Poultry men who raise chickens continuously look for the best breeds. Having a chicken that produces good quality eggs and meat is crucial in poultry. If you are searching for the perfect breed of chicken, a Barnevelder chicken is suitable for you!
Barnevelder chickens are easy to handle. Aside from that, they also have beautiful feathers and are great layers in any climate. Yet, there are still a lot of things you need to know about Barnevelder chickens.
How can you know if a chicken is a Barnevelder? How do they usually behave? Will it be costly if you own a Barnevelder?
Let us feed your curiosity. Continue reading this to know amazing facts about Barnevelder chickens!
What Are Barnevelder Chickens?
People also call Barnevelder chickens “Barnies.” These are rare breeds of chicken. It cross-breeds from different chicken species, such as Cochin, Brahma, and Croad Langshan.
Despite being rare, Barnevelder chickens have various characteristics. These said characteristics can be helpful for a poultryman in different ways.
Barnevelders are perfect for both productions of eggs and meat. They do not produce much meat compared to other breeds, but they are good egg layers. Barnevelders can also adapt to different climates, especially in cold temperatures.
A Quick History About Barnevelder Chickens
Barnevelders came from the region of Barneveld in Holland (or the Netherlands). People have known Barneveld as the Dutch poultry center from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. They reported that this region could export 40 million eggs a year in the 1930s.
During those times, there was a high demand for brown-shelled eggs. With that, Barneveld decided to try cross-breeding chickens. They aimed to cater to the American market, looking for “chocolate-colored” eggs.
In 1898, B.H. Bertels brought the gold-laced Wyandotte from America. They added this breed of chicken to the cross-breeding. Aside from this, they also tried adding the British Buff Orpington and Brahma. They also cross-bred Croad Langshan, Cochin, and Indian Game.
The first breed of Barnevelder appeared in the Hague Agricultural Show in 1911. After that, people made the Barnevelder Club. The Dutch standard did not want to accept this breed at first, but they finally accepted Barnevelder chickens in 1923.
What Do Barnevelder Chickens Look Like?
Barnevelder chickens usually have soft feathers and clean yellow legs and skin. Their feet have four toes each and red bay eyes. Moreover, they also have horn-colored beaks.
The following are other characteristics of Barnevelder chickens:
- Color – Barnevelder chickens usually have double-laced colors. Some of them have double-laced gold, double-laced silver, and double-laced blue. Meanwhile, some may also have plain black, white, silver, blue, or chamois colors. Double-laced Barnevelder chickens usually have beautiful plumage.
- Size and weight – Barnevelders differ in size and weight. Hens weigh 5 lbs, while roosters are 8 lbs. There are also Bantams, which weigh from 1.6 lbs to 2 lbs. Roosters are usually bigger than hens.
- Pattern – A double-laced pattern is the most popular pattern in Barnevelder chickens. Most Barnevelders have greenish-black and dark gold patterns.
- Comb – Barnevelder chickens have a single comb and red earlobes.
Are Barnevelder Chickens Good Egg Layers?
Barnevelder chickens will start to lay eggs later than usual chickens. Even so, they are still great egg layers. If you doubt whether they can give you lots of eggs, they can produce 3-4 eggs a week. That makes 180-200 eggs per year on average.
Eggs from Barnevelder chickens can range from medium to large. Poultry men say that Barnevelder eggs are beautiful. The texture and the colors look prettier than any usual eggs.
What is the usual color of Barnevelder Chicken eggs?
A Barnevelder hen will produce its darkest eggs in its first six months. The color is most likely to be dark chocolate or dark brown. The egg may also have speckles on it.
Yet, Barnevelder egg colors nowadays are becoming lighter. Expect that your Barnevelder chicken lays lighter eggs after its first six months.
Are Barnevelder Chickens good layers during winter?
Barnevelder chickens can adapt to colder climates. That means they can also lay eggs in winter. Most Barnevelder chickens nowadays are from Europe. Because of that, they are already immune to cold temperatures.
How Do Barnevelder Chickens Usually Behave?
Barnevelder chickens have one of the best behaviors among chickens. They are friendly and kind. They are most likely to greet you first, even without giving them treats.
Barnevelders are also easy-going. They can be active at times, but they can also be lazy. They talk a lot, but they are not as noisy as the other breeds of chicken.
Barnevelder chickens purr when they feel happy! You will notice right away if they are happy or not. Moreover, you can tame them because they are always calm. Even Barnevelder roosters are quiet and peaceful.
The calmness of Barnevelder chickens can help them avoid fights against other chickens. They do not start squabbles with other animals on the farm.
This breed of chicken can also be broody at times. They can be attentive mothers and good sitters. They will most likely sit all day in their nests.
Are they suitable for suburban backyards?
Barnevelders are best for suburban backyards. Since they are calm and lazy, they will not move around a lot. You will not have trouble looking for them.
Barnevelder chickens are also docile. They are always willing to be obedient, and they follow your words. Confinement also does not matter to them.
When it comes to pest control, you can also trust Barnevelders! They can do basic gardening through pecking. They can reduce pests on your farm.
Is It Costly To Take Care Of Barnevelder Chickens?
One of the most critical questions a poultryman can ask is how much it will take to own a Barnevelder. With that, ensure to check the following:
- Food – You can worry less about your Barnevelder’s food. If allowed to do so, they can search on their own. If you placed them on an open farm, they could eat things they can find in the surrounding area.
- Health – Barnevelder chickens usually do not get sick. They can adapt to drastic changes in climate. If it’s hot, giving them water and shade can make them survive. Other than that, minor health issues are easy to resolve.
- Coop or housing – Making a coop for Barnevelders is easy. You only need to make 4 feet houses for them. It is better to place them in a quiet place because of their docile features.
Taking care of a Barnevelder does not cost too much. They can help themselves alone at times. The only thing a poultryman should do is to ensure that they are in a safe place. It is also advisable to know how you can tell if your chicken is sick or not.
How Long Do Barnevelder Chickens Usually Live?
The average lifespan of Barnevelder chickens ranges from 4 to 7 years. If there are around 200 eggs a year, they can produce 1,400 eggs in their whole life span.
More Facts About Barnevelder Chickens
Here are more things you need to check out before owning a Barnevelder chicken.
- Predators can have difficulties catching a Barnevelder chicken. Since this breed has a unique pattern and color, they can hide in plants or such. Predators will not notice them anywhere.
- Barnevelder chickens stand out under the sunlight. Their feathers tend to glow and sparkle, especially the colors that are shiny. They are very attractive.
- Barnevelders are usually quiet, but they become noisy when danger comes in their way. They will most likely talk a lot and produce noises as danger alarms.
- Barnavelder chickens are poor flyers. They only have short wings, which makes them incapable of using them in flying.
- You can serve Barnevelder chickens on the table after six months. They can be table-ready after that span. Although, expect that usual chickens will produce more meat than Barnevelder chickens.
- Despite being immune to health issues, Barnevelder chickens can still encounter frostbites. Their combs are prone to getting this problem. Since they are usually in colder climates, they can have frozen combs.
- Barnevelder chickens can sometimes feel upset. This circumstance can be a result of giving them the wrong treats or foods.
- Barnevelder chickens can also find it easy to gain weight if you feed them healthy feeds. With that, it is crucial to know different foods that you can give to your Barnevelder chicken.
Owning a Barnevelder chicken can bring a lot of benefits. You can have a supply of high-quality eggs and chicken meat. You do not need to worry about them a lot because they cause no trouble.
Getting close to your Barnevelder chicken is also easy. They are kind, friendly, and calm. Keep in mind that you need to take good care of them so that you can prolong their lives.
What more can we ask from a Barnevelder chicken? They are one of the best chicken breeds that are perfect for everyone. They are ideal for farms, so owning them can be the best decision you can have.