Backyard chicken keepers often hope for fresh eggs from their backyard flock.
This comes down to choosing the right breed of chicken, as some aren’t bred for laying.
Is it reasonable to rely on Barnevelder chicken eggs for a steady supply?
We have some answers to these egg-related questions about your beautiful bird!
Keep reading, and we’ll break down everything you need to know about egg production in these birds.
Are Barnevelder Chickens Good Egg Layers?
Barnevelder chickens are dual-purpose birds. This means they’re kept both for meat and as an egg-laying breed. The hardy bird serves both purposes quite well and occasionally fills a role as a pet chicken. These chickens lay about three or four eggs a week or about 150 to 200 eggs yearly.
Barnevelder chickens are great birds, whether you want to keep a chicken for an eventual meal or keep a hen around for eggs.
So, if you’re looking for chicken breeds to keep eggs in your kitchen, a Barnevelder chicken isn’t a bad choice.
An output as high as 3-4 eggs a week puts them in the range for a reliable dual-purpose breed.
This is especially true if you’re several Barnevelder birds in your flock.
But, their production is lower than you’d expect from a dedicated egg-laying breed.
At this rate, you’ll have no trouble keeping eggs on your table or giving them away to neighbors and loved ones.
Don’t forget, selling rather than gifting eggs is much more heavily regulated.
Commercial farms go through a lot to sell their eggs to prevent poor quality or unsafe consumption.
So, if you want to sell your Barnevelder chicken eggs, it’s best to brush up on the regulations where you live.
When Do Barnevelder Hens Start Laying Eggs?
Barnevelder chickens start laying eggs around eight months old. Yet, some backyard chicken enthusiasts may notice initial laying as late as 10 months.
This is much later than the general average for chickens.
Many breeds of chickens start laying eggs as early as 18 to 22 weeks.
Barnevelders take a bit more patience in this regard.
Yet, they’ll help offer consistent output from these delightful chickens.
What Color Eggs Do Barnevelder Chickens Lay?
Barnevelder chickens lay light brown to dark brown eggs. Variance in the shade from light to dark is completely natural among these chickens. Some eggs also have a speckled shell, but this visual variation isn’t always present.
Experienced backyard chicken keepers know fresh eggs come in a variety of colors.
This includes white, brown, and even colors like green or red.
Barnevelder birds offer you a bit of variety in the color variations in their eggs.
While they’re always brown, this may also lay a pale, golden brown egg or an egg so dark it takes on a chocolate color.
The darker color quality is usually associated with purebred Barnevelders.
Yet, some backyard chicken keepers have also noticed a dark chocolate color is more common earlier in the season.
It’s also more common earlier in the hen’s life.
In the end, the more eggs a hen lays, the more the depth of color in the brown shells on the eggs will fade.
Still, this chocolate-toned, dark egg color isn’t always the standard.
It’s normal and common for the eggs to take on a lighter brown or even closer to cream color varieties.
The Barnevelder is also featured on our list of all-white chicken breeds (with pictures); check it out at the link.
What Size Eggs Do Barnevelder Chickens Lay?
These birds lay eggs weighing in at an average of 65 grams. In dimensions, most Barnevelders will lay eggs about 45mm wide and 65mm long. Some slight variations can happen.
Barnevelder eggs lay medium to large eggs.
This makes the output of your flock more nutrient-rich when you’re farming eggs to eat.
As for the average Barnevelder bird, the gentle breed reaches about five or six pounds as adults.
Will Barnevelders Lay During the Winter?
Bernevelders lay eggs during the winter and don’t lose much (or any, in some cases) of their production. Some breeds of chickens take a break during winter because it’s too hard on their bodies. Barnevelder chickens are cold and hardy enough to continue laying.
You will likely see a lower production rate during the winter months.
As the temperature drops, these birds lay closer to two or three eggs weekly instead of the usual three or four.
Given their breeding history, it makes sense for these birds to be great winter layers.
Barnevelders get their name from where they come from: the town of Barneveldlocated in the Netherlands.
Given the climate in the Netherlands, one of the characteristics they were looking for was a cold hardy breed who could stay comfortable on cold winter nights.
This includes offering consistent winter laying.
Thus, the Barnevelder chicken breed was born.
Since then, there have been a few varieties of Barnevelders introduced.
This includes miniature Bantam Barnevelders.
This isn’t to say taking winter weather precautions for your birds is a waste.
There is still the risk of issues like frostbite.
Offering warm shelter and even turning to tools like heaters for chicken coops will help keep your birds warm and safe.
The cold hardy breed thrives in the summer too.
As mentioned, you’ll see increased egg production during the warmer months.
In the same vein, you’ll also want to ensure they have everything they need in warm weather to reduce stress and maximize egg production.
Plenty of shelters, shade, and cool water are great places to start.
With these accommodations, you’ll find these birds are great layers in various climates.
How Long Do Barnevelder Chickens Lay Eggs?
Once Barnevelders start to lay eggs, they remain productive for an average of five years. This is out of a lifespan of about seven years. This makes Barnevelders a rather productive breed of bird, even if they start egg production a bit later than most breeds.
You may see some variation in this estimate as it may vary from bird to bird.
In particular, risk factors such as illness and stress play a role in egg production and aging.
Are Barnevelder Hens Broody?
Barnevelders aren’t known as a particularly broody breed. It’s not unheard of for a Barnevelder hen to get broody, but it isn’t common. Generally, you won’t have to worry too much about a coop full of broody birds.
Yet, you might see increased interest in caring for their eggs above what you expect in other breeds.
You won’t need to worry much about full-blown broodiness among your chicken family.
If you’re concerned, there are a few extra steps to prevent broodiness.
For example, removing eggs shortly after they’re laid will help.
Left in the nest, it promotes broodiness in the flock.
If you find your Barnvelder hen is broody, there are a few helpful solutions.
Adding something cold like ice or even open space at the base of the nest will discourage brooding.
Also, removing her from the nest for a time may break the cycle.
Are Barnevelder Hens Good Mothers?
Barnvelders make for great mother birds. Their docile personalities and careful attention to their young make them one of the perfect breeds for raising baby chicks.
These birds have a friendly, docile nature.
They’ve cultivated quite the reputation as family birds when kept as pets. It’s also a friendly breed if you have other farm animals.
They’re excellent family birds in another sense too.
Barnvelders are excellent mothers who take great care of their chicks.
As we said, they aren’t a very broody breed but they will brood their eggs well when left with them to care for.
Of course, you’ll need to introduce a rooster for Barnevelders to lay viable eggs.
Once the chick hatching occurs, these birds don’t check out either.
They’ll take good care of young chicks until they grow into delightful birds in their own right.
How Much Nesting Space Do Barnevelders Need?
While docile, Barnevelders still need about 4′ square feet in the coop. To make the most of possible egg production among a flock, it’s important to ensure each bird has enough space. Overcrowding can lead to the spread of disease, a reduction in egg production, and more.
Barnevelders need room to nest and roost to avoid stress.
Otherwise, this stress can take effect in a few different negative ways.
This includes decreased egg production.
At least 4′ square feet of space for each chicken gives them the room to spread out.
Still, you may find them huddled closer together than normal in certain conditions.
Even as a hardy breed, they’re likely to stick closer together for warmth in colder weather.
Even in warmer weather, tally not use all the space allocated to them.
Still, having it goes a long way toward reducing stress.
Outside their coop, these energetic birds love to roam and have some free-range time.
Offering this is another way to reduce stress and boost production.
Not to mention, their knack for foraging makes this time even more enjoyable for them!