These lovely birds are named after the town of Barneveld in the central Netherlands, where they were first developed in the 19th century. The hens are brown with double lacing to their feathers, the cockerels have the beetle-black-green sheen. Ours are quiet, friendly, docile birds and have handled the rain and wind of their first winter without major problems, which suggests they are as hardy as the books suggest. Eggs are mid-brown.
We have chicks that will be ready for sale around August but this breed does not mature quickly. Our original stock came from a breeder in Oxfordshire.
These birds are known for their pale blue eggs. Cream Legbars were developed in the 1930s as a cross between brown leghorns and barred rock/araucanas. They have crests to the back of the comb and the females have salmon coloured breasts. Our unrelated parent birds were hatched in 2012 from eggs sourced in Worcestershire and Oxfordshire. This year’s hatch is underway but we were in no rush after the dreadful winter slowed everybody down.
Derived from La Bresse Gauloise, but as they have been raised at Mee’s Wood from eggs supplied by a breeder in Scotland, these do not qualify for the exclusive label La Bresse Gauloise, which appertains to a precise area in the Rhone-Alpes region of eastern France and carries with it precise conditions of the birds’ care and development for the table. Our strain is traced back to Ireland and then Normandy. White eggs.
From Welsum, a large village in the east of the Netherlands, these birds were developed around 100 years ago and the breed was added to the standard in Britain in 1930. They are easy to handle, light, intelligent and good foragers.
Poultry Fact File
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These striking brown and black birds were developed around 1900 by Oscar Vorwerk in Hamburg, Germany. Breeds thought to have been used are the Lakenvelder, buff Sussex, Orpington and Andalusian. They were standardised in 1913. They lay cream-coloured eggs. Our cockerel was hatched here in 2012 from an egg supplied by a breeder in Worcestershire. The hens are unrelated, from Norfolk, hatched here in 2014.
We’re overjoyed to have hatched ten Zingem chicks at the beginning of May 2014 (a mathematic error made this coincide with our daughter Ellyn’s wedding day… oops). The Zingem was officially recognised in Belgium as recently as 1985, with Dion De Laporte developing them by crossing Brakels with Rhode Island Reds in the 1970s. They are very strong birds, capable of flight, the hens a red-brown colour with black barring. The cockerel is brownish-red without barring with black feathers in the tail. The breed is considered in a critical state even in Belgium now, with a handful of breeders in Flanders. As far as we know, there are only two other breeders who have examples of Zingem in the UK. We hatched ours from eggs from one of those, Ken Lomas in Essex, following great help from Stuart Sutton. Zingem lay brown eggs.
Indian Runner Ducks
Our four white Indian Runner Ducks arrived in May 2014. Their previous keeper texted to ask if we would take them on as for some unknown reason their feet were being badly bitten. Within 24 hours, Jack had adapted a dog kennel and they came (limping) into their own grassy enclosure, and were demonstrably pleased to be there. The drake is taking a little longer to recover but the three ducks were back to normal within a week or so. All will stay with us now. They are great characters, friendly – and always hungry! Indian Runner Ducks are believed to have come from Indonesia and Malaysia and were brought to Europe in the 19th century. To find out more about them see