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


Tournaisis bantams

Origin : At the end of the nineteenth century the local people kept a lot of bantams on the banks of the Scheldt river in the Bléharies region (close to Tournai). By selecting this mixture of bantams on laying qualities and attractive plumage colors, slowly a new breed was developed, the Tournaisis. When and how this selection took place is not exactly known but with certainty the Tournaisis existed before the First World War. Tradition says the Tournaisis was also known in those days as the ‘bargemen’s bantam’ because they were often kept on boats for the production of fresh eggs.  

Characteristics : By selection the Tournaisis became a real utility bantam. The hens lay a good number of white-shelled eggs that weigh about 40 gram. They also brood easily and that’s why they were also often used to sit on pheasant eggs and to raise pheasant chicks. They can easily be kept in small pens that are preferably closed on top.

Appearance : Tournaisis are quit large bantams. The roosters weigh 750 to 850 gram, the hens 650 tot 750 gram. The body is rather erected and the back slopes towards the tail. The breast is nicely rounded and carried forward. The comb is single, medium-sized and straight. The earlobes are red and the shanks are pinkish white.

Varieties : There is just one variety that looks a bit like ‘spangled’ but is not quit the same. The hen has a wheaten or cinnamon ground color and small white and black flecks that are irregularly spread all over the body. The main tail feathers and the primaries are mainly black. The rooster is black with orange hackle and saddle and also has these irregular black and white flecks. His breast is black with brown and white flecks.

Stat : Rare. Mostly found in the Southern French-speaking part of Belgium. Rare in the North. Is also bred in Holland but these birds do not completely correspond with Belgian standards. Unknown in other countries.