Feathers on Spangled Hamburgh Chickens

Feather Types

Feathers of Different Breeds of Spangled Hamburgh Hens

  1. Feather of Lancashire Mooney Hen
  2. Feather of Golden Pheasant Hen
  3. Feather of Silver Pheasant Hen
  4. Wing Feather of Silver Mooney Chicken
  5. Hackle of full-feathered Silver Mooney Cock
  6. Hackle of Hen-feathered Silver Mooney Cock
  7. Saddle Feather of full plumaged Golden Pheasant Cock
  8. Saddle Feather of Hen-feathered Golden Pheasant Cock

The 1853 edition of The Poultry Book made reference to just two types of feather with spangled Hamburghs but the 1867 listed the eight variations above. I assume it shows more detailed listing rather than an increase in the number of breeds in just 14 years!

It does go to show the power of selective breeding.  It should be remembered that there was actually big money in breeding chickens, not just the show-prizes but the proceeds from selling prize-winning birds for breeding.

Nowadays the money is in breeding commercial birds either faster-growing for the table or more productive egg layers.

The book says about the feather variations

In any previous description of the Black Hamburghs, or Pheasant Fowl, the existence of the green-black spangles at the end of each feather has been passed over without notice. But it is, in fact, the presence of these spangles that gives rise to the rich glossy appearance of the plumage; in a bright light the contrast between the jet black of the ground-colour and the iridescent green-black of the spangles is strikingly evident.

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