Association for Promotion of Belgian Poultry Breeds


Association

Large fowl

Bantams

Waterfowl

Turkeys

Bantams

|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

Watermael bearded bantam

Quail Watermael bearded bantam hen

 

Origin : The Watermael bearded bantam is a product from the ‘Les Fougères’ hatchery, owned by father and son Antoine and Oscar Dresse. It is the result of a successful attempt to create a new bantam breed that would be loved for its beauty and its utility qualities. How it was created is a well-kept secret but it is quit certain the Antwerp bearded bantam must have played a significant role. It must have been created around 1915 but its first participation at a poultry shows dates from 1922 and the official approval of the breed even dates from 1935. After this approval the breed became quit popular but in 1962 Oscar Dresse died and from then onwards its popularity went downhill. In the seventies the state of the Watermaal was quit dramatic but since the second half of the eighties this has improved.

Millefleur Watermael bearded bantams

Characteristics : The Watermael is an active bantam that’s busy all day long. They are very affectionate and can easily be made very tame just like the other bearded bantams. The hens lay very good and the white-shelled eggs can way as much as 35 to 40 gram. They brood easily and are good mothers.

Appearance : The Watermael bearded bantam is a gracious and refined small bantam that weighs about 500 to 700 gram. It resembles the Antwerp bearded bantam a lot but on closer inspection there are some differences. The Watermaal is slimmer and more streamlined and its tail is carried somewhat lower. What they both have in common is the asymmetrical body of which the front is much heavier than the back and the well-developed trilobed beard. The Watermaal also has a very striking crest on the back of its head. This crest cannot be broader than the skull and may not interfere with the bird’s vision. The comb of the Watermaal is unique. It is a rather small rosecomb, almost as broad as long, which ends in tree instead of one spur.

Varieties : This breed is recognized in a large number of varieties and regularly new ones are presented. The most common varieties are undoubtfully quail, blue quail and black. Other recognized varieties are : white, blue laced, lavender, blue, buff, red, cuckoo, silver quail, blue silver quail, white quail, white lemon quail, millefleur, porcelaine, ochre-white porcelaine, black mottled, blue mottled, lavender mottled, black-red, silver duckwing, columbian, columbian blue, buff columbian, buff columbian blue. In other European countries there are also lavender quail, lemon porcelaine and silver porcelain Watermael bearded bantams but these are not recognized in Belgium.

State : Moderately spread. Only a few varieties are common in Belgium. All other varieties are rare or very rare and usually in the possession of a very limited number of breeders. Also moderately spread in Holland and the last few years also in Germany. The Australian Watermael bantams are not related with Belgian birds.