APPENZELLER SPITZHAUBEN - or Silver Spangled Spitzhauben (©Poultrysite.com)
Among my favorite of the new chicks is the Appenzeller Spitzhauben — a breed of chicken originating in Appenzell region of Switzerland. The Appenzeller comes in two varieties. Mine are the Spitzhauben, meaning “pointed hood” (which comes from the frilly hat worn by the women in the Appenzeller region in Switzerland.
Brought to America by a doctor who successfully introduced the breed. It has a V-comb and feather crests in both hens and roosters. The bird is either white (mine) or gold and come with black spangling — so they are also called Gold / Silver Spangled Spitzhaubens.
Today the breed is largely an ornamental one kept primarily for showing, but they also lay a respectable quantity of white eggs. This is a light chicken, with hens weighing an average of 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) and roosters 4.5 lbs (2 kg). Behaviorally, it is a flighty breed that doesn’t do well in confinement, can forage well, and will roost in trees if given the opportunity. In North America, it is very rare breed and is recognized officially by neither the American Poultry Association or other breed registries. The silver spangled Spitzhauben [shown] is the most common variety found abroad.
Though there is no standard in North America, the UK does recognize the breed and accepts it as a standardized breed. There is, however, a push in the United States for the Spitzhauben to be recognized by the American Poultry Association.
My egg delivery earlier this week
The bakery that buys my eggs took a photo of them and posted the picture on Facebook. These are 5 flats of 30 eggs each. I’ll do another drop off this weekend.Sometimes it’s important to remember the reason for your madness.
I’ve moved my chicken drivel
You’ll still see some I’m sure, but I moved the bulk here:
For discodroid, I found you the perfect Canadian chicken for your upcoming flock…
The Partridge Chantecler
It’s A CANADIAN original
Bred to be winter-hardy
Comes in two colors - white & partridge
There’s Scandel in it’s heritage:
(which makes keeping the breed more fun)
The “Partridge Chantecler” is actually unrelated to the original Chantecler. “The Partridge Chantecler was developed by Dr. J. E. Wilkinson around the same time. When this bird was submitted for inclusion to the American Poultry Association in 1935, it was erroneously placed with the Chantecler chicken (thought to be a variety, not a separate breed). This, ended up causing the demise of another distinct breed of Canadian chicken. The proper name for the Partridge Chantecler should have been the “Albertan” - but it is not… (source)
So, sour grapes in Alberta…
It’s the ONLY breed of chicken in the world known to have been created [primarily] by a monk
At the dawn of the 20th century, no breeds of chicken had been established in Canada. Canadian farmers only had fowl of European and American derivation. This fact was noted by Brother Wilfred Chantelain, a Trappist monk and Doctor of Agronomy, as he toured the poultry flocks of the Oka Agricultural Institute, an agricultural school at his abbey which is affiliated with the Université de Montréal.
In 1907, the Brother set out to remedy this void. He create a practical chicken suited to Canada’s climate and production needs. He created the White variant of the Chantecler. It was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1921. To this day, the Chantecler is one of only two breeds of poultry from Canada, and the only one known to have been created primarily by a member of a monastic order.
Also, handy as a dual meat/egg bird in case of society collapse, or zombie apocalypse.
I ordered the Partridge variety — because partridge markings are awesome. Given that it’s suited for extreme cold, and we don’t have that in Los Angeles, I’m going to install a chicken door in the deep freeze so they can amble in and cool down during the summertime…what, you didn’t think I was going to EAT them?!! Sheesh, it’s like you don’t know me at all. :)
DOUBLE LACED BARNEVELDER HEN & ROO
This are quick becoming one of my favorite breeds. They are friendly birds with beautiful feathering. I love the iridescence off the black in their feathers. The top is a young rooster (he’s even prettier now), and the bottom is a pullet, both at about 24 weeks.
The Barnevelder is a medium heavy dual breed (meat/egg) chicken named after the Dutch town of Barneveld. Between c. 1850 and 1875 many breeds were arriving in the West from Asia and being crossed with each other and with local chickens to create new/better breeds. One of the meat breeds was a black bird that was crossed with Brahmas, then Langshen, then Golden Wyandottes eventually breeding true and producing the Barnevelder.
The Barnevelder today is known for laying dark brown eggs — though mine lay dark enough eggs, they are not nearly as dark as a Maran’s chocolate-brown eggs.
The trade-off though is that these birds are beautiful.
TT - #3 PORCELAIN D’UCCLE (Duh-Clay) hen
A few weeks ago Bella and I visited a farm about an hour up the road, where she met other dogs that look just like her, and I picked up some chicks. This is one the farmers threw in, as I just love her coloring and the fan of feathers on her feet. I didn’t want bantams, in fact I met these folks and traded my bantams for their fancy breeds, but as it turns out, I’m a color and pattern hen hoarder - is that a thing?
I am hoping that she will breed with a larger rooster (which is ALL of the current roosters) and that her color will crop up in standard sized birds. Cuz little eggs, who needs em? :)
TT - #2 AMERACAUNA Chicks
These are the chicks that have been keeping me up nights. The black one on the left (a roo?) has been the main culprit. Holy Cannoli can he chirp loud for hours on end?!! Like nails on a chalkboard to my ears.
I got these little ones from a farm in Acton, they will be one week old tomorrow. The woman who hatched them only raises pure-bred Ameracaunas Blue/Black/White/Splash and Wheaten Ameracaunas — as well as Argentine Dogos (a South American Mastiff breed). The woman was nice enough, but she was peculiar in being very precise with her movements. Maybe there’s something to that as my God, these are the calmest chicks (except the shrieking episode) that I’ve ever had.
I hope these chicks grow up to be as beautiful as their parents.
The darker birds will likely end up solid black, the grey chicks may be blue or slate, or gray with splashes of black. Should be interesting.
I ran across a recipe to make cookies - for chickens
Here are the ingredients:
1 cup ground cinnamon
Nope, I don’t get it
This is how big a Barnevelder hen can puff up when she wants to. Normally she’s the thinner than the Ameracauna hen on the left.
Seven for Sunday - Bird Edition
- I was invited to a 3 year olds Birthday Party a Lollapalooza & Pizza thing, but I passed and instead hired Francisco and Luise to build another chicken pen. It need it. It’s dark out there now and they are still at it, putting corrugated sheet metal on the roof to keep the interior dry-er when it rains. Nice guys, hard workers.
- We made a Home Depot run and stopped at a local Taco truck for dinner - YUM! The place was packed with people. Took us 45 minutes to get our food, but it was worth the wait. In the down time Francisco piled up a tom of to-go salsa containers, to spice up his food…fill his fridge?
- I was the only gringo, so everyone spoke to me in Spanish. It was a chatty group. I know Spanish words but have no idea how to put them into a sentence. So I come across as a dim bulb.
- The guys I hire to work for me always want to know why I don’t have children. They are very persistent in wanting to know this…It’s a hard question to answer… :)
- I got a bunch of multi-age chicks at the beginning of the month and it’s been a fiasco, 2 chicks died immediately, one has disappeared…no idea where it went. The folks that traded for my bantams, just emailed that they want me to swing by with a couple of chicks to replace the ones that died (no cost). How sweet is that? Nice folks, seriously.
- I’m terrified to leave for the weekend. Yesterday, both dogs got out, a slew of chickens too, and one bird was stuck and had to be rescued. I have someone staying here but he doesn’t pay much attention to things.
- My Craigslist friend Rubik, should have eggs hatching this weekend. A couple of dozen eggs this time are mine. I’m curious to see if his wonky incubator works. It is made of a pool noodle and a dorm sized fridge. He’s an engineer so it might be fine.
BEST CHICKEN COOP, EVER!
Only $3,000 on Cragslist in Belchertown, MA. Christmas is coming…anyone? I’m sure they’d throw in free shipping to California, right?!
Of course it’s nicer than my house, so there is that. Still…
Scowling Rooster is Scowly
Lol, this is the happy face of my Brahma Rooster “Big Red” after I rescued him. He’d gotten himself wedged between the back of the pen and the wall — took me two hours to get him free and required real tools. Despite his cross look, he’s the gentlest rooster I have.
SLEEPING BARNEVELDER HEN
Talk about drama queens…this is one that when you pick it up it screams like it’s being killed, and then if you don’t drop it immediately, it goes completely limp in your hands.
Also gorgeous plumage in iridescent black, brown and dark tan…
I always like when I can find someone to adopt roosters. It’s a tough life being a rooster — hens don’t need you around to lay eggs, and only a few are needed to cover even a big flock if you want to raise chicks. The younger set is always challenging your authority and the hens aren’t always cooperative.
This weekend a friend of mine took four of my boys pictured to cover his hens.
- a flighty Brown Leghorn
- weird Urkle rooster he’s all leg. Leghorn/Cornish cross
- a HUGE Brahma/BSL cross
- a pretty Barred Plymouth Rock/BSL cross
(though he looks weird in the pix)
Ironically, he liked the Urkel rooster best, lol. Urkel does have lovely coloring.
One of the pullets just coming into lay this month. Fingers crossed that a dozen or two of the new girls will take on laying through the shorter, darker days. I’ve been lucky in the past, but this year I have more birds moulting and birds that have stopped for the winter. I don’t believe in using artificial light to keep birds laying.
This girl is gorgeous, full of fall color - so I named her after a gregarious college roommate - Autumn, who in not only colorful, but in turn was named after the song “Autumn Leaves”.
EASTER EGGERS - 6 weeks
These are the last of this year’s crop of chicks. Mostly EE’s and RI Reds, they are just 6 weeks old. The two pictured are among my favorites. The top is buff and blue - really pretty coloring. No muff, no beard. Interested to see what color eggs she lays. The bottom is just a really sweet girl. More classic Ameracauna coloring.