5 Reasons to Love Hamburg Chickens

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 15 July 2020

hamburg chicken breed hen rooster

Hamburg chickens have a rich and fascinating history. While quite showy in their feathery cloaks, a long time tale tells of these chooks taking part in the first ever poultry show in nineteenth century England. Talk has it that some very fine Hamburg gentlemen competed against one another for a prize, a copper pot, judged by none other than the local tavern’s barkeep. Oh to be a fly on the bar of that quaint long ago pub. Whether or not the tale is true, will leave you guessing.

Well, we do know that centuries prior to that “show and crow” dazzling Hamburg chickens were found in Holland where the Dutch people are credited with breeding the finely marked Penciled variety of the breed. In fact, some believe that the best of the best Hamburg chickens originate from Holland and the Hamburg region of Germany. Since they quite resemble pheasants in appearance, they were previously referred to as Pheasant Fowl, but it wasn’t until 1840 that these gorgeous birds came to be called Hamburg.

They Put on a Dazzling Display

Hamburgs will dazzle you with their stunning looks and egg-straordinary poise. They are truly beautiful birds with their contrasting pure white earlobes and bright red wattles and rose comb. They’re dressed up in long slender bodies with long flowing tails and their gorgeous pale blue legs, just shout, look at me, look at me!

Do you desire to put your prize poultry on display? Then, Hamburgs are the perfect breed for you. Their feathers are just made for show and tell. Talk about little hams, these chooks are sure to ham it up at the poultry shows while remaining true to their breed—clucky composure at its best.  

They’re Happy, Happy, Happy

Happiness is indeed contagious. It’s truly difficult to feel sad and blue when happiness is flapping all around you. Enter the happy-go-clucky Hamburgs. Hamburg chooks are free-spirited, sprightly birds who are always on a mission. While they tend to shy away from friendships with their humans, Hamburg chooks love to play with their feathery siblings. They enjoy nothing more than embarking on a little exploratory mission with their favorite poultry pal or pals, foraging till their feathery heart’s content. If beaks could smile, Hamburgs would be smiling all the while.

The BIG personality of these compact little chooks will WOW you. Can you just picture it?  Live Life Egg-straordinarily: Lessons from the Hamburg Chicken— Motivational Clucker, Extraordinaire. There’s definitely a lesson there.

They’re Compact Little Chooks and Prolific Egg Layers

Wonderful chickens come in small clucky bodies. This is definitely a win-win for backyard chicken keepers. The Hamburg’s compact little body naturally leads to a much better feed conversion rate. In other words, they’re appetite for living life grandly far exceeds their appetite for pecking at mere chicken feed.

Hamburg chickens mature early. And, you know what that means. EGGS! You will discover eggs in your nest boxes much sooner than with other breeds. That’s just the beginning of this egg-citing story. Hamburgs are prolific egg layers—known as Dutch Everyday Layers or Everlayers in England—they lay smaller, but beautiful white eggs throughout the year.  

hamburg chicken breed hen roosters

They’re Wildly Fascinating

The Hamburg chicken is a one of several breeds that most resembles the chicken in the wild. They are voracious explorers and foragers who fair best when given the freedom to free range regularly.

Watch out though, Hamburgs tend to be a bit flap-happy and not just with glee; they truly love to flap, flap, flap…and away they fly. A jaunt here and there, a flap up into a tree for a spell, or a longer flight through the friendly skies is happiness to their wings. They’re quick. They’re proficient. And, they might feign ignorance at the saying, What flaps up, must flap down. Hamburgs are quite content to roost in trees. So, it would probably be very wise to do a quick search each evening before closing up the hen house. It might also be a good idea to clip their wings regularly.

Want to go on an egg hunt? They’re penchant for a walk on the wild side makes anywhere and everywhere a good place to lay an egg. So, watch where you step.

Hamburgs can be noisy. Some even have a unique loud cluck when they’ve discovered something fascinating. Something more fascinating than themselves? Maybe. Maybe not.

Their Varieties Will Spice up Your Coop

If variety is the spice of life, than Hamburgs will be the life of your coop! So, get ready to Ooh and Ahh and go absolutely clucky over all the lovely varieties—Golden Penciled, Silver Penciled, Golden Spangled, Silver Spangled, Black, White, and the rare Blue Hamburg. Wow!

Penciled, spangled, and blue, oh my! Penciling looks exactly like it sounds—pencil-thin stripes run throughout the feathers giving the bird a delicate, refined look. A spangled feather pattern marks the tips of feathers with a V shape color combination of black and white or black and a warm golden color. A blue chicken or self-blue chicken; however, is a lovely shade of pale blueish-gray or lavender, as it’s often referred to. Add into this colorful mix the fact that the color blue in chickens can lead to new and interesting colors and patterns in chicks. Ah, you gotta love genetics, especially in the world of pretty poultry.

Now, while the Hamburg chicken may not be your cup of tea, you have to admit that they are quite fascinating. At Backyard Chicken Coops, it’s no secret that we love poultry, and we know that there’s a chicken to match every personality. Have a peck at this wonderful guide to the 20 best chicken breeds for your backyard coop!

Making a well-informed decision about what breeds are best for you and your family can be eggtremely confusing and difficult – so where should you begin?

Cluckily, our friends over at Chickenpedia have created an amazing Chicken Breeds Course. This extensive online course shares useful advice on choosing the right chickens for you as well as size & frequency of eggs laid. You’ll even learn about their individual personalities, and be able to use their family-friendly compatibility scale through this well-structured program. It really is a great way to find your perfect backyard buddies which is why I highly recommend them to all of my readers! The courses are beginner-friendly and filled with vital information to help you raise a happy, healthy flock.

As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends, but many of us struggle to handle chicken health or behavior issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have a full range of comprehensive online courses that cover everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, that’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. So, no need to wing it, become a confident chicken keeper. Click here to check out Chickenpedia today!