The history of the d' Anver
- Breed Purpose:
- Climate Tolerance:
- All Climates
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Light Brown
- Breed Temperament:
- Aggressive,Friendly,Easily handled
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- This Breed has 14 recognized varieties: Quail, Black, Self Blue, Blue, Mottled, Cuckoo, Mille Fleur, Blue Quail, Buff, BBR,
Porcelain, White, Colombian and Buff Colombian.
- Breed Size:
Belgian Bearded D' Anver
Various miniature fowl are known to have existed in parts of the Netherlands and Belgium for
several centuries, although there are no written accounts prior to the early seventeenth
In the seventeenth century the Dutch artist, Albert Cuyp. is acknowledged to have painted a
hen with the distinctive Quail markings, which later became associated with the d'Anvers.
Also, René Delin, a noted animal painter had in his possession a pamphlet edited in Paris in
1617, which depicted a bearded chicken from the Pays-Bas. Sailors from Malaya were also
reported to have imported what was to become d'Anvers into Antwerp towards the end of the
It wasn't until a French book, "Le Poullailler", was published in the mid nineteenth century
that a definite description of a Barbu d'Anvers can be found. There is also a good description
of a Cuckoo Barbu d'Anvers in a book by La Perre de Roo, written in 1881. By the late
nineteenth century the Antwerp Bearded Bantam (as the d'Anvers was then called) was
becoming quite well established, with Cuckoo being the most common color, followed by
They became more popular in the 1890's when poultry shows were being staged regularly.
One show in 1895 in Brussels saw fifty-one Barbu d'Anvers exhibited. Then at Liege in 1895 a
large number, mainly cuckoos and blacks, were exhibited. Expert breeders around Brussels
became associated with the "new" breed and the birds were culled more heavily. Many birds
were bought and sold from the Sunday poultry auctions at the Great Market of Brussels.
Michel van Gelder is credited with creating the excellent type and most of the color varieties
that we see today. He was a wealthy fancier from Brussels who searched Belgium, France.
Holland and Germany for bearded bantams in order to obtain excellent stock to establish the
breed. In 1904 the "Club Aviucole du Barbu Nain" (Bearded Bantam Club) was founded in
Brussels and soon afterwards the Antwerp Bearded Bantam (the Barbu d'Anvers) greatly
increased in popularity and numbers, and became the national breed of Belgium