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Öland chicken

This robust and sociable native breed has adapted to survive in the occasionally harsh climate on Öland, one of Sweden’s largest islands. It can withstand cold weather and wind, and is good at avoiding birds of prey.

  • At Skansen you will find the Öland chicken in the Old Town Quarter, at the Tannery Farmstead, where they live in a henhouse and roam freely during the day.

  • About the Öland chicken
    Scientific name:

    Gallus gallus domesticus






    Rooster 2.5–3 kg, hen 2 kg

    Sexual maturity:

    20 weeks


    3 weeks

    Number of young:

    Up to 20 chicks


    Up to 10 years


    Plants and small animals

  • Withstands cold weather and wind

    Like most original native breeds, it is very hardy. It can withstand cold weather and wind very well, which was essential in the climate of Öland. It is Sweden’s second largest native breed of chicken, with hens weighing around 2 kilograms and roosters weighing around 3 kilograms. The hens make good mothers, and their innate and efficient care for their young results in high survival rates for chicks and young birds. They are also good at avoiding birds of prey and are easy to socialise.

    It tends not to be hard to distinguish between the individuals, as they all have unique colour markings.

    Conservation work

    There have been chickens in Sweden since around 100 BC, and the Öland chicken is considered to be our oldest unchanged native breed. However, it quickly declined in number when chicken farming was modernised on Öland, and in 1992 the last six individuals – a cock and five hens – were found on Kåtorp farm on Öland. Since then, the Swedish Association for Local Poultry’s breeding work has resulted in some 40 gene banks with around 500 individual Öland chickens.

  • Native breeds

    Native breeds are populations of domesticated animals that have lived for so long in the same area that they have adapted to the local environment and its specific conditions. Swedish native breeds have declined in number, but there is a growing focus on efforts to preserve them as they are an important genetic resource and part of our cultural heritage.

    Find out more about Swedish native breeds.

You can find the Öland chicken here