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


Silver quail Bassette hen

Origin : Around 1800 a lot of small chickens were kept in the South-Limburg and Liège region. These birds were very primitive and had rather good laying qualities. They were also used to sit on pheasant eggs. Louis Vander Snickt sr., a very famous poultry-expert, called these birds ‘Bassette of Liège’. In the local language of Liège ‘Bassette’ would mean nothing else but ‘bantam’. The well-known poultry specialist W. Collier and his son bred the modern Bassette from this mixture of bantams by pure selection at the beginning of the twentieth century. The emphasis of this selection was put on body shape but especially on laying qualities. In 1932 the Belgian Poultry Breeders Federation officially adopted the breed.

Characteristics : The Bassette is a very active breed and obviously prefers free range but it is possible to keep them on a smaller surface. One should always keep in mind they are very well capable of flight. The laying qualities are quit stunning. The number of eggs per year can reach as much as 180. These eggs weigh around 45 grams, have white shells and a relatively very large yolk. If she is allowed to the Bassette hen will brood.

Appearance : The Bassette is a striking appearance amongst other poultry breeds by its size. With a little over one kilo bodyweight the Bassette is much larger than other bantam breeds but still much smaller than most large fowl. Therefore it is often referred to as a ‘semi-bantam’ breed. The body is long, rectangular in shape and the hen has a well-developed abdomen. The comb is single and rather big for a bantam. It should be upright in the rooster and falling to one side in the hen, especially in adult hens. The earlobes are pure white and the beak and shanks are always blue. The tail is carried in an angle of 45° and semi-spread.

Varieties : The best-known varieties are silver quail, quail and black-red. Other recognized varieties are white, black, blue, buff, lavender, columbian, buff columbian, black-tailed buff, silver duckwing, blue quail, blue silver quail and lavender silver quail.

State : Rare. Most frequently seen in the southern French-speeking part of Belgium. More popular in Holland than in the North of Belgium. Moderately spread in France and Germany. Mostly seen in silver quail and quail and sometimes in black-red. The other varieties are very rare or even extinct.