- 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.
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-hamburg.1053788/
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Climate Tolerance: All Climates
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: High
Egg Size: Small
Egg Color: White
Wild / restless,Flighty
Breed Colors / Varieties:
White, Black, Silver Spangled, Gold Spangled, Silver Penciled, Gold Penciled
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 http://www.northamericanhamburgs.com/
Recent User Reviews
"Fun and Flighty!"
Pros - Dependable layer
Cons - Flighty
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.
"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.
"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.