Hamburg chicken

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Silver-Spangled Hamburg Sam dinner.jpg
A Silver-Spangled Hamburg cock
Conservation status Watch
Other names
Country of origin
  • Holland
  • United Kingdom
Standard NHDB (in Dutch)
Use eggs
  • Male: Full-size: 2–2.5 kg[1]
    Bantam: 680–790 g[2]:131
  • Female: Full-size: 1.6–1.8 kg[1]
    Bantam: 620–740 g[2]:131
Skin color White
Egg color White
Comb type Rose
APA Continental[3]
EE yes[4]
PCGB Soft feather: light[5]
Citron Spangled bantam cock

The Hamburg, Dutch: 'Hollands hoen', German: 'Hamburger', is a breed of chicken which is thought to have originated in Holland sometime prior to the fourteenth century.[6] The name may be spelt Hamburgh in the United Kingdom and in Australia.[7]


The Hamburg is a small or medium-sized breed. Cocks weigh 2–2.5 kg and hens about 1.6–1.8 kg,[1] with slender legs and a neat rose comb. Ring size is 16 mm for cocks and 15 mm for hens. Eleven different colour varieties are recognised in Germany and Holland, including Silver Spangled, Golden Spangled, Golden Pencilled, Citron Pencilled, Silver Pencilled, White, Black and Citron Spangled;[4] six of these are included in the American standard of perfection.[3] Pencilled breeds are smallest and self-coloured birds are largest. There are also Bantam Hamburgs.[1][8]


Hamburgs mature quickly and are considered good egg producers. Eggs weigh about 50 g,[1] with glossy, white shells.

In literature[edit]

Lalia Phipps Boone argued in 1949 that Chauntecleer and Pertelote, the chickens in Chaucer's "Nun's Priest's Tale," are Golden Spangled Hamburgs.[9]

L. Frank Baum was keen on Hamburgs: he started a monthly trade journal, Hamburgs, in 1880; his first book, published in 1886, was The Book of the Hamburgs: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs.


  1. ^ a b c d e Hollandse Hoenders (in Dutch). Nederlandse Hoender en Dwerghoenderbond. Archived 19 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Victoria Roberts (2008). British poultry standards: complete specifications and judging points of all standardized breeds and varieties of poultry as compiled by the specialist breed clubs and recognised by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 9781405156424.
  3. ^ a b APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties As of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Accessed August 2014.
  4. ^ a b Liste des races et variétés homologuée dans les pays EE (28.04.2013). Entente Européenne d’Aviculture et de Cuniculture. Archived 16 June 2013.
  5. ^ Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Accessed August 2014.
  6. ^ "Poultry Breeds - Hamburg Chickens". Breeds of Livestock. Oklahoma State University: Department of Animal Sciences. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Australian Poultry Standards, 2nd Edition
  8. ^ American Poultry Association (1998). The American Standard of Perfection. Petaluma, CA: Global Interprint. 
  9. ^ Lalia Phipps Boone (1949). Chauntecleer and Partlet Identified. Modern Language Notes 64 (2): 78-81. (subscription required)

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