Swedish Flower Hen
The Swedish Flower Hen (Skansk Blommehona) is everything it's name implies. They are smart birds, practically valued for their sturdy landrace health and vigor and good production of eggs and meat, but beloved for their lovely colors and brush-stroke impressionist "flower" pattern that brings to mind a Monet masterpiece.
The Swedish Flower Hen is a landrace chicken, which means that it was not engineered, but rather developed naturally over time as it adapted to the environment in which it lived. Although it has been mentioned in various writings over the past 300 years, it's true origins can only be guessed. It is likely that seafarers and settlers brought chickens to remote settlements as a food source and to trade for other goods. These birds most likely fended for themselves and were used for eggs, meat, and feathers. Because of their survival-of-the-fittest development, the Swedish Flower Hen became suited to thriving in the sometimes harsh climate of southern Sweden and became the traditional farm hen of that region.
Sadly, the industrialization of agriculture and it's emphasis on high-production hybrids sidelined traditional hearty, long-lived, reproductively-vital birds and almost brought about the extinction of this breed. By the early 1970's, there were very few Swedish Flower Hens left in the country. The Swedish Genetic Project identified a few isolated flocks and put a plan into place to restore this priceless endangered heritage breed.
Many keepers of Swedish Flower Hens enjoy the great diversity which provides a fun "mixed assortment" all in one pure breed. Base plumage can be black, blue, yellow or red. The white-tipped feather pattern, poetically called "mille fleur" (thousand flowers) creates the illusion of innumerable flowers in blossom. Birds may be crested (from fowl originating in the Vomb area) or non-crested (from fowl originating in the Esarp and Tofta areas), and also tasselled or non-tasselled. Wattles, single comb and earlobes are red, eyes are orange/yellow. The body is medium-sized, round and robust, with roosters weighting in around 8 pounds, hens about 5 1/2 pounds. Skin can be yellow or black mottled, legs are clean and light tan-colored. Chicks may hatch out with pink or grey legs.
WHY WE LOVE THEM
Swedish Flower Hens are Lisa's favorite!! Our birds are calm, yet have a poise and confidence beyond your average chicken. They are independent, forage well and are predator-savvy, yet can thrive in pens. Our birds are people-friendly and roosters are non-aggressive. They provide up to 200 large to extra-large tinted eggs a year. And most wonderfully of all, they bloom in a profusion of colors like a vast field of wildflowers in Springtime.
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