Ever wondered if there are people who are enthusiastic to know the different breed names of a chicken? Surprisingly, numerous people are into birds. And maybe, you are one of them, curious to learn more about chickens. Today, our featured breed is the Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chicken. This breed originated in Appenzell, Switzerland, and is considered to be a laying breed.
The Appenzeller Spitzhauber breed has been recognized in numerous associations in their home country and several other parts of Europe. However, as of writing, this breed has not yet been acknowledged by the American Poultry associations in the U.S.
Background and History of Appenzeller Spitzhauben
Appenzeller Spitzhauben is a European laying breed, meaning it is an egg-producing chicken that is relatively short. Although the historical origin of this is considered a bit incomprehensible, they are believed to exist in around the 1500s or 1600s. However, Appenzeller was so close to extinct due to World War II that had occurred.
The name Appenzeller Spitzhauben referred to the lace bonnets, ceremonial hats of the ladies in Appenzellerland. As the name implies, this breed originated in the Appenzell Canton region, the North-Eastern part of Switzerland. Existing for over centuries, they are officially registered as Switzerland’s national bird.
During their early days, Appenzeller was primarily kept by some monasteries and flourished for centuries. With the consistency of increase in its population, they eventually found their way out to the local farmers.
From around the 1800s up until the early days of the 1900s, the Appenzeller was spotted away from their motherland. Thus, allowing the breed to reach the peak of the continuously rising popularity of the flock.
A German names Kurt Fischer had begun to trade and import Appenzeller. He was the reason why this breed got recognized to the German poultry standard. A plenty number of breeders had been identified during this time for reviving the breed that allowed it to find its way in England around 1978.
As mentioned before, Appenzeller is not yet acknowledged by the APA. The breed first landed in the land of America. With the initiative of the friend of Dr. Albert McGraw around the end of the 1950s.
Appenzeller Spitzhauben has two variety of breeds which is the Spitzhauben that means “pointed bonnet,” and the other one is the Barthuhner which means “bearded hens” Both the Spitzhauben and the Barthuhner are considered to be show breeds.
Breed Standard and Appearance
The Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chicken is commonly known to have slate legs and white skin with black spots. With this, they are usually referred to as the 101 dalmatian breeds of chickens. Moreover, this is known to be the 101 dalmatian concept.
With their dalmatian-like appearance, people would typically call them either as dalmatians with mohawk mainly because of its comb or as the main villain, Cruella de Vil. This is the charm that Appenzeller has and makes them completely one of a kind.
Apart from its distinctive dalmatian-like features, there are other varieties of colors and patterns on their feathers. Historically, there are only three varieties of colors, mainly gold spangled, black, and silver spangled. These days, more mixes have been added to the list of varieties, such as the blue and chamois spangled.
Even though Appenzeller is considered part of the petite group, it has a well-proportioned round physique with its crest slightly slanted forward towards its face. Its crest is defined to be a prominent trait. Its wattles are beautifully long, and it has a white egg-shaped earlobe.
Since it is a relatively small chicken and lightweight, the standard weight of the Appenzeller chicken normally ranges from around 3.5 up to 4.5 pounds. As 3.5 lbs being the average size of the hen and, on the other hand, 4.5 lbs for the rooster.
This breed can show you its charisma and, at the same time, intimidate you with its wide dark brown eyes, strong beak, and nostrils that are vastly deep. Unlike the other breeds, there is an absence of both muffs and beards. Its V-shaped combed is often referred to as mohawk style.
The Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chicken is a unique and for-show breed proven by its widely spread tail, firm and stable plumage, and a full hackle.
Personality and Temperament
Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chickens are recognized to be a low-maintenance chicken breed. It is notorious for being a great forager. Hence, proving that it can look after itself as long as there is an abundant food supply.
Since they are regarded as an economical breed, most of their meal are often sourced outside their home. As naturally born scavengers, they are already satisfied to feed themselves with an abundant source of bugs and insects.
The Appenzeller might be little in its size. But it has an enormous character, an energetic and alert personality. Therefore, it is crucial that you are conscious to avoid them being caged. Once placed in an enclosed environment, they will only show signs of restrictions and aggressiveness as they cannot afford confinement that well.
The only times and chances of them being broody are reasonably low unless you start detaining them. They abhor it so much. Therefore, it is essential that you allow them to roam freely from time to time. They mostly enjoy moving freely around the pastures and would prefer lodging in trees.
This breed is often silent and peaceful but naturally friendly. Hence, there will not be a problem when they are being gathered with the other breeds. They are slightly flighty but never nervous. Moreover, they would prefer to be constantly moving and roaming than just staying still.
Appenzeller chickens are exquisite when it comes to climbing. They prefer to be constantly hunting bugs for meals. They are exceptionally great climbers and are ideally appropriate to live their best life in the mountains.
When we are to talk about their tolerance in climate, they are capable of living in any weather and environment. The freezing feeling will definitely not be a struggle for them due to its combs and small wattles.
Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chicken Egg Laying
Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken is regarded as one of the best egg-laying breeds. They are considered great egg producers as they can lay up to three to four eggs in just one week regardless of the weather and its environment.
The number of eggs an Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken can lay annually ranges typically from around 150 up to 180 eggs. The color of the eggs it lays is white. Given that this breed is small, it is not much expected from them that it can produce large-sized eggs.
Moreover, they will not disappoint their local farmer as they are still capable of producing medium-sized ones. It can start laying eggs as early as five months of age.
The Appenzeller hens make an excellent and gentle mother. Thus, they will sit on their eggs to keep them warm and stay until the eggs start hatching. They are exceptionally productive in a way that they are capable of laying eggs all year-round. However, they have a phase where they cannot lay eggs, which generally happens during their annual molt.
Appenzeller is considered part of the layer of poultry with the significant number of eggs it can produce. Layer poultry is the label given to breeds that can lay an abundant number of eggs. Most local farms have this breed in their coop.
An Appenzeller Spitzhauben can withstand any weather, especially during cold days. They are unremarkably more productive in laying eggs during the winter season. This is not common to most chickens.
Therefore, they are acknowledged as high-range when it comes to egg production, making them good layers. If you intend to raise poultry and have a local farm as your business, then the Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken is one of the recommended breeds.
Health Issues and Care of Appenzeller Spitzhaubens
It is crucial for local farmers who do poultry farming for a living to keep their flock healthy. A successful poultry business would depend on how local farmers take care of their chickens.
Slight negligence can sometimes lead to tremendous loss and tragic death of the flock. Therefore, it is necessary to give extra attention and care to your chickens. Common health issues that strike a plague to herds will vastly affect the energy and health of your chickens.
Even though Appenzeller Spitzhauben chickens are generally healthy without any particular hereditary health concerns, Appenzeller is not an exemption from contracting any poultry virus.
Like any other chickens in the coop, they are still capable of contacting any variant of poultry illnesses and diseases. Dynamic biosecurity and strict flock care play an essential role in keeping your chickens aware of any health issues.
As Appenzeller are born to be independent and would prefer to be allowed to roam freely, it is vital to protect them from keeping them away from predators. The local farmer should make sure that the surroundings are safe.
They are usually healthy, but to make sure that they will not easily contract any contagious diseases and illnesses from other chickens, get them vaccinated. Apart from vaccination, it is necessary to provide high-quality poultry pellets with enough protein and other nutrients their body needs for proper development.
Once they are in the adult stage, you can start shifting their food to a laying feed, and this meal should remain for them for their lifetime as it helps to have healthy and robust eggs.
However, feeding them food that they are not allowed to eat is inevitable. Sometimes, this is either due to negligence or irresponsibility. Ensure that your chickens will never eat moldy foods. These are carriers of harmful bacterias that might provoke some severe health problems.
Other foods that you should always look out for not to feed your chickens are beans and chocolates. These two contain phytohemagglutinin and theobromine that are lethal to your chickens once consumed.
4 Tips On How To Raise Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chicken
The Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken breed is a good layer of eggs. Therefore, the local farmers must ensure that they are raising the chicken well. Although it is always a challenge to raise whatever kind of animal or breed, it is always worth the try as long as you are dedicated to taking care of them.
Tender love and care with the chicks
Chicks are like glass; they are fragile. Therefore, you must provide them tender love and care just as they need. When eggs started to hatch and these chicks come out of this world, they are unaware of what to do and have just begun to adjust. And for this reason, they must be separated from adults in the meantime to keep them out of danger.
It is vital that you provide your chickens a nutrition plan which is beneficial for you in the long run. When you have started to supply the necessary nutrients your chicks need, you will surely raise a healthy chicken. A healthy Appenzeller Spitzhauben hen will be able to provide you a generous amount of eggs being laid.
Sanitation is important
Ensure that the environment is clean and constantly sanitized as chicks are prone to any health issues. You can use some household disinfectants and make sure that it does not leave any residues. A well-sanitized coop will be an advantage as it will positively impact the general health of your chickens.
We have already established that Appenzeller chickens cannot withstand confinement. Therefore, it is crucial that you provide them a spacious room that will allow them to roam freely. Ensure that high fences are provided to keep them protected from predators that might attack them while resting in their coop.
We have gathered enough information about Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chicken. And we have established that as a laying breeder, they are pretty much good at doing their job laying eggs abundantly. Hence, they are perfect for local farming.
Its unique dalmatian-like appearance gives that charm that makes people drawn into them. And the fact that they can withstand any weather, especially the cold seasons, is already remarkable. Moreover, they are still able to produce an egg despite the freezing climate.
They are considered one of the low-maintenance chicken breeds simply because they can manage to sustain themselves and are excellent scavengers.