The Vorwerk originates from Hamburg, Germany around 1900 and was developed by the German breeder Oskar Vorwerk who gave his name to the breed. He developed them as good utility birds with belted markings combined with buff feathering rather than white. They were first shown in 1912 and are thought to have come from Lakenvelders, Orpingtons, Ramelslohers and Andalusians. The breed is rare and was almost lost after the Second World War. They are powerful and compact birds with broad backs, and a deep, rounded breast. The head is broad and the face well feathered. They have a single, medium sized serrated comb, medium length wattles and small white earlobes. Their plumage is soft and glossy, the legs are slate blue and they have four toes. There is also a bantam version.
They are very good at foraging for food and make excellent birds for farmyards and smallholdings. They are happy free ranging but don’t mind being confined in a run at all. They are alert, busy birds with fairly small appetites and chicks are fast growers which mature quickly. However, they are good fliers and can fly around 2 metres so adequate fencing should be provided. The hens lay a good number of white-shelled eggs and will continue to lay throughout the winter. They are easy to tame and are not at all shy. The males are tolerant of each other and you can keep more than one cockerel.
The breed is only found in one colour which has black belted markings on a buff coloured body. This takes a while to develop and is often only complete after the third moult.