Hamburg Chickens are a popular show breed that comes in a variety of different colors. They are fast-maturing birds and are a dual purpose chicken breed; meaning that can provide both a decent amount of eggs and a sizable portion of meat. The breed of chicken is also known for being hardy and tends to do extremely well in cold environments.
You can expect a Hamburg chicken to lay around 200 eggs a year and can start laying eggs at just 5 months of age. Their small size means that they aren’t great for meat production as the roosters can easily reach 4 and a half to 5 and a half pounds while the hens will weigh 3 and a half to 4 pounds. Additionally, they are a popular show bird, and the APA has recognized six different color variations of the Hamburg chicken.
They have an average lifespan for a chicken at between 5 to 8 years with proper care. These are active birds, so if you intend to keep a flock, then you will need to build a sizable coop so that they will have plenty of room to move around.
Luckily, they are hardy otherwise and can live in most types of environments without a problem. If you are looking for a well-rounded hardy birdy, then the Hamburg chicken may just be exactly what your coop needs.
|4.5 to 5 Pounds (Rooster)
3.5 to 4 Pounds (Hen)
History and Origin
The Hamburg chicken is a breed that seems to have emerged sometime in the fourteenth century in the country of Holland. Today there are fourteen breeds of the Hamburg chicken that are recognized overseas, with six of these coloring now being recognized by the APA. They were even used in the first-ever chicken show and are an important part of chicken history. This makes the Hamburg chicken a popular show bird, and today they can be found being kept and used for a multitude of reasons.
When looking for the Hamburg chicken, you may also find that some places call them by their English name Hamburger chickens or their Dutch name Hollands Hoen. This chicken is a rare breed now and is currently under the “watch” status of the conservation list.
What do they look like?
Hamburg chickens are accepted by the APA and have several different colorings. They were displayed in one of the first-ever chicken shows and, as such, are held to high breed standards. The six colors recognizable colors by the APA are White, Black, Silver Spangled, Golden Spangled, Silver Penciled, and Golden Penciled.
Penciled coloring is also common in some other breeds such as Deathlayers.
If you go to Europe, you will find that there are several different varieties of the Hamburg available, many of which are part of several overseas poultry associations. They have long tails and featherless legs that will be have different colors depending on the Hamburg you choose. They have rose-shaped combs (similar to Anacona Chickens) that are red and red round waddles.
Differences between hens and roosters
Generally, size and the lavishness of their feathering is an easy way to distinguish between hens and roosters. The hens have small waddles, while the rooster’s waddles can be medium in size. They also have white earlobes and a compacted body type. The roosters typically weigh between 4 and a half to 5 and a half pounds, while the hens will weigh 3 and a half to 4 pounds. There is also a Bantam version of this chicken breed that tends to weigh around 1 to 2 pounds. Hamburg chicks can vary in coloring, so they can be quite hard to identify.
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Hamburg chickens are a docile breed that doesn’t mind sharing their coop with other chickens. They can integrate well into an established coop, and generally, the hens shouldn’t cause you too much of a problem (as long as you know how to introduce new chickens).
Hamburg roosters, on the other hand, should be kept apart from other roosters and can be aggressive. Sadly, this is not the breed you will want to get if you are just looking for a pet.
The Hamburg chicken doesn’t tend to be a breed that really likes to interact with humans. In fact, it’s been noted by Hamburg owners that the chickens will sometimes actively avoid being too close to them.
You shouldn’t leave children alone with this breed or try to interact with them much yourself. Just trying to touch Hamburg chickens can actually stress them out, and the last thing you want is your child chasing after them and getting injured in the process. If you do want to try and make them a bit more social, then try to raise chicks.
These chickens dislike being handled and won’t sit still for you to pet them. They also don’t like to stay cooped up for long periods of time and are a breed that needs to be allowed to free-range.
Hamburgs are pretty fast and are an active breed that keeps a careful watch on their surroundings. Some will say these birds can be flighty and a bit wild. Will will want to keep an eye on your flock if you don’t plan to keep them in a run just to ensure they don’t get into any trouble when left to forge. Hamburg chickens do tend to get loud, so if you have neighbors that live close by, this may not be the breed for you.
What is their purpose?
The Hamburg chicken is a popular show bird that also tends to be used fairly often for eggs. They are small in size, so using them for meat isn’t popular, and they don’t tend to enjoy humans, so they won’t make a good pet. They do tend to lay around 200 medium eggs a year and are solid layers. Most Hamburg chickens mature early and can start laying eggs around the 5-month mark. They are also a breed that tends to continue laying for a long period of time, although this will slow down after a few years have passed.
Hamburg chickens are an incredibly popular breed and even have a history as some of the first show chickens. The APA has already accepted six different colorations of the Hamburg, and they are beautiful birds that are perfect for someone who is just getting started in the show world. It will be incredibly important to source your chicks from a reliable choice if you intend to compete.
Keep in mind that if you buy chicks that have come from show champions, they are going to cost you a bit more than normal. But the up front purchase for quality birds is just a small cost in the overall cost to keep chickens.
When buying a Hamburg chick, make sure to do thorough research on the breeder or look for an owner at a show who sells chicks themselves. You will want to ensure that the chicken you buy meets the strict breed standards. While they aren’t the rarest breed out there, they are still rare and, depending on where you live, may be a bit harder to find. You should be ready to travel or pay high shipping prices to get Hamburg chicks. You are typically looking at spending a bit more on this breed than some more common ones, and the price of the chicks will vary based on sex and coloring.
Breeding Hamburg chickens can be a bit tough as the hens don’t tend to be very broody. Which means you likely won't have a broody hen to hatch chicks. So, if you intend to be raising baby chicks, then you will need to have an incubator on hand.
Care and Health
Hamburg chickens are hardy birds that are generally pretty easy to care for. To begin with, they do well in the cold, so raising them in regions that tend to be colder than normal won’t be much of a problem. You will need to build a sizable coop to keep this breed as they are active.
Make sure that the coop is well insulated to keep your chickens warm in the winter. When the weather gets cold, be sure to place some extra hay in the coop to keep your Hamburg chickens happy. And make sure you have a plan to keep chicken waters from freezing.
You should always provide access to food and water. While the Hamburg does love to forage, you shouldn’t expect them to find all their food this way. Hamburg chickens don’t do confinement well thanks to their active nature, so you will need to let them free-range to keep them happy. They are an alert breed and do well with handling predators, but you should still keep an eye on your chickens to ensure you don’t need to build a run to keep them from wandering too far away from home.
Make sure that you follow a strict schedule so your chickens will know what time they go out, and ensure that they are all in the coop with the door shut by sunset to keep them out of harm’s way. Even though this is an alert breed of bird when left out at night and asleep, predators like foxes can easily prey on your flock.
Hamburg chickens don’t have any type of special grooming needs. These chickens also don’t have any health issues outside of what you would find in most chicken breeds.
You should still keep watch for any strange behavior like a lethargic hen, as any chicken can get sick regardless of breed hardiness. In addition, make sure to do weekly parasite checks. Chicken Mites are common and will quickly spread through your coop.
Are Hamburg chickens rare?
Hamburgs are a rare breed, so you may have to ship chicks to your home or travel to pick them up.
How many eggs do Hamburg chickens lay?
Hamburg chickens tend to lay around 200 medium eggs a year.
Where did the Hamburg chicken come from?
Hamburg chickens came from Holland and are a breed that has been around since the fourteenth century.
What age do Hamburg chickens lay?
Hamburg chickens mature quickly and can actually start laying as early as five months old. In some cases, a Hamburg chicken may even start laying at four months old.
What color eggs do Hamburg chickens lay?
Hamburg chickens lay white eggs.
Are Hamburg chickens broody?
No, Hamburg chickens are not a breed that tends to go broody. If you intend to raise chicks, you will need to buy an incubator.
How much do Hamburg chickens weigh?
Hamburg chickens are a small breed of chicken. The roosters tend to weigh between 4 and a half to 5 and a half pounds. Hamburg hens will weigh between 3 and a half to 4 pounds.
Are Hamburg chickens cold-hardy?
Yes, Hamburg chickens do well in the cold and can easily live in some colder climates.
What does a Hamburg rooster look like?
Hamburg roosters look similar to hens, but tend to weigh more, have medium-sized waddles, and longer tails.
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