Association for Promotion of Belgian Poultry Breeds


Large fowl





|Antwerp bearded bantam |Bosvoorde bearded bantam |Everberg bearded bantam |Malines bantam |Tournaisis
|Ardenner bantam |Brabançonne bantam |Famenne bantam |Mehaigne |Uccle bearded bantam
|Bassette |Brakel bantam |Grubbe bearded bantam |Liège game bantam |Waas bantam
|Belgian bantam |Bruges game bantam |Herve bantam |Tirlemont game bantam |Watermael bearded bantam

Antwerp bearded bantam (Bearded d'Anvers)

Black Antwerp bearded rooster


Origin : The Antwerp bearded bantam descends from bearded bantams that were common in the Netherlands centuries ago and were pictured by many painters. When the selection of this breed started is unknown but in 1858 Ch. Jacques specifically mentioned it as ‘Race naine coucou dite d’Anvers’. At the end of the nineteenth century the interest in the Antwerp bantam increased. It didn’t take long before the Antwerp became a familiar sight on every major poultry show in Belgium. In 1904 an ‘Antwerp bantam club’ was founded in Brussels and the board members were all high-society figures. The success of this club was enormous. It had over 450 members and meetings were held almost weekly. In 1910 almost 9300 Antwerp bantams were registered of which 3000 were entered in the clubs studbooks. The First World War ended the glorious times for the Antwerp but it knew to survive the war. Even during the war a second club was founded, this time in the city of Antwerp. The spectacular numbers of exhibited birds like before the War were never seen again but the Antwerp bantam slowly but surely began to make it’s way in the rest of the world.

Pair of quail Antwerp bearded bantams by R. delin

Characteristics : The Antwerp bantam is very well suited for keeping in small pens. It is a very active breed but easily becomes very tame. The hens lay small white eggs and sit on them. The chicks usually grow up without any problems.

Appearance : The Antwerp 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 trilobed 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.

Varieties : This breed is recognized in a large number of varieties and regularly new ones are presented. The most typical is without any doubt the quail even though the original variety was the cuckoo. The other recognized varieties are : white, blue, black, blue laced, lavender, buff, red, blue quail, silver quail, blue silver quail, millefleur, porcelaine, ochre-white porcelaine, black mottled, blue mottled, lavender mottled, black-red, silver duckwing, pile, columbian, columbian blue, buff columbian, buff columbian blue. In other European countries there are also birchen, lemon porcelaine, lavender silver quail, blue-red and silver laced Antwerp bantams.

State : Most popular Belgian breed which is spread worldwide and with breeders associations on almost every continent. The highest quality birds are found in Belgium, Germany and Holland.