|Northview Farm d'Anvers|
|The Varieties at Northview|
|Black, Blue and Splash d'Anvers||Quail and Blue Quail d'Anvers||Cuckoo d'Anvers|
|Belgian Bearded (Barbu) de Watermael|
| Little Bit About the Belgian Bearded (Barbu) d'Anver Bantams
Take a lesson from this breed ...Rise to the challenge.
|D'Anvers are probably one of the more popular members of the Belgian bantam tribe, which also includes the d'Uccle, d'Watermael, d'Grubbe, d'Bosvoorde, and d'Everberg. The aforementioned breeds all share a similar set of characteristic traits that distinguish them from other groups of breeds including a bull neck, cobby type, low wings, beard and muffs,a slight assymetrical appearance and, most importantly, an indominatable spirit.
D'Anvers in particular are charismatic and friendly when raised under nurturing conditions, and these energetic little birds have often captured the hearts of novice and experienced fanciers alike. The hens are usually bold, intelligent and bond closest to their primary care-taker. Many strains are excellent egg producers , particularly in their first few years. Like most breeds, however, production usually takes a sharp drop in the winter. Females occassionally go broody if eggs are left in the nest and make excellent mothers, although it is recommended that their broods are kept below nine (9) chicks. If you are interested in using d'Anvers as broodies, keep in mind that the energetic (and protective!) little mothers should be penned for the first week with their chicks (especially if the weather is cold/wet) to prevent them from exhausting or leaving their new hatchlings behind. Most d'Anver mothers will not leave their chicks behind, but over-exhuberant mothers are not rare, so it is best to be safe.
Male d'Anvers tend to have an aggressive streak, although this can be avoided with a combination of proper breeding and rearing techniques. I tend not to befriend or harass male d'Anvers and typically do not have any trouble with being attacked. The roosters respect me, but are not afraid of me. If I do have a problem, I will ignore the bird (give him his space without fanfare) and after a week or two the trouble will pass, although persistent offenders will be removed from the farm and not used for breeding. I have found that quietly giving the rooster his space will cause him to lower his defenses and he will slowly learn that you respect his space and he will begin to respect yours. It is important to note that this pompous behavior is part of the breed and isn't for everyone. Those that may have a personality conflict with male d'Anvers can choose to just keep the friendly and out-going females.
For those interested in show birds - d'Anvers are an excellent choice. They do not require any extra-special care to be brought into show condition and are thus ideal for both novice and experienced exhibitors. Their natural poise simplifies cage training and catches the eye of the judge. The growing popularity of this breed in the showroom is a trend that will probably continue and more d'Anvers are expected to be popping up in the champion row in the future. Although the breed is growing in popularity, there are some varieties that are extremely rare for those who are alternatively interested in breathing new life into a forgotten variety.
For those interested in backyard birds, the d'Anvers are also an excellent choice. They are active enough to thoroughly enjoy a day on the open range, but conservative enough to keep their foraging within range of their roosting area. Those raised outside or under broodies are particularly skillful at avoiding predator attacks given their innate activity and attentiveness. At nightfall they typically return to their habitual roosting spot (usually right back in the pen you keep them in) so they may be safely locked away for the night.
In conclusion, the d'Anver is a versatile breed that has something to offer to a wide variety of fanciers. Unfortunately, it often gets overlooked. If you want something rare or unusual, some of the rarer varieties can fulfill your desire. If you want a cute bird that is a relatively good producer and aren't concerned about size, or if you want a good broody ~ give the d'Anver a try. Want a pet or good backyard bird? The d'Anver will be sure to charm you. If you want a competative show bird (whether you prefer a popular or rarer variety), the d'Anver will rise to the challenge.
|About the Farm|
|For more pictures of my birds with accompanying critiques, click here.|