Swedish flower hen
Humans have probably kept chickens as domesticated animals for as long as they have been settled. They were owned by every household, and eventually different breeds developed in different areas. Our domesticated chickens originate from the wild chicken genus Gallus in Southeast Asia.
About the Swedish flower henScientific name:
Gallus gallus domesticusOrder:
Rooster 2.5–3.5 kg, hen 2–2.5 kgSexual maturity:
3 weeksNumber of young:
Up to 20 chicksLifespan:
Up to 10 yearsEats:
Plants and small animals
The Swedish flower hen is Sweden’s largest strain of farmyard chicken. Its name comes from its floral plumage pattern, with a white spot at the tip of every feather. Otherwise, its colour is highly variable. The base colour can be black, brown, greyish-white, red or yellow, with a mottled appearance resulting from the white dots at the tips of the feathers. Some chickens are also greyish-blue with a golden collar, pale whitish-grey with a bluish-grey or pale brown collar, or all black. They may also have tuft or full crests.
Swedish flower hen are calm, heavy hens. The female weighs 2–2.5 kg and the male weighs up to 3.5 kg. The hens lay about 150 eggs per year, but their tendency to broodiness varies. Their eggs vary in weight between 45 grams and 70 grams.
The Swedish flower hen was previously on the verge of extinction. However, in the 1970s, a last remnant of the breed was discovered in the Skåne village of Vomb. Today’s Swedish flower hen originates from three farm flocks in the villages of Vomb, Tofta and Esarp in Skåne.
The Swedish flower hen was granted gene bank status by the Swedish Board of Agriculture in 2001, when the breed was also given its official name. The gene bank is run by the Swedish Association for Local Poultry.
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 here.