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Chicken Breeds item created by nightowl223, Aug 2, 2012
Pros - Great variety, beauty, great free rangers
Cons - A bit sensitive as far as hatching goes
I´ve tried a few breeds, and I must say I´ve finally found the one for me. I wanted variety (not chicks and chickens that all look alike), good egg-laying, hens that go broody, good free-rangers, and decent meat quality all in one, and I´ve found it in this breed. They are real eye-candy; you can spend hours just watching them, and every hatch is exciting because you just don´t know what your chicks are going to look like. Then there is the financial aspect: because they free range so well, I definitely spend less now on feed than with the other breeds I´ve had.
Pros - Friendly, lovely personalities, good egg layers, mild temperaments
Cons - (Perhaps prone to be bullied by other breeds- a friend's observation, and how I inherited my first SFH)
I wasn't planning on getting chickens but I had purchased two Swedish Flower pullets for a friend, who has and loves chickens. These two sisters were gorgeous! Friendly, sweet... and quickly became my friend's favorites in her flock. She carefully introduced them, and all was going well until one day one of the sisters caught herself on some wire- and the rest of the flock (older and more established) attacked and killed her. My friend cried for weeks. And then the lone SFH began to be picked on, without her sister for support. So I decided to take her. And quickly fell in love with her! I think Swedish Flower Hens are amazing! Social and friendly, and just beautiful! It wasn't long before I called her breeder back to see if I could arrange to have more company for my lone hen! Yes, chicken math.... but something about the Swedish Flowers make them hard to resist. I live on the edge of town so I can't have as many as I would like (haha), but I do truly enjoy my few girls and would recommend them to anyone. I live in New Mexico and so far they seem to have weathered both the hot, dry summers (I put a mister on during the very hot days) and the colder winter nights (I'm near the colorado boarder, so I might get colder nights then elsewhere in the state). They are hardy and I just can't sing their praises enough!
Pros - Want them
Cons - None
Is there any body here that can ship me Crested Swedish Flower Hatching eggs Here in Canada around May Must be able to ship to Port au Port or Stephenville, Newfoundland. A0N1T0 and How much will it cost me in total ??
Pros - These birds are curious and colorful. They blend in well with their surroundings. Not broody. Do well in confinement.
I currently have a flock of one rooster and 8 hens. I live in the mountains of So. Cal. We get hot temps and below freezing temps. These birds do well in both. They're very aware of their environment when free ranging. I've raised 6 roos to adulthood. Only one was aggressive. Mine free range most of the time, but when I have to leave them locked in their run all day they do just fine. There's been no bullying or picking on one another. Very easy going birds.
Pros - Amazing beauty! No two exactly alike. Curious, excellent foragers, wary of predators
Cons - None really unless you want a breed for the table
Early this year, I was looking into some new breeds of chickens to get and by chance I happened to find pictures and information on the SFH. One of the best things that happened to me! I was so impressed with their beauty that right away I got some hatching eggs. That was all it took and I was hooked! I use to raise paint horses and my first thought is that these birds are like the paint horses of the chicken world! No two are exactly alike and they come in so many colors and patterns. They also come in crested or non crested versions, adding even more variety. To watch a group of these stunning birds forage out on the green grass in summer is awesome! I haven't hatched my own yet but look forward to seeing what new colors I can come up with. A friend that has these birds told me that every time she hatches she finds herself keeping more chicks to add to her flock because she sees a new color or pattern she didn't already have! It's very easy to find yourself with more than you planned on having.
My flock is young and the oldest have just started to lay so I can't say much about how good of layers they are yet but will update that later. They are referred to as a "dual purpose" breed, but these are more of a medium sized bird that I would not consider the most practical breed if you wanted birds for the table but that's ok with me since I will raise other breeds for meat and keep the SFH for their eggs and beauty. Of the ten or so breeds I keep, the SFH are one of the two or three best foraging breeds I have. They are out there searching for bugs and eating grass all day while most of the others stay close to the feed bowls. They are very aware of their surroundings and any potential dangers. Most of my SF seem a bit on the high strung side but then having developed as a landrace breed that learned to survive on it's own, I can see how their "energetic" personalities would be an asset in avoiding predators! My "calmer" birds would likely be the first to be caught and eaten! They also seem to be more hardy and disease resistant than many other breeds. On the website of their original importer, Greenfire Farms under FAQs, they claim that the breed has shown resistance to Marek's disease. Luckily I hadn't had a chance to find that out first hand but they do seem to have better immune systems than some of the other breeds I have. If I had to get rid of most of my breeds, the SFH would be one of the ones I would just have to keep!
UPDATE: It's been some months since I wrote this and I wanted to update it in regards to egg laying ability. The SF girls are very good layers. Before the summer began to get really hot, they were laying at a rate of about 80% of the total number of hens each day. In July, it started to go down and now it is August and I am getting 4 or 5 eggs daily at most from a group of 14 but this is a Texas summer and they are beginning to molt. Some of my other breeds, like my Buff Orpingtons have stopped laying altogether right now. Anyway,they have so far done a great job as layers and despite the fact that they are from a cooler climate origin, they seem to be tolerating the Texas heat pretty well.
Pros - I love the diversity. Color. Some crested some not. Good layers. Personality plus.
Cons - Only negative so far is that roosters have a tendency to get aggressive.
After 50 years, and LOTS of chickens, I can easily say that this is my favorite breed! The hens are very friendly, and curious, always checking everything out. They are good layers, with the eggs being a nice large size. My EEs probably lay more in quantity, but my Swedish lay the largest eggs in my coop. The eggs range in color from brown to near white, with light cream being the norm. I can't free range my flock any longer because of stray dogs, but they are excellent foragers, with the roosters alert and protective. The downside being that I have noticed that roosters have a tendency to become aggressive. I have never had a people aggressive Ameraucana/EE, but have had to cull several SFH roosters that became VERY aggressive. Fortunately not all get aggressive, so its a matter of culling until you get the right one. The only other down side that I can see is that they are so pretty, and so different, that you always want more! "I wonder what the next hatch will produce"! Visitors are always drawn to the Swedish pens, and I have had several comment that "those are the prettiest chickens that I have ever seen"...and I agree.
Pros - Good Layers, Amusing Temperaments
Cons - None yet!
Have 4 of these funny girls, hatched here. Average growth rate, laid right at 6 months as expected, no issues. None of them turned out with crests, but the range in colors is neat. Three of the four have Blue points on a red base, and you don't really see that in other breeds. Another is red and white speckled. One is solid red, with only blue in the tail. Some are sweet, one is mean. Reasonably tame without a whole lot of hands on rearing. Not flighty. Curious. Just normal chickens really, with neat coloring.
Egg color... 2 lay the expected light beige. The other two lay white. Mine didn't come from someone who was picky on the breeder birds, they're purebred as that was the only breed on the farm, but there was no culling for specific traits (egg color, crests, etc)... so it really was "You get what you get" variety. I'd like to see the breed retain the range of colors, but gain consistency with having crests and laying the beige colored eggs instead of white.
They can go broody, seems inconsistent in the who and when. Mean streaks are in there if you don't cull it out from the breeding stock. Overall I'm pleased with them.
Pros - Good Layers; Hens are quiet
Cons - roosters can become aggressive
Pros - Hardy, friendly chickens that do well free ranging
Cons - Haven't found any negatives yet.
As Forrest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get!"
Hatching and raising Swedish Flower Hens is the same way. With so many possible color combinations and varieties, you just never know what you're going to get. I currently have 6 SFHs and each is unique. The colors are beautiful, and as a flock they adorn my yard better than any flower garden! Not only that, but they free range most of the day and keep our bug population down.
I have a couple other breeds of chickens and none of those range as far as my SFH. My SFH also are quick (they run everywhere), alert and on the look out for danger, yet so friendly that they will run up to me when ever I come outside.
These are great chickens to have if you like a lot of color variety in your flock, and enjoy friendly birds!
Pros - Friendly,Colorful
Cons - none
I've only had these for a short time but they add lots of color to any backyard and more then enough personality to a flock.