THE BELGIAN D’EVERBERG

All text Jørn Clevin

Written by Jeroen Muys, Belgium, February, 2005

It’s a pleasure to the eye when this wonderful breed runs in the garden, so small, so compact and so quiet. But with all the positive qualities, it is still a rare breed…

History
The Belgian d'Everberg is nothing else than the rumpless variant of the Belgian d’Uccle. Robert Pauwels created this beautiful breed in 1906 in his castle of Everberg near Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. The origin was probably due to a cross between Belgian d'Uccle and another rumpless breed (for example the Belgian de Grubbe).

Before the Great War they had a certain amount of popularity, but after this War the d'Everberg seems to have disappeared. Then, in the forties, Georges Lamarche recreated the breed, but after a few years it disappeared again. At the end of the sixties there were several efforts to bring back the Belgian d'Everberg and some of them were successful. However, interest in this breed was still minor.

At the beginning of the nineties there were a few enthusiastic breeders, like Jaak Bolle and Jean Pierre Muys, who would bring back this beautiful breed. My father had done a lot to obtain a bird for his friend Jaak Bolle and himself, as at that time there were only a few Belgian d’Everberg in Belgium. After several telephone calls and a long drive we obtained two females, one for Jaak and one for us. This was the start of a nice experience.

Approximately in the same period the late Mr. Mollinger, a Dutch breeder, was very active with the Belgian d’Uccle and the Belgian d’Everberg. He had the last breed in Mille-fleurs and Porcelain.

Shape and appearance
Actually the shape and appearance is the same as shape and appearance of the Belgian d’Uccle. But a rumpless bird seems to be broader and shorter than the same bird with a tail. A rumpless bird is missing a few tail vertebrae and the quantity depends on the modifying genes of the bird. It has also been established that a rumpless bird is missing a few muscles and some muscles are in another position.

The most typical qualities of a Belgian d’Everberg are they are very broad in the shoulders, their back is very short, they hold their head backwards and they possess a well developed breast. The mane has to be as big as possible. The well developed, three-lobed beard and the nice bull neck, give them an owl-like appearance. The best birds stand low and their wings slope downwards. The Belgian d'Everberg should have a smooth, well-rounded rump. Show birds need a complete absence of tail or tail feathers.

Breeding
We mostly breed with a Belgian d’Everberg male and Belgian d’Uccle females, but we have already had the same hatchery results with a cross between a Belgian d’Uccle male and d’Everberg females. Our friend Jaak Bolle breeds rumpless birds together and he has had good results too. But when you try to breed with Belgian d’Everberg females and you want to have a good result then you need a pair of scissors. You have to cut off all the feathers around the cloacae of the female.

Genetics
The factor for rumplessness is a dominant gene, called Rp. The mating of rumpless to normal or vice versa can give some intermediate or modified rumplessness. Some of these birds show some visible tail feathers, which grow mostly towards the ground. The amount of such tail feathers depends on several modifying genes, which are also in the genotype of birds with a tail. There is some good text in the book “Poultry Breeding and Genetics”, written by R.D. Crawford, 1990 concerning the genetics of rumpless birds.

Birds with intermediate rumplessness are not allowed at shows, but they can be useful for breeding. When you breed only completely rumpless birds together there is a risk the offspring will be too short and such birds don’t show the correct balance!

Varieties in Belgium
As far as I know, in the beginning of the nineties there were only a few Belgian d’Everberg in the more popular varieties Mille-fleurs and Porcelain. The especially enthusiastic breeders Jaak Bolle and Jean Pierre Muys have recreated them in several varieties, like Black, White, Blue, Black Mottled, Blue Mottled, Quail, Blue Quail, White Quail (a new variety!), Golden Neck, Buff Columbian and Cream Columbian (also a new variety!).

Present popularity
After Jaak Bolle and Jean Pierre Muys recreated some not so popular colours and created some new varieties, there was certainly more interest in the breed. Then came more breeders and the quantity of the Belgian d’Everberg has risen at several shows, but today the popularity is going downhill again. Most Belgian d’Everberg live in Flanders. At the moment Jaak Bolle has the most birds, and in most varieties. Then there are a few breeders with some rumpless Belgian d’Uccle, like Jean Pierre Muys, Luc Lannoo, Richard Peeters, Shirley Van Hoorebeke, Christoph Schollier and Sony Vergauwen. Mostly the quality is very good.

There is certainly one breeder in the United Kingdom, maybe more. In 2003 some Belgian d’Everberg were sent to Germany. Since last year I know there is a breeder Jørgen Jensen, who has been breeding them already for several years in Denmark. A few years ago this magnificent breed had a certain amount of popularity in the Netherlands, but it seems to be that now they have lost some enthusiastic breeders there.

In Australia this breed turns up occasionally, but unfortunately they don’t seem to breed more rumpless birds. These birds don’t possess the dominant gene for rumplessness. In the past this has been called “accidental rumplessness”.

Finally
The history of this rare breed shows us the popularity was never very good, it was always going up and down. Actually it has to depend on some enthusiastic breeders. I think it is a very interesting breed and it’s a big challenge to breed good quality birds in one of the magnificent varieties that already exist, or you can make another variety, you only need one rumpless bird, some Belgian d’Uccle and especially a lot of patience. Good luck!
THE BELGIAN D’EVERBERG

Written by Jeroen Muys, Belgium, February, 2005

It’s a pleasure to the eye when this wonderful breed runs in the garden, so small, so compact and so quiet. But with all the positive qualities, it is still a rare breed…

History
The Belgian d'Everberg is nothing else than the rumpless variant of the Belgian d’Uccle. Robert Pauwels created this beautiful breed in 1906 in his castle of Everberg near Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. The origin was probably due to a cross between Belgian d'Uccle and another rumpless breed (for example the Belgian de Grubbe).

Before the Great War they had a certain amount of popularity, but after this War the d'Everberg seems to have disappeared. Then, in the forties, Georges Lamarche recreated the breed, but after a few years it disappeared again. At the end of the sixties there were several efforts to bring back the Belgian d'Everberg and some of them were successful. However, interest in this breed was still minor.

At the beginning of the nineties there were a few enthusiastic breeders, like Jaak Bolle and Jean Pierre Muys, who would bring back this beautiful breed. My father had done a lot to obtain a bird for his friend Jaak Bolle and himself, as at that time there were only a few Belgian d’Everberg in Belgium. After several telephone calls and a long drive we obtained two females, one for Jaak and one for us. This was the start of a nice experience.

Approximately in the same period the late Mr. Mollinger, a Dutch breeder, was very active with the Belgian d’Uccle and the Belgian d’Everberg. He had the last breed in Mille-fleurs and Porcelain.

Shape and appearance
Actually the shape and appearance is the same as shape and appearance of the Belgian d’Uccle. But a rumpless bird seems to be broader and shorter than the same bird with a tail. A rumpless bird is missing a few tail vertebrae and the quantity depends on the modifying genes of the bird. It has also been established that a rumpless bird is missing a few muscles and some muscles are in another position.

The most typical qualities of a Belgian d’Everberg are they are very broad in the shoulders, their back is very short, they hold their head backwards and they possess a well developed breast. The mane has to be as big as possible. The well developed, three-lobed beard and the nice bull neck, give them an owl-like appearance. The best birds stand low and their wings slope downwards. The Belgian d'Everberg should have a smooth, well-rounded rump. Show birds need a complete absence of tail or tail feathers.

Breeding
We mostly breed with a Belgian d’Everberg male and Belgian d’Uccle females, but we have already had the same hatchery results with a cross between a Belgian d’Uccle male and d’Everberg females. Our friend Jaak Bolle breeds rumpless birds together and he has had good results too. But when you try to breed with Belgian d’Everberg females and you want to have a good result then you need a pair of scissors. You have to cut off all the feathers around the cloacae of the female.

Genetics
The factor for rumplessness is a dominant gene, called Rp. The mating of rumpless to normal or vice versa can give some intermediate or modified rumplessness. Some of these birds show some visible tail feathers, which grow mostly towards the ground. The amount of such tail feathers depends on several modifying genes, which are also in the genotype of birds with a tail. There is some good text in the book “Poultry Breeding and Genetics”, written by R.D. Crawford, 1990 concerning the genetics of rumpless birds.

Birds with intermediate rumplessness are not allowed at shows, but they can be useful for breeding. When you breed only completely rumpless birds together there is a risk the offspring will be too short and such birds don’t show the correct balance!

Varieties in Belgium
As far as I know, in the beginning of the nineties there were only a few Belgian d’Everberg in the more popular varieties Mille-fleurs and Porcelain. The especially enthusiastic breeders Jaak Bolle and Jean Pierre Muys have recreated them in several varieties, like Black, White, Blue, Black Mottled, Blue Mottled, Quail, Blue Quail, White Quail (a new variety!), Golden Neck, Buff Columbian and Cream Columbian (also a new variety!).

Present popularity
After Jaak Bolle and Jean Pierre Muys recreated some not so popular colours and created some new varieties, there was certainly more interest in the breed. Then came more breeders and the quantity of the Belgian d’Everberg has risen at several shows, but today the popularity is going downhill again. Most Belgian d’Everberg live in Flanders. At the moment Jaak Bolle has the most birds, and in most varieties. Then there are a few breeders with some rumpless Belgian d’Uccle, like Jean Pierre Muys, Luc Lannoo, Richard Peeters, Shirley Van Hoorebeke, Christoph Schollier and Sony Vergauwen. Mostly the quality is very good.

There is certainly one breeder in the United Kingdom, maybe more. In 2003 some Belgian d’Everberg were sent to Germany. Since last year I know there is a breeder Jørgen Jensen, who has been breeding them already for several years in Denmark. A few years ago this magnificent breed had a certain amount of popularity in the Netherlands, but it seems to be that now they have lost some enthusiastic breeders there.

In Australia this breed turns up occasionally, but unfortunately they don’t seem to breed more rumpless birds. These birds don’t possess the dominant gene for rumplessness. In the past this has been called “accidental rumplessness”.

Finally
The history of this rare breed shows us the popularity was never very good, it was always going up and down. Actually it has to depend on some enthusiastic breeders. I think it is a very interesting breed and it’s a big challenge to breed good quality birds in one of the magnificent varieties that already exist, or you can make another variety, you only need one rumpless bird, some Belgian d’Uccle and especially a lot of patience. Good luck!