Did you know that the very first chicken show in the world likely featured the Hamburg Chicken? We do not have any way to properly verify this information (there may have been undocumented chicken shows), but from what we do know, the Hamburg Chicken likely played a central role in the development of modern chicken shows.
It is no wonder that it is still used for that purpose today. Shall we take a look at this breed in a little bit more depth?
Hamburg Chicken Facts at a Glance
|Eggs||200 per year|
|Egg Shell Color||White|
|Use||Eggs and Show|
|Comb Type||Rose Comb|
Standard: 5 lb (2.25 kg)
Bantam: 26 oz (740 g)
Standard: 4 lb (1.8 kg)
Bantam: 22 oz (625 g)
|Country of origin||Netherlands or Turkey|
|Admitted to APA||1874|
Different Theories on the Origin of the Hamburg Chicken
The Hamburg Chicken originated in the Netherlands sometime in the 14th Century. However, arguments have been made that the chicken appeared a long time before this in Turkey or somewhere in the eastern Mediterranean.
In fact, one person has tried to argue that this chicken breed was already in England by the 12th Century, which means it would have appeared in the Netherlands a lot longer before that. However, this isn’t confirmed, so we will stick with the idea that the chicken began in Turkey and later was developed in the Netherlands.
So, why is it called the Hamburg? Isn’t that a German town? Yes. It is.
As with most chicken breeds, this one only became popular when it started to appear in the United Kingdom, and that is where it derived its name. It was imported from the Netherlands to the UK via Hamburg.
In the UK this breed was developed further and identified as the Hamburg. Since this is something that happened centuries ago, it is unlikely that we will ever know more about it.
We will talk more about the rest of its history in the ‘show chicken’ section of this article.
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The Stylish and Graceful Look of the Chicken
The look of this chicken is a show chicken through and through. It has perhaps some of the most beautiful featherings you can get on a bird. The comb is a stunning red color, and their feathers are always well-patterned.
The main reason people love this bird, however, is the fact that it looks graceful, stylish and stunning when it walks about. It is a slender bird (although, it still has enough weight to be OK for meat purposes), and it stands nice and tall when strutting about.
Do bear in mind that the standard Hamburg Chicken is often mistaken for a bantam chicken breed, because it can be quite small. However, we assure you that this chicken is 100% a standard sized chicken.
The bantam Hamburg Chicken is much smaller.
Hamburg Chicken Recognized Varieties
All Hamburg chicken recognized varieties today, are back from in 1874:
- Golden Penciled
- Golden Spangled
- Silver Penciled
- Silver Spangled
Hamburg Chicken Meat
Weighing at 4 to 5 lb (hens are roosters respectively) this is a breed of chicken that is never really going to blow your mind in terms of size.
As a result, this is one of those breeds that we believe has never been raised properly as a meat chicken, and we doubt that you are going to want to be doing that either.
Honestly, this is a chicken breed that we doubt is going to feed more than one person at a time, and they are probably going to go hungry as a result.
Obviously, there will be times where you will probably have no choice but to convert your Hamburg Chickens into a bit of meat.
and by all accounts it does taste delicious but, honestly, you are going to be wasting the rest of the potential of this bird if you end up doing that.
Hamburg Chicken Eggs
This is probably the main reason why this chicken was raised in the past.
We do not know how familiar you with some of the smaller chicken breeds out there, but the vast majority of them are not going to be all that good when it comes to laying eggs. However, the Hamburg Chicken is different.
In the past, it is likely that you wouldn’t have had a whopping amount of land to raise your chickens. As a result, you wanted a smaller breed, but you also wanted that breed to continue to lay eggs for you.
The Hamburg chicken may put out small eggs, but you are going to get between 3 and 4 of them a week. This is a breed that tends to be laying them throughout the colder months of the year too.
So, if you do not mind having some smaller eggs, a flock of Hamburg Chickens should give you more than you can handle.
It is worth noting that the Hamburg hens are prolific layers of small white eggs, but they do not tend to go broody. This means that you will certainly want to buy an incubator for chicken eggs if you want to raise them.
As a Show Chicken
As we said before; there is actually a good chance that this chicken was one of the very first show chickens.
History seems to imply that at some point in the 19th Century, there was a chicken show in an English pub.
The Hamburg Chicken was likely the main feature of this show.
Now, obviously, we do not have a whopping amount of information about this show. We never will. There are people out there who doubt that it actually happened.
However, it is a nice story. Just think; if this story is true and you have a Hamburg Chicken, it would be related to one of the first show chickens in the world!
Of course, we do know modern history. This means that we also know that the Hamburg Chicken is still one of the most-shown chickens around the world. It doesn’t really come as a surprise either.
There are plenty of color variants when it comes to this chicken breed, and it looks fantastic. Even if you are not planning to cart your chicken off to a chicken show, it is still going to be great decoration for your home.
Is the Hamburg Chicken For Your backyard?
This is a friendly chicken breed, so you won’t have to worry too much about interacting with it. It is probably going to love you.
Your main concern should be giving it as much space as you can. Yeah. It is a smaller chicken, but as with all chickens, it does love to have a whopping amount of space available to it. The Hamburg chicken is a massive fan of foraging. Thanks to this, they do extremely well in backyards as a free range chicken.
Other than this, there are not really any special care tips, unless you are planning to raise your chicken for show purposes. All you need to do is ensure that the chicken’s comb is protected during the colder months of the year, and you should be fine!