All about the Swedish Flower Hen
The Swedish Flower hen or Skansk blommehona
is a landrace chicken.
Landrace birds were not selected by humans for their looks or eggs but rather adapted naturally to the environment in which they lived.
The weak did not survive (Darwin’s principle at work).
They evolved to become very adept at survival in the sometimes harsh climate of southern Sweden, the area of Skåne,
and became the traditional farm hen of that region.
It has been written about at least 300 years ago in various documents from that period.
Swedish Flower hens are called Blommehons in Swedish which translates to flower hens and that is because of their beautiful colors and the feather pattern, like summer flowers in a field.
Although its origins can only be guessed at, it is likely that trader, seafarers and settlers brought primitive breeds to remote settlements in trade for other things and also as a food source.
It’s unlikely that they were cared for as livestock. They would have fended for themselves and did a good job of it too.
As with many older breeds, the rise of the commercial hybrids almost saw the extinction of this lovely, hardy bird.
By the 1970s’ very few Flower Hens were left in Sweden. A few isolated Farms still kept them and a restoration and breeding plan was put into place by the Swedish Genetic Project.
The original flocks were found in three areas:
Vomb: crested fowl were found.
Esarp and the Tofta: Non-crested fowl were located.
As you may infer from the fact that there are crested and non-crested birds, the appearance of the hen can vary tremendously from one bird to the next.
I absolutely love the diversity of the breed – a mixed assortment if you will.
The base colors can range from black, blue, yellow and reds. The feather pattern is mille fleur (thousand flowers), the feathers are white tipped. The combinations are many and varied – black/white; white/red and a pattern similar to the Speckled Sussex hen.
Birds can be crested, tasseled or not, depending on the line of birds you have. At the moment we only keep non crested birds but that will change soon hopefully.
Wattles, single comb are all red and upright, the ear lobes are white, the eyes are orange/yellow in color.
The body is described as round and robust, a medium sized bird with the roosters weighing around 8lb, and the hens 5 ½ lb.
They are the largest breed native to Sweden.
The skin can be yellow or black mottled in color, with legs being clean, yellow or light tan in color, black pigmentation is permitted . Chicks’ legs can be a pink or grey color.
The Swedish Flower hen is said to be a confident, calm and poised bird. It can function well independently when foraging for food and is friendly towards humans and very curious. The Flower hens are perfectly adopted to a free ranging life in the Nordic climate and is a skillful forager with a well developed flock instinct.
Even the roosters are non-aggressive and can be kept with several roosters together.
The bird is hardy to a wide range of temperatures.
The Swedish Flower hen loves to free range, they can fly very well, it is predator savvy and enjoys its independence, although they do tolerate confinement. They are curious about their surroundings and enjoy investigating new things.
They are also described as quick learners and very smart birds.
These hens will lay in the region of 150-200 eggs per year. Eggs start small, but soon become large to extra-large in size. The egg color is a light beige tint.
The hens are good mothers when allowed to be broody, but are not known to be obsessively broody. Approximately 1/3 of hens will go broody.
Chicks are fairly quick to mature and the chicken itself is a long lived bird 10 years old not being unheard of. They are a very healthy breed
Is The Swedish Flower Hen Right For You?
The Swedish Flower Hen is certainly beautiful to look at and comes in a wide variety of colors.
The hens produce a decent amount of eggs per week and as a dual purpose hen the bird will dress out to a respectable weight.
They are a non-aggressive breed, friendly and quite social, so acceptable for children, my children absolutely love them and they can even pick up the Roosters.
As they are not recognized as a breed, exhibition would be solely for the purpose of breed recognition at this time.
They are very suitable for first-timers and children since they are more or less problem free and can function well independently of the keeper if allowed.
Also they are super healthy and reaching 10 Years of age is not unheard of. No disease or common health problems have been noted for this breed.
The Swedish Flower hen has never been bred to any written ‘standard’ therefore there is no standard for this chicken.
For the preservation of the Swedish Flower Hens the typical characteristics and external characteristics were collected. The following criteria serve as guidelines for us, without any claim to completeness.
- good Brodies
- not aggressive
- friendly, tame
• Body shape:
- Land chicken form
- medium size
- strong statue
- round, with a broad chest
Hen: 2 - 2,5kg
Cock: 2.5 - 3.5kg
- Basic colors: brown, black, yellow, red, blue, wild-colored
with "mottled factor" = "flower pattern" on the pen tips.
- with or without crest
- yellow, with or without black inclusions
- flesh-colored, with or without black inclusions
- simple serrated comb,
medium in size, standing upright, with at least 4 points
- Winding comb in connection with crest possible
• Egg production:
150-180 eggs per year