Belgium's Ancient Bantam Breed: Barbu D'anvers

Belgium's Barbu d'Anvers, an ancient bantam breed, holds a prominent place in the world of poultry. With its distinctive features and rich history, this small-sized breed has garnered the admiration of breeders and enthusiasts.

Notable for its feathered beard, upright chest, and arched tail, the Barbu d'Anvers stands out among bantam breeds. Its elegant appearance is complemented by a petite rose comb, small or absent wattles, and clean legs.

Renowned for its friendly nature and resilience, this breed continues to captivate and remain popular.

Key Takeaways

  • Barbu d'Anvers is a true bantam breed with no full-sized counterparts.
  • They have a friendly disposition and are great for children and as show birds.
  • Barbu d'Anvers lay around 2 to 3 eggs per week, but tend to go broody.
  • The breed originated in the province of Antwerp, Belgium and is one of the world's oldest bantam breeds.

Characteristics and Behavior

In terms of their behavior, Barbu d'Anvers are known for their friendly disposition, making them ideal pets for children and show birds. These bantam chickens have a sweet and gentle temperament, making them easy to handle and interact with. They are known to be docile and calm, which is why they are often recommended as pets for families with young children.

Barbu d'Anvers are also sociable birds, getting along well with other chickens and even other animals. Their friendly nature makes them a joy to have around and they quickly become a beloved member of the family. Additionally, their small size and compact build make them suitable for small backyard spaces, making them an excellent choice for urban dwellers looking to keep chickens as pets.

Egg Production

Barbu d'Anvers chickens have a moderate egg production rate, laying around 2 to 3 eggs per week, and their eggs are small and creamy white in color. However, their egg laying frequency can be impacted by their broodiness.

Broodiness is a natural instinct in hens to incubate eggs and raise chicks. When a Barbu d'Anvers hen goes broody, she may stop laying eggs altogether. This can have a significant impact on their overall egg production.

During the broody period, which typically lasts for a few weeks, the hen will focus on sitting on the eggs and keeping them warm, rather than producing new ones.

It is important for breeders and farmers to consider this broodiness trait when planning for consistent egg production from the Barbu d'Anvers chickens.

Breed Origin and History

Belgium's ancient bantam breed, the Barbu d'Anvers, has a rich and fascinating breed origin and history, dating back to its origins in the province of Antwerp. This breed is considered one of the world's oldest true bantam breeds, and its evolution and development over time has been of significant cultural significance.

The Barbu d'Anvers gained popularity in the 1800s and was exported to other countries, where it continued to thrive and captivate breeders. Recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1949, this breed has managed to maintain its popularity and is not currently on the endangered species list.

With its unique characteristics and charming appearance, the Barbu d'Anvers holds a special place in the hearts of poultry enthusiasts and continues to be valued for its cultural significance in the world of poultry breeding.

Color Varieties and Standards

The American Poultry Association recognizes 9 colors for the Barbu d'Anvers, including black, blue, cuckoo, mille fleur, mottle, porcelain, quail, self blue, and white, with each color variety adhering to specific standards.

Barbu d'Anvers color genetics play a crucial role in determining the appearance of these popular bantams. Among the color varieties, some are more sought after than others.

Black and white are classic choices, while blue is admired for its unique and striking hue. Mille fleur, with its delicate and intricate feather pattern, is also highly favored. Porcelain and quail are less common but still appreciated for their distinct appearances.

Mottle and self blue add a touch of variety to the breed's color palette. Breeders and enthusiasts of Barbu d'Anvers often find joy in exploring the different color possibilities and striving to maintain the breed's standards.

Comparison With Barbu D'uccle Bantams

When comparing the Barbu d'Anvers with Barbu d'Uccle bantams, breeders often take into consideration factors such as comb type, size, weight, and leg feathering. Here is a comparison of the two breeds:

  1. Appearance:
  • Barbu d'Anvers: It has a petite rose comb, a prominent beard of feathers, an upright chest, and an arching tail.
  • Barbu d'Uccle: It has a single comb and feathered legs, which gives it a distinct appearance.
  1. Size and Weight:
  • Barbu d'Anvers: It is older and smaller, weighing between 1.3 to 2 pounds.
  • Barbu d'Uccle: It has slightly higher weight ranges for males, ranging from 700 to 800 grams.
  1. Temperament:
  • Barbu d'Anvers: Known for their friendly disposition, they are great for children and make excellent show birds.
  • Barbu d'Uccle: They also have a friendly temperament, making them suitable as pets and show birds.


In conclusion, the Barbu d'Anvers is a remarkable bantam breed known for its unique characteristics, friendly disposition, and resilience to various weather conditions.

Its elegant appearance, with a prominent beard of feathers, upright chest, and arching tail, sets it apart from other bantam breeds.

With its fascinating origin in Belgium's province of Antwerp and recognition by the American Poultry Association, the Barbu d'Anvers continues to captivate breeders and enthusiasts worldwide.

Its enduring popularity is a testament to its enduring charm and appeal.

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