A Silver-Spangled Hamburg Rooster
|Nicknames||Dutch Everyday Layers
|Country of origin||Holland|
Gallus gallus domesticus
The Hamburg or Hamburgh in Britain and Australia  is a breed of chicken developed in Germany and Holland prior to 1700. It is comparatively rare, with fewer than 1000 registered in North America each year.
Appearance and behavior
It is a small breed—cocks tend to weigh only 5 pounds and hens about 4 lb (2.25 and 1.75 kg) with slender legs and a neat rose comb. The bird comes in more than ten different varieties, including: Silver Spangled, Golden Spangled, Golden Penciled, Citrone Penciled, Silver Penciled, White, Black, and more recently-Citron Spangled in bantam form. Penciled breeds are smallest and self-coloured birds are largest. There are also Bantam Hamburgs, which weigh about 1.5 pounds. Hamburgs are hardy, active birds who are capable of flight and are often jumpy around humans.
Hamburgs mature quickly and are considered good egg producers. Their eggs are rather small with glossy, white shells.
Lalia Phipps Boone argued in 1949 that Chauntecleer and Pertelote, the chickens in Chaucer's "Nun's Priest's Tale," are Golden Spangled Hamburgs.
Perhaps the most famous devotee of the Hamburg chicken was L. Frank Baum, author of the Oz books. In 1880 he began a monthly trade journal, Hamburgs, and his first book, published in 1886, was on that subject: The Book of the Hamburgs: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs.
In Baum's third Oz book, Ozma of Oz, he introduces Dorothy Gale's chicken, Billina. He must have drawn on his experience in breeding Hamburgs when creating her character, as she is appropriately spirited and active.
Approximate Weight (metric)
|Cock||1.8 - 2.3 kg|
|Rooster||680 - 790g|
|Hen||620 - 740 g|
- Green-Armytage, Stephen (2003) "Extraordinary Chickens", New York: Harry N. Abrams Publishers
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hamburg (chicken).|
- The Book of the Hamburgs: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs
- PoultryHub Fancy Chicken Breeds - Hamburg/Hamburgh