Archive for February, 2013

We have 2 Silver Spangled Appenzeller chickens, I wanted to share my experience, what I know about this breed, and tell you about the personality of Tufty and Whitey:

  • They are very attractive, they are white with little black speckles almost like spots.  They are like the Dalmatian of the chicken world!
  • Both are very vocal, particularly in the morning, even before you let them out of the coop, and throughout the day, I think Whitey is the noisiest, even though Tufty is the boss (Tufty wares a foot ring, it is sometimes hard to tell them apart  they are almost identical when stood together!)
  • They are Definitely intelligent, and very confident, if they know you have food they will jump on the table and beg for some, chatting to you like they think you speak chicken!
  • Loves to be free range
  • Don’t like to be enclosed in the chicken run – if they have had a taste of freedom!
  • Very good flyers, I clip one wing on each bird to be on the safe side.  I don’t clip both just in case they need to get away from a predator.  They can still fly with one wing clipped, they just are not as good at it!
  • They are apparently flighty, but ours only fly when threatened, or when they are deciding who is boss, or when they race down the garden to get treats from me!  I have never found them in the trees.  Only on the top of the coop, or on the bench.  I’m sure they could clear the 6 foot fences if they wanted to but I don’t think they have.
  • Very good foragers, when they are free ranging in the garden they eat hardly any pellets, they eat anything! (foods my chickens love)
  • Ours started to lay after 36 weeks
  • Lays white medium eggs, they are big for the size of bird.  Yolks are the same size as supermarket eggs, but there is slightly less egg white
  • Should lay between 150-220 eggs a year, everyone seems to have different figures, once they have laid for a year I will know how many we got!  We do normally get 2 a day though
  • Ours lay in the coop, sometimes in the nesting box, or just under the perch, I have never found eggs in the garden.
  • They squat about 2 weeks before they start to lay, every time you get close to them they squat!  Ours have carried on doing this as long as they are laying, but when they stop they also stop squatting!!
  • Once they start to squat, very easy to handle, if they are not squatting you would be lucky to catch one!!  We have tried to handle ours as much as possible, they are easier to pick up in the afternoon
  • They dont seem to get any more vocal after they have laid an egg
  • Ours have not gone broody
  • They are aggressive towards new flock members, but this did settle down after a week or 2 (for more information on introducing new chickens to a flock)
  • Average weight – Male 1.60 – 2.00kg (3.5 – 4.5 lb), Female 1.35 – 1.60kg (3 – 3.5 lb)  I will weigh mine and up date you
  • Classification – Light, Soft Feather
  • V-shaped, horn type comb with two small rounded spires and the unique “mohawk” crest points forward like the bonnets on the traditional costume bonnets worn by the ladies in the Appenzellerland region – Spitzhauben means pointed bonnet
  • Powerfull beak, bluish in colour, large deep cavernous nostrils and a fleshy knob at the front of the beak
  • Eyes dark brown
  • Comb and wattles bright red
  • Ear-lobes bluish-white
  • Shanks / Legs and feet blue
  • 4 toes
  • Hardy in winter

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