Though you may have never heard it before, an Appenzeller Spitzhauben is a fascinating breed of chicken. Switzerland considers it to be the national chicken of the country. Its name comes from the frilly hat worn by women from the Appenzeller region in Switzerland. Brought to America by a doctor who successfully introduced the breed for the long term here, the Spitz, as it is called, is a pretty popular bird.
Appenzellers are distinctively beautiful. They have black and white speckled feathers that give them a festive look. Their feather crest also adds a bit of silliness to an otherwise pompous looking head. They like to roam around, and are intelligent, so they actually make quite good pets.
Once you decide that you may enjoy owning them, you can purchase baby chicks and even unhatched eggs online. Breeders will take orders for chicks, and also give you good information about how to ensure they arrive safely to you. Any questions about how to feed and care for your Spitz, as they are called, are often answered at the breeder websites.
There are plenty of advantages to having these chickens as pets. For one thing, they will lay eggs. They are great at producing medium to large sized white eggs. The average egg count per year is about 140 to 160 eggs. You will reap the benefits of feeding and caring for them by having fresh, organic eggs with healthy orange yolks. The darker yolk color results from feeding chickens well, and this means more nutrition for your family.
The families who own Appenzellers enjoy their unique personality traits. Some say that it is their intelligence that makes them different, and others say that it is their silly, fluffy crest of head feathers. Owners often remark that you can train them to be picked up and carried around, much like you would a dog. It seems that the birds learn to enjoy being stroked and held, too.
The Appenzellers are quiet, fly very well, and like to climb trees. They enjoy foraging for insects and will keep busy with that for a long time when there are plenty of insects around. Usually, these chickens stay cleaner than others. This fact is noted by owners who say that their smaller size helps them to avoid being dirty.
Some owners find that their Spitzs actually like to roost in trees. There are numerous reports of the entire flock roaming to find a nearby space in the trees, and then refusing to come back to the coop unless the weather became too cold. These chickens can definitely be on the independent side, but for many owners, that is also part of their charm.
Appenzeller Spitzhauben are probably one of the most distinctive looking chickens you can have as a pet. If you can put up with their tendencies to fly and climb trees, then you will enjoy their lovely speckled feathers. Just plan on putting up sturdy fencing if need be, and then have fun with these delightful chickens.