Swedish Flower Hens
Swedish flower hens emerged as a landrace several hundred years ago, the product of a mix of breeds that were brought to Sweden by settlers and conquerors. As a landrace, this breed was not intentionally created by a breeder as part of a structured breeding program. This breed was created through natural selection as the breed adapted to the climate and conditions of southern Sweden.
Swedish flower hens are the largest breed of chickens native to Sweden. Roosters can weigh as much as 8 lbs. 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 1980's fewer than 500 birds existed in the world. Today, about a thousand Swedish Flower hHens live in about fifty scattered flocks, and until Greenfire Farms began working with this breed, few if any could be found outside remote villages in Sweden.
Swedish flower hens are called blommehons in Swedish; bloom hens. The complex and brilliant color patterns of the birds do look like a tangle of wildflowers.
Even more impressive is the personality and hardiness of this breed. They are poised and confident around people, but the roosters are never aggressive toward their caretakers. They are independent enough to make excellent free-range birds, but they seek and seem to enjoy human interaction. Swedish flower hens are relatively calm but never to the point of being inert or inattentive. They seem to possess all the positive aspects of chicken personalities and none of the negatives. They are unusually hardy, rarely falling ill or acting dumpy. Swedish flower hens display a level of vigor and mastery of their environment that other breeds would do well to emulate.
Few breeds are as practical as Swedish flower hens. The roosters have an upright bearing and a broad chest. The hens are prolific layers.
The breed is also well-adapted to colder temperatures.