Svart Hona

Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Ornamental, egg laying
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly, easily handled, great free rangers
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    Breed Size:

    The Svart Hona (Swedish Black Hen) is a Fibromelanistic breed meaning their bones, meat, eyes, comb, legs, and feathers are solid black. There are other breeds that have the fibromelanistic gene which makes them all or mostly black, but the Swedish Black Hen is known as the blackest breed in the world. Another all black breed, the Ayam Cemani, is the close cousin to the Svart Hona. The breeds are extremely similar with most differences hard to spot. Svart Honas should not be confused with its cousin the Ayam Cemani, although they are very similar in appearance. The main difference is that the Svart Hona has a less “gamey” appearance compared to the Ayam Cemani.

    A little information on the breed: The Svart Hona are a small chickens, although not considered bantams. Svart Honas weigh between 5-7.5 pounds and the hens are excellent layers of off-white eggs. For the size of the hen, the eggs are extraordinarily large often almost as big as some of my Large Fowl Orpington eggs. These birds are excellent fliers and enjoy roosting high off the ground when given the opportunity. Because of their abilities, these birds make amazing free-rangers. The roosters are alert and take great care keeping an eye on the hens. If something sets off “the alarm” the chickens will fly to the nearest cover quickly usually escaping danger. However, just because these birds are excellent fliers it does not make them unfriendly and flighty. My Svart Honas are some of the friendliest birds on my property and crave attention from their caregivers. They will fly up to your shoulder, or walk and sit in your lap looking for treats. Another great plus for the breed is that they are exceedingly healthy, eggs are extremely fertile, and I have amazing hatch rates. I am not the only one to experience this; other breeders report 98% vitality.

    Here is some history on the breed: Svart Honas, also known as Swedish Black Hens, were imported to Sweden in the 1800’s from Mozambique, but Svart Honas originated in Indonesia. A nice straightforward breed to keep, its total jet-black appearance often arouses the curiosity of those who come in contact with it. Svart Hona’s are still extremely rare and as of 2013, there are very few known flocks in the entire United States, one of which is ours. The birds are even extremely hard to find in Europe to this day.

    The Svart Honas are amazing, unique birds that would accent anyone’s flock nicely. These birds are definitely conversation pieces as anyone who walks onto the property will have to know, “What in the world is that chicken?!”

    Svart Hona egg

    Svart Hona chick

    Svart Hona juvenile

    Svart Hona hen

    Svart Hona rooster

    For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
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mrsopoodles, BlackHackle and pginsber like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. 4-HMomma
    "Beautiful, friendly, and hardy"
    Pros - Cold weather hardy, striking, friendly
    Cons - Egg production
    I have a few of these in my flock. Was turned on to them by a local breeder as a hardier alternative to cemanis. They're beautiful black/green feathers are very striking, and my roo has the most stunning iridescent blue ears. They're very friendly. My girls will wander in through an open door and hop on your lap for snuggle time.

    Not the best egg producers, but five stars for look, temperament, and ease of care.
    mrsopoodles likes this.
  2. HeiHeisMom
  3. BantyChooks
    "Gorgeous Birds"
    I have a pair of 6-month-old Svarthöna and I quite like having them around. They're very docile and easily tamed, in fact, they're annoyingly friendly at times. They are a smaller bird, so their eggs aren't full size, but that's just a minor inconvenience.
    mrsopoodles and BlackHackle like this.

User Comments

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  1. jessfarm
    I'm pretty sure I need one of these roosters to make another roger the rooster. I have hens and they are quite broody. I had luck with two of the mommas sitting on, hatching and raising the chicks but the third momma was a first time failure. she hatched three and I lost them all from her neglect. they are beautiful birds
  2. Chook to chook
    We happened across a local breeder that just happened to have one of these when we picked up our EE. We got her as an adult who was handled very little so I suspect that is why she is not as friendly as the rest of our hand raised flock. She is a very spritely little bird who is a joy to watch. Her eggs are more pink and bantam sized and a bit sparse compared to our other layers. If you need a broody bird to hatch some eggs, THIS IS YOUR BIRD. She adds interest to our flock for sure. I would have loved getting her as a chick but I don't think that would be an option since I'm assuming they are hard to sex and we are not zoned for roos.
      jessfarm likes this.
  3. goedric
    I have these as well, and they are both smart and friendly... especially the hens... i have noticed that some of the roos have sapphire blue earlobes.. quite striking... i was told by some other breeders that black and sapphire ear flaps are acceptable but white should be culled. My birds are 100% black except the sapphire earlobes on 2 of 4 roosters... also, one rooster has a floppy comb... assuming it's a bad thing but cannot find any reference to the standard here... the only reason i don't cull him is that his sapphire earlobe is the most striking... i am thinking of breeding to enhance the sapphire earlobes.. because i think its more beautiful and also to help distinguish between Svart Hona and ACs... sorry for the bad pics (actually no pics cant figure out how to upoload)...
  4. Gdove419
    I have two of these birds. They are young, about 2 months old, but they are friendly and so pretty, with very black feathers that have a green sheen to them in some spots. Also black combs, legs, wattles. They also have an almost musical sound to them when they are chirping. Unusual and so pretty.
      Srod79 likes this.
  5. BlueJayFarm
    Since this was a fake review, I take back my thumbs up!
  6. 0wen
    As mentioned above - related to Cemani but a different bird. If you want pets, these guys win hands down - amazing personalities, friendly, curious. I can't say enough about them really - My rooster just turned a year old and have had zero signs of aggression from him - my kids handle him regularly; I never even think about him being anything but pleasant whenever I'm in the coop with him.
      Srod79 likes this.
  7. Hens rule
    So cute! The black combs and wattles are cool.
  8. Jensownzoo
    I asked someone who had both Cemani and these which ones they prefer personality-wise...the Svart Honas won out.
  9. arrowti
    They are related but different species.

    I might add this to my 'want' list... :)
  10. AustralorpsAU
    Are these the same as Ayam Cemani?

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