have the wonderful double-laced partridge and silver-black double-laced Barnvelder chicken. My chickens are full size fowl. My original stock was obtained from show quality stock through Eddie Delaney. Genetics of the double-laced partridge come from Karen DePews closed line at Fossil Rock Farms and TSL Ranch. The Genetics of the silver-black double-laced come from Donna Beattie and TLS Ranch. They have wonderful double lacing. Barnvelders are often affectionately referred to as ‘Barnies’. They are solid foragers, docile and friendly with other chickens. They tolerate confinement well. The hens very rarely go broody.
The double laced partridge hen has black plumage with a double lacing of brown. Each feather has rings of alternating brown and black, ending with a final black edge. The rooster has a black breast and tail and luxurious plumage with splashes of iridescent green, bronze and violet. They are considered by some to be rare but have had increased in popularity and are closer to moderately rare. They are available in standard and bantam sizes. I have the standard size.
The only variety recognized in the United States by the American Poultry Association is the Double Laced Partridge. They were accepted by the American Poultry Association’s American Standard of Perfection in the Continental class in 1991. Other colors are recognized in Europe such as Black, Blue Laced, and White/Silver. Other color varieties include: Black, White, Auto-sexing barred, Dark brown, Partridge, Double-laced Blue, Blue, Silver, Double-Laced Silver and Chamois. I also have the Double-Laced Silver available.
The Barnvelder is considered a dual purpose bird. They are excellent for egg laying as well as for the table. They lay between 175–200 dark brown eggs per year, 3-4 eggs per week. These are large eggs with a weight of about 60–65 g. They lay large eggs of a dark brown “chocolate” or “terracotta” with a slight coppery tone. The eggs are sometimes speckled. They are good winter layers. Barnvelder hens are not particularly broody. Cockerels weigh from 7 to 8 lbs and Pullets from 5 to 6 lbs, making them an excellent table bird as well.
They are a hardy bird with minimal health issues. They have a quiet disposition and are very friendly, active, and lively making them an excellent selection for a backyard flock or pet. They love to free range but do not mind being confined.
Characteristics: The most well-known and oldest Barnevelder variety is the double laced partridge variety.
This breed is very easygoing. They are friendly and will greet you when they see you. They are calm but do talk a lot with their low and quiet voices. Barnevelders are active birds and love to free range. They also bear confinement well and as they are docile, gentle are easily tamed to be pets if you start at an early age.
The Barnvelderis a robust bird with minimal health issues. They tolerate a wide variety of climates. Although they do not enjoy hot and humid weather, if have shade and water available, they do quite well.
In standard-sized birds, the pattern is expressed on a brown (e^b/e^b) background in the hens. The hens are visually striking with a double laced feather pattern in an intricate arrangement that is as precise and beautiful as the most exquisite hand-sewn lace. Each feather has rings of alternating brown and black, ending with a final black edge producing an ‘arrowhead’ effect. The neck feathers are black with no patterning. The rooster exhibits no patterning but is a melanistic black breasted red color. It has red-brown background with a black breast and tail and luxurious plumage with splashes of iridescent green, bronze and violet.
The silver Barnvelder has deep black feathers with a precise double silver lacing. The American Poultry Association has not accepted this color as of yet, but it is stunning. They tend to lay a large lighter brown egg and sometimes with speckles. Other wise they have the same characteristics as the double laced partridge variety.
Barnevelders look sturdy being a compact fowl with a rectangular U-shaped body shape. They have a slightly arched neck. The tail is carried at a 50 degree angle from the body with a moderate feather spread. Plumage is described as ‘tight’. The wings are located high on the body. Due to the location of the wings, Barnvelders do not fly well.
The Barnvelder is considered a dual purpose bird. Excellent for egg laying as well as for the table. They lay between 175–200 dark brown eggs per year, 3-4 eggs per week. These are large eggs with a weight of about 60–65 g. They lay large eggs of a dark brown “chocolate” or “terracotta” with a slight coppery tone. The eggs are sometimes speckled. They are good winter layers. Barnvelder hens are not particularly broody. Cockerels weigh from 7 to 8 lbs and Pullets from 5 to 6 lbs, making them an excellent table bird as well.
Barnevelders have a single straight upright comb with 5 well-defined points. Comb and wattles are bright red. Ear lobes are red. The eyes are red bay in color and the beak is horn colored. They have sturdy legs and feet that are yellow in color. They have four toes to each foot. It is thought that over the years of development to perfect the double laced plumage, the color quality of the egg has suffered. Originally bred for a chocolate terracotta egg color, this color has diminished in modern Barnvelders. You can expect a more common dark or occasional light brown egg color today.
Barnvelders make an excellent 4H or farm project bird. Because of their demeanor they show very well and they are tolerant of a wide variety of conditions. Some sources list the Barnvelder as ‘rare’ however they are not noted on the endangered list with the Livestock Conservancy. I have found them to be uncommon and sometimes difficult to find.
The Barnvelder is a Dutch breed of domestic chicken. Local Dutch chickens were originally cross-bred with various "Shanghai" birds imported from Asia to Europe in the later part of the nineteenth century. The Barnvelder is named for the town and municipality of Barnveld, in Gelderland in the central Netherlands. The town of Barneveld is home to a large agricultural college specializing in poultry. The area was known for supplying eggs to England and Europe with a huge egg supply market. Brown shelled eggs were popular in England giving incentive to develop a bird that laid dark brown eggs. The main goal was to create a breed that would lay prolific amounts of very dark brown copper-tinged eggs that would continue laying during the long cold and dark Northern European winter.
The original birds of the area were likely ‘landrace’ and other older local breeds that had lived in the area for a long time. Local poultry people began breeding their hens with different imported fowl with the arrival of Oriental birds. The mix included Langshans, Malays and Brahmas. Later some additional breeds were introduced into the genetics including a breed type called Amerikaanse Nuthoenders ("American utility birds) similar to the Wyandotte and the British Buff Orpington. In 1898 Gold Laced Wyandottes were added to the mix. It is believed the greatest influence on the characteristics of the Barnevelder was from the Langshan. They contributed to many desirable qualities such as hardiness, brown eggs and good winter production. Different people have had some different ideas of the genetic mixture and there is no true consensus of the lineage.
The double laced pattern emerged in the early 1920s in Europe and occurs only on the hens. Roosters do not have lacing. The breed was officially recognized right before World War I at the first World Poultry Congress of the World Poultry Science Association in Holland. There are several color variations in Holland.
Modern Barnevelders as we know them today, actually appeared just after the First World War. They initially had just laced plumage on the hens. Efforts were made to bring some form of conformity to the lineage. The Barneveld Breeders Association was formed. It was in 1922 that the first double laced Barnevelder appeared. The breed was finally standardized in 1923 and was accepted to the Poultry Club of Great Britain. They were classified as a soft feathered, heavy breed.
The only variety recognized in the United States by the American Poultry Association’s American Standard of Perfection is the Double Laced Partridge. They were accepted into the Continental (Northern European) class in 1991. The only variety standardized in Holland is the double laced variety. The original Barnvelder colors were partridge and double laced. Other colors are recognized in Europe such as Black, Blue Laced, and White/Silver. Other color varieties include: Black, White, Auto-sexing barred, Dark brown, Partridge, Double-laced Blue, Blue, Silver, Double-Laced Silver and Chamois. Unfortunately, it is believed that the partridge variety may now be extinct.