The Barnevelder

My Barnevelders in the sunshine

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 althought the breed standards are quite strict on the size and weight of showbirds.


Bird Flu – FAQ and some practical advice for Avian Influenza.

About bird flu:

Avian influenza viruses can be divided into highly pathogenic (HPAI) and low pathogenic (LPAI) strains based on its ability to cause disease in poultry. Low pathogenic avian influenza is a natural infection of waterfowl that may cause minimal to no signs of disease in domestic poultry and wild birds and is not a serious threat. Highly pathogenic strains like H5N8 causes severe disease in domestic poultry with a high death rate.

Stop chickens from being stolen

Advice for stopping poultry thefts.

We all know the empty feeling of looking in vain into an empty coop in the morning. This article deals with the finding of open doors after the thief has been rather than piles of feathers left by predators.

During the course of my looking into poultry thefts I have discovered that:

Dictionary of Poultry words and terms:

Glossary of Poultry words and terms:

This is I hope a comprehensive alphabetical list of the terms and slang of poultry and chicken keeping.  If I have missed anything or you have any local or slang poultry terms you would like to see included please let me know.


ABA - American Bantam Association.

Abdomen - area between the keel and the pubic or hip bones.

Abdominal cavity – the internal cavity of the poultry that contains the majority of the internal organs.

Abdominal capacity - the evaluation of a hen giving an indication of the state of egg production. Determined by using the hand to estimate the distance between the ends of the pubic bones and between the tips of the pubic bones and the end of the keel. Also an assessment by a judge at a poultry show.

Acclimatization - long-term physiological adaptation resulting in increased tolerance to repeated or continuous exposure to multiple climatic stressors, usually under natural conditions.

Acute - a condition that is relatively short and severe, but not chronic.

Adaptation - physiological, behavioural, genetic or other changes that favour the welfare, survival and reproduction of an animal in a particular environment.

Additive - a substance added to the diet that is not a natural nutritive ingredient.  Could include medications, pigments, flavourings, enzymes, prebiotics or probiotics.

Additive gene - a gene which has greater expression in the homozygous state than in the heterozygous state or which influences degree rather than kind of expression.

Adjuvant - additive to vaccine to enhance its effectiveness.

Air cell - the air space between the two shell membranes, usually at the large end of the egg unless it has becomes detached during shipping or rough handling.

Aetiology - causes of a disease.

Albumen - the white of the egg, which is actually clear and only goes white when cooked. The albumen is built up in layers in the oviduct and is mostly protein and water. It is the albumen that becomes the chick during incubation.

Alektorophobia - the fear of chickens, or sometimes it’s not the bird but the flapping of wings. (Also Ornithophobia – fear of birds).

Silver Double Laced Barnevelder Large Fowl

The large fowl Silver Laced Barnevelder is a relatively recent addition to the Barnevelder stable. Good specimens are rare in the UK. The most common fault is the red leakage present in the feathers which causes a saddle of smudginess and discolouration from a subtle yellow red all the way through to full mahogany in some cases.

A young silver laced chick:

silver laced barnevelder chick.JPG

Blue Double Laced Barnevelders

The Blue Laced Barnevelder is a sport of the standard type where the black in the lacing of the feathers is replaced with Blue. It is relatively rare and there is often considerable wastage in its production as blue birds do not breed true. I have also found it better to use a blue splash male to breed over gold hens rather than the other way around.

My birds are shown below. I use a full Blue or blue splash Cockerel over gold hens. This produces all blue laced chicks that are consistent and of similar colour. The blue gene rule applies to Barnevelders as it does in other breeds.

Normally with blue poultry if you breed a -

What does a show barnevelder look like?

White barnevelder bantam with winning rosettes

A question I get asked regularly is: Just what do show winning Barnevelders look like? It helps to have a profile of winning birds to work towards, an whilst I know what I do and how i select my birds, I don't show as much as I'd like to.

A great number of the birds you see on this page are shown under the Dutch breed standard.

This White Barnevelder Bantam with the rosettes and certificates is courtesy of Barend Bruinhorst, Barnevelder Club of the Netherlands.


How to Choose an Incubator

Choosing the right incubator for your particular need not be a daunting task, my advice is to make a quick list of what you require before spending what is likely to be quite a chunk of money. You can buy one or build your own. Self building is easier than you might expect but I would steer you away from the fire risk that is light bulbs in polyboxes.


An Introduction into next years breeding stock of Barnevelders and bantam Wyandottes.

The Silver Laced Barnevelder 

This is one of out 16 week old silver laced barnevelder hens for next years breeding stock. The eggs are still a little light in colour but we will continue to select for dark eggs. The Silver and the lacing is excellent. Please bear in mind if you order the eggs or birds for next year that our barnevelders are selected to European standards and are darker in the chest than UK birds.


Storing Hatching Eggs

Most of us take great care with our incubation but how much care do we take with egg storage before the eggs are placed into an incubator or under a broody hen? I prefer to avoid storage for any time if I can get away with it but sometimes it is unavoidable.

This list of points to help you store your hatching eggs in the correct way before incubation.


Setting up a brooder

So just what is a brooder and what is it for?

A brooder is a self-contained area that provides a warm and safe environment for chicks. The extra warmth is supplied by a heat lamp or electric hen like the one keeping these chicks warm below. A more up-to-date option is the electric panel, which consists of a heated plate on legs. The chicks go under this for warmth, as they would with a hen, some even have a shroud around the edges to mimic the hens feathers.

These Light Sussex chicks pop from under a brooder for food and water.



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