Sexing Barnevelders

Barnevelder chicks

Sexing the Barnevelder    

Sexing some chicks can be notoriously difficult and this is particularly true of the Barnevelder. Barnevelder chicks are not auto-sexing so the only way to sex them accurately is to allow to grow until their secondary characteristics start to show. I would go so far as to say it is almost impossible to sex them accurately until they are between 12 and 16 weeks of age although some males show up earlier than this.

Feather sexing barnevelders - There are, however, several different ways of getting an idea of the sex of your barnevelders and they all involve watching the chicks closely to see how they develop. In the first picture you can see the pullets are growing feathers on their shoulders and the wings are feathered but the male has only a few feathers on his wing with several bald patches showing especially on the "shoulders". Pullets tend to feather up much more quickly and completely whilst the males tend to have bald patches. We have found that watching feather developement is about 65% accurate. The Cockerels grow tails quicker than the pullets, making the pullets more feathery with a slightly rounded shape. The cockerels look more pointy.

male_and_female_comparison_blue_barnevelder.JPG

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Identifying your Barnevelder

So how do you know if you have a real barnevelder ?

There are a few types of chickens and even some hybrids that look a bit or quite a lot like Barnevelders. We recently had someone come to us who bought some eggs that were sold to them as Barnevelders and they turned out like the hen you see in the picture, with rose combs and incomplete lacing. The first clue should have been the cream coloured eggs.

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The Barnevelder Breed Standard

The Barnevelder Breed Standard

The breed standard for the barnevelder was first written in 1921 and has changed a little since. The first barnevelder to be standardized and the most common is the double laced barnevelder. There are now six colours of barnevelder, White, brown and black as well as blue double laced and silver in both bantam and full size. The breed standard varies depending on where you are in the world. For an overview of the barnevelder breed click here.

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Barnevelder Gallery

Chicken gallery - pictures of out chickens. Click on an image to launch the gallery and see the pictures at their full resolution. This page is best avoided if you are using a slow connection, some of the full size images run to 12MB.

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