Norwegian Jaerhon

Dr Bjorn Netland

Songster
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
168
31
137
The Jaerhon is a very old provincial breed, like many other North European land races. There is no other breed mixed in, and it has been bred pure in a breeding program ever since the Norwegian government rescued a few birds of the old land race around 1910. While little attention was being paid to conformation traits in the beginning, the main focus was on production...and the breeding program established by the government at their research farm emphasized productivity, and the exhibition breeders subsequently started breeding for conformation as well, but without outcrossing. It was used in commercial egg production until some time in the 1970s, when it lost out to the modern-day Leghorn hybrids. The government gene bank keeps a relatively large flock at a research facility in addition to birds kept by hobbyists in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands (and the US). The bantam version was developed by using other bantam breeds crossed in with the large fowl Jaers. They were known to lay white or off-color white (creme colored) eggs all along, and the eggshell color does not denote influence from other breeds.
 

tdhenson86

Poultry People
7 Years
Aug 10, 2012
3,085
50
183
Paw Paw, Michigan
My Coop
The Jaerhon is a very old provincial breed, like many other North European land races. There is no other breed mixed in, and it has been bred pure in a breeding program ever since the Norwegian government rescued a few birds of the old land race around 1910. While little attention was being paid to conformation traits in the beginning, the main focus was on production...and the breeding program established by the government at their research farm emphasized productivity, and the exhibition breeders subsequently started breeding for conformation as well, but without outcrossing. It was used in commercial egg production until some time in the 1970s, when it lost out to the modern-day Leghorn hybrids. The government gene bank keeps a relatively large flock at a research facility in addition to birds kept by hobbyists in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands (and the US). The bantam version was developed by using other bantam breeds crossed in with the large fowl Jaers. They were known to lay white or off-color white (creme colored) eggs all along, and the eggshell color does not denote influence from other breeds.
Thanks so much, Dr. Netland! I thought I remembered reading that somewhere, but then I couldn't find where I read it.
 

Dr Bjorn Netland

Songster
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
168
31
137
I think it's essential that breeders keep laying records (trap nests or whatever) in order to breed from only the top layers. Additionally, it might be a good idea to introduce "new" blood from time to time, either from another breeder or from one of the (2? 3?) commercial hatcheries. Conformation breeding could be put on the back burner until we have a sufficiently large base here in the US -- except the ones that are obvious sports. (I have kept some of the sports in order to breed them as layers without any regard to conformation, and I will select only for productivity, size of eggs, and vigor in that group this spring). Eventually, breeders who have birds that might fit the standard description (remember, though, productivity in my opinion should be an important part of that) might go for APA recognition. Would be kind of fun to seem them accepted by the APA.
 

Love4Chooks

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 29, 2012
20
2
25
I have read that the dark variety lays slightly tinted / off white eggs and that is normal.
 

Love4Chooks

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 29, 2012
20
2
25
Does anybody have Jaer hatching eggs to sell or trade with me? I have two little hens (light & dark) with a light roo.
I am in Colorado Springs. I want to add fresh genes :)
 

aurissavannahs

Songster
9 Years
Jan 22, 2011
141
12
116
Murphy, NC
I have 25 Jaer hens so I have lots of eggs, but it is so cold here this winter that I have been getting some frozen eggs lately so I wouldn't sell them for hatching until it gets warmer. PM me if you are interested when it gets a little warmer.
 

aurissavannahs

Songster
9 Years
Jan 22, 2011
141
12
116
Murphy, NC
I have only dark Jaerhons. If anyone has a flock of dark Jaerhons not related to Amyable's birds, I would love to do some trading.
My Jaers are a cross of three sources: a flock descended from Amyable's, Ideal Poultry, and my 4 original hens from an unknown origin. I keep my hens in two flocks with two roosters in each flock to get as much genetic diversity as possible. Of course all Jaerhons in the US are descended from the eggs Dr. Netland imported in the 90's. Mine are darks, too.
 

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