In September’s Poultry magazine, the news story about the launch of an Appenzeller Spitzhauben breed society (page five) included an incomplete telephone number. The correct number is 01524 542708.

A group of enthusiasts are endeavouring to form the Appenzeller Spitzhauben Society of Great Britain, in order to maintain and promote the breed, which currently comes under the auspices of the Rare Poultry Society, writes Anne Perdeaux.  So far, 59 keepers have registered an interest, and it is anticipated that support will continue to grow, not only from breeders, but also from those who like to have a few attractive layers in their flock.  The birds look striking, with their forward pointing crests (Spitzhauben literally translates as ‘pointed bonnet’), and currently five colours are available in the UK: silver spangled, gold spangled, black, blue and chamois spangled.  Although a small breed, they are classified as large fowl, and can be flighty, being lively, active birds. However, they are also hardy and capable foragers, ideally suited to free-range.  The hens are industrious layers of medium to large white eggs and are not inclined to go broody.  Originating from the Appenzell canton in Switzerland, the Appenzeller Spitzhauben was saved from extinction in the 1950s and has been in the UK since the 1970s. The British breed society folded in 2001, but the new group is hopeful that enough interest will be generated for them to be formally recognised by the Rare Poultry Society at its AGM in December. Secretary of the group, Benjamin Shepherd, is working hard to further the breed, with an informative website, a supporters’ newsletter and also a census of birds currently kept in the UK.  He says: “If you are looking for a hardy, beautiful and incredibly productive fowl – then look no further than the Appenzeller Spitzhauben.”Benjamin can be contacted via the website, email: or call 01524 542708

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