Hamburg Chickens are a very old race of domesticated poultry. The name of the breed is German, but the origin is Dutch. Hamburg Chickens owe their present shape and color qualities to the British fanciers, who, over a century ago, began the work of refining the ‘pheasant fowls’ of that period into modern Hamburgs. The Spangled type, was kept in Yorkshire and Lancashire three hundred years ago. Also a breed called Black Pheasants was mentioned in a book of 1702. The name Moonies originates from the Moon shape spangles on the feathers. There is mention of them in Thomas Hardy’s book ‘Tess of the D’urbavilles’ The Black and Spangled varieties were evolved in England; the Penciled varieties came from Holland via Hamburg, Germany.
Characteristics: The Hamburg chicken are one of the snappiest, most alert breeds on the poultry list. Of rather small size, with light but sweeping, graceful outlines, they are elegant and beautiful. They have a kind of bright cheerfulness about them when foraging over open range and they love this kind of situation.
- Standard Weights: Cock-5 pounds; hen-4 pounds; cockerel-4 pounds; pullet-3-1/2 pounds.
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: A good egg producing variety.
- Origin: Europe
Interested in raising chickens, but not sure which breed might be right for you?
Things to consider:
Geography: Consider geography when selecting a breed. In cooler areas of the country, consider raising heavier birds. In hotter areas, consider lighter weight birds. Some birds have been specially breed for cold climates. Consider these birds if you live in a cold-climate area.
Space: Where will you be raising these chickens? Do you have a lot of farm land for the animals to be raised on, or are you planning to raise them in your backyard? If you have a small space in which to raise the birds, choose breeds with a calmer temperament and avoid birds that are listed as active. Active birds will not be happy in close confinement.
Temperament: When choosing a breed, consider temperament. Some breeds are calmer than others. If raising chickens in a backyard or in the city, you may prefer a calmer breed.