Barbu de Watermael

History

The Barbu de Watermael chicken ( bearded chicken of Watermael ) originates from Belgium and is closely related to other Belgian bantams. We know for certain the breed did start in the beginning of the century in “Les Fruferes” in Watermael. The owner was Antoine Dresse. It is a true bantam as it has no larger counterpart. It has lovely clean legs, an unusual three spiked rose comb and a small beard, giving it an almost 'garden gnome' appearance.

Behaviour

The Barbu de Watermael is easily tamed and can be quite friendly, so they make good pets for children. Due to it's size and nature they are often kept as show birds, as they are calm and easy to handle. Females lay small white eggs which are few and far between, but they go broody very easily and make exceptionally good mothers. Their wings tend to hang down slightly, but this is standard for the breed. They cope well with confinement, but need a very secure free range area. As the smallest of the Barbu breeds, a very secure run is important as they can squeeze through the smallest of gaps. Males can be aggressive towards people, defending their females during the mating season, so it is best to only keep a male if you intend on breeding these little chickens.

The cocks weigh around 620g and hens around 510g, which is very small even for a chicken!

Varieties

25+ colour variations! including quail, white, cuckoo, blue, Mille Fleur.

Status

Fairly common

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