Originating from Holland the Barnvelder is a placid bird. Their initial attraction was their large brown eggs and high numbers. The Barnvelder had orange eyes with their legs and feet being yellow. Only one of the four coloured varieties are accepted by the American Poultry Association. Today, Barnevelders are bred both as a utility breed and a show breed. They are medium heavy dual-purpose chickens laying a good number of eggs but also yielding a reasonable body weight. They are hardy birds and good foragers. While they became famous for their dark brown eggs in the first half of the 20th century most birds now appear to be in the hands of show breeders and not much attention has been given to maintaining the dark brown egg colour or to productivity with the focus being on external characteristics instead. Many flocks now lay eggs of a much lighter brown than before and are sometimes not quite as productive as befits their reputation. They are good winter layers and have a quiet disposition.
The Barnvelder varies from red – brown with a black tip to some black feathers on the tail and neck accompanied with a beetle green sheen.
|Hen||2.3 – 2.7 Kg|
Bantam Variety Barnvelder
Painting courtesy – Suz Craig & Ros Harvey: Roosters & Hens – for the appreciative eye, Ballyhay Books, 2006.
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