Barnevelder chickens lay one of the darkest brown chicken eggs in the entire species

Barnevelder Chickens Egg Production

Barnevelder chickens lay one of the darkest brown chicken eggs in the entire species. Since they lay a decent number of eggs a year- It’s hard to get a more unique chicken.

Barnevelder chickens are renowned for their exceptional egg production. In fact, they are one of the five darkest egg layers among all chickens. This makes them a favored breed among poultry enthusiasts. These birds are known to lay eggs consistently and reliably.

On average, a healthy Barnevelder hen can produce approximately 180 to 200 brown-colored eggs per year. Some exceptionally productive individuals may lay even more.

The eggs of Barnevelder chickens have a rich brown hue, which adds a touch of natural beauty to any egg collection. Their robust laying capabilities and attractive egg color makes them popular for backyard chicken keepers. Small-scale farmers love them for their steady supply of delicious and visually appealing eggs.

The Barnevelder hens are considered the deepest brown and dark chocolate egg layers

Barnevelder Chickens: Dark Chocolate Eggs

The Barnevelder hens are considered the deepest brown and dark chocolate egg layers, competing with the Maran hens. They are also one of the best brown egg chickens. Only the Empordanesa chicken compares in dark eggs. The eggs are usually large, vivid brown to a light tan in color, depending on lineage.

Farmers developed the Barnevelder variety about 200 years ago in the village of Barneveld, Holland. At the time, brown eggs were prized. As a result, locals bred them to lay large chocolate-colored eggs. They used to lay very deep chocolate eggs.

Since them, they have been bred for their beautiful feathered plumage and the coloring of the eggs has darkened to chocolate brown. The eggs may also be spotted.

Barnevelders originated as the result of breeding between local Dutch hens and imported Asian birds. Possible lineage includes Brahma, Cochin, or Croad Langshan.

Barnevelder Chicken Uses  

Barnevelders are slow to mature and are a dual-purpose bird. They will lay about 3 eggs a week. That equates to between 180-200 eggs a year. Hens continue to lay well in damp cold winters

The hens will grow to 5-6 lbs (2.5 kgs) and the roosters will get to 6-7 lbs 3 kgs). Some hens are broody while others are not, depending on the exact lineage.

The eggs are large, vivid brown to a light tan in color, depending on lineage.

Barnevelders are slow to mature and are a dual-purpose bird

Barnevelder Features

Barnevelders are an upright bird that comes in a variety of colors. They used to be partridge, but that color is thought to be extinct.

Today, they can be found in double laced silver, double laced blue, black white, silver blue, and chamois. The necks have no color patterns, but the body has a lovely triangular tipped pattern over the base color.

The original coloring was a vivid brown with a light brown patterning of arrows It has a U-shaped back. The wings are high on the bird.

They have a single comb with five points, yellow legs, and four toes. They have red wattles.

Barnevelders were recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1921. They are also recognized in the Entente Europeenne d’Aviculture et de Cuniculture and The Poultry Club of Great Britain.

Barnevelder is a Dutch Heritage breed of chicken. They live for between 4-7 years so they aren’t considered an American Heritage chicken because of their shorter lifespan.

Barnevelders are an upright bird that comes in a variety of colors

Caring For Your Barnevelder Chickens

Barnevelder chickens are gentle and may be picked on by other breeds. They are friendly and active birds.

Barnevelders are cleaner chickens and spend a good amount of time preening themselves and taking dust baths.  

They do very well in moist cold climates but also don’t like the snow. They will often stay indoors instead of venture outside into the snow. They aren’t very heated hardy.

Barnevelders do ok in confinement. They don’t fly well because their wings are higher on their body so they do well in backyards. They are not a noisy chickens and even the roosters crow only a few times a day.

They are very rare in the United States. They are calm with children and the hens make great mothers! They are great beginner chickens because of their hardiness, relatively quiet natures, and friendliness.

ClimatePersonalityUseSizeEggs/ YrBrooderForages
Cold & DampActive and FriendlyEggs & MeatM: 7 lbs


F: 6 lbs

  • Chocolate brown eggs
  • Very gentle & active
  • Backyard friendly
Barnevelder chickens are gentle and may be picked on by other breeds

Barnevelder Chicken FAQs

What are Barnevelder chickens known for?

Barnevelder chickens are primarily known for their excellent egg-laying capabilities and their attractive brown-colored eggs.

How many eggs can a Barnevelder hen lay in a year?

A healthy Barnevelder hen can lay approximately 180 to 200 eggs per year. However, individual hens may vary; some exceptionally productive ones may lay even more.

What is the color of Barnevelder chicken eggs?

Barnevelder chicken eggs have a beautiful and distinctive brown color. The shade can vary slightly, ranging from a light tan to a rich chocolate brown.

Are Barnevelder chickens reliable layers?

Barnevelder chickens are known for their consistent and reliable egg production. They are considered to be reliable layers throughout the year, providing a steady supply of eggs for their owners.

Can Barnevelder hens lay eggs during winter months?

Barnevelder hens have good winter hardiness and can continue laying eggs during the colder months. However, the overall egg production may decrease due to shorter daylight hours and colder temperatures.

Are Barnevelder eggs suitable for consumption?

Barnevelder eggs are suitable for consumption. They are visually appealing and also delicious and nutritious. They are suitable for consumption and can be used in various culinary preparations, just like eggs from other chicken breeds.

Are Barnevelder chickens good for backyard flocks?

Barnevelder chickens are well-suited for backyard flocks. They are generally docile, easy to care for, and adaptable to different climates. Their productive egg-laying and attractive appearance make them a popular choice among backyard chicken keepers.

Do Barnevelder chickens require special care for optimal egg production?

While Barnevelder chickens don’t require any special care for egg production, providing them with a balanced diet, access to fresh water, a comfortable and clean coop, and appropriate lighting conditions can help maximize their egg-laying potential.

Can Barnevelder chickens go broody?

Yes, Barnevelder hens have a tendency to go broody. This means they may become inclined to sit on a clutch of eggs to hatch and raise chicks. If you want to hatch eggs, Barnevelders can be excellent mothers.

Where can I purchase Barnevelder chickens or their eggs?

Barnevelder chickens and their eggs can be found at various sources, including local poultry breeders, hatcheries, or online marketplaces specializing in poultry sales. Ensure that you choose reputable sources to obtain healthy and genetically sound birds or eggs.

My Favorite Chicken and Duck Supplies

This list contains affiliate products. Affiliate products do not cost more but helps to support BestFarmAnimals and our goal to provide farm animal owners with accurate and helpful information.

Manna Pro Oyster Shell keeps eggs strong. Before I gave my chickens oyster shell, I had the oddest eggs, many with weak and irregular shells. Now, I don’t have an issue.

Layer Feed by Manna Pro. I like pellets rather than crumbles as my chickens eat them better and less gets wasted or scavenged by rodents. A good layer feed makes the difference in hens laying many more eggs.

My chickens love this mealworm treat, which gives added protein, something that’s great during molting and winter months.

There are many ways to feed and water your chickens. I like this food and water setup the best because it reduces waste, saves me time feeding and watering, and keeps the food fresh longer. Except, in the winter, I use a heated waterer. The only problem is the heated waterers need to be replaced every few years.

I love this chicken veggie hanger. It makes it easy to give your chickens produce from the garden and keep them occupied in the winter with a fresh head of lettuce.

These chicken toys are a hoot! They will help curb bullying and keep your chickens active, especially in the winter when hens tend to get more lethargic.


If you like variety in your eggs, I encourage you to raise a few Barnevelder chickens. They will be a fun addition to your flock. Be sure to check out Empordanesa chickens- a Spanish breed with unique brown eggs.