Barnvelder Chicken Breed: Care Guide, Egg Color, Health Issues

The Barnevelder Chicken breed, is a breed which originates from the small town of Barneveld in the Netherlands, this breed has captured the hearts of poultry enthusiasts for its striking appearance and more than delightful temperament. This breed is the result of a happy union between local Dutch chicken breeds and some imported exotic feathered friends from Asia, Barnevelder chickens are, to say the least, an epitome of charm and functionality.

What is the origin of Barnevelder Chickens?

During the early 20th century in Barneveld, Netherlands. Local poultry keepers are housing their native chicken breeds, until some “Shanghai” birds from Asia – likely the majestic Brahma, Cochin or Croad Langshan – are introduced into the mix. Cue the creation of a new breed! Barnevelder chickens, after a bit of trial and error (a whole lot of it, actually), finally got their big break when they were accepted into the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1923. Fun fact, it took them another three years to be standardized with their now-famous double-laced feather pattern.

What colors are Barnevelder Chickens?

Let’s talk feathers, shall we? Barnevelder chickens are an absolutely beautiful breed of chicken. They have this double-laced pattern going on, which means each feather is flaunting two colors, typically brown with a black arrowhead shape but they come in a whole variety of colors, this breed adds a high level of fashion into your chicken coop.

Their color variations include the following, with some being more rare than others.

Barnevelder Chicken Colors: 

    1.  Black
    2.  Doubled Laced (Golden Laced, Silver Laced, & Blue Double-Laced)
    3.  Partridge (Brown)
    4.  Silver
    5.  Blue Splash (Rare)
    6.  Brown Laced (Rare)
    7.  White (Rare)

Barnevelder Chicken’s Weight:
Roosters: weigh between 6-8 lbs
Hens: weigh between 5-7 lbs

How Many Eggs Do Barnevelder Chickens Lay?

You might be thinking, “Okay, but what about the eggs?” Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! These ladies are not part of the early bloomers that start laying between 5-6 months, in fact they actually take their sweet time to start laying eggs finally producing at around 8-10 months old. They’re also not setting any records for their egg production once they do finally start laying either, however you’ll very likely be able to get a decent 3 to 4 eggs per week, which ain’t too shabby! So, we’re talking about 150-200 eggs annually per bird, though sometimes they surprise you with a bit more.

What Color Are Barnevelder Chicken Eggs?

The Barnevelder Chicken lays a very interesting and unique egg that comes in a dark brown and almost chocolatey color. The eggs have this rich, chocolate brown color that just makes you wanna eat them (I don’t recommend just snatching them out of your nesting box and scarfing them down however). Some even have cute little speckles! If you manage to get your hands on a purebred Barnevelder, you’re in for that chocolatey goodness. The downside is that most hatchery birds are likely to give you a lighter shade of brown egg, but they’re just as awesome.

How Is The Barnevelder Chicken’s Temperament

Imagine having a backyard chicken that’s both friendly and low-maintenance. (Sounds like a dream, right?) Well, The Barnevelder chickens make it come true. They are calm, gentle, and let’s not forget, super sociable. The massive perk is that they don’t make very much noise, so your neighbors won’t be throwing a fit early in the morning. They are also known to be incredibly good with kids, and even the roosters have a reputation of being pretty chill. These birds are not going to win any marathons though; they’re a bit on the lazy side. So don’t expect them to be doing laps around your yard.

These birds also appear to be somewhere in the middle of the pecking order, so keep an eye out for bullying due to their slower speed.

Health Issues with Barnevelder Chickens

Barnevelder chickens have one major down side when it comes to health – they are increasingly susceptible to Marek’s disease as chicks, this is due to higher levels of inbreeding used to produce and maintain that beautiful double laced feather pattern. Marek’s Disease is a is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads rapidly from infected to uninfected birds. This disease can cause all sorts of problems within your birds such as tumors and paralysis. My advice? Make sure you get vaccinated chicks. Apart from that, they’re robust creatures but do keep an eye out for pesky lice, like you would for most breeds.

Perks of Adding Barnevelder Chickens to Your Flock

So, to wrap it up, if you’re on the lookout for a chicken breed that’s equal parts gorgeous and functionality, then, my friend, The Barnevelder Chicken is very possibly your bird. They’ve got the looks, the personality, and the eggs! Just remember due to them being slightly slower than other breeds, and somewhere in the middle of the pecking order it’s important to introduce them slowly into your flock to avoid any unnecessary drama.

In addition, they are fairly adaptable when it comes to different climates, and their ability to lay a decent number of dark brown, almost chocolate-colored eggs adds an exotic flair to your egg basket. Just remember to get vaccinated chicks and keep an eye out for lice, and you’ll have yourself a pretty happy and stylish flock.


Oden is a homesteader from Southern, Illinois who's always had a love for avian creatures. He started Life Of A Farm as a means of helping connect newcomers to the homesteading lifestyle to information they need.

By Oden

Oden is a homesteader from Southern, Illinois who's always had a love for avian creatures. He started Life Of A Farm as a means of helping connect newcomers to the homesteading lifestyle to information they need.

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