Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Breed Temperament:
    Wild / restless,Flighty
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    White, Black, Silver Spangled, Gold Spangled, Silver Penciled, Gold Penciled
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl

    The Hamburg breed most probably derived from spangled rose-combed birds that were imported from Turkey into Europe in the 1300’s. The breed as we know it today originated in Europe, in Holland and Germany, later taking their name from Hamburg, Germany in the early 1840s. They were known by various names in the interim including Mooneys and Pheasant Fowl, mostly due to their color patterns. They were present in Holland as early as the fourteenth century, and in England by 1785, they were exported to the US by 1856. Today they are found in at least ten colours, six of which are recognised by the APA: Silver Penciled, Golden Penciled, Silver Spangled, Golden Spangled, Black, and White. The Silver Spangled is probably the most popular colour.

    The Hamburg is a small, elegant breed, very alert and active and are excellent flyers. Hamburgs are also great foragers and are popular in a free range environments since they have good predator awareness and escape abilities. They have a tendency to want to roost as high as possible, often winding up in trees for the night. They do not like confinement, tend to be nervous around humans if they haven’t been raised and handled since chicks, and can be quite noisy.

    Once known as the “Everlayer”, Hamburgs are excellent layers of small-medium sized white eggs, they are known for being a very consistent layer for three or four years, of four eggs a week or so. The hens fast maturing and are non-setters. They are a hardy breed and with their rose combs are quite cold tolerant. They can be an excellent choice for a beautiful free ranging flock, or for someone looking to add a very active white egg layer to their flock. They are also a breed to consider for people looking for a small, almost bantam sized bird, that is available sexed instead of straight run, from hatcheries.

    It was recognized by the APA in 1874 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Watch list.

    Hamburg eggs

    Hamburg chicks

    Hamburg hen

    Hamburg rooster

    For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
  • 9cb9161e_IMG_2917.jpeg 36bc5c4d_hamburg-4382-2198.jpeg ae507b28_hamburg-4382-94998.jpeg 3586511d_hamburg-4382-153562.jpeg 5a0d2727_IMG_2076.jpeg f9f3c41d_IMG_2609.jpeg 04bad69f_IMG_2899.jpeg 700.jpg chicks.jpg roo.jpg 7004.jpg

  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Comb: Rose
    Broodiness: Seldom
    Climate Tolerance: All Climates

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size: Small
    Egg Color: White

    Breed Temperament:
    Wild / restless,Flighty

    Breed Colors / Varieties:
    White, Black, Silver Spangled, Gold Spangled, Silver Penciled, Gold Penciled
    Breed Details:
    Conservation status: Watch Size: Cock 26 oz.; Hen 22 oz. My personal experience with these lovely birds is that they are naturally flighty and like to keep their distance from humans, but the hand-raised birds can become more like pets. A great website to find out more about Hamburgs is






BlackHackle likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. FlippinFarm
    "Fun and Flighty!"
    Pros - Dependable layer
    Aggressive forager
    Cons - Flighty
    Nervous disposition
    We love our "four horsemen"! While they are quite nervous and flighty (flying higher and farther than any chicken I've ever seen), our girls are quieter than most, excellent foragers, and always have one or two eggs waiting for collection in the morning.
    BlackHackle likes this.
  2. Squeak61
    "Pretty but flighty"
    Pros - Beautiful, very unique
    Cons - Flighty, nervous, able to fly high
    Although this breed is beautiful to look at, they have bad personalities. Very flighty, and not human friendly. Also, they can very easily fly, more than most chickens.
  3. AmandaKyle
    "Sassy little thing!"
    Pros - Beautiful, energetic, entertaining
    Cons - Loud, small eggs, flighty
    We have one little Silver Spangled Hamburg and she is easily the most entertaining hen in my flock! She is very loud, so you know when she's laid an egg or is excited about something that's going on in the yard. She's very striking to look at, her earlobes are bright blue, and it's a beautiful contrast to her plumage.

    She's an infrequent layer, and her eggs are small, but she's a great addition to the flock! Although she is the smallest of my hens, she is very cold hardy and had no issues at all throughout the New England winter.
    Purchase Date:
    BlackHackle likes this.

User Comments

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  1. countrydream7
    how big are the eggs they get along with other birds..
  2. 0wen
    I have an 8 week old pullet - hatchery stock from My Pet Chicken, and can all ready see this coming. We're working on getting our pullets person-friendly by bribing the with mealworms and while you can see this girl desperately wants them - she's evidently rather starve than even consider taking one from our hand. Our mixed flock (2) Crested Cream Legbars (2) Olive Eggers (1) Buff Orpington (1) Bantam Leghorn (1) Silver Spangled Hamburgh has progressed well in that the other 6 come running to see if we have treats for them - not the Hamburgh. She stays 4 feet or better away (and on edge) ready to flee if we even look in her direction.

    Right now, fearful that she'll eventually make the rest of my flock crazy as hell because of her zero-to-blind panic is 1 second mental state. Hoping to keep her because they're definitely pretty birds, but not at the sake of having a mentally stable flock...
    1. Susan Hampshire
      I have 5 SSH ... whilst they are definitely more aloof than other breeds they now take mealworms and wheat from my hand... it's taken 9 months. And two of them squat when I want to pick them up!
      Susan Hampshire, Aug 9, 2017
  3. chattery41
    Wow ! She's got some amazing feathers going on there. Never seen one with such defined spots before.
  4. applebutter14
    the chick on the left is a dark cornish hen
  5. Alexandra33
    Lovely! I hope my own SSH pullet grows to be that beautiful.
  6. chickenchick12
    What is the other chick in the picture?
  7. SizzleQueen
    They are gorgeous! Want want want :)
  8. hellbender
    I agree weezilgirl, about the hawks. I too have shot up into the air and they usually do NOT come back!!!
  9. TaraBellaBirds
    I have two 8 week hamburgs. They are very clickish and not at all friendly, but are turning into very lovely birds. They are tiny and quite and I am sure will be an interesting addition to my flock.
  10. weezilgirl
    If you have more trouble with hawks, my solution has been to step outside and shoot my shotgun up into the sky. I had two different type hawks and neither has returned.
    I live in southeastern Oklahoma and about 2 months ago, a horse looked off into another pasture and I ran for my binoculars. Horses see everything. I saw a shape and thought, no....huh must be an extra large road runner. That afternoon as I was leaving to go to the river to swim, something flew up, by my truck, hit me in the head and I immediately recognized the sound. It was a pheasant! It landed by my garden and foraged and walked over to a cattle lot and started down the fence. I headed it off before it got to the road and it was not the least bit scared of me. It looked me in the eye and climbed over a fence rod and continued foraging in the cattle lot. I've seen it and a hen two more times. The Oklahoma wildlife department is flummoxed.:) I have so many coyotes and also two wolves around in my woods that I'm afraid they have been caught.
    I would love to see your chickens because the shape of a pheasant is so beautiful.

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