- Breed Purpose:
- Climate Tolerance:
- All Climates
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly, Do not bear confinement well
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Silver Spangled/Silver Crescent, Golden Spangled and Blacks are found in the UK and USA. Light/soft feathered.
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
With their characteristic forward sweeping crest, the Appenzeller Spitzhauben is an unusual looking bird. The breed originated in the Appenzell canton of northeast Switzerland and seem to date as far back as the 16th century, where similar birds are described as being developed in the local monasteries. Switzerland considers the Appenzeller Spitzhauben to be the national chicken of their country and the breed takes their name from the ceremonial hats worn by woman of the region, called Spitzhauben (pointed hood) which are reminiscent of the breeds large forward sweeping crest.
The breed fell into disfavor after WWII and was at the brink of extinction when a German breeder, Kurt Fischer, imported all three of the original colors (black, golden spangled and silver spangled) into Germany in 1953, he is credited with saving the breed. The silver spangled version was also imported in to the US in the 1950’s, and it is the primary color found in the US today. The breed is not currently recognized by the APA, but is in the UK.
Besides the characteristic crest, Appenzeller Spitzhauben have "V" combs, blue legs, and white skin. They are rather small birds, are very active and alert,and are good flyers and foragers. They do not take well to close confinement. They are cold hardy, and though they are primarily an ornamental breed today, the hens are good layers of medium-large sized eggs and are non-setters.
Appenzeller Spitzhauben egg
Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicks
Appenzeller Spitzhauben juvenile
Appenzeller Spitzhauben hen
Appenzeller Spitzhauben rooster
For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-appenzeller-spitzhauben.1013428/
- Average User Rating:
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Climate Tolerance: All Climates
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: White
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.
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.
LEMae likes this.
Recent User Reviews
Pros - Lovely friendly and petable sweet birds. They are very good fliers. They lay almost everyday for me at one year old. Fine with being petted and held even by children.
Cons - Loud amazon bird like calls and one of my hens occasionally crows. Not small backyard with neighbors material if you need quiet.
I love my Appenzellers. They are very sweet birds and will fly to my shoulders to say hello and check on me. They don't mind being picked up at all even by children. They do well in my covered run with high roosts. They do very well in the cold and suffer almost no frostbite with their tiny combs. They often lay back to back days but more often every other day at one year old. My light is somewhat shaded at the coop though.
They are also very very loud and would not do well in a situation where quiet is needed. They make odd amazon bird like calls. They are very good fliers and would probably do well free range though. They get along very well with my other birds and are on the small side so don't take up much room. I would gladly have more.
"I am so impressed with this breed!"
Pros - Friendly, intelligent, cute, photogenic
Cons - none yet
I am raising my first batch of Spitzhauben chicks and I am so impressed with them. They are friendly, trusting, and intelligent. The chicks figure out what to do in each new situation and don't make a fuss. On a recent segment of PBS's P. Allen Smith, he did a show on heritage breeds, spending part of it with a breeder of these chickens. She said, I've never had an aggressive rooster.
I have read that they are excellent free rangers, excellent egg layers. View attachment 1306989 View attachment 1306991 View attachment 1306996
I will add to this review as mine grow up.
Edit on August 22
My Spitzhaubens are now 7 months old. I am still in love with this breed. I have 3 left after selling 2 cockerels. The cockerel is polite and takes care of his ladies. The 2 pullets are little egg laying machines, rarely a day goes by without 2 of their eggs. I hope to raise more!
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.