Appenzeller Information



Egg Laying


Meat Production


Show Status






Space Needs


Bantam Version?


Preferred Climate


Appenzeller Spitzhauben Qualities

The national chicken of Switzerland, the Appenzeller Spitzhauben, has a rugged physiology and personality suited to the mountains from which they came. Although rangy and independent, they will provide the organic chicken farmer with 150 medium, orange-yolked, nutritious eggs a year. The Appenzeller Spitzhauben likes to sleep in the trees if allowed and will only return to the coop for feeding. They thrive in cold weather.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Temperament

Appenzeller Spitzhauben 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. With early handling most Appenzeller Spitzhaubens soon garner pet status within the human flock.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Appearance

The Appenzeller Spitzhauben’s plumage ranges from black, dark blue, gold, gold spangled, to silver spangled. Most people readily identify the silver spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben. Silvers have brilliant white feathers tipped with black fringe like the snow and black rocks of the alps from whence they come. The Appenzeller Spitzhauben comes 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 rose comb.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Upkeep

Choose the Appenzeller Spitzhauben only if you have the land to support the breeds predilection for foraging. They like to run and fly free and need adequate room to do so. They have little tolerance for confinement. The Appenzeller Spitzhauben, an egg layer, needs extra calcium and protein in their diet. Given freedom to forage for bugs and other edibles, they produce an excellent organic egg with a dark orange yolk. Your Appenzeller Spitzhaubens will seemingly ignore their coop but still need one for colder weather and roosting. Look in the trees if you wake up one morning and find the entire flock gone.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben History

The Appenzeller Spitzhauben comes from the Appenzell region of Switzerland where they have thrived for centuries in monasteries there. After World War II they nearly slipped into extinction. A German breeder saved them from the brink. Only recently, 1982, did they earn recognition in the United Kingdom. The American Poultry Association has yet to recognize them as breed. They exist in America primarily through the efforts of a doctor who imported them from Switzerland. Although showy and easily qualified as an ornamental breed, the difficulties accompanying the upkeep of the rangy Appenzeller Spitzhaubens has probably kept them from gaining the popularity they’re properly due.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Photos




Appenzeller Spitzhauben Videos

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