Breed info on Norwegian Jærhøns (Jaerhons / Jaerhon)

CelticMoon1

Songster
10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
362
22
131
So, I compiled a little "fact sheet" b/c someone asked for info on the breed, and thought I'd share it here as well as I know there are some fanciers out there, and the info isn't readily available to those of you who don't speak Norwegian. I don't own any purebred Jærhøns myself now, so I can't contribute any pictures in this thread as I don't want to steal copyrighted pictures off the internet
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I did include a link though where there are pics (even if it is all in Norwegian
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)!
 

CelticMoon1

Songster
10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
362
22
131
Approved colors (According to Norwegian Standard of Perfection):
Light and Dark. Sports are not uncommon (though not accepted according to the SoP), such as Cuckoo, Grey (which a group of breeders in Norway are working on) and Flame (a variety that Sand Hill has chosen to breed for). The secret to telling the difference in coloring in adult hens: Dark have grey and dark grey stripes in the down on the underside of their body and their bottom, while the Light are brown in this area. Adult roos will have mainly white feathering, though patterned, but the Dark roos will have som darker brown coloring on their back.

Legs: Yellow

Comb: Single

Ear Lobes: White

Eggs: Minimum weight 55 grams, ideal weight 60 grams, but they can lay larger too. Light Jærhøns lay white eggs, Dark Jærhøns lay more of a cream color. They are considered good layers, about 80% of the production of commercial hybrids. They start laying at approximately 5 months old.

Weight: Roos 2 kgs Hens 1.75 kgs (Bantam roos 800 grams, hens 700 grams)

This is the only chicken breed developed in Norway. It originates from the Norwegian landrace fowl as it was before foreign breeds were imported from around 1850. (Landrace refers to domesticated animals adapted to the natural and cultural environment in which they live, or originated. They often develop naturally with minimal assistance or guidance from humans using traditional breeding methods). Their development is very well documented.
Because of the interest in the imported foreign breeds the number of landrace fowl in Norway diminished, and in 1916 a breeding station was founded in Stavanger in the Jær district in Norway. They collected hathcing eggs for what would be the base for what we know today as Norwegian Jærhøns. They got eggs from different places but most from a breeder named Karl Håland who had been working on the line for years. He in his turn got his eggs from a woman named Inger Lisabet Bru who had been breeding that type of fowl for approximately 30 years, meaning that the line the breeding station worked with originated in the 1880s. They bred the birds they had collected and from that stock selected one rooster (#1) and one hen (# 26) as the breeding pair and foundation for the development of the breed. We’re talking extreme linebreeding and inbreeding for approximately 100 years, with no outcrossing! To this day we have a gene bank that preserves this breed in Norway.

The original landrace fowl was much more diverse in appearance (much like Icelandic chickens) with a wide variety of colors, different combs and both with and without tassels. This is presumed to be the reason for the sports that crop up (deviations in colors) in an otherwise quite uniform breed.

They are not typical setters, as the broodiness in a large part has been bred out to get better egg production. They are active birds and are also known to be quite flighty (they can fly for as much as 20 meters horisontally if startled) and can easily roost 2 meters up. They are known to be quite hardy, and are great foragers though they will lay better with supplemented diet.

The chicks are sexable as day-olds.
Light Jærhøns: Males are uniformly yellow, females are yellow with a visible brown stripe from their head and down along the back.
Dark Jærhøns: Males are brown with a large uneven yellow spot in the head/neck area. Females are brown with a small spot.
(Grey Jærhøns: Both genders are dark brown/grey at hatch. Males have a large uneven spot, females a smaller spot.)
(Flame Jærhøns: (as they aren’t bred in Norway I have no idea, but can edit if anyone has info on them))

Here’s a link , if you browse almost to the bottom you’ll see pics of four chicks. The left ones are Dark, the right ones are Light. The top ones are male, the bottom ones female.

There is a bantam variety but that is quite young (from the 1990’s) and has been developed by outcrossing to Danish Dwarf Landrace Fowl and OEGBs.
 
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houndit

There is no H or F in Orpington!
Jul 13, 2008
2,231
123
294
Braymer Missouri
Thanks! When I first got mine I looked everywhere and found very little information. I really think they are a neat chicken. I hope more people will become interested in them soon. Good job.
 

CelticMoon1

Songster
10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
362
22
131
I must say I was surprised when I discovered there were any outside of Norway at all!
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Oh and pls let me know if there's any info I've left out - this was just a quick compilation that I did yesterday
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Minniechickmama

Senora Pollo Loco
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
7,135
702
391
Minnesota
Since I instigated this with you Moon, I will contribute my pictures as the fluffballs grow.
Here is when they arrived and were 2 or 3 days old:
40608_norjaerhons.jpg

40608_njboy_and_girl.jpg

The girls have this distinctive spot on their heads:
40608_girl_or_boy.jpg

Two boys:
40608_sex_me.jpg

Two girls on the outsides and three boys in the middle:
40608_norjaer.jpg


Okay, now they are two weeks old: (Girl on left, boy on right)
40608_jaerhons_pair_2wks.jpg

I will continue taking pictures and posting these as time goes on.
Thanks for the translation too Moon!
 
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ZooMummzy

Queen of the Zoo
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
5,392
27
261
Philomath, Oregon
Very very cute! It's weird but I had never heard of this breed till this morning when my friend called me to say she was getting some of these chicks from Portland in a couple weeks and now I run across this post!
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I'm going to have to investigate them a little more. I like what I see and hear so far! Thanks for the information!
 

Minniechickmama

Senora Pollo Loco
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
7,135
702
391
Minnesota
Quote:
Feathersite has some picture of the two varieties that Sand Hill has. That is where I got mine, but I didn't order them, they tossed them in free probably because they hardly had the ones I did order. I got these 5 and am now in pursuit of spreading the word. I have a "neighbor" in my town who has had some for a while and needs new blood (she got hers from Ideal), and so I know where my extra roo(s) can go. These are not the Flames either, they are the lighter colored ones.
 

houndit

There is no H or F in Orpington!
Jul 13, 2008
2,231
123
294
Braymer Missouri
I find them absolutely fascinating! I love watching them fly. One of them even perched on the power lines over our house. The thing that is irritating me right now is that they leave the hen yard and hide their eggs in the machine shed.
I do not have any good pictures right now, but here is one
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I thought it was really funny how enormous their combs got when they were small.
 

MANNA-PRO

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