The Barnevelder is a medium heavy breed of chicken named after the Dutch town of Barneveld. It is a cross of 19th century Dutch landrace chickens with Asian breeds imported to Europe in the mid-late 19th century such as the Brahma, Cochin, Croad Langshan and Malay.
Barnevelders are bred both as a utility breed and a show breed. They are medium heavy dual-purpose chickens laying a good number of eggs but also yielding a reasonable carcass. They are hardy birds and good foragers. While they became famous for their dark brown eggs in the first half of the 20th century most birds now appear to be in the hands of show breeders and not much attention has been given to maintaining the dark brown egg colour or to productivity.
They are good winter layers and have a quiet disposition.
The original and most well known Barnevelder is the double laced variety with a single vertical comb and yellow legs, but white, black, brown, partridge, blue and double laced blue varieties also exist.
The Double Laced Barnevelder is a large, soft feathered, docile and very good natured chicken. They are very tame and do not fly well. They are a very pretty bird with interesting markings and a beautiful iridescent beetle sheen on the feathers. Barnevelder chickens are a rare dual purpose breed producing about 180/200 large brown speckled eggs per year. A Barnevelder hen averages between 6.5 and 8.5 lb and the cockerels about 10/14 lb.