Chickens and other poultry members come in all sizes, shapes, colors and personalities. Nearly 400 recognized breeds and varieties of poultry exist, including large fowl and bantam chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowl. Using our illustration and a few selected hints, can you guess which mystery breed we have depicted here?
Find out the answer below.
- This striking hen lays dark-brown eggs year-round.
- To create them, breeders crossed Asiatic chicken breeds, including the Langshan, Cochin, Brahma and Maleier.
- The iridescent appearance of this breed’s plumage comes from the lacing of bronze on the greenish-black feathers of the neck, head and back and the lacing of greenish-black on the bronze feathers of the saddle and breast.
- The breed isn’t named after the barn but a region of the Netherlands, an area famous for its poultry.
Mystery Breed Answer
The mystery breed depicted above is the Barnevelder, which originated in the Barneveld region of the Netherlands. Breeders selected breeds that would lay well year-round, even during the long, damp Northern European winters. They were also looking to increase the production of coppery, dark brown eggs. The breed was accepted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1991.
Barnevelders have a bright-red single comb that stands straight and upright with five well-defined points. Wattles and earlobes are bright red. Males weigh 7 pounds; hens, 6. Learn more
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This mystery chicken breed feature originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of Chickens magazine.