|Country of origin||The Netherlands|
|PCGB||soft feather: heavy|
The Barnevelder is a Dutch breed of domestic chicken. It resulted from cross-breeding between local Dutch chickens and various "Shanghai" birds imported from Asia to Europe in the later part of the nineteenth century; these may have been of Brahma, Cochin or Croad Langshan type. It is named for the town and gemeente (municipality) of Barneveld, in Gelderland in the central Netherlands. The hens are good layers of large brown eggs and, unlike some other breeds, continue to lay well during winter.
In the 1850s Asian chickens began to arrive in Europe, where they were at first known as "Shanghai" chickens. These were initially cross-bred among themselves, and only later developed into breeds such as the Brahma, the Cochin and the Croad Langshan. From about 1865, some of these Shanghai chickens were cross-bred with local farmyard chickens in the area of Barneveld. Towards the end of the nineteenth century there may also have been some breeding with a type called Amerikaanse Nuthoenders ("American utility birds"), which showed some similarity to the American Wyandotte; it is not known what these birds were, or if they were really American. In about 1906 there may also have been some cross-breeding with British Buff Orpington stock.:99 According to Hans Schippers, the greatest influence on the characteristics of the Barnevelder was from the Langshan, which contributed hardiness, brown eggs, and good winter production.
The name Barnevelder was first used for birds shown at the Landbouwtentoonstelling or agricultural exhibition held in The Hague in 1911.:164 From about this time attempts were made to breed for consistent type and colour.:100 However, when the Dutch Poultry Club discussed whether to accept the Barnevelder as a new breed in 1919, it was found to be too variable.:105 In 1921 a breeders' association was formed, and the first standard was drawn up. The breed was recognised in 1923.
From about 1921 the Barnevelder was exported to the United Kingdom, where brown eggs were in demand. The birds were at first very variable, with single-laced, double-laced or – mostly – partridge plumage. Partridge and double-laced varieties were included in the British Poultry Standard; the double-laced became the principal variety.:62 There may have been some cross-breeding with Indian Game stock. The partridge variety was added to the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association in 1991.
The original and most well-known Barnevelder variety is the double-laced variety, which has a single vertical comb and yellow legs, but other varieties also exist. In standard-sized birds, the pattern is expressed on a brown (e^b/e^b) background. Only the females express the double-laced pattern, whereas the males are melanized black-breasted reds. The Barnevelder Club of the Netherlands recognizes the double-laced, double-laced blue, black, and white varieties in both large fowl and bantam versions. The club also recognizes the silver double-laced variety, but only the bantam version. They note that a few new varieties, such as the silver-black double-laced, are in development but are not yet officially recognised.
A Barnevelder hen lays some 175–200 brown eggs per year, with a weight of about 60–65 g.:12
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Barnevelder.|
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- APA recognised Breeds and Varieties: As of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Archived 4 November 2017.
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- Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Archived 12 June 2018.
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- P. L. Wijk, P. Ubbels (1931): The Origin of the Barnevelder and Welsummer Breeds; and Some Egg Production Figures of the Principal Dutch Utility Breeds. In: Percy A. Francis (1931). Report of Proceedings of the 4th World’s Poultry Congress at the Crystal Palace, London, England, July 22–30, 1930. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office.
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- Joseph Batty (1999) Barnevelder Fowl - History and Management of This Popular Breed Which Lays Deep Brown Eggs, 112 pp, Paperback, Beech Publishing House. ISBN 1-85736-353-1
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