There are three distinct breeds of the Belgian poultry variety. These include:
The Belgian Bearded d’Anvers originates from Antwerp and is classed as a bantam. Unlike other bantams, the Belgian variety is not derived from a larger counterpart. In most cases bantams are miniaturised forms of other larger birds. The Bearded d’Anvers is a purely ornamental breed, kept either as pets or by poultry fanciers for showing. The hens of the breed are very friendly to humans, however the roosters may be aggressive to people. Most Bearded d’Anvers’ live longer and healthier if kept free-range or in an open space with no crowding. Its plumage can by one of fourteen varieties recognised in competition, ranging from Porcelain to Quail (one of the more common for the breed). It is a diminutive bird with a large, round breast that juts forward and an arching tail. As its name implies, the d’Anvers has a profuse beard of feathers that covers the earlobes. It has a small rose comb and small or non-existent wattles. Temperamentally, the breed is very amicable, and bears confinement well. Hens lay small white eggs and will go broody.
Black, Cuckoo and White. Muffs cover the ear lobes. The Belgian’s eye colour varies from black, shades of brown to reddish. Wattles are small or absent.
The Belgian Bearded d’Uccle is also known as ‘Booted Bantam’ and originated from Belgium as early as the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Following the success of this particular breed, the d’Uccle was eagerly bred in the UK. The Belgian Bearded D’Uccle is renowned for being a calm bird. Bearded d’Uccle eggs are notably small and are coated with creamy or tinted colouring. The breed is known for being very broody, and a typical hen can lay her eggs over a two-week period, though others have taken as long as three weeks (21 days). In the US they are frequently referred to as Millefleur or Millies, in spite of the fact that Millefleur is only one of their colour variants and it also appears in other breeds, Such as Leghorns, Dutch Bantams, Araucanas, Americanas, and more.
The Belgian Bearded de Watermael is the creation of Antoine & Oscar Dresse. This particular variant explored whether it was possible to create a miniaturised variant designed for everyday backyard production. The de Watermael only weighs half a kilo and can on average produce 120 (40g) eggs annually. It must be pointed out that this is exceptional given that a chicken averaging 2.5 kg in weight only usually lays eggs weighing approximately 60g.
Black, white, gold
|Rooster||690 – 689 g|
|Hen||570 – 680 g|
References – The Belgian Bantam Club of Australia