About Appenzeller Barthuhner Chickens
Appenzeller Spitzhaubens are the national chicken of
Switzerland. They have a rugged physiology and personality suited to the
mountains from which they came. Although rangy and independent, they can
provide 150 medium, orange-yolked, eggs a year. Appenzeller Spitzhauben
chickens sleep in the trees if allowed and will only return to the coop for
feeding. They thrive in cold weather.
Appenzeller Spitzhauben chickens display entertaining
personalities highlighted in their outrageous appearance and heightened by
their free-spirited lifestyle. They derive pleasure through their unrelenting
pursuit of bugs. Long-time owners have nicknamed the breed “Spitz”--a name
which captures the spunk of this rangy chicken from the alps. New owners marvel
at the cleanliness of the Appenzeller Spitzhauben. Their cleanliness may come
from the fact that they spend so little time around the coop or from their
stature as a smaller bird in the chicken world. Some interpret the Appenzeller
Spitzhauben's independence as unfriendliness; but with early handling most
Appenzeller Spitzhaubens chickens will be friendly with humans.
Appenzeller Spitzhauben plumage ranges from black, dark
blue, gold, gold spangled, to silver spangled. Silvers have brilliant white
feathers tipped with black fringe like the snow and black rocks of the alps
from whence they come. Appenzeller Spitzhauben chickens come in two basic
varieties: the Spitzhauben (meaning “pointed hood”) and the Barthuhner (meaning
“bearded hen”). The Spitzhauben has a feather crest that looks like a pointed
women's hat, a “V” comb, small wattles, and slate blue legs. The other
Appenzeller, the Barthuhner, replaces the feather hat with a feather beard and
Appenzeller Spitzhauben Chickens are only a good choice if
you have the land to support their foraging habits. They like to run and fly
free and need adequate room. They have little tolerance for confinement.
They are good egg layer, so they need extra calcium and
protein in their diet.