The Barnevelder Chicken Makes An Excellent Utility Bird

A variety of poultry, known as the Barnevelder Chicken, originated in the Netherlands region of Barneveld just before the First World War. Due to the rich brown color, and the high quality, of the eggs, the species became sought-after by other countries and, consequently, in 1921 exports began. Another main attraction was the fact that hens produced were excellent layers.

The ‘double laced’ is a very popular variety, but they also come in black, partridge, and silver. The hen’s plumage is predominantly dark brown with black double lacing. This is frequently named a ‘double laced partridge’. Males have beautiful plumage with bursts of bronze, shimmering green, and violet. Some males have white and blue 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.

While their original claim to fame was their egg-laying abilities and the unique color of the eggs, today most Barnevelders are used for show purposes. The egg color now has little significance because the focus is more on the bird’s external appearance. The eggs are lighter in color and the modern hen doesn’t lay as many eggs as her Dutch ancestors.

Having said this, they are still useful layers, especially during winter. With a quiet, amicable disposition, they behave well in the show ring and also serve as great utility birds. Medium-to-heavy in weight, the Barnevelder is a perfect all-purpose bird that produces a good supply of eggs and also yields a tasty carcass for the dinner table. They are robust and are useful foragers. If you don’t want them to get fat, avoid keeping them cooped up. Allowing them to roam freely will avoid this.

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.

Chicks grow their feathers slower than most other breeds. A standard hen usually reaches a weight of six pounds, while a rooster is eight pounds. All in all, a Barnevelder Chicken is a versatile utility bird that’s great for eggs, for a pet, and to eat. An average hen can lay around 180 eggs a year and some jumbo-sized eggs weigh up to three ounces. This breed’s droppings make an excellent garden fertilizer.
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