Chicken Breed Focus - Isbar (Blue Isbar)

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    The (Blue) Isbar is a rare, relatively new breed, that was developed in the 1950s in Sweden, by the Catholic monk, Martin Silverudd. It is a single combed green egg layer, that was meant to be a productive breed and the hens are excellent layers, laying around 200+ large eggs (of various shades of green) a year. They are a smallish breed and is fairly cold hardy. They have a relatively docile temperament, are thrifty easy keepers, and are good foragers.

    There are several varieties and colors of Isbar including the beautiful Blue Isbar variety that was imported into the US, which comes in the usual Blue, Black and Splash coloring. The Isbar was originally planned as an auto-sexing breed, but not all colors lend themselves to this. Breeds believed to have gone into the development of the Isbar include Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds and Cream Legbars.

    They are not recognised by the APA.


    Breed purpose: Colored egg layer, various shades of green.
    Comb Type: Single
    Broodiness: Seldom
    Climate Tolerance: Average, Cold Hardy
    Weight: Roosters 5.5lbs, hens 4.5lbs
    Egg Productivity: Good
    Egg Size: Large
    Egg Color: Green

    Cockerel, picture by @dfdesigns

    Pullet, picture by @fbdanes

    Chicks, picture by @SanAntoneChicken

    BYC Breed reviews:

    General breed discussions & FAQ threads:

    Do you own Isbars? Are you an Isbar breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

    · What made you decide to get this breed?
    · Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
    · What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
    · Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!
    FlomatonsFlocks likes this.
  2. Bigwig

    Bigwig Songster

    Jan 8, 2015
    Where in the USA can I purchase this breed?
    1 person likes this.
  3. Purpletie3

    Purpletie3 Songster

    Apr 30, 2014
    Upstate NY...
    Greenfire Farms
  4. Blulaced Damsel

    Blulaced Damsel In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2015
    I am raising my first bunch of Isbar chickens from Greenfire Farm and I LOVE them. I wound up with four roosters (2 blue, 1 black, and 1 splash) and the rest black pullets. Some of the ladies have a pronounced khaki colored collar, some have a varying degree of one, and some are just pure black. The black feathers sometimes look like they have a mallard green sheen and other times have a rich purple sheen. Here is one gal (caught stealing a sip of dog water) who has a more pronounced collar[​IMG]
    I find them to be EGGSELLENT foragers [​IMG], as well as inquisitive and friendly. I have not lost any to predators (yet) as I have other breeds (yes- there are breeds I have discovered I just can't keep around because they will mingle with the skunks or invite the hawks to tea [​IMG])
    I am just now starting to get EGGS!! It is the best treasure hunt every day, because not all eggs are the same! Sometimes I have a hard time telling them from the Cream Legbar eggs, but other times the greens are just simply mindblowing! Here is a picture of two that I collected yesterday afternoon[​IMG]
    Here is one of my roosters who is 15 weeks old now[​IMG][​IMG]
    And I can't leave out Hank... He is also 15 weeks old, and he is the most vocal and the sweetest of all the roos- used to jump into my lap and hang his head over my arm and go to sleep!! Now he's too big and "grown up" for such nonsense [​IMG]
    Lunalala and TwoCrows like this.
  5. KYTinpusher

    KYTinpusher Master Enabler

    Sep 3, 2011
    Northern KY
    I would like to clear this up. Originally in Sweden, Isbar referred to any green egg laying chicken, and still does to many there. (Kind of like our struggle here with Ameraucana, Americana and Easter Egger.) The breed we know as Blue Isbar (Isbar Blue in Sweden) was specifically bred by Martin Silverudd as a production breed. He never accomplished the auto-sexing part of this breed before he died, if he intended it to be. There was a white Isbar, bred by Martin Silverudd, that was a precursor to the Blue Isbar, but is believed to be extinct. Blue, black, splash and white are the only recognized colors of this breed. It is also thought that the White Leghorn was used in the development of the Blue Isbar. I have seen some speculation that the Minorca may have been used, and perhaps that is how the blue color was introduced. Many of Martin Silverudd's notes on the development of the Blue Isbar have been lost which is why there is so much speculation.

    I was originally drawn to the Blue Isbar because of its beauty and Swedish heritage. (DH's family is Swedish) My Isbars are by far the most productive breed that I own. (I have Swedish Flower Hens, Svarthönas, White Bresse, Black Copper Marans, Black Ameraucanas, a Rhodebar, an Easter Egger, and a few mixed breeds) They are on the small end of the scale for large fowl birds, but are reliable layers of large to extra large eggs. The have easily withstood winters with temps down to -20o F and summers with temps of 100o F+ with hardly a pause in their laying. Even during molt, they recovered and resumed laying very quickly compared to my other breeds. They are a thrifty breed and excellent foragers.

    The Blue Isbar is a very intelligent breed (for a chicken anyway. [​IMG] ) They have a calm temperatment, but mine are not overly fond of being handled. I find that integrating new birds in an established flock is easier with the Isbars than with my other breeds. The cocks are not aggressive and take excellent care of the hens.

    The Blue Isbar was originally brought to the states by Greenfire Farms in 2011. This first import was plagued by problems caused by inbreeding. Many breeders gave up on them because of fertility, hatchability, and vitality issues. The few breeders that stuck with them were able to solve many of the vitality issues with careful breeding. I know of only a handful of breeders, myself included, who still maintain a flock of 1st import birds.

    In 2013, Greenfire imported a second group of Blue Isbars. Though this 2nd import line brought much needed diversity to address the issues that plagued the 1st import line, they also brought much more variability in the birds with some undesirable characteristics.






  6. N F C

    N F C is it nap time yet?

    Dec 12, 2013
    @KYTinpusher that is one of the prettiest egg cartons I've ever seen.

    Your birds are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your experience with these beautiful birds!
    HeidiEmbrey likes this.
  7. alchemist farm

    alchemist farm In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2015
    Northern California
    We LOVE our isbars! They are exquisitely friendly and lay the most beautiful eggs. You ca see pictures of them running around on our farm website :)

    I highly recommend them!
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    <slaps forehead> Just what I needed - another breed to drool over! Do you people who put these spotlight on breeds know how much it costs to continually replace drooled on keyboards?
    mconors, Exotica and shortgrass like this.
  9. N F C

    N F C is it nap time yet?

    Dec 12, 2013
    I just keep adding to my "wish list" with every new breed focus. Forget a new keyboard...I need a bigger place for more coops for more chickens for more ranging space for more run space. More, more, more. This place is hazardous for those of us easily influenced. [​IMG]
    mbw714 likes this.
  10. Akrnaf2

    Akrnaf2 The educated Rhino

    Jul 5, 2014
    Center of Israel
    I use an Iped, it is much easier to clean a touch screen!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015

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