Antwerp Belgium Bantam Chicken
The Bearded d’Anvers is a breed of bantam chicken from Belgium. Also called the Antwerp Belgium Bantam Chicken, both names refer to the breed’s origin in Antwerp (the French version being Anvers). The d’Anvers is a true bantam, having no large counterpart from which it was miniaturized.
The Antwerp Belgium Bantam Chicken is a gracious and refined small bantam with a striking asymmetrical body shape. This means that, seen in profile, the front of the body is much heavier than the back. The breast is very large, carried rather high and forward, which gives this bantam a very alert and proud expression. A very well developed tri-lobed beard is the most striking feature of the Antwerp bearded bantam. The hackle is also very much developed. The comb is a very fine rosecomb which is low and follows the line of the skull. The tail is almost carried vertically in the roosters and is rather poorly developed.
Characteristics: The Antwerp Belgium Bantam Chicken is a purely ornamental breed, kept either as pets or by poultry fanciers for showing. The hens of the breed are very friendly to humans, however the roosters may be aggressive to people. Most Bearded D’Anvers live longer and healthier if keep free-range or in an open space with no crowding. Its plumage can by one of fourteen varieties recognized in competition, ranging from Porcelain to Quail (one of the more common for the breed). It is a diminutive bird with a large, round breast that juts forward and an arching tail. As its name implies, the Antwerp Belgium Bantam Chicken has a profuse beard of feathers that covers the earlobes. It has a small rose comb and small or nonexistent wattles. Temperamentally, the breed is very amicable, and bears confinement well. Hens lay small white eggs and will go broody.
- Standard Weights: Cock-26 oz; Hen-22 oz; Cockerel-22 oz; Pullet-20 oz.
- Varieties: 14 recognized, including Quail, Porcelain, Black, Blue, Buff, Cuckoo, Mille Fleur, White, Mottled.
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: Belgium
Bantams are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam hens are also used as laying hens, with some breeds laying up to 150 eggs per year. However, Bantam eggs are only about one-half to one-third the size of a regular hen egg. The Bantam chicken eats the same foods as a normal chicken. In commercial situations they are fed grain-based foods because this is convenient and efficient for the producer. Chickens in the wild eat more insects and vegetation than grains.
In contrast, the Bantam rooster is famous in rural areas throughout the United Kingdom and the United States for its aggressive, “puffed-up” disposition that can be comedic in stature. It is often called a “Banty” in the rural United States.
Many bantam hens are renowned for hatching and brooding. They are very protective mothers and will attack anything that gets near their young.
Bantams do have a higher mortality rate when they are kept as backyard pets. They are easy targets for hawks, cats, foxes, or any other small predator.