HomeEgg ColorWhite Eggs → Barbu de Watermael
The Barbu de Watermael is a small bantam breed from Belgium that is by our reckoning the cutest chicken we’ve ever seen.
Barbu de Watermael Week-Old Chick Unsexed49.00
Barbu de Watermael Eggs15.00Sold Out
On our farm chicken breeds get extra points for hardiness and practicality, and we typically regard them as livestock and not pets. But, after importing the Barbu de Watermael from their native Belgium, we have completely fell under the spell of this beautiful and charming rare chicken breed.

Breed History

The Barbu de Watermael was created more than a hundred years ago, and it’s unclear exactly which foundational breeds gave rise to this tiny chicken with a unique spined rose comb. With a beard, a crest, and a color palette for its plumage that is extraordinary in its diversity, these friendly little birds seem designed to melt even the most jaded heart.

Appearance and Behavior

The hens are as small as large quail, and they lay a small, white egg. Normally the hens are about 1 pound at maturity and the roosters are about 1.5 pounds at maturity. Despite their small size we’ve found them to be hardy as adults, easily settling into the routine of the coop and staying active throughout the day. We have our flock setup at a rooster-to-hen ratio of 1:5 and that has done well for us. The roosters do their best to be protective of the hens but given their small size, they really aren't able to do any damage. So use caution when free-ranging them as they will be easy targets.

We have found that the roosters are fairly easy to introduce into the flock. The hens do get broody and their egg production decreases significantly when the hens pass 2 years of age. This breed is extremely active at foraging and is constantly exploring its surroundings.

Breed Standard

Read their breed standard here, https://www.britishbelgianbantamclub.org/breed-standards.html Make sure to scroll down to the section that's for the Barbu de Watermael.

Chick Orders

Since the chicks for this breed are so small, we will ship them as 2-week-old chicks instead of day-old chicks. Shipping had a very negative impact on the day-olds and so far we've noticed a significant improvement when shipping 2-week-old chicks. The 72-hour guarantee still applies to these 2-week-old chicks. Conveniently, at 2 weeks old they are about the same size as chicks from large fowl breeds, so packing orders has also been much easier.

Hatching Egg Disclaimer

We incubate at 99.5F and 55% humidity. Unfortunately, this breed is not the best at hatching at those values. We believe that a lower humidity will result in a better hatch rate. We commonly saw that some of the viable eggs would just never pip, even with leaving them an extra few days in the hatcher. We opened up some of these eggs that never pipped and saw fully formed chicks. So you should try a lower humidity at 40% humidity when you incubate them. A rare defect that can sometimes be noticed on hatch day is the absence of a beard. Sometimes you have to wait a month or 2 to observe if the bird will grow a nice beard.

Breed Defects

A small percentage of offspring from our breeding flock develop wooly or "Silky" feathers. These birds should be culled as this trait is not acceptable for birds intended for breeders. This isn't noticeable on the day of hatch so it will need to be watched for as the birds get older.
Egg Color white
Egg Size Very small
Average number of eggs per year 100
Gamefowl no
Country of Origin Belgium
Also called Watermaalse Baardkriel
Cold tolerant yes
Year of import(s) 2019