Chicken Breed Focus - Hamburg

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    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.

    Details:

    Breed purpose: Egg layer
    Comb Type: Rose
    Broodiness: Non-Setters
    Climate Tolerance: Hardy, Cold Tolerant.
    Weight: Roosters 5lbs, hens 4 lbs
    Egg Productivity: Very good
    Egg Size: Small-Medium
    Egg Color: White

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    Pic by @ryanzierke

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    Pic by @Alexandra33

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    Pic by @Alexandra33

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    Pic by @Henk69

    BYC Breed reviews:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/hamburg

    General breed discussions & FAQ thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/379031/hamburg-thread/0_20
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013046/celebrating-the-silver-spangled-hamburg/0_30


    Do you own any Hamburgs? Are you a Hamburg breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

    · What made you decide to get this breed?
    · Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
    · What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
    · Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    I've admired other member's Hamburgs for some time now. It will be interesting to read of other's experiences with them. Beautiful chickens!
     
  3. TBirdsTheWord33

    TBirdsTheWord33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great article, Sumi! Thank you for bringing awareness to this captivating breed. It is such an honor that you included a picture of my daughter's Avalon. She really is just exactly as you described the breed.
     
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  4. Marilee

    Marilee New Egg

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    I have a Silver Speckled Hamburg named Ansel. She is exactly as described: roosts high in a tree, skittish around humans. I haven't seen any eggs from her yet, but she may be laying them somewhere I haven't discovered. She's a strikingly pretty hen.
     
  5. PDPercherons

    PDPercherons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had these two since their purchase from McMurray in April 2014. They prefer to live in the rafters of my pole barn. Very active and regular layers, but if free ranging best of luck finding the eggs. If you do and take them, they move to a new spot. I truly enjoy these hens, they're active for sure. I wish more got into breeding and raising them. I'm too busy breeding and raising other birds to keep them as a project. They're the same size as the Buttercups and the eggs are reasonable but smaller of course.
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine get along well with the larger hens. Last year a sunny snow day.
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    This was when they were about 10 weeks old. Nice little birds and the feather pattern is very striking.
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    I must not forget little Ducky. She is a splash that is about 5 now. She is larger than the spangled and can be bossy toward the entire flock, but is super pretty.

    They are extremely well flighted and can be easily triggered into taking off. Great at hunting around the yard and helping in the garden. When I grab a shovel in the spring I am sure to see them following me to the garden.
    Mine are on the skittish side of things which I expected from the breed. They are used to me so do not run when I approach but will if it is anyone else.
    Mine have been really good layers, non broody, and the egg size is a large medium.
    Mine have launched with no take off space (under a lot of shrub branches) to fly over the entire run. It meant getting over six foot in the air with no room to do so. REALLY vigilant about hawks and very willing to sound an alarm.

    Love them! Thank you for making them the breed focus bird.
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    I chose these beauties for a breeding project; I'm looking at free ranging layers and I'm very attracted to black and white ;)

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    They are just kids yet, 10 weeks old, but so far they have proven very intelligent, training themselves to go back into the coop at night, no herding necessary. They are great foragers, as I hardly see them during the day; they take off fairly early and return late and go straight to roost.

    They get along well with the older hens, and the cockerel is showing great promise as an attentive flock protector, and has shown no aggression to his humans :)

    I plan on breeding them for purebreds, and crossing them with Ancona and Blue Andalusian, just for fun, pretty, little yard helpers :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  8. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm so very honored that my Avalon was chosen to be the face of this week's Breed Focus! [​IMG] Not only is she a prolific layer of beautiful pearly-white eggs, but looks and the capability to spot predators are other great traits. My girl is only second to the ducks when it comes to alerting the rest to a hawk or eagle circling overhead. And don't mess with Avalon when she's sitting on an egg, or you might end up with a bite out of your hand. Ouch!
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    -Alex
     
    3 people like this.
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    She's beautiful, @Alexandra33 :)


    Her tail is actually why I chose Silver Spangled Hamburgs; such a beautiful full tail and an intricate pattern; so very regal!
     
  10. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    Beautiful girl Alex! [​IMG]
     

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