The Swedish Flower Hen chicken is a rare breed not well known outside of its native Sweden.
However, this unique chicken breed has become very popular among backyard chicken enthusiasts looking for a gentle, curious, and intelligent chicken to add to their backyard flock.
These birds have unique color patterns and can lay many eggs yearly.
There are many chicken breeds in the world. While some breeds, such as the Rhode Island Reds, are very popular, other breeds, like the Swedish Flower Hen chicken, are less common and not known by many people.
If you have never heard about the Swedish Flower Hen chicken breed or are considering adding them to your backyard flock, you have come to the right place.
This article will discuss everything you need about this unique chicken breed, including its history, appearance, personality, and egg production.
We will also discuss everything you need to know about their care needs. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating chicken breed.
History Of The Swedish Flower Hen Chicken
The Flower Hen chicken is the largest chicken native to Sweden and one of the traditional breeds.
The breed was most likely used for meat and egg production, and its feathers were probably used for staffing blankets and pillows.
These unique chickens were not created for any particular purpose. They are landrace chickens, meaning they adapted to their environment naturally.
They are strong examples of chicken breeding and the weaker genes dying out. It is believed they descended from birds brought to Sweden by settlers, then left to roam more or less wild.
Since farmers did not spend too much energy and time caring for these chickens, they would look for food and places to roost and nest for themselves.
The popularity of these chickens decreased as the fast-growing, highly productive industrial hens became increasingly popular.
This led to a sharp decline in the rare chicken, and the number of birds reduced to only about 500. However, in the 1980s, conservationists and chicken enthusiasts came to their rescue.
Three different breeding colonies of Swedish Flower Hen chickens were discovered in different towns. In Bomb, the birds discovered were crested, meaning they had a plume of feathers on their heads.
In Tofta and Earp, the chickens found were not crested. The Swedish Genetic Project instigated a to restore these chickens.
In 2010, 15 Swedish Flower Hens were taken to the USA. Since then, the breed began to gain notice from American chicken lovers.
By 2015, the population of these birds had tripled. While they are still relatively unknown, they can now be purchased throughout Europe and North America.
However, you can expect Swedish Flower Hen chickens to be slightly more expensive than most other breeds because of their uniqueness.
Breed Standard And Appearance
The Swedish Flower Hen has not been recognized as a pure breed by any poultry associations outside of Sweden. This means there is no true breed standard for these birds.
However, many chicken enthusiasts and breeders for certain colors, patterns, weights, and body sizes to ensure their Swedish Flower Hens appear as they should.
The Swedish Flower Hens are medium-sized chickens. As with most other chicken breeds, you can expect roosters to be slightly larger than hens.
A mature hen can weigh about five pounds, while roosters weigh up to eight pounds when fully grown.
It is important to note that the size of your Swedish Flower Hens will also depend on their health and maintenance needs.
Their most distinguishing characteristic is their coloring. The Swedish Flower Hens come in various colors, such as black, blue, red, and yellow.
However, they all display a millefleur pattern, meaning their feathers are tipped in white. Some Swedish Flower Hens display black and white tips and are said to have a snow leopard pattern.
Swedish Flower Hens can be crested or non-crested. Their body feathers tend to lie flat, while their legs are yellow but can sometimes be mottled with black.
These birds do not have feathers on their legs. Their comb, wattles, and ear lobes are red, while their eyes are orange or yellow.
Personality And Temperament
If you want a curious chicken to add to your flock, the Swedish Flower Hen is one of the best options.
Many chicken keepers consider these birds some of the smartest, most curious birds in their backyard. They tend to follow their owners and may learn to come when called.
The Swedish Flower Hen is a friendly, docile, and non-aggressive chicken that can do well in any backyard flock.
They rarely pick fights with other chickens in the flock and do not generally peck at people. So, if you are looking for a friendly chicken breed for your kids, look no further!
These unique chickens are quite independent. While they enjoy human company, they do not need it and can still do well without it.
However, they will relish your attention and care when given the opportunity. They are good foragers and are easy to take care of.
Since they love foraging, you can allow them to roam freely around your backyard. Swedish Flower Hens are calm chickens that will rarely get loud.
They are not easily ruffled by disturbances such as loud sounds. However, like roosters of most other breeds, their roosters can get loud often.
Their friendly and docile personalities make them ideal for beginners.
The Swedish Flower Hen is a dual-purpose chicken for meat and egg production. Under good care and proper nutrition, these chickens can three to four eggs per week.
This translates to between 150 and 200 eggs per year. You can expect your Swedish Flower Hen to lay beige or brown-colored eggs that are a decent size.
Their eggs are usually quite small when they first begin laying, but as the hens mature, they become much larger. Generally, these birds lay large-sized eggs.
These chickens are not known to be broody, and most will not sit on their eggs. To raise Swedish Flower Hen chicks, you must put eggs under a broody hen or in an incubator.
However, those that go broody tend to be great, caring mothers to their baby chicks.
Swedish Flower Hen Health Issues
Since Swedish Flower Hen chickens are landrace, they are very healthy birds with no specific health issues you should look out for.
They are not susceptible to many poultry health issues and generally live long and healthy lives. You can expect your Swedish Flower Hen to live about ten years longer than most other chicken breeds.
As with other chicken breeds, these birds are at their healthiest when offered a varied, nutritious diet.
Good care and proper nutrition are not only good for their health but also for their egg production.
Birds offered vegetables and calcium supplements, like oyster shells, are generally stronger and more productive.
As with all chicken breeds, your Swedish Flower Hens will need high-quality feed with all the necessary nutrients and proteins.
You will want to include plenty of calcium in their diet to aid in the formation of strong eggshells.
Swedish Flower Hens can thrive both in confinement and when allowed to free-range. So, if you have a spacious backyard, you can allow your birds to roam freely as they free range.
As mentioned, the Swedish Flower Hens are medium-sized birds. So, they will need at least four square feet of space inside the coop.
If possible, you can give them more space. Giving your birds plenty of space will help prevent overcrowding, which can lead to unwanted behaviors like cannibalism.
Your Swedish Flower Hens will need one nesting box for every three birds.
They are not prone to broodiness and spend a lot of time inside the nesting boxes, so providing them with many boxes is unnecessary.
If you intend to keep them in a run, you will want to ensure they are safe and secure from predators, such as raccoons, owls, hawks, and stray dogs.
They do not tolerate confinement very well, but you should aim to give them at least eight square feet of run space.
Swedish Flower Hens are extremely practical and easy to keep. With unique feather colors, and charming, intelligent personalities, these adorable birds can be a great addition to any backyard flock.
They are dual-purpose chickens that can lay up to 200 eggs per year. As with other chicken breeds, these birds need good care and proper nutrition to live a more productive life.
While they are still rare, they are wonderful birds. By adding a Swedish Flower Hen to your backyard flock, you would be doing your part in helping to grow their population.