According to Hans Schippers, the Dutch authority on the Barnevelder breed, development of this breed started around 1850 and 1875...

General Information

Breed Purpose
Dual Purpose
Climate Tolerance
All Climates
Egg Productivity
Egg Size
Egg Color
Breed Temperament
Friendly, Calm, Bears confinement well
Breed Colors/Varieties
Only the dark brown, double laced bird is available in the US.
Breed Size
Large Fowl

According to Hans Schippers, the Dutch authority on the Barnevelder breed, development of this breed started around 1850 and 1875 when Cochin, Malay, Brahma and Croad Lanshan chickens arrived from Asia and were crossed with local fowl. One particular strain of brown egg laying fowl were similar to Black Cochins in appearance and were kept as a meat birds. Around 1885 these birds were crossed with Brahmas and the resulting offspring of this cross was crossed with Langshan. In 1898 "American utility birds", a rough version of the Golden Wyandotte were crossed into the developing breed, followed in 1906 by the addition of Buff Orpingtons. The Croad Langshan continued to have the biggest influence and contributed hardiness, brown eggs and good winter egg production.

A similar account, without the influence of the "American utility birds", was given in 1930 by P. L. Wijk, District State Poultry Expert, Apeldoom and P. Ubbels, State Poultry Consultant, Beekbergen, The Netherlands, in his contribution on The Origin of the Barnevelder and Welsummer Breeds. The authors say that:

"In 1899 it was ascertained that the fowls on the farms in the neighbourhood of Barneveld showed some uniformity. This could be explained by the fact that poultry keepers always obtained their setting eggs from the farmers who came to market with the finest eggs, and who as a rule used dark-coloured cocks for breeding."

According to Wijk & Ubbels, efforts were made to obtain more uniformity in colour and type from 1910 onwards and the name Barnevelder dates from that time. An Association of Barneveld Breeders was established in 1921 which fixed the standard.
Indian Game (Cornish) may also have been crossed into the Barnevelders in Britain, sometime after their importation in the 1920s.

The breed gained worldwide recognition and was exported to many countries because of its ability to lay approximately 180-200 large brown eggs per year.

The double-laced (red/gold) form was accepted to the APA standard in 1991.

Barnevelder egg

Barnevelder chicks

Barnevelder juveniles

Barnevelder hen

Barnevelder rooster

For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
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Latest reviews

Pros: Calm. Large, dual purpose, fast growth, independant but creates strong bonds with chickens they are raised with (will stand up for them).
Cons: Hard to find nice crisp silver lacing. Few breeders. Must get Mareks disease vaccine as chicks.
Pros: Not flighty, quiet,friendly, regal look, Black color looks green in sun light. Eggs are Medium tan with speckles.
Cons: Not the best laying hens. 8 months to get the first egg, Egg is smaller than average sized large egg.
Pretty, friendly, and not flighty. I was shocked by the very late laying age. Not the best choice if you want a reliable productive layer of large eggs. I wish I had know before buying about the very late average laying age. 8 months is my experience but many say up to 10 months to get the first egg.
BV Tiny 6 mon.jpg
Purchase Price
day old chicks $10 each
Purchase Date
july 2018
Pros: Reliable layer, clever, busy, talkative, utterly awesome digger
Cons: mine likes to be queen of cluckingham palace and everyone else better do what she says
A very nice chicken with beautiful feathers (mine is double-laced gold). However, my Barny does not have the yellow legs they're supposed to have and nor are her eggs dark brown. So I guess there's some other type of chicken in her family tree. She is full of personality though and loves to dig. Digging is her very favourite thing to do. She thinks a two hour dig to find one bug is a great way to spend time. She's not hungry (they eat proper layer food all the time and treats every day too), she simply loves to dig. Very good at tolerating the heat and takes good care of herself, even drank the water with levamisole in it.
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I'm looking for a rooster to breed with my Barnevelder hen. She is beautiful! I hope I can find one because I would love to have more! She is really friendly and calm.
yh they are the best breed! Mine are called Katie and Emily and they are best friends :). You can find cockerels for free or really cheap on or local breeders sometimes give them away for free. Remember to make sure they are vaccinated against mareks as i have had problems with that in the past and it is terrible! It killed my hens Lorelai, Eliza, Emelia, Lottie and Anna.
I agree re the Barnelders. I have 2 as well as others Sussex/Barn cross. The B's seem more intelligent too. The crossbreeds are louder, one starts howling and screeching at 5:30 every morning but when I say hushup, she does! The B seem more easily affected by any change and nervous so that is a downside but I think she just gets overwhelmed by the others.
Oh, I did forget to mention, I have not ate one of these birds, so can't comment on the meat aspect of them.
It is nice to hear about the rooster. My girls are good moms buy they don't stand up for themselves very much. She did go after my Specks, but they also backed away. One of the other Barnies came over, she growled at her, she growled back and mom backed off, so I do worry how well she will protect the chicks. When I pick them up she growls and acts as if she is going to come at me, but it's mostly show. She won't get to close.
I haven't tried them in the meat dept yet, but had been curious about that. I want a heat tolerant bird that can give meat and eggs and reproduce. They seem to fit my standards for a backyard keeper than most of the other comparisons I've done. We bought some turkens chicks that both ended up being roos and they were delicious. Anyone else had Barnies dressed for the table? What is your take on them? It is hard to find a heat tolerant bird that will brood(and they do, 2 out of my 6, a pretty good ratio for me), provide meat and eggs, and to have a decent rooster. The other bird I have looked at is the Turken, but I haven't had their eggs, and the downside is every one I've had gets the pox, I don't want to have to vaccinate all of them every time, and around here the vaccine is not easy to find, I have to order it, and cause it's live it's $$ to ship. Specks are great mostly as pets. I love them, but they lay small eggs and my hubby chooses the other eggs over theirs, and they struggle with the heat more than I thought they would. And bc they are so sweet, I don't want to cull them for dinner. My EE's, I'll be worrying about them this summer, mouths are already open wide and it's not even 95 yet.
That's my input, thanks pysankigirl for your input on roosters and meat. That helps a bit.
a sprinke a day keeps the heat away :
love the barnies for the table if fed for it, very tasty, smaller than other birds, meat birds but taste great:
Update: This is their first summer as full grown adult hens. I live in Central TX. They seem to do well with the heat, better than my EE's and Specks, that's good. The down side is their laying has dropped significantly, out of 6 they laid 17 eggs in 7 days. That's not great at all. Compared to the EE's averaged 5 a week, and my Specks, wow...a whopping 22 for 4 hens. 3 out of my 6 Barnies went broody, a let 2 hatch eggs and one was slightly below average mom but she did okay, and the other was excellent. The chicks are 6 weeks now and she still looks out after them. Still they lay beautiful eggs, 2 of them lay speckled, and on the larger size. My post earlier was in the winter, when they gave lots of eggs, and summers are long here. So, are they earning their stay here? I'm not so sure now, but they are pretty to look at and don't cause a bit of trouble. I may have to at least keep one or 2 around.
I really enjoy the Barnevelders. I was very surprised at how friendly the hens have been, and the roosters are very well behaved. The eggs from my girls range from a bronzey brown to a lighter brown with speckles.
Hi - Nice to read your review.
My Husband is buying some of these birds on Saturday and this is a new breed for us.
We've kept hens for many years - just not this breed.
Are they good amongst children? Are the Cockerels very protective over their hens?
I think they certainly look lovely and am looking forward to meeting them.
Try reading the profile coming from Totally different opinion than what you just posted. Barnevelders are very, very docile and do well with other breeds. Curious whether you bought hatchery or breeder stock?
They're eggs are not as dark because they keep on breeding them and as they do this over generations they're egg color lightens up.
Yes, inbreeding using the same stock without adding another bloodline from properly bred stock can make any breed inferior to its true characteristics. Unfortunate you and chicken wisperer have experienced these issues as they are not true to the real qualities this breed has to offer.
Excuse me Our Rooster but your last statement is simple nonsense. Out-crossing would come nearer to causing quality problems than proper and consistent inbreeding. Read up on your genetics...LOL
Well Turk, 2 bloodlines from the same breed stemming from different breeders is always better than constant inbreeding within your own stock and burning it out over time if you know the proper procedure as you state. This is why good breeders cull out the inferior stock from their offspring. It is all about genetics.
O.R. ....I will not make this a war of words but the theory you put forth is directly contravened by every successful breeder on this site. Have a good day...I'm out of this one!!
Roost - that's probably the difference in common stock and breeder/show quality stock for ya. Mine were hatchery stock. Hatcheries are just a mixed bag - never know what the stock will be like. A lot of people have agreed but I've also had some that have sung praise over for the breed - it's a shame I got hung with the stock I did, you definitely can't say these birds aren't lookers at the very least.

Sorry, but I've got to disagree. Inbreeding continuously degenerates the genetic integrity of any animal as it amplifies that stocks weaknesses, just as it does their strengths.
Back in for one more...what you say is true unless you breed to strengths and be willing to cull in the most ruthless fashion. After somewhere around the 9th generation, things come back to the bright side.

Check out beagles that are bred for research and rabbits, rats and other mammals. That's well within my area of study....but you will believe what you will to ...out again!! lolol

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