The Appenzeller is a breed of chicken originating in Appenzell region of Switzerland. The Appenzeller comes in two varieties. The Spitzhauben variety, meaning "lacy bonnet", has a V-comb and feather crests in males and females. The word 'spitzhauben' derives from a ceremonial hat worn by the women in the Appenzeller region in Switzerland. The breed was imported into America by a doctor. The Barthuhner ("bearded hen") has a rose comb and no crest. Both types appear in either black, golden spangled and silver spangled plumage. They are mostly a show breed, but are decent egg layers. They lay small white eggs about 5 times per week.
It 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 an active breed that doesn't do well in tight confinement, can forage well, and will roost in trees if given the opportunity. In North America, it is very rare and is recognized officially by neither the American Poultry Association or other breed registries. The silver spangled Spitzhauben 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. The breed was successfully imported into Australia for the first time in 2015 by AvGen Poultry.
- Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds. 210 MAS MoCA Way, North Adams MA 01247: Storey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58017-667-5.
- Graham, Chris (2006). Choosing and Keeping Chickens. 2-4 Heron Quays London E14 4JP: Octopus Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7938-0601-0.
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