• Annie

All About the Barnevelder Breed


I remember when I first started out with chickens. I really didn’t pay much attention to breeds; I just wanted the eggs for our family. As time went on, I realized that there are so many wonderful chicken breeds out there. I started dreaming about adding to my flock and which breeds I wanted the most. This is the reason my flock is up to 47 now! Hahaha!


At the top of my list of ‘chickens to add to my flock’ was the Barnevelder. They are gorgeous, docile chickens that lay a darker brown egg. They are not aggressive and a perfect chicken for younger kids. I started out with what I thought was 4 hens.


Barnevelders come straight run because you can’t sex them at hatch. I researched old wives’ tales on how to determine what I was grabbing out of the bin at our local farm supply store. Let’s just say, my sexing skills were lacking or the old wives’ tales didn’t work! Ha! I ended up with 3 roosters and only 1 hen. I rehomed the gorgeous roosters and kept my sweet Georgia. Let’s talk a little bit more about the beautiful Barnevelder breed.

Barnevelders originate from the Netherlands. They were bred for dual purpose (eggs and meat), but most people look for them because they lay “chocolate” eggs. They will lay anywhere from 180-200 eggs per year. They are quiet, active and docile birds who will most definitely not be at the top of the pecking order. Georgia (my Barnevelder) doesn’t mind keeping to herself and has sticks with the chickens lower in the pecking order. Barnevelders have a single comb and red earlobes. They are dark brown and have beautiful double laced plumage with hints of iridescent green, violet and bronze coloring.


Georgia’s beautiful feathers


Barnevelders are winter hearty and do well in the summer heat as well. They will go broody but aren’t super hard to break. They are very nurturing and are simply a super sweet chicken. The roosters are docile as well and have been known to help raise and nurture baby chicks. Honestly? If you’re looking for a great breed that is docile, great layers and beautiful, you should absolutely add this breed to your flock! The eggs are great, but the chicken snuggles are even better! Barnevelders are a medium sized breed with hens reaching 5.5 to 6 pounds, while roosters can be a pound or two more.



Raising backyard chickens is an incredible delight! And when the backyard is sprinkled with chickens of every color, it makes me happy. Our egg basket is beautiful and we’re feeding ourselves healthy food. Life is good, chickens make it better!


Until next time,

–The Wing Lady

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