The Barnevelder is a large-sized, soft-feathered, and very good-natured dual-purpose breed. They are hardy birds and good foragers. It is highly sought after for its “chocolate” colored eggs, as well as being a quiet bird that adapts very well to confinement.
This breed was the result of a cross between local Dutch chickens and several chickens imported from Asia to Europe in the latter part of the 19th century. It is named after the city and municipality of Barneveld, in Gelderland, in central Holland.
History and Origin
In the early 1900s, the Barnevelder became famous for its excellent production of, particularly dark eggs. A few years later, interest in the breed fell by the wayside as “commercial” posture breeds were imported from the US, however, Barnevelders have remained popular with hobbyists and especially in their country of origin, Holland.
The beautiful Barnevelder chicken breed is a rare breed. Although not widely available, you can find hatching eggs and chicks for sale by surfing the net. If you are looking for Barnevelder chickens for sale in the United States, try locating a breeder through the Barnevelder North American Club.
Double-strand Barnevelders are now the only variety recognized by the American Poultry Association, but other colors are formally recognized in Europe. In the United States, a double-stranded blue variety is available but is not recognized as standard.
Developed in Holland from a variety of mainly black chicken breeds, the Barnevelder or Barney, as it is sometimes affectionately known, is a magnificent sight to behold in the hen house.
The Barnevelder breed has a nice brown and black feather pattern that is unmistakable. This feather pattern is the most distinctive feature of the breed. Each feather has brown and black rings. This cord forms a nice “lace” pattern. “Quite a sight to behold”.
The medium Barnevelder can reach 6 to 7 pounds at maturity. However, it may take them a while to get there! While they take time to reach full size, you can at least enjoy their emerging beauty while you wait for the eggs to arrive.
The most popular and attractive Barnevelder colors are gold-laced and silver-laced.
The behavior of the Breed
They are hardy birds, and they do well in most types of climates, even more so in colder temperatures. They love foraging and freedom, although they don’t mind being confined.
Most breeders of this breed classify Barnevelders as calm and even somewhat shy. Chickens make excellent mothers with their chicks. Even the rooster seems to protect the young.
What if you could have beautiful dark brown eggs most of the year? Look no further, the Barnevelder hen, in addition to being a beautiful bird, also lays these unusual eggs! and, unlike some other breeds, they are very winter-hardy.
Chickens of this breed produce approximately 180-200 brown-speckled eggs per year.
The Barnevelder was developed in the city of Barneveld, Holland in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Breeders crossed local breeds with Asian breeds, including Cochin, Brahma, Malay, and Langshan.
It took a long time to standardize this breed; it was finally accepted into the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1923. Classified as a soft breed with soft feathers.
The American Poultry Association recognized the double-chord Barnevelder in 1991. Where it was classified as “continental”. The only standardized variety in the Netherlands is the double-strand variety.
The original colors were partridge and double cord. Sadly, it is believed that the partridge variety may now be extinct.
Barnevelder chickens are an ideal choice for amateur and urban farmers, as they are excellent laying hens, resistant, calm and adaptable both to the free range and to confinement. Their lively, active, and friendly nature is also ideal for children who are hoping to keep these beautiful birds as pets. Barnevelders are poor fliers, so a garden fence will help keep them safe. Highly susceptible to Marek’s disease, farmers should make sure to vaccinate Barnevelder chicks before adding them to the flock.
Frequently Asked Questions on Barnevelder Chicken
Are Barnevelder chickens good layers?
The Barnevelders are medium-heavy dual-purpose chickens laying a good number of eggs but also yielding a reasonable carcass. They are hardy birds and good foragers. It is sought after for its dark “chocolate” brown eggs. This beautiful bird is quiet and doesn’t mind being confined.
How big do Barnevelder chickens get?
Barnevelders are medium-sized chickens. The hens reach approximately 5.5 to 6 pounds, while roosters are 6.6 to 7.7 pounds. Bantam Barnevelders weigh 1.98 to 2.2 pounds for hens and 2.2 to 2.64 pounds for roosters.
Are Barnevelder chickens broody?
They will lay through the winter, so this makes them quite popular with some folks. The hens are not known for being particularly broody. Over the years of development, the color quality of the egg has suffered.
Are Barnevelder roosters aggressive?
Hens are often completely friendly, and roosters are calm. If you buy this breed and wind up with a rooster by mistake, they are likely to be much less aggressive than some other breeds. Even though they are calm, they love to peck around the property.
Are Barnevelder chickens heat tolerant?
Barnevelder chickens are a hardy breed. Barnevelders also tend to tolerate the heat as well but will need plenty of shade and cold water. These birds, like so many other breeds, do struggle with the combination of high heat and high humidity.
Does Barnevelder lay eggs in winter?
The Barnevelder is well-known as a winter layer and is likely to produce two or three eggs a week during the winter months. Mine really get laid at the end of February.
Are Barnevelder chickens cold-hardy?
Are Barnevelders cold-hardy? Barnevelders are fully cold-hardy and well-suited to cold climates. They were first bred in northern Europe and have relatively small combs and wattles and thick feathering. Below: Mine are quite happy in the cold and snow.
How often do Barnevelders lay eggs?
Barnevelder hens usually produce three to four eggs a week. Eggs may not be very dark, and the color does diminish as the laying season progresses. Eggs can be speckled golden brown, dark brown, brown, light brown, and cream.
Are Barnevelder flighty?
Barnevelders are not flighty, quiet, friendly, or regal look, the Black color looks green in the sunlight. Eggs are Medium tan with speckles.
Barnevelder in the Philippines
The Barnevelder chicken breed is very rare in the Philippines and is very expensive. It is comparable to gold and silver-laced Wyandottes in terms of rarity. There might be some backyard raisers who are growing this type of chicken breed but it will take a lot of time to search before you can find one online, especially through Facebook Groups.
If you know someone who has Barnevelder, or gold/silver-laced Wyandotte, please leave a comment below.
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