We took in some Barnevelde chickens, when the owner could no longer look after them, they are now enjoying life in the Donkey Paddock, Eastleach.
The Barnevelder was developed by the Dutch in the town of Barneveld. The intention was to develop a hen that was both hardy and would produce eggs that were brown in colour. Also one that would be able to be sold in the UK. The breeds that made up the Barnevelder were very carefully chosen. A Dutch fowl crossed with a Langshan, Brahma and Cochin. Most of the Barnevelders have long disappeared. The ones still around do lay quite well as long as they are not allowed to get fat!
They are lazy chickens! So for that reason they do need to be kept free range so that they are well exercised. The chicks produced are yellow in colour and are quite slow at growing their darker feathers which come later. The hens do go broody often but this makes them a docile chicken and a good mother.
There are several standard colours of Barnevelder. Black, double laced, partridge and silver. All varieties have very prominent orange eyes and very yellow legs. They are hardy birds and good layers of large brown eggs.