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The Barbu De Watermael is a breed of chicken known for its unique appearance and friendly temperament. It is a small-sized breed with a compact body and a distinct head crest.

The breed originated in Belgium and is popular among backyard chicken enthusiasts for its ornamental value. We will explore the characteristics and history of the Barbu De Watermael breed, as well as its suitability for different types of chicken keepers.

So, if you are interested in adding a unique and friendly chicken breed to your flock, keep reading to learn more about the Barbu De Watermael.


The Barbu De Watermael chicken breed has a rich historical background, originating from the region of Watermael, Belgium. This breed is known for its attractive appearance, with its feathered beard and small size, making it a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts.

Barbu de Watermael is a unique and fascinating chicken breed that has a rich history. This breed originated in Belgium and has gained popularity for its distinctive appearance and charming personality. In this section, we will delve into the intriguing history of the Barbu de Watermael chicken breed.


  • The development of the Barbu de Watermael chicken breed can be traced back to the late 19th century.
  • It was first created by a Belgian breeder named Edouard Hermy, who aimed to develop a small and ornamental chicken breed.
  • Hermy focused on crossing several bantam breeds, including the Barbu d’Uccle and the Barbu d’Anvers, to achieve the desired characteristics.


  • The Barbu de Watermael breed gained popularity not only for its charming looks but also for its friendly and docile temperament.
  • These chickens are often kept as ornamental birds due to their small size and beautiful plumage.
  • They are known to be good foragers and adapt well to both confinement and free-range environments.
  • Barbu de Watermael chickens are also excellent mothers and are known to be very broody.

Conservation Status

  • Despite their unique attributes, the Barbu de Watermael breed is considered rare.
  • Experts and dedicated breeders have been working diligently to preserve and promote this charming breed.
  • Conservation efforts have been focused on increasing the breed’s numbers and ensuring genetic diversity.

The Future

  • The future of the Barbu de Watermael breed looks promising as more people become interested in raising ornamental chickens.
  • With their striking appearance and friendly nature, these chickens are sure to captivate the hearts of both chicken enthusiasts and casual observers alike.
  • As conservation efforts continue, it is hoped that the breed’s population will grow, ensuring its long-term survival.

The Barbu de Watermael chicken breed has a captivating history and unique characteristics that make it truly special. From its development by Belgian breeder Edouard Hermy to its increasing popularity today, this breed continues to charm chicken lovers around the world.

With its small size, elegant appearance, and friendly temperament, the Barbu de Watermael breed is sure to remain a beloved favorite for years to come.

Barbu De Watermael Chicken
Badgernet, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

General Characteristics

The Barbu De Watermael Chicken Breed showcases unique characteristics like its compact size, feathered beard, and striking color variations. With its friendly demeanor and ability to adapt to various climates, this breed makes an excellent addition to any backyard flock.

Barbu De Watermael chickens, also known as the Belgian Bantams, are a unique and captivating breed. With their fascinating general characteristics, they make a great addition to any backyard flock. In this section, we will explore the distinctive qualities that set these chickens apart.

Compact Size

  • These chickens are petite in size, making them an ideal choice for individuals with limited space.
  • They are one of the smallest bantam breeds, with hens weighing around 600 grams and roosters weighing approximately 700 grams.

Exquisite Feathering

  • The Barbu De Watermael sports a striking appearance, thanks to their beautiful feathering.
  • They showcase an intricate pattern of feathers with elaborate plumage, particularly on their necks, backs, and wings.
  • Their feathers come in an assortment of colors, including white, black, blue, and more, adding a vibrant touch to any flock.

Distinctive Crests

  • One of the most distinguishing features of these chickens is their prominent crests.
  • These crests, composed of feathers on the top of their heads, create a captivating and regal look.
  • The Barbu De Watermael breed is known for its exemplary crests, which make it stand out in any chicken collection.

Gentle And Docile Nature

  • Apart from their splendid appearance, these chickens have a charming temperament.
  • They are renowned for being gentle and docile, making them great companions for both beginners and experienced chicken keepers.
  • Their calm and relaxed nature makes them enjoyable to interact with and relatively easy to handle.

Good Layers

  • While their small size might suggest otherwise, Barbu De Watermael hens are impressive layers.
  • They typically lay around three medium-sized eggs per week, amounting to approximately 150-160 eggs per year.
  • Although they may not match the egg production of larger breeds, their consistent output of tasty eggs is highly valued.

Pleasant Vocalization

  • The Barbu De Watermael chickens have a delightful repertoire of sounds.
  • Their unique vocalizations add a charming ambiance to any chicken-filled environment.
  • Whether it’s clucking softly while foraging or communicating with their flock mates, their melodic voices are a pleasure to hear.

The Barbu De Watermael breed possesses a captivating combination of compact size, exquisite feathering, distinctive crests, gentle nature, good egg-laying abilities, and pleasant vocalization. These chickens bring a touch of elegance and charm to any flock, making them a popular choice among chicken enthusiasts.


Barbu De Watermael chickens are not only known for their unique appearance but also for their distinct temperament. These chickens are friendly and have a docile nature, making them a popular choice among chicken enthusiasts. In this section, we will delve into the temperament of Barbu De Watermael chickens and explore why they are beloved by many.

So, let’s discover more about their temperament.

Friendly Demeanor

  • Barbu De Watermael chickens are known for their friendly and sociable nature.
  • They are generally quite calm and enjoy interacting with their human counterparts.
  • These chickens are not easily startled and are often comfortable being handled by their owners.

Curious And Active

  • Barbu De Watermael chickens possess a curious nature, always eager to explore their surroundings.
  • They love to forage and scratch the ground for insects, seeds, and other tasty treats.
  • Their active behavior keeps them busy and engaged throughout the day, making them an entertaining addition to any backyard.

Good With Other Pets

  • These chickens have a peaceful temperament and can coexist harmoniously with other pets, such as dogs or cats.
  • Their friendly disposition allows them to gradually build relationships with other animals, creating a peaceful backyard environment.

Gentle And Tolerant

  • Barbu De Watermael chickens are known for their gentleness, especially when around children.
  • They have a high tolerance for enthusiastic little handlers, making them an ideal choice for families.
  • Their calm and patient nature ensures a safe and enjoyable interaction between children and the chickens.


  • One of the appealing traits of Barbu De Watermael chickens is their non-aggressive nature.
  • They generally do not display signs of aggression towards humans or other animals, which contributes to their reputation as friendly pets.

Watchful And Vigilant

  • While they may not be aggressive, Barbu De Watermael chickens are still watchful and alert.
  • They have a keen sense of their surroundings and can alert their owners to any potential danger or predators nearby.
  • Their vigilant behavior makes them excellent backyard guardians and adds an extra layer of security.

The temperament of Barbu De Watermael chickens is a perfect blend of friendliness, gentleness, and vigilance. Whether you are looking for a sociable pet or a watchful backyard companion, these chickens have it all. Their calm nature, combined with their active and tolerant behavior, makes them an excellent choice for both experienced chicken keepers and beginners alike.

So, if you’re considering adding chickens to your flock, the Barbu De Watermael breed is definitely worth considering.

Comb Types

The Barbu De Watermael chicken breed is known for its unique and stylish comb types, adding charm and character to this beautiful bird. With a variety of comb shapes and sizes, these chickens are sure to catch the eye of any poultry enthusiast.

Barbu De Watermael chickens are renowned for their unique and fascinating characteristics. One specific feature that sets them apart from other breeds is their comb types. Let’s take a closer look at the distinct comb types found in Barbu De Watermael chickens:

Single Comb

  • The single comb of the Barbu De Watermael is characterized by a single row of evenly spaced, upright points.
  • This comb type is the most common among chicken breeds and provides adequate protection from cold weather.
  • It is important to note that single combs are more prone to frostbite than other types, so proper care is essential during colder periods.

Rose Comb

  • The rose comb of the Barbu De Watermael is different from the single comb as it is broader and flatter in shape.
  • This comb type features a fleshy, cushion-like texture with a cluster of rounded points.
  • The rose comb is well-suited for both hot and cold climates, providing insulation during colder weather and preventing heat build-up in warmer conditions.

Walnut Comb

  • The walnut comb is a unique feature of the Barbu De Watermael breed and sets them apart from many other chicken breeds.
  • This comb type resembles a walnut, hence the name, with a compact and rounded shape.
  • Known for its resistance to frostbite, the walnut comb offers protection during winters and maintains good blood circulation.


  • The V-comb found in some Barbu De Watermael chickens is distinct due to its V-shaped appearance.
  • This comb type features a natural split in the middle, creating two distinct sections that resemble the letter “V.”
  • The V-comb offers good protection against frostbite and is well-suited for colder climates.

The Barbu De Watermael breed showcases a variety of comb types that contribute to their unique and visually appealing appearance. Whether it’s the single comb, rose comb, walnut comb, or V-comb, each comb type serves a specific purpose in terms of functionality and protection.

These comb types highlight the breed’s adaptability to various climates and make Barbu De Watermael chickens a fascinating addition to any backyard flock.


To summarize, the Barbu de Watermael chicken breed is a unique and exquisite addition to any backyard flock. With its striking appearance, calm temperament, and excellent egg-laying abilities, this breed offers both beauty and productivity. The Barbu de Watermael chicken is highly adaptable and can thrive in various climates, making it accessible to chicken enthusiasts worldwide.

Its small size and docile nature make it a great pet for families with limited space or children. Additionally, its feathered legs and head crest add to its appeal and make it a favorite among poultry show enthusiasts. Whether you are looking for a charming companion or a reliable egg producer, the Barbu de Watermael chicken breed is sure to delight.

Embrace the elegance and practicality of this breed, and experience the joy it brings to your backyard.

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