- 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/