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Belgian Bantam

Barbu d’anvers black breasted red Cockerel

The Belgian bantam is classed as a True bantam, meaning it has no large counterpart. It was first brought to England from its country of origin in 1911. Fanciers from Belgium held a display at the Crystal Palace in South London for two years running. This way of promoting the breed gained the interest of the British fancy, and the English breeders were quick to take on the Belgian bantam

There are 6 varieties seen here today, they are the
Barbu d’Anvers (bearded of Anvers pronounced Onvare), Barbu d’Watermael, Barbu d’Uccles ( pronounced dookle),
Barbu d’Grubbe, Barbu d’Everberg and Barbu d’ Bosvoorde.

Barbu d’Grubbe, Barbu d’Everberg and Barbu d’ Bosvoorde are rumpless versions of Barbu d’Anvers, Barbu d’Watermael, Barbu d’Uccles and are very rare in the UK

The Barbu d’Anvers and the Barbu d’Uccle are really quite alike to the untrained eye, as their unusual colours are common to both, they tend to be classified in people’s minds as one and the same variety. The difference is that the Barbu d’Uccle is feather-legged and has a single comb and beard aside look very much like the Booted bantam. The Barbu d’Anvers is clean-legged and has a rose comb. The Barbu d’Watermael is a clean legged bird, with a crested head, muff and beard.

The Barbu d’Uccle Belgian is characterized by its abundance of plumage and majestic manner. The neck hackle in the male is very thick and the feathers are curved and arched to form what is called the “Boule”. The hackle should be so abundant that it reaches the saddle, covering the bird’s back.

In the female the neck hackle feathers are again convexly arched and appear to form a mane. The “headpiece” is completed by a full muff and beard, the feathers forming three distinct lobes. Wattles appear undeveloped, this is so they dont detract from the shape of the head and neck plumage.

The wings are carried low and often cover the vulture hocks which are made up of quill feathers starting from the lower outer thigh and inclined at the same angle as the wings.

The footings should be Teeming, following down the moderately short shanks from the hocks to the end of the middle toe. The stance of the bird is very important – The cock bird should stand in a ‘Majestic Mannor’, with his chest held high, in an upright position, the tail should be carried almost at right angles to the back. The hen should stand in a similar way, to the cock but the tail is carried a little lower.

The Barbu d’Anvers Belgian has more of a ‘Show off’ nature particularly with the cock, who should strut about with his head thrown back and wings carried so far forward (sometimes in front of his legs) that, at the appearance of a human being, he comes to the front of the pen doing a “shuffle-like” dance. This cofident character is an essential feature of the clean-legged Belgian and shows similar characteristics to the Malaysian Serama.

The male has a thick hackle – arched and giving a cape-like appearance. In the female the broad and rounded hackle feathers all curve backwards. The muff and beard should not be tri-lobed as in the feather-legged Belgian but should be in the form of a collar, when viewed from the front.

The wings of the female are not carried as low as in the male but, on the other hand, they must not be held really closely to the body. The male carries the tail upright and the two main sickle feathers should be broad and only slightly curved. Shanks should be fairly short and it is a characteristic for Belgians to be “on their toes”.

The colours in Belgians are one of the breeds main attractions, as there are so many. They are millefleur, porcelain,Lavender, self-blue (that requires a distinct lacing and darker hackle feathers in the male), Quail, white, black, cuckoo, and splash.

For more information visit the;

The British Belgian Bantam Club

 

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