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Appenzeller Spitzhauben


Pros: Friendly, Engaging Birds!

Cons: Can't think of one!

Back in the early 2000's I was in Appenzell Switzerland.  When I heard the chicken name, Appenzeller Sptizhauben, I had to get one.  Boy was I in for a treat!  What lovely birds.  I started with four...because of there "hair cuts", I named them John, Paul George and Ringo...Paul and George became Paula and Georgia!   John was the best rooster I ever had...affectionate and fiercely protective of his flock, including the turkeys in it.  Georgia and Paula, were so affectionate.  They would ride on my shoulder and jump up in my lap and loved to be petted.  I lived in Northern NY and they were good in both the extreme cold and the warmer temps.  Fun, lively and smart.  I moved and had to give them away, but as soon as I can get chickens again, they are the first to get!!!


Pros: Beautiful, very good layers, calm, non flighty and gentle for kids, can handle confinement well (coop and run set up), good forager, frugal

Cons: Likes to roost in trees, free ranging

The Spitzhaubens are one of my favorite breeds! Very flashy, they are not afraid to "show off" their beauty. Roosters are very gentle toward kids. Very good white egg layers, and known to be a non broody breed however rare incidents do happen that they will brood and raise chicks successfully while others would brood but not want to raise chicks. I find the hens to be very gentle, not nervous in temperment or flighty. Very hardy in winter, rarely I have problems with frostbitten combs and wattles but it is to be expected. They don't mind the heat in the summer as long water (with electrolites) and shade is provided. Good range birds, forage for themselves quite well, and when free ranging, they would roost in trees if allowed.


There is much work to be done for the Spitzhaubens in the United States to correct the spangling, the "mohawk", it should NEVER be Polish top hat and feathers pointing forward. Legs should be slate, not blue or pale pinkish blue like I have seen in some Spitzes. Other colors are being developed.


Would I recommend this breed for a beginner? Yes I definately would!


Pros: Sweet dispositions

Cons: Smaller white eggs

In my flock of 41 (3 roosters and 38 hens) my pair of Spitzhaubens are my favorites by far. My rooster Hans rules the roost including my two light brahma roosters but he's gentle and friendly with me and my family. He's never aggressive with us and will walk over and let me pick him up and carry him around. Oh and he's a gorgeous rooster! Princess, my Spitzhauben hen is as friendly as Hans and will squat when I touch her back. Cracks me up and makes it easy to grab her.

They're really great chickens and striking in appearance. I live in northern Minnesota and they handled the winter with ease. Hans got a little frostbite on his waddles but they look great once spring rolled around.

The best part is watching Hans kick the brahma's, who out weigh him but at least a couple pounds, off his girls and then chase them around.

I have a chainlink fence for a run and covered the top with deer netting which I got specifically to keep them in since they supposedly like to roost in trees. Mine free range about half the day but they show no desire to roost in trees.

Great chickens!


Pros: 5 eggs a week, good forager, beautiful, not aggressive.

Cons: None.

I have two Appenzeller Spitzhauben, one pullet and one cockerel in a mixed flock. The pullet started laying right at 4 months even though it is fall, and has given me 5 plus medium sized eggs a week this past month. The cockerel is a little gentleman with the hens, not at all aggressive as many young roosters can be. He crows only at dawn and when the pullet sings her egg song. Mine stay in their run and only flew up to the top of the coop once.  They are beautiful to watch, a bit wary, but not at all skittish. Great little birds.


Pros: Very friendly, prolonged life span, continues to lay some well into old age, disease resistant.

Cons: probably averages 3 eggs per week, not a top rate layer

We love our Spitzhauben girl who is now going on to 9 years old. She has become the farm mascot and family pet and has earned her spot here as long as nature allows. She is a very friendly girl who will allow you to walk over and pick her up where ever she is. Loves to free range but tolerates confinement well when necessary. Knows where the bag of corn is in the house and will come in and search it out if the door is open. She has long since passed her peak laying but still lays a bit in the spring. Over the past 9 years we have had a number of chicken diseases that have passed through the flock but this girl seems to have exceptionally strong immunity. She never seems to display any of the symptoms that may be present within the flock. We have had losses from Marek's, coccidiosis, and infectious bronchitis and I honestly do not remember this girl ever exhibiting symptoms. She also seems to be good at avoiding predators which I partly account to her good flying ability. She likes to roost as high as she can in the pen, often roosting over doors when she can find space enough to do so. 


Pros: great layers, resilient, surprisingly heat tolerant, excellent foragers

Cons: Newly-hatched chicks seem to get pasty butt more than other breeds, no other cons

I really love the Appenzeller Spitzhaubens. I got this breed because of personal heritage reasons; my great-grandfather came from the Appenzeller region of Switzerland. I'm glad I got them, as they are among the best birds I've ever had. Despite the excessive summer heat here in the Phoenix area, these alpine chickens do remarkably well with fresh water and afternoon shade--better than some of the more notoriously heat-tolerant breeds. My original stock is already over three years old, and they lay nearly every day. They are great foragers and very lovely to look at. I will continue breeding the Spitzhaubens for years to come! They have replaced Black Minorcas as my favorite white layers.


Pros: very hardy!

Cons: None

Really sweet, docile and inquisitive birds. Have had really good luck with the breed -and they have really been good layers! Definitely 5 star rating by us!


Pros: Beautiful and spritely

Cons: A bit shy, can be flighty

My AP is now 2 months old.  She struggled some when she first arrived with 40 other chicks.  She was so tiny she was getting shoved aside from the food and water, kept pasting up, and getting weaker.  I put her in a separate brooder with a couple of other smaller chicks and she thrived!  Within a week I could put her back with the big group and she gamely shouldered through to the food and water.  She has a "can-do" spirit and is a very lively little girl who loves meal worms!  She won't take them from my hand yet, but we are working on it.  She is exquisite!


By the way, how do you pronounce Spitzhauben?  My German friend does not pronounce the "b" so it sounds more like "Spitzhoun" or Spitzhoen".  At least that gets you closer to the real pronunciation!  Don't forget that like gargley sound when say the "h".:lau


Pros: Beautiful, friendly, non bird-agressive, good layers, especially hardy for their small size

Cons: They can be a little loud, and are especially active/high flighers - not the ideal birds for small coops or runs

I absolutely ADORE Spitzhaubens.


They are great layers for their size and type, extremely friendly, non bird aggressive and absolutely stunning in any flock. For their smaller size, they're incredibly hardy birds and lay well even in winter. They've got an exotic look without the idiocy and finicky nature of other tophats - plus, a huge bonus, their tophats don't obscure their vision and they are great free-range birds. There were few others in my flock that could out-forage my Spitz.


They are a GREAT choice for mixed breed flocks - they're neither aggressive nor overtly submissive, usually take up for themselves well and can form friendships in the flock. They're smart birds and they WILL make you smile.


I miss my Spitz dearly and would love to have the breed again.


Pros: active, inqusitive, sweet

Cons: niosey, jumpy, fast

Over all I love my little girl she is supper loud though I would still get her if I had the choice to go back

Appenzeller Spitzhauben

The Appenzellar Spitzhauben originated in Switzerland. Large fowl are found but bantams were not in existence until recently in Germany where they are working on downsizing the Spitzhauben breed. The breed was named after the ladies' lace bonnets of Appenzellerland. The word "spitzhauben" means pointed bonnet. In the 1950's, at Dr. Albert McGraw's request, a German friend of his brought him over three dozen eggs back from Germany. Dr. McGraw's line was the only line of Spitzhaubens in the United States for many years; as such, you can be certain that all of the Spitzhaubens here in the United States can be traced back to his stock. There are a few dedicated breeders here in the United States, so the breed is slowly making a comeback.

Breed PurposeOrnamental
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ColorWhite
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Not bear confinementwell,Calm,Quiet,Shy,Docile
Breed Colors/VarietiesSilver Spangled/Silver Crescent, Golden Spangled and Blacks are found in the UK and USA. Light/soft feathered.
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Comb: V-Shaped
Broodiness: Seldom
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: White

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Not bear confinementwell,Calm,Quiet,Shy,Docile

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Silver Spangled/Silver Crescent, Golden Spangled and Blacks are found in the UK and USA. Light/soft feathered.

Breed Details:

Well proportioned round body, crest must be tipped forward over face. V comb and should not have any side sprigs. Large nostrils. Eyes are dark brown. No beards or muffs, unlike the Brabanter. Skin is white and legs must be blue or slate in color. Not flighty or nervous like Leghorns. Friendly and quiet. Can stand confinement in coop and run enclosures but not in cages unless they are chicks or recovering from illness. Great active forager and excellent fliers. Good egg to feed ratio. Good layer of eggs, with production roughly between 140 to 160 white eggs per year. With patience and time, Appenzeller Speizhaubens can become very friendly and unafraid of human touch.


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