I was born and raised in the Netherlands, or as most people call it Holland, not very far from the town of Barneveld. Having raised chickens for egg production for the last 35 years I had to bring in some pure BARNEVELDER hatching eggs on one of my many trips to the Netherlands some years ago. They hatched out beautifully and I have since enlarged my flock of pure DUTCH BARNEVELDER chickens and dropped all my other birds.
Barnevelders are available in large and bantam sizes and are double-laced; however I just raise the large birds. They have an upright stance, with a compact well-balanced body and a broad breast. Short wings are carried high as is the neat head topped with a medium sized, single comb. They possess a docile character, and are quite good layers of medium to dark brown eggs.
The Barnevelder chicken was developed in the Dutch town of Barneveld beginning around 1850. The breed came about as the Barneveld breeders realized the value of crossing. They crossed the local Barnevelder chicken with imported stock such as Cochins, Malays, Brahmas and Langshans and the egg production improved tremendously. Even Buff Orpingtons were used to develop a better breed. Their great break came, however, in 1921 when they were exhibited at the first World Poultry Congress of the World Poultry Science Association WPSA and exhibition in The Hague, the Netherlands.
|"Johan, I just wanted to let you know the chicks I raised from your eggs are without doubt 10 times the quality of what I got from the hatcheries. I'm sure that is no surprise to you. I would love to be on some kind of waiting list for eggs or day old chicks in hopes of getting some more. Hope '08 was a good one for you."
In those days, brown eggs were preferred to white ones, so the new Barnevelder eggs had to be brown. By the beginning of the 20th century the Barnevelder had egg production of around 180 - 200 eggs a year. Later the inhabitants of Barneveld always claimed that their chickens laid 313 eggs if the year had 365 days. That was because they were very much a Church going community who rested on Sundays and expected their chickens to do likewise 365 - 52!
The Barnevelder is, without any doubt, the most famous poultry breed of the Netherlands, where the word Barnevelder is almost synonymous to chicken.
They have a single vertical comb and yellow legs. The breed is recognized in 4 colorings: double laced, blue double laced, black and white. Barnevelders are excellent layers and poor flyers. They are placid and easily tamed.
Farmer Johan's family would like to extend thanks to another farmer who is trying to keep Farmer Johan's work and memory alive, offering to ship fertile eggs to interested customers. She has 11 pure Johan Barnevelder chickens and is breeding them with a 3/4 Johan rooster, trying hard to maintain a near-pure Johan line of Barnevelders. Please contact Donna by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit her website at www.fossilrockfarm.com.