poultrykeeper logo

Appenzeller Barthuhner Chickens

Appenzeller Bathuhner
No. of Eggs
Easy to Keep?

Uses: Exhibition. Utility: eggs.
Eggs: 190 – 220 white / cream.
Switzerland (Appenzell Canton).
Weight: Cock: 2.26 – 2.94Kg, Hen: 1.36 – 1.81Kg.
Bantam: Only Large Fowl Standardised in the UK.
Colours: Black, Blue, Laced, Black-Red.
Useful to Know: A very active breed so is best suited to a system of free range as it is a superb forager. Unlike the other breed from the Appenzell canton the Barthuhner is not a flighty breed and is fairly calm although males can be aggressive during the breeding season.
Photo: Appenzeller Barthuhner owned by B. Shepherd.

Originating in the North-eastern Appenzell canton of Switzerland, the Appenzeller Barthuhner chickens are thought to have developed in the most remote parts of the country where temperatures were much lower during winter. It was a farmer in the region who created the breed to be able to lay large numbers of eggs on little additional feeding whilst being able to withstand the harsh weather conditions hence the rose comb and small beard covered wattles.

Its beard gives the breed its name – Barthuhner literally translates to ‘Bearded Hen’. Unlike most other bearded breeds the Barthuhner is allowed to have small wattles but they should be almost completely hidden by a full beard.

Never very popular in the UK the breed remains under the umbrella of the Rare Poultry Society since the collapse of the joint Spitzhauben and Barthuhner club in 2001. Currently it is believed that only a handful of Appenzeller Barthuhners are in the UK at present.

Breeding Hints

Take care with males during the breeding season as they can be aggressive.



The following books are available. Links take you to the Amazon or other sellers’ pages for the books.

Breed Clubs

These are the breed clubs for Appenzeller Barthuhners:

Related Posts:

On this page:

You might also enjoy:

Housing Geese
Keeping Geese
Housing Geese

Providing you can give sufficient space, adequate ventilation and security from nighttime predators, a goose house need not be complicated. In this article, Mo provides the low-down on housing geese.  

Read More »
Orpington Chickens
Chicken Breeds
Orpington Chickens

The Orpington fowl is more impressive in the flesh than in photographs that accompany the various books on pure breeds of poultry. 

With its abundance of feathers, the large fowl Orpingtons fill their show pens and are a sight to behold. The bantams – a miniature version of this magnificent breed – are still relatively big birds and equally eye-catching and impressive.

Read More »
Hatchability of Chicken Eggs
Incubating, Hatching & Brooding Chicks
Hatchability of Chicken Eggs

The hatchability of chicken eggs is as essential for backyard chicken keepers as it is for commercial flocks, especially when you have a limited number of eggs from a rare breed or breed in numbers to produce a small number of birds for the show pen.

Read More »
A poultry orchard with geese
Keeping Geese
Creating an Orchard for Poultry

Traditionally, in Europe, people kept poultry in orchards. Chickens and waterfowl would eat insects and fallen fruit, and geese would keep the grass short. Droppings helped provide nutrients for the trees, and the trees provided shade, shelter and safety.

Read More »