Anyone have or had Barnevelders?


10 Years
Aug 21, 2009
I am looking for a few backyard chicken breeds that are very docile, friendly and lay a decent amount of eggs. This will be my first real foray into chicken keeping
. I bought and read a dozen books, I took 3 classes and have now after joining this and another chicken group I have narrowed down a it few breeds. The top of my list is Barnevelders!

I am so enamored with Barnevelders
--double laced Barnevelders are so beautiful and lay dark brown eggs (color of eggs not as important to me but it would be great). Their temperament is always described as friendly, docile and sweet. They supposedly are more susceptible to Marek's disease so they must be vaccinated. My question is if you have them or had them what is your opinion? Are they worth the trouble of such a search? There are no breeders of good stock near Portland, Oregon that I can find (Lebanon hatchery is not an option after what I've read...)! If I get eggs then I will have to get a straight run and I cannot have roosters. I also only want a few as my flock will be limited to 4-6 hens. I am planning on getting an Australorp and Plymouth Rock as they have a great reputation too.

Thank you all so much for your opinions and for sharing your experience!!
You could try dropping some of them an email, and ask if they know of any active clubs, or any breeders in your area.
Yep, thanks-- that was my intentions!
I am hoping they know someone!! I am also thinking of trying to get someone who has the room to breed them to get the eggs from Gabbard Farms and offer to pay for the first dozen eggs as they are not cheap. The only problem there is to avoid breeding brother to sister so that's a factor too. I still want folks here to give their impressions if they have or have had them.
If you want barnevelders for dark eggs, don't get them. Barnies in this country do NOT lay dark eggs.

OTOH they are very beautiful birds. I like them a lot, but if you specifically want dark eggs go with a Wellie or a Marans.
Out of my 13 laying pullets (BRs, RIRs, WLHs, EEs, BSLs, & barnies), the 2 barnevelders were the only ones to go broody. Both of them went broody this last summer at 6 months of age - one of them even went broody a second time in the same summer (2 months later). One was a great broody and mother - the other wasn't.

These were both hatchery barnevelders - I have no idea if the breeder ones are as prone to broodiness.

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