Barnevelders

Our Barnevelder chickens basking in the sunshine
Double Laced Barnevelder hen in the snow
Barnevelder free ranging in the field

The Double Laced Barnevelder

is a large, soft feathered, docile and very good natured chicken. They are very tame and do not fly well. They are a very pretty bird with interesting markings and a beautiful iridescent beetle sheen on the feathers. Barnevelder chickens are a rare dual purpose breed producing about 180/200 large brown speckled eggs per year. A Barnevelder hen averages between 6.5 and 8.5 lb and the cockerels about 10/14 lb.

Barnevelders are good with children and make excellent backyard chickens. If handled when young they can be very tame. They adapt well to both free range and urban environments. Barnevelders are excellent foragers and feed themselves well if allowed to roam.

The Double Laced Barnevelder is a wonderful bird that has a good reputation as a winter layer. To my knowledge this breed produces the most consistent supply of eggs year round without any artificial light. I chose them specifically because they are hardy birds with small combs that tolerate the cold.

Types of Barnevelder:

There are a great many types of barnevelder , alot of them are in the hands of dedicated breeders and not really readily obtainable . Often the rarer types are poor examples of the breed. 

Most of the dates may not be particularly accurate, unless official ratification dates by poultry standards. Also If you are looking at re-creating any of the breeds you will need to quite a lot of your own research as the birds used in the production of others are heresay reporting or in some cases guesswork. 

This is how we re-created the Silver Double Laced Large fowl Barnevelder.

Double-laced (large fowl) . Bred in Barneveld, Netherlands in the late 19th / early 20th century. 

Double-laced (Bantam) Recognized in 1931 in Germany. Bred from a 'petite' double-laced hen and a Bantam Rhode Island Red cock, followed by crossings with Bantam Golden-laced Wyandottes, Bantam German Langshan, and Bantam Indian Game (Cornish).

Double-laced Blue (large fowl) 

Double-laced Blue (Bantam) Originally bred in the Netherlands. Bred again in Germany from a Bantam double-laced Barnevelder cock and a Bantam blue-laced Wyandotte hen; recognized in 1987.

Blue (large fowl) Recognized in Germany in 1997. Bred from Black Barnevelder and Blue Niederrheiner. Not recognized in the Netherlands.

Silver (large fowl) Appears to be a recognised variety in the British & Australian Poultry Standards. Single-laced.

Silver-black double-laced (Bantam) Developed in the first years of the new millennium by Dutch breeder Bert Beugelsdijk from crosses of double-laced Barnevelder bantams and Silver-pencilled Wyandotte bantams. Recognised in 2009.

Silver-black double-laced (large fowl) Developed by the Dutch breeders Gerrit Simmelink and Cor Tensen from crosses of a large Silver-pencilled Wyandotte rooster and large double-laced Barnevelder hens. Recognised in 2013. Also recognized in New Zealand Poultry Standards 2013.

Silver Blue barnevelder. Cross of the Silver and blue double laced.

Black (large fowl) 1920s. Black came as a sport from the partridge. Black Plymouth Rock and Black Wyandottes were crossed in to achieve pure black.

Black (Bantam) Recognized in 1954 in Germany. Bred from Black Barnevelders and Bantam Black Wyandottes in Germany.

White (large fowl) 1934. Occasionally occurring recessive white birds were crossed with white Plymouth Rocks and White Leghorn to produce White Barnevelders.

White (Bantam) Recognized in 1960 in Germany. Bred from Black Barnevelders and Bantam White Wyandottes in Germany.

Autosexing barred (large fowl). 

Autosexing barred (Bantam) Recognized in Germany in 1988. Bred in Germany with the aid of autosexing Bantam Bielefelder. Bantam Niederrheiner and Bantam Italiener (German-type Leghorn) were also crossed in.

Dark brown (large fowl) Recognized in 1982 in Germany. Bred from Black Barnevelders, Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshires in Germany.

Dark brown (Bantam) Recognized in 1987 in Germany. Bred from Bantam Black Barnevelders, Bantam Rhode Island Reds and Bantam New Hampshires in Germany.

Partridge (large fowl) Partridge Barnevelders were still kept in Britain in the 1990s, possibly still derived from early imports. Available in silver and gold.

Chamois(Large fowl & Bantam) Double laced feather pattern of gold-mahogany and white, recognized in New Zealand Poultry Standards 2013.

Our barnevelders

are allowed to roam free across about 2.5 acres from first light until they roost. The flock consists of 27 hens and 4 unrelated roosters. We are mad about our Barnevelders but we do have other hens and are enthusiastic about chickens in general. We are great advocates of chicken keeping and their place in a self-sufficient society is beyond doubt.

Watch out for new pages on all different types of chickens coming soon.

The top picture shows a few of our adult Barnevelders and a few young pullets basking in the June sunshine.
The second is one of our young pullets roaming around in the bitter January Cold .
A fully grown Hen can be seen free-ranging in the fields in the final image.Chickens are omnivores and will both graze on a wide variety of greenery and insects. They will even eat mice and frogs! From our experience chickens are happiest when allowed to wander, find their own food and will spend about 40% of their time scratching around.

 

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