardy, so you can grow it well into the late autumn months in many areas. People who live in warm growing zones may be able to plant and harvest spinach year-round!

9. Bush Beans

Not all bush beans mature quickly, but there are plenty of varieties, like Topcrop and Provider, that can be harvested in as little as 50 days. If you’re planting beans for a quick production, always select bush beans instead of pole beans – they mature much more quickly. 

10. Baby Carrots

Carrots aren’t known for being the fastest-growing vegetables, but you can optimize a short growing season by harvesting baby carrots. There’s no special trick here – just plant your carrot seeds as you normally would and harvest the tiny tubers 30 days later. 

11. Summer Squash

Not all squash is fast-growing, but there are certain varieties of summer squash that are ready in just 70 days. Summer squash, which requires warm conditions in order to produce, will always grow more quickly than winter squash. 

12. Cucumbers

Some varieties of cucumbers can be harvested just 50 to 70 days from planting – but if you’re impatient, you can always harvest the tiny fruits, too.

13. Beets

Beets are some of the fastest growing vegetables, particularly if you want to grow a fantastic cold-hardy crop. Beets don’t like a lot of heat, so it’s best to plant for an early spring crop as well as for a fall crop. You can harvest the roots in just 50 days, but the greens can be plucked in just 30.

14. Okra

Okra isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow, but it is one of the fastest-growing vegetables. It only takes about 50 days to mature. 

15. Bok Choy

Bok Choy isn’t only a fun name to say – it’s a fun plant to grow. This quick-growing vegetable is mature in just 30 days. 

16. Broccoli and Broccoli Rabe

Both broccoli and broccoli rabe can be grown in a short amount of time. Like beets and spinach, broccoli is a cold-season crop that grows well when the temperatures are a bit nippy. It takes just 60 days to produce mature heads, and you can get a continuous harvest as long as you continue to trim heads before they flower and go to seed. 

Broccoli rabe, also called rapini or rabi, looks like broccoli and grows like broccoli but is actually a closer relative to the turnip. This plant should be harvested as soon as the flower clusters appear – the stems are edible, too, and also fast maturing.

17. Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage can be harvested in a mere matter of weeks. Producing firm heads, this plant grows best in partial shade, so it isn’t always suited to the hot temperatures of summer. 

18. Cress

Another unique green to grow is cress. This plant has a delicious peppery flavor and can be harvested in just a few weeks. You can sow successively for a continual harvest, but keep in mind that cress does not grow well in hot weather – it becomes too peppery.

19. Microgreens

If you haven’t heard of microgreens yet, they’re fast becoming a popular alternative to traditional salad greens. You can sprout microgreens from just about any type of plant – although arugula, spinach, celery, and chives are some of the most popular choices. They’re ready in just a few days, as you are eating the seedling and not the actual mature plant.

20. Mustard Leaves

Mustard is yet another green that grows well – and grows quickly – in cool weather. It is sensitive to heat, producing its best growth in early spring and fall. Give it some shade if you can’t grow it during these times of the year, but keep in mind that it will be ready for harvest in less than a month.

Tips for Producing the Fastest Growing Vegetables

If you think you don’t have what it takes to grow speedy veggies, you’re mistaken. Here are some quick tips to follow when you’re hoping for an equally expedient harvest.

Use Balanced Natural Fertilizers

Fertilizer can help jumpstart the growth of your vegetable garden, but you have to know what you’re doing. A synthetic fertilizer often is too imbalanced for sensitive veggies, but a balanced organic fertilizer (like compost) can give your plants the nutrients they need for a quick jumpstart. Apply fertilizer before planting, but make sure you always test your soil first to ensure you are giving your plants exactly what they need.

Plan Carefully

Time out your plantings ahead of the growing season. This will allow you to make the best use of your growing space without things feeling cramped or overcrowded. Sketch out a map of your garden and pull up a calendar to make sure no space is being wasted!

Consider a Greenhouse or Cold Frame to Extend the Season

If you live in an area with a brief growing season, you might want to consider growing some crops in a greenhouse or a cold frame. Even if you are lucky enough to live in a warm region, these facilities can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes you to grow certain vegetables. 

Seeds will germinate more quickly and plants will mature more rapidly when they are provided with plenty of sunlight and heat – which these structures can provide.

Plant in Raised Beds

It’s no secret that raised beds warm up more quickly and hold heat better than the soil on the ground. If you want to help your spring-sown seedlings mature more quickly, consider planting them in raised beds instead of directly in the ground. The same rule applies to planting in containers!

Plant in Triangles

For plants that seem forever to set fruit after they’ve flowered, you might want to plant in triangles. Not only will this make it easier for pollination to occur, but it will also provide for maximum utilization of every square inch of your garden. A faster harvest, plus efficiency? A win-win.

Choose Compatible Pairings

When you grow plants that naturally complement each other, like beans and corn, you make it easier for them to harness their natural growing abilities for a faster harvest. The theory behind this strategy is this – by choosing plants that work together to repel pests, provide nutrients, and retain moisture, your plants will have to do less “catching up” and can focus all their energy on simply growing.

Why You Should Plant Fast Growing Vegetables

There are lots of good reasons to plant fast-growing or quick-maturing varieties of plants, but only you can decide if this option is best for your gardening plan. 

However, keep in mind that fast-growing vegetables offer a great way to maximize your yields. If you are growing in a greenhouse, a fast-growing vegetable can help you get as many plants as possible in a year. If you’re growing outside, fast-growing vegetables allow you to get the most bang for your buck per square foot of growing space. 

Whatever your motivations for growing quick crops might be, we hope you will find this list of the fastest growing vegetables helpful as you plan out your garden!

Lasagna Gardening Quick Start Guide

Lasagna Gardening Quick Start Guide

The term “lasagna gardening” conjures up images of cheesy, gooey, hamburger-laden goodness. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to grow a lasagna in your garden – and lasagna gardening has nothing to do with the Italian dish we know and love. 

However, lasagna gardening has plenty of other benefits to offer. Not only can it help boost the fertility of your soil, but it can also render a formerly unusable plot of land totally usable. 

Here’s everything you need to know about lasagna gardening.

What is Lasagna Gardening?

Lasagna gardening, as we mentioned, has nothing to do with cooking and everything to do with great gardening. It’s all about layers – you can place lasagna gardens wherever you want. 

A no-till, no-dig method of organic gardening, lasagna gardening results in fluffy, nutrient-dense soil that requires very little work on your part. It refers to a method of building up your garden via layers, producing rich soil that will help your garden thrive. It’s often referred to synonymously as sheet composting, and it’s not only great for your garden, but it’s good for the environment, too. 

As long as there is sun and a relatively flat grade, you can build a lasagna garden. It can be large or small, narrow or wide, long or short. You don’t even have to till anything! All you will need to do is build layers until it’s the perfect height for your needs. 

To make it an even better proposition, you can use any kind of organic fertilizer, too. You should never use a synthetic fertilizer in a lasagna garden, but it’s fine to use compost, leaves, manure, or any other natural ingredients to help build your soil. 

Why You Should Try Lasagna Gardening

There are plenty of reasons to give lasagna gardening a try. As you probably know, we love finding solutions for busy people. Not only is it more convenient for people who have poor soil, but it also is a great solution for the lazy gardener. 

Many of us live in areas where the soil is too rocky, too sandy, too clay bound, or inappropriate in some other way for gardening. Lasagna gardening gets rid of that dilemma. You can place your garden wherever you have sun and you can use manure, compost, and other fertilizers to build it. 

While these amendments won’t go into your soil right away, they will accumulate and leach into the ground over time, gradually improving the quality of your soil so that you can one day use it for gardening in a more traditional sense.

You won’t have to dig, cultivate, or till in any way, either. Since you are essentially adding new “soil” on top of the ground, you won’t have to turn anything in to provide the benefits of fertilizing, aerating, and eliminating weeds. This helps to protect the fragile microbes that live in your soil – again, improving the structure and nutrition of your soil over time. 

Once you get it established, a lasagna garden is much easier to maintain, too. You can build it to any height, so if you have accessibility issues, you will have a much less difficult time tending to your plants. You will also have fewer weeds to contend with and you won’t need to water it as much, either. Compost holds water much better than the regular garden soil. 

Finally, a lasagna garden is a great method for people seeking inexpensive organic gardening techniques. It takes just a few hours to prepare the garden and although it can take a full season for the organic matter to break down enough to fully support the plants, you can start growing almost immediately. Plus, a lasagna garden can be built entirely free of cost if you use your own organic waste. 

How to Build a Quick Lasagna Garden 

Building a lasagna garden is easy and entirely customizable to your preferences and growing needs. You can build the garden directly on the ground, by piling up layers, or you can build it in a raised bed. 

The basic principles, however, remain the same. Make sure you have an idea of which layers you are going to include in your garden since the first layer will be on the bottom and the last layer will be on top – the contents of the layers can vary depending on which plants you choose to grow. 

First, begin by selecting your growing area. Choose one that receives at least four hours of sun a day, unless you plan on growing a shade garden with tolerant plants like kale and spinach. 

Next, if you plan on building sides or a raised bed around your lasagna garden, mark the area with stakes. This will give you an idea of the boundaries of your lasagna garden so you don’t have a heaping, sprawling mess. 

If you decide to enclose your garden in any way, stick with wood like pine, oak, or maple. Don’t use anything that has been treated, as these chemicals can leach into your garden over time.

Put down your first layer. This should be either a thick (six to eight layers) layer of newspaper or a single sheet of cardboard. This will provide a strong base for your lasagna garden and it will also help suppress weeds. Another option is straw. Whichever option you choose, make sure it’s at least six inches thick. Wet the layer before moving onto the next step. 

Add some compost or manure. Compost is best, particularly aged compost, as it will allow the plants to use the nutrients more easily. Water this layer, too. Then put down a layer of straw, which will provide additional aeration, and then wet that, too. 

Next, add a layer of “new” compost ingredients. Some options to choose from include coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, eggshells, or other kitchen waste. This will begin to break down slowly in your garden, adding additional nutrients to the soil once the compost has been depleted. Again, cover with straw, and wet it. 

Add a brown layer of ingredients to your lasagna garden. Anything that contains lots of carbon can be used here – think shredded paper, napkins, toilet paper tubes, straw, or wood shavings. Add another layer of straw, and water.  Then, you’ll add a green layer- anything that is nitrogen base will do. You can add more vegetable or fruit scraps (such as banana peels) or coffee grounds or even some lawn clippings. Sprinkle with water once more. 

You’ll repeat this pattern as needed until your garden is at least two feet deep. You can create an even deeper garden if you want it to be taller for easier access – just remember that the garden will break down over time, so it will never be as tall as it was when you started. The last layer of your lasagna garden should always be compost or aged manure. 

That’s all there is to it! The final step is to plant your seeds or seedlings just as you ordinarily would. You will care for them in the exact same ways you would when planting in a regular in-ground garden or raised bed – just with a lot less time and effort involved. 

Things to Keep in Mind 

Although a lasagna garden is much easier to care for than a regular garden, there are some things to keep in mind.  For instance, you may still have problems with pests. These can be magnified if you use young compost. Some pests, like mice and rats, are going to be attracted to the fresher compost ingredients. Try sprinkling some cayenne pepper around them (or building your lasagna garden in an enclosed area) to deter these rodents.

You may also have fungal diseases. Cinnamon can help prevent fungal disease, but often, fungal issues can be magnified in a too-wet lasagna garden. Hold off on watering until you’re sure your garden needs it – a lasagna garden will hold water a lot better than a traditional garden, so it’s not difficult to overwater. 

Finally, any ingredients you use in your lasagna garden should be carefully examined for any signs of contamination. For instance, you will want to look over your cardboard for tape, glue, and staples. These can leach chemicals into your soil and they won’t break down in a garden (or they will take a very long time to do so). You should also avoid using hay instead of straw – not only will it take longer to break down, but it will contain tons of weed seeds, too. 

When to Build a Lasagna Garden

You can build your own lasagna garden at any time of the year. Fall tends to be best, as it will provide you with a multitude of organic materials for free – think of all the fallen leaves and yard waste hanging around. Plus, you can allow the lasagna garden to break down all winter. By spring, it will be time to plant.

However, if you’re reading this in the spring, summer, or winter, don’t think it’s too late to start your lasagna garden now! It can be tough to start a lasagna garden in the winter, but if you’re willing to wait until early spring, you’ll have the perfect environment to get going. Just remember than in spring and summer, you will want to add more soil-like amendments to the final layer of the bed, like topsoil, so you can plant immediately. 

Over time, the organic matter in your garden will shrink and break down. You will want to replenish it every year by adding additional green and brown layers. Otherwise, there’s little else that you need to do except sit back and watch your garden grow. 

Oh – and you can also make some real lasagna with all the delicious tomatoes and peppers you’ll be able to grow in your lasagna garden!

21 Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots (It’s So Easy!)

21 Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots (It’s So Easy!)

Growing your own vegetables is one of the most enjoyable endeavors you can attempt. Not only will you be rewarded with a delicious bounty of nutritious vegetables at the end of the growing season, but you will also save some money, too.

However, if you have a short growing season or lack ample gardening space – for example, if you live in an apartment – you might think that this is not something you can easily do. You’re in luck. There are plenty of veggies that can easily be grown in containers with minimal expertise and know-how. It’s simply a matter of knowing the best vegetables to grow in pots, along with implementing some helpful tips.

Leafy Greens

Spinach

Spinach is not only great for you, but it’s one of the best vegetables to grow in pots. A cold-hardy plant, you can keep spinach in containers outside well into the autumn months. You might, however, want to mulch it or bring it inside during the hottest days of summer to protect it from being scorched.

Collard Greens

Collard greens thrive in containers – just as long as you put the container in full sunlight during the day. These greens need at least six hours of sunlight during the fall and spring months but prefer a little bit of shade during the hot afternoon hours of summer.

Kale

Spinach isn’t the only leafy green to consider if you want to grow vegetables in pots! You should also give kale a try. The perfect plant for container gardening, it requires minimal space. You can grow five kale plants in just a 20-inch pot. A cold-tolerant plant, you should be able to keep your kale plants outside in containers much of the year.

Lettuce

One of the easiest vegetables to grow in a pot, lettuce requires minimal upkeep. Just plant your seeds in a container on the patio and begin harvesting in just a few weeks. Another benefit of lettuce is that it can tolerate the shade and the sunlight, so you can move it around to wherever it’s most convenient for you. Just be careful about giving it too much heat!

Root Vegetables

Radishes

Because radishes are so small, they do quite well when planted in containers. As long as you select a short variety, you can grow radishes in just about any kind of container. Longer ones will need to be planted in taller containers.

Carrots

Carrots, along with almost every other root crop, can easily be grown in containers. When sown thinly and cared for properly, carrots can be grown in containers exactly as they would be if you grew them directly in the garden.

Potatoes

Many people don’t know this, but potatoes grow shockingly well in containers. You can grow potatoes year-round in a container, in fact- you’ll never have to buy them again! Just make sure you put some holes in the bottom of your container for aeration. You’ll yield a pound or two of potatoes each growing season per container.

Beets

Beets can easily be grown in pots, too. Since beets grow quickly and require no transplanting, you can grow them quickly in a container as long as it’s big enough. Sow your seeds thinly, and keep in mind that you might have to thin again later, too.

Onions

You can even grow onions in containers! As long as you have plenty of space – a planter that is more than five inches deep is ideal – you should be able to fit several onion sets in a container. You can harvest the tops, too.

Parsnips

The parsnip is an acquired taste – as a result, it can be tough to find parsnips in stores out of season. Luckily, you can easily grow parsnips in containers. You will want a deep container since they can get quite long. Make sure you cut holes for drainage, too.

Turnips

Turnips do quite well in containers. You will need a pot that is at least eight inches deep to provide for adequate root growth, and you will also need a pot with excellent drainage. Turnips are highly susceptible to overwatering.

Everyone’s Favorite Garden Vegetables

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Zucchini is not only one of the easiest vegetables to grow, but it’s also one of the best vegetables to grow in pots. As with all summer squash, zucchini can grow just about anywhere you plant it. Choose a large pot for best results. You will want to harvest your plants regularly so they don’t become overweight with fruits – plus, this will keep production up as the plants won’t be putting unnecessary energy into growing monstrous, woody fruits.

Peppers

Certain types of peppers do exceptionally when in containers. From bell peppers to hot peppers, you can grow just about any kind of these heat-loving varieties in pots. Provide plenty of room for your peppers to grow – a ten-gallon container may be necessary for some varieties. These plants also need lots of sunlight each day (at least eight hours).

Cucumbers

Like zucchini, cucumbers grow quite well in containers. You can grow them indoors or outdoors as long as you have a trellis to support them and to maximize the available space. The best varieties for growing cucumbers in pots are midget pickles and Spacemasters.

Beans

You can grow either pole or bush beans in pots. Pole beans do well if you have some sort of trellis or pole for the vines to travel up, while bush beans grow in a squatter, more uniform pattern. Regardless of the type you choose, try to use at least a twelve-inch container.

Peas

All types of peas, including snow peas and sugar snap peas, can be grown in containers. They taste great in stir-fries or when sauteed. Plus, since the plants are small, they are easily grown in pots. As with pole beans, you will need to provide some kind of trellis system. They thrive in the cool conditions of early spring.

Tomatoes

A classic container plant is the tomato plant. Many people grow tomatoes in pots so that they can be brought in out of the cold to enjoy the warmer temperature inside your house. Make sure you stake your plants to avoid breakage!

Unusual Container Veggies

Asparagus

Asparagus can be grown in a pot, too. It’s a hardy plant and is perennial, meaning it will come back in later years. When properly cared for, asparagus can live for years. Make sure you have a large plant that is relatively shallow – it just needs to have a broad diameter.

Cauliflower and Broccoli

Cauliflower, broccoli, and other cole crops (like cabbage) are perfect candidates for growing in pots. Not only are they cold-tolerant and easy to grow, but these plants can thrive when planted in pots at least eight inches deep.

Eggplant

As long as you have your pots in a warm, sunny enough location, even eggplant can be grown in them. You will want to avoid overcrowding since eggplant tends to sprawl. Choose a pot that is at least five inches deep. Clay pots are good choices for eggplant since they allow lots of heat to permeate into the soil.

Artichokes

Let’s face it – for most people, artichokes are super difficult to grow. But if you enjoy the taste of artichokes, you may feel repulsed by the high prices charged at the grocery store. Instead of shelling out all your hard-earned cash, why not try growing artichokes in pots? They’re low maintenance and best planted in fall since they take a long time to germinate.

Tips for Growing Vegetables in Pots

If you’re ready to start growing some of the best vegetables in pots, consider some of these helpful tips to get you started.

Consider Your Container Type and Size

Not sure what kind of container you should use? Don’t worry. Usually, any kind of container will do. However, there are some stipulations to this. Some plants – like eggplant – require wide containers in order to spread their roots. Others, including root crops such as carrots and turnips, need deeper pots so that they can form long tubers. Make sure you research your plant type before selecting your container.

You will want to pay attention to the watering needs of your plants, too. Clay pots usually need more water than plastic or wooden ones, since the porous terracotta will absorb heat and drain water more quickly. Think about the color, too – dark-colored containers will stay warmer than light ones. Always avoid containers made out of treated wood, as it contains chemicals that can be absorbed by your vegetables.

Use the Best Soil

Vegetables don’t usually care about the type of pot they are in, but they do care about the soil. Make sure you add plenty of organic matter or choose a balanced organic potting mix. Make sure the soil is not too light but also not too heavy – you can often balance out the structure of your soil by adding materials like potting soil, peat moss, vermiculite, sand, or perlite, depending on your specific needs.

Mulch and Fertilize Regularly

Fertilizing is important when it comes to growing in pots. Since the plants aren’t being grown directly in the ground, they don’t have access to all the “good stuff” that they normally would be able to access. We’re not just talking about your basic nitrogen and phosphorous, either. Plants also need micronutrients, like calcium and magnesium, in order to thrive. Only a balanced fertilizer can provide this. An organic option, like compost, is best. Not only will it introduce the nutrients your plants need, but it will also provide the soil with beneficial microorganisms, too.

Bring Indoors if Needed

Not all plants can thrive outdoors 365 days out of the year. Consider the climate of your growing zone and how it relates to the growing needs of your plants. Frost-sensitive plants, like peppers and tomatoes, can be brought indoors when the temperature dips, while heat-sensitive vegetables like lettuce should be brought inside during the dog days of summer.

What Are the Advantages of Growing Vegetables in Pots?

There are countless benefits to growing vegetables in containers. Not only does this practice allow you to cultivate plants that you might not easily be able to find at the supermarket (or find without paying a pretty penny) but it’s also exceptionally easy. Container-grown vegetables often retain moisture and tolerate weather fluctuations more easily than those grown in the ground. Plus, since you don’t need to wait for the ground to warm up, you can start a container garden in the spring. A vegetable grown in a pot is also less likely to suffer from weeds, diseases, and insect pests.

So what are you waiting for? Select some pots, select some plants, and start planting today.

Why Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chickens Are The Best Pets

Why Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chickens Are The Best Pets

Thought about adding Mille Fleur d’Uccle chickens to your flock? Not sure if they’re right for you? Read on, and discover this wonderful breed!

The Mille Fleur d’Uccle is a small bantam whose heart is massive. It is a chicken who loves affection – and reciprocates. Their speckled feathering is lovely, and captivates all who look upon them. Unlike other breeds, people buy Mille Fleurs as pets. They’re very quiet and love cuddles. They’re the perfect size for small children. If you add them to your flock, they’ll bring great big smiles to your family!

What Does “Mille Fleur d’Uccle” Mean?

The breed originated in Belgium, and the name “Mille Fleur d’Uccle” has French origins. Mille means “thousand”. Fleur means “flowers”/ De and the contractive form d’ mean “of/from”. Uccle is a region of Brussels where this breed originated. So, the chicken’s name translates to Million Flowers from Uccle. How adorable!

Where Do Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chickens Come From?

These birds have quite the origin story! In the late 1800s, a Dutch businessman living in Belgium, Michael Van Gelder, set out to create the greatest chicken breed. By 1905, he’d reached his goal when he premiered his new breed at a chicken show – the Mille Fleur d’Uccle bantam. Soon, it’s popularity spread over the continent and into the UK. The USA followed soon after. The American Poultry Association added the breed to the Standard of Perfection in 1914.

What Do Mille Fleur d’Uccle Look Like?

They’re adorable! Mille Fleurs live up to their names – their red feathers are tipped with white and black. It looks like they’re covered in a thousand little flowers! They have a muff and beard which extends all around the head. They have feathered shanks, and the feathering can be quite impressive! Female Mille Fleur d’Uccle have very small or non-existent wattles. Both males and females have a single comb.
Hens and roosters are about 1 – 2 pounds. They’re a true bantam chicken and their small size very much reflects this. There is no standard size for this breed. Because they’re so tiny, they’re more susceptible to predators (especially rats). Keep this in mind when choosing a coop for them!
If you read my article about how chickens mate, you might plan to coop your hens with other breeds. Remember, these hens can’t have large roosters mating with them. They’ll get squashed!
These birds do well in cold weather. But because they’re small, you should shelter them from extremely cold temperatures. Keep them in a warm coop that’s are not drafty. In the summer, be sure to keep them in the shade as much as possible.

Personalities

This breed is perfect for any flock. Owners everywhere love these birds for their remarkably docile temperaments. The hens are very quiet. They’re fantastic around children, and will allow your child to hold them. They do well in small chicken coops, and are great for urban flocks. The hens aren’t very broody.
They don’t fly often, if their coop is welcoming. But if necessary, they’re great fliers. Larger birds have too much mass for their wings to carry them. Bantams have a leaner body that’s more suited to flight than many birds. But you won’t have to clip their wings – they tend to be homebodies. They sometimes roost in higher locations, but usually just a few feet off the ground. You might find your hens prefer roosting on swings! 

Are There Any Other Varieties?

Technically, no. The Mille Fleur is a type of d’Uccle bantam. If you flip through a hatchery catalog, you’ll notice their cousins:
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Buff
  • Golden Neck
  • Grey
  • Mottled
  • Porcelain
  • Self-Blue
  • White
The Porcelain d’Uccles are popular as well.

Are They Good Egg Layers?

Mille Fleurs are fair layers, mostly kept for ornamental reasons, and not for egg production. Hens lay about 160 small cream-colored eggs per year. Provide a safe nesting area, and you can expect your hen to lay consistently when she’s old enough. Your pullets will start laying when they’re about 6 months old.
mille fleur chicken hen

Health Concerns

Because of their leg feathers, they are slightly more at risk for mites than other chickens. You should take steps to protect your flock from mites.

Here’s Where To Buy Mille Fleur d’Uccles

  • Meyer Hatchery in Polk, OH, offers them throughout the year.
  • Murray McMurray Hatchery in Webster City, IA, offer unsexed chicks throughout the year.
  • Hoover’s Hatchery in Rudd, IA, offer these chickens in minimum orders of 20 throughout the year.
  • Stromberg’s Chicks and Game Birds of Hackensack, MN, offers them throughout the year.
  • The Chick Hatchery in Lansing, MI, has availability from February through August.
  • From early February through mid-August, Cackle Hatchery offers chicks from their headquarters in Lebanon, MO.
  • Day-olds are available at My Pet Chicken based in Monroe, CT.
Bringing a Mille Fleur d’Uccle into your family is a great idea! They have fun personalities, and you’ll fall in love! (Not sure what to feed a bantam to keep them healthy? Read this article next!)
Worming Chickens: Ultimate Guide

Worming Chickens: Ultimate Guide

Wondering whether worming chickens is easy? What are some all natural options? In this article, we’ll discuss the type of worms chickens can get, why they’re so dangerous, and what to do about it! 

Think about it: A chicken mama walks into her hen house to collect eggs. She reaches into the first nest and frowns. The egg has an unusual covering of chicken poop. This is not a massive problem. It just requires some extra cleaning. 
On to the next egg. It’s plastered with poop. The farmer begins to suspect something is wrong. Then, onto the third nest, where the prize-winner roosts. She is neat and tidy, and never leaves messes on her eggs. But chicken poop also covers this egg, and there’s some long white strands mixed in. 
Something needs attention, and she wonders what’s going on with her beloved birds. The list possible problems is a short one, and the solution is actually quite simple. These chickens have worms, and they need a better worming regimen.

What Are Worms Exactly?

Worms are parasites that can create health problems in chickens. Worms can cause lots of health issues, such as:
  • poor nutrition (because the worms are stealing vitamins and minerals from your flock)
  • internal bleeding
  • diarrhea
  • flightiness
  • pale combs
  • poor egg production
  • bloody stool
  • vision problems
  • death
You might also notice your hen doesn’t want to forage, and prefers to sit quietly in a corner.

How Do Chickens Get Worms?

A flock of chickens goes foraging, and might stumble upon a big, thick slug. It is a treat to the bird, but this yummy snack hides something insidious: a parasite. Your chickens swallow this parasite, and it finds a warm, comfortable place to live out its life cycle.
Chickens can also pick up worms from the soil, either by stepping on eggs, or ingesting eggs from dirt. Wild birds visiting their poultry cousins can also be a point of infection. Additionally, one chicken can effect her whole flock, since the worm’s eggs might infect her feces. Other hens might pick them up when walking around (which is why it’s important to clean your coop consistently)

What Kind Of Worms Do Chickens Get?

Chickens can get a variety of worms, including:
  • Tapeworms (Davainea proglottina and Raillietina cesticullus)  
  • Roundworms (Ascaridia galli)
  • Hair Worms/Capillary Worms (Capillaria obsignata
  • Gapeworms (Syngamus trachea)
  • Caecal Worms (Heterakis gallinarum)
  • Strongyle Worms (Trichostrongylus tenuris)
Each worm species effects chickens in different ways. But all worms are detrimental to your birds’ health. Most worms fall into two distinct classes.
  1. Direct – a chicken picks up these worms by scratching or pecking through contaminated feces. They spend their entire life cycles inside the chicken. Very often the eggs of these worms drop out of your chicken; they are quite durable and can hibernate for up to a year. Then, when another chicken picks them up, they then hatch, often by the thousands.  
  2. Indirect – these worms inhabit things that your chickens might have foraged. They might be hiding inside slugs, for example. Then, inside your chicken, they find a nice warm habitat to live out their life cycle. Indirect worms need a secondary host, such as an earthworm, before finding their permanent home inside your chickens
The following types of worms can infect your flock:

Caecal Worm

These are light grey to white in color and shaped like the letter S. They can grow to about ¾ inch. Caecal worms do not always show any symptoms in chickens. But chickens suffering a severe outbreak of these worms may look depressed or look worn out. The worms live in the ceca and have a direct life cycle. 

Capillary Worms

These worms are so small that one cannot usually see them with the naked eye. They are also called Hairworms or Threadworms. They live in the crop, intestines, and ceca, but in severe outbreaks, they can also inhabit the throat or the mouth. These worms are usually found in earthworms and slugs. A chicken infected by capillary worms will be weak and anemic. Their comb will pale, and the bird might appear emaciated. They also might suffer diarrhea. Extreme cases can lead to the bird’s death. They have both a Direct and Indirect life cycle. 

Gape Worm

worming chickens with gapeworms

Gapeworms in poultry throat. Image from Wikipedia.

Gape worms are red, and grow to ¾ inch in length. A male and a female lock together, resulting in a Y-shaped organism. Gape worms inhabit the trachea and lungs. They feed on blood get from micro blood vessels.  The most common symptom is a shortness of breath, often accompanied by a gaping beak, stretching its neck, and head shaking. The chickens will cough and frequently gasp for air and may also have a reduced appetite. They are Direct cycle parasites. 

Gizzard Worms 

These worms are very thin and grow to about 3/4 inch. They’re uncommon in chickens (far more common in geese). Symptoms include:
  • anemia
  • weight loss
  • diarrhea
  • a sickly appearance (might include a hunched posture and sagging wings)
This can lead to death if left untreated. They have a Direct life cycle.

Roundworms

roundworms from chicken

Roundworms

Most common of the various worms that your chickens might contract. Roundworms are visible by the naked eye, and can reach lengths of up to 6 inches. Other symptoms can include:
  • Pale combs and wattles
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • stunted growth
Extreme cases can also block the intestines, which can kill your bird. The infected bird will shed the roundworm eggs in her poop. Another hen can pick up these eggs, which will hatch in the new hen. Round worms have a Direct life cycle.

Tapeworms

tapeworm chickens

Tapeworm illustration

Tapeworms are white, long, and flat. In chickens, they usually do not grow any longer than 13 inches. Segments of these worms can be visible in chicken feces – they look like bits of rice. Tapeworms live in different intestinal areas and feed on its host bird’s diet. As a result, the chicken will likely suffer an increased appetite, and will appear larger, primarily due to bloating. If a juvenile bird becomes infected with tapeworms, its growth could be stunted. Tapeworms have an Indirect life cycle; they need a host like beetles, earthworms, and other insects.

How Can We Protect Chickens From Worms?

Your chickens are very likely to get worms, especially if they live outdoors. This is a sad fact of life, but it is an important one. Stopping worms is not 100% about preventing worms from infecting your pets, but rather in minimizing the damageThe biggest risks are warm wet climates, and especially between late Spring and summer, when many parts of the USA endure heavy rains. Other areas of the country – the Pacific Northwest, for example – are ideally suited due to an almost year-round warm wet climate.
Worm eggs do not like extreme temperatures and go dormant in weather that is too hot for them or too cold for them. They are also averse to climates that are too dry to sustain them. To prevent a muddy coop, mix a good amount of stone, gravel, or having straight concrete flooring. This can reduce the number of active worm eggs in your flock’s home. 
Keeping grass short can also behoove a smart chicken owner. This helps to maximize the amount of UV light from the sun that reaches worm eggs. These eggs are particularly susceptible to UV light, and sunlight can destroy them. 
Be sure that your bedding is clean and dry. In wet weather, be sure to clean out your coop and chicken housing areas at least 2 to 3 times per week. If you use the deep litter method, and your chickens seem to constantly have worms, consider a different bedding option.

Should I Worm My Chickens?

Not sure if your chickens have worms? It’s easiest to collect some feces and take it to your vet. They can run tests to determine if and what kind of parasites your chickens might have. These tests are usually inexpensive. You’ll learn if your chickens actually need a worming regimen.
Worming regimens should not be year-long. You should do it only every so often (your vet can tell you how often). Parasites and chickens both can develop an immunity to the wormers. If this happens, it means you’ll have a harder time killing off this particular strain of worms. So, continuing to use it will have no effect. You can ask your vet about rotating options if you want to prevent worms. 

What Are The Best Wormers For Chickens?

There’s lots of opinions out there about what wormers are ideal. Some chicken owners might claim you only need natural solutions. Others insist that they are not enough. Ultimately, you should decide for yourself, using our list below as a set of options. Be sure to consult your vet as well. A list of some of the most popular options are below.

Flubendazole/Fenbendazole

In the United States, there aren’t any FDA-approved wormers for chickens. But elsewhere in the world, there’s pharmaceutical options. The UK has stringent standards when it comes to animal welfare, and Flubendazole is approved for this use. Since you can give it to goats, horses, etc, it’s worth asking your vet about it. If you can’t find Flubendazole, ask your vet about Fenbendazole. It’s a common medicine for goats, horses, dogs, cats, etc. Fenbendazole is usually sold in farm stores under the trade name Safeguard. Before proceeding, though it’s always best to ask your vet for dosage amounts.

Ivermectin

Like Fenbendazole, this isn’t specifically approved for chickens. But it’s safe for other species. It’s also proven effective. So it’s worth talking to your vet about it. You can buy it at any farm store.

Apple cider vinegar

This remarkable item offers many benefits, including deterring some worms. It is not a 100% guaranteed treatment, but it’s very cost-effective. It can also introduce healthy bacteria to your hens’ digestive systems. You can learn how to make it yourself here.

Garlic

Garlic is the wonder herb. You can add small amounts to chicken feed. It might help discourage worms from settling in the belly. It also can support healthy digestive systems. 

Chili/Cayenne

Worms dislike the spiciness of capsaicin, and will leave the host area. Like garlic, it discourages worms from settling in the digestive gut. 

WormBGone Nesting Herbs

There’s a long history of certain herbs “doing the trick” to keep parasites from bugging backyard chickens. WormBGone Nesting Herbs includes the best herbs! Made with herbs traditionally used to promote healthy digestive systems and prevent worms. This is an affordable option many chicken owners love.

Vetrx Poultry Aid

You can apply this natural wormer directly on the effected chicken or put it into their water or in treats. 

Durvet Ivermectin Pour On De-wormer

You can pour this wormer onto the infected area. It’s a topical anti-wormer.  

Fleming Wazine Chicken De-wormer

You can mix this solution into feed or water.

My Pet Chicken Organic WormGuard Plus with Flax Seed

This natural mix also claims to reduce odors and moisture in chicken coops. 
Internal parasites are a massive problem that can effect your birds at any point in their lives. And it’s not only their health at stake. Worming chickens can also effect your life. After all, a healthy, worm-free, bird will produce healthy eggs for consumption.