Appenzell Pointed Hood Hens
The Pointed Hood Hen has been present in the Alps for centuries. According to unconfirmed reports it was supposed to have been bred already in the 15th century. During the breed demarcationing of the last century it was found only in the canton Appenzell, for which reason it was named the “Appenzell Pointed Hood” Hen.
The Pointed Hood Hen is ideally adapted to the conditions of the mountains. It climbs admirably on rocky ground and can fly well, which intensifies the wild hen impression. It gladly spends the night in a tree – even in snow. Because it has only small throat lopes and instead of a comb two small horns, there is little surface for frost to bite. Characteristic is the narrow, forward-inclining hood of feathers on the head. Pointed Hood Hens are relatively good layers; they lay approx. 150 white-shelled eggs in the first year, each 55 g in weight. The brooding instinct is very minimal.
Hens weigh mostly only a little over 1 kg, roosters over 1,5 kg.
A few breeders in the Appenzell Hen Club must be thanked for their efforts at saving this hen. Of course only four of the originally more than ten colors could be maintained from the few remaining hens in the 1950s. Most common are the silver-black spotted ones; they are put on exhibit over and over again at hen breeders exhibitions. More seldom is the gold-black spotted variety. They are held to be sensitive nurslings, and for the refreshment of blood in a breed hardly any other breeds are suited. Very rare are the pure black and the pure blue Pointed Hood Hens. They exist only in very few, numerically small and heavily inbreeding-damaged lines.
Endangered Domestic Animal Breeds 1995, Pro Specie Rara, Engelgasse 12a, CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland, Telefon 071/222 74 20, Fax 071/223 74 01. German Translation provided by John te Velde, Associate Professor of German, Oklahoma State University