Looking At The Characteristics Of The Barnevelder Chicken

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Published: 25th November 2010
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The Barnevelder Chicken originates from Holland and was first bred just prior to the beginning of World War I. With the unique brown color of its eggs, which were also of excellent quality, the breed became popular in other countries. In 1921, the chickens began to be exported. The fact that they were outstanding layers was another attraction.

The most popular color is double-laced, but they are also available in silver, black, and partridge. The hen has predominantly dark brown plumage with a double lacing of black. This is often known as a double-laced partridge. The rooster has luxurious plumage with bursts of violet, bronze, and shimmering green. Some varieties have a blue and white lacing.

The plumage of the male and female can be described as 'rich and tight'. They have yellow skin, red ear lobes, and single combs. They have a very upright stance with a broad breast. Barnevelders have short wings so they don't fly very competently.

Although they first became famous because of their brown eggs, Barnevelders are today most sought-after by show breeders and not so much for their eggs. In fact, the color of the eggs is now irrelevant because the focus is more on the characteristics of the birds' appearance. Eggs are now much lighter in color and layers are not producing quantities equal to their previous reputation.


However, they are very useful winter layers and have a quiet, friendly disposition. They are not only bred to be show birds, but also as a handy utility breed. Medium-to-heavy in weight, they make an ideal double-purpose bird that can produce an adequate supply of eggs and yield an acceptable carcass. Barnevelders are excellent foragers and very hardy. Because they are inherently lazy, if allowed to live inactive lives, they are prone to becoming fat.

Females and males are docile in temperament and love being around humans. They make good pets, particularly for children. In a short time, they can be domesticated and won't mind being handled, picked up, or stroked. Young ones might need to be socialized before becoming a genuine pet. Unlike other breeds, Barnevelders will even try and nurture a new baby in the human family.

They are easygoing and relate well to adults and children. Similar to a dog, a pet chicken will follow his or her owners around. Some people have said that Barnevelders also show guarding characteristics. The hen is a doting mother and will brood her eggs. When the chicks have hatched, she gives them care and attention. Even the rooster plays his role in parenthood.

In comparison to other breeds, the chicks take longer to feather-out. On maturity, hens weigh up to 6 pounds, and roosters can reach up to 8 pounds. To conclude, one can definitely say that the Barnevelder Chicken will make an excellent all-purpose utility bird that is a good layer, a good pet, and good to eat. Hens can lay 180-200 eggs a year and jumbo eggs can weigh up to 3 ounces. The manure is a fantastic garden fertilizer.

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