The Spitzhauben, also known as the Appenzeller Spitzhauben, originated in Switzerland’s Appenzell district. The forward sweeping crest feathers are reminiscent of the “spitzhauben,” or pointed hoods, once worn by women of the region. The breed went nearly extinct after World War II and was imported into the United States in the 1950s.
Spitzhaubens are active and alert birds. Their flighty nature doesn’t lend itself well to confinement. They’re cold-tolerant and are great foragers. The breed, though small in size, produces a good number of medium to large-sized white eggs each year. The birds have a bright red, V-shaped comb and white skin. The breed occurs in plumage that is silver spangled, gold spangled, black, blue, and chamois spangled. Most Spitzhaubens in the U.S. are the silver spangled variety with white plumage and black markings. Although the breed isn’t yet recognized by the American Poultry Association, efforts are underway to develop a standardized form and to conserve these striking poultry.
Did you know:
The Livestock Conservancy is America’s leading organization working to save over 150 heritage breeds from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants, and donations from the public to raise the $700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare breeds of farm animals. Click here to learn how you can help.