Swedish Flower Hens
Swedish flower hens, also know as Blommehöna in their native Sweeden, are a very diverse group of chickens. They were developed over many years and are the product of landrace breeding. A landrace breed is a population that is allowed to reproduce over time without significant involvement of, or trait selection by, humans, allowing natural selection to shape the breed.
Swedish flower hens were nearly extinct 30 years ago, but a movement was started to preserve them. Birds were selected from the 3 remaining populations of Swedish flower hens and a careful effort began to rebuild their numbers. In 2010, the first Swedish flower hens were imported to the United States by Greenfire Farms. Their popularity has risen steadily since their introduction. Many breeders are being careful to preserve the landrace history of this breed and do not breed for specific traits or colors, only culling for detrimental traits such as split wing or foot problems. These are traits that in a true landrace scenario would weed themselves out due to predation pressures.
Swedish flower hens are excellent foragers, and wonderful candidates for a small flock. They are productive, medium size birds that lay roughly 150 large cream colored eggs per year. Hens generally weigh about 5 lbs, while roosters weigh 7 lbs. They're given their "blooming" appearance by the patches of white, and sometimes black, at the ends of their feathers. They are very friendly birds, often following closely behind their caretakers, just waiting for handouts.