How are "Swedish Flower hens" different from "Icelandic chickens"? Or are they different breeds at a

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Dusky Beauty, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm just scratching the surface on Icies as a solid winter laying breed, and I keep seeing "swedish flower hens" come up. Are the breeds different? or a color variety of the same chicken by a different name? I'm little concerned with flashy colors, but am interested in the Icelandic's reputation as a solid winter egger and as a good free range bird.
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Icelandic chickens are a landrace breed whose genealogy can be traced back to the original parents introduced by Norse settlers to Iceland in the 9th century. They have survived in pure form and have been infrequently exported from Iceland. The few thousand Icelandic Chickens in existence today are the result of conservation efforts in the 1970s. Although Icelandic Chickens are not firmly standardized in appearance and possess a wide range of plumage colors and patterns, skin coloration and comb types, they are uniformly hardy in winter, have white earlobes, and lay white to beige colored eggs, and the breed can be identified through DNA testing. Icelandic Chickens are perhaps the hardiest breed on the planet, able to withstand extreme cold or (surprisingly) heat.

    Swedish Flower chickens are another landrace that emerged from breeds that were brought to Sweden several hundred years ago. The breed was created through natural selection and random pairings as they adapted to the climate and conditions of the Sydskånska Plain in southern Sweden. With the commercialization of Sweden’s poultry flocks in the last half of the 20th Century, this breed almost became extinct. A couple of decades ago remnant flocks were identified in three small, rural Swedish villages and a focused effort was made to save the breed. By the late 1980s fewer than 500 birds existed in the world. Today, about a thousand Swedish flower hens live in about fifty scattered flocks. Swedish flower hens are called blommehöns in Swedish; literally ‘bloom hens’ as the complex and brilliant color feather patterns of the birds do evoke the image of a tangle of wildflowers. Like Icelandic chickens, Swedish Flower chickens can be identified by DNA testing. Swedish Flower chickens are cold hardy as would be expected for a breed developed in Sweden, but not to the extreme degree of the Icelandic chickens.
     
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  3. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for that fantastic and thorough information!!
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome.
     

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