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The Hamburgh Club

Breed Standards


The page for how your Hamburgh should look


Origin: North Europe
Classification: Light: Soft feather
Egg colour: White

The origin of the Hamburgh is wrapped in mystery. The spangled were bred in Yorkshire and Lancashire three hundred years ago as Pheasants and Mooneys, and there is a book reference to black Pheasants in the North of England in 1702. In its heyday, the Hamburgh was a grand layer and must have played its part in the making of other laying breeds. However, its breeders directed it down purely exhibition roads, until today it is in few hands.


Male General 
Carriage: Alert, bold and graceful.
Type: Body moderately long, compact, fairly wide and flat at the shoulders. Breast well rounded. Wings large and neatly tucked. Tail long and sweeping, carried well up (but avoiding 'squirrel' carriage), the sickles broad and the secondaries plentiful.
Head: Fine. Beak short, well curved. Eyes bold and full. Comb rose, medium size, firmly set, square fronted, gradually tapering to a long, finely ended spike (or leader) in a straight
line with the surface and without any downward tendency, the top level (free from hollows) and covered with small and smooth coral-like points of even height. Face smooth and free from stubby hairs. Ear-lobes smooth, round and flat (not 
concave or hollow), varying in size according to the variety. Wattles smooth, round and of fine texture.
Neck: Of medium length, covered with full and long feathers, which hang well over the shoulders.
Legs and feet: Legs of medium length. Thighs slender. Shanks fine and round, free of feathers. Toes, four, slender and well spread.

The general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for the natural sexual differences.


Male and female plumage: 
Rich black, with a distinct green sheen from head to tail, and especially on sickle feathers and tail coverts. Any approach to bronze or purple tinge or barring to be avoided.

In both sexes: 
Beak black or dark horn. Comb, face and wattles red. Ear-lobes white. Legs coloured Lead blue or black, lead blue preferred.

Male plumage:
Bright red-bay or bright golden-chestnut, except the tail, which is black, the sickle feathers and coverts being laced all round with a narrow strip of gold.
Female plumage: 
Ground colour similar to the general colour of the male, and, except on the hackle (which should be clear of all marking) each feather distinctly and evenly pencilled straight across with fine parallel lines of a rich green-black, the pencilling and the intervening colour to be the same width, while the finer and the more numerous on each feather the better. 
In both sexes: 
Beak dark horn. Comb, face and wattles red. Ear-lobes white. Legs and feet lead-blue.

Male and female plumage: 
Except that the ground colour, and in the male the tail lacings, are silver, this variety is similar to the gold pencilled.



Male plumage: 

Ground colour rich bright bay or mahogany; striping, spangling, tipping and tail rich green-black. Hackles and back, each feather striped down the centre. Wing bow dagger-shaped tips at the end of each feather; bars (two), rows of large spangles, running parallel across each wing with a gentle curve, each bar distinct and separate; secondaries tipped with large round spangles, forming the 'steppings'. Breast and underparts, each feather tipped with a round spot or spangle, small near the throat, increasing in size towards the thighs, but never so large as to overlap.
Female plumage: 
Ground colour and spangling are similar to those of the male.
Hackle, wing bars and 'steppings' as in the male. Tail coverts black, with a sharp lacing or edging of gold on each feather. Remainder, each feather tipped with a spangle, as round as possible, and never so large as to overlap, the spangling commencing high up the throat.
In both sexes:
Beak, comb, face, wattles, ear-lobes, legs and feet as in the pencilled varieties.


Male plumage
Ground colour pure silver; spangling and tipping rich green-black. Hackles, shoulders and back, each feather marked with small, dagger-like tips. Wing bow dagger-shaped tips, increasing in size until they merge into what is known as the third bar;
bars (two) and secondaries, breast and underparts similarly marked to those of the gold spangled variety. Tail ending with bold half-moon-shaped spangles; sickles with large round spangles at the end of each feather; coverts similar, though spangles not so big.
Female plumage: 
Ground colour of each feather is black (not grey) with a gap of white before each spangle. (As illustrated on Page 9 of the British Poultry standards fifth edition) (footnote-This was agreed by Council prior to the Fifth edition print but was omitted in error) Hackle marked from the head with dagger-shaped tips, which gradually increase in width until they merge into the spangles at the bottom. Wing secondaries as in the male, bars similar to those of the gold spangled female. Tail, each feather with a half-moon-shaped spangle at the end; coverts reaching halfway up the true tail feathers to form a row across the tail
(each side) of round spangles. Remainder marked as in the gold female.
In both sexes: 
Beak, comb, face, wattles, ear-lobes, legs and feet as in the pencilled varieties.

In all colours:
Eyes red or dark, dark preferred.

Male  2.25 kg (5 lb) approx.    
Female  1.80 kg (4 lb) approx.
Male  680-790 g (24-28 02)
Female  620-740 g (22-26 oz)

These weights are to be treated as maximums although the pencilled varieties are usually considerably larger.

Scale of points:

Markings...........................................     60
Head, Comb, lobes and face.......        20
Colour...............................................     10
Type, Style and condition..............      10

NB:  In pencilled males the points allotted for markings are to be awarded for the tail and colour.

Serious Defects:
White face. Single comb. Red ear-lobes. Squirrel or wry tail. White throated (Bishop throated - Silver Spangled)
Any other deformity.  

Standardisation of Black Hamburgh Bantams:
Black Hamburgh Bantams to follow the Large Fowl Standard with similar weights to the other varieties of Hamburgh Bantams and not deferring from the Hamburgh type.  Both sizes to have Legs coloured Lead blue or black, lead blue preferred.

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