Okay, I've been holding out on you lot - I actually bought some new chicks about a month ago. The only reason I jumped at it, is because a local breeder was advertising "Barnevelder" chicks for sale in our area. I have plans to house them all, but nothing as extravagant as a full-scale permanent chicken coop.
When I initially bought them, they were 4 weeks old - now they're just over 8 weeks. I don't have a group picture yet, but I have a couple of close-ups of individuals.
I ended up with 2 roosters, and these are the two boys. One is obviously darker than the other, and I don't believe they are pure Barnevelders. More like someone else's breeding experiment. But they are still welcome here, as their natures are gorgeous. Especially the lighter coloured male on the left.
He comes right up to you, I can pat him on the chest and everything. The darker male is more skittish and the only flighty one of the lot. I ended up with two girls also, who don't seem very Barnevelder coloured either. Here is a picture of one of the girls (front) and the lighter coloured boy in the back.
Obviously, they're more ginger in colour than the traditional Barnevelder double-lacing, as seen in photographs here. Although one of the girls in particular (below, left), seems to have more "partridge" feathering. Not a very good photograph, sorry...
The two girls (seen above) aren't as flamboyant as the males, but they both have gentle and friendly natures. I'm told by the breeder, they do lay a dark brown egg (like Barnevelders should) but as the chicks grow out more, I'm beginning to realise they don't really have that much physically in common with the Barnevelders.
I guess this is a case of buyer beware. I wasn't familiar with Barnevelder chicks before and at 4 weeks of age, they weren't fully feathered either. If they weren't such friendly peeps, I would be tempted to feel disappointed. But then it's just another lesson learned. That's why I collect so many different breeds of chickens - to learn from them and about them.
I'll update later, when they've gotten bigger and their lacing more distinct - I hope. :)