Swedish Flower Hen: Complete Care Guide
A chicken with a name as beautiful as its pattern and colors? That's the Swedish Flower Hen! They're a Swedish breed of domestic chickens, almost extinct in the 1970s. The breed gained popularity over the last ten years, and we can only encourage that.
Let's find out everything there is to know about this Swedish beauty!
We'll start by addressing the most important takeaways:
- Swedish Flower Hens lay up to 3 - 4 eggs per week
- Traditional ultra-rare Swedish breed
- Active breed that loves free-ranging
- Can go broody occasionally
- Hardy in all climates
|Eggs||150 eggs per year|
|Egg Size||Large to extra large|
|Weight||5.5 - 7.5 lbs|
|Hardiness||Cold and heat|
|Temperament||Friendly but active|
|Color||Varies. spotted pattern|
The Swedish Flower Hen is as beautiful as its name, coming from Skånsk Blommehöna, which literally translates into the English name. They're easily recognizable by their millefleur pattern (meaning a thousand flowers), giving their feathers white tips that instantly show a 'flower' appearance.
This beautiful spotted pattern makes them gain popularity, although the breed remains relatively rare. Their feathers come in various base colors, such as black, yellow, blue, buff, and red.
The rarest color in Swedish Flower hens is a 'Snow Leopard', referring to the rare mammal. In this color pattern, some white tips are replaced by black ones, giving them a golden-black-and-white look.
With a weight between 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) for hens and 7.5 pounds (3.5 kg) for roosters, Swedish Flower Hens are a medium-sized breed. However, they are the largest native chicken breed in Sweden.
Their legs are clean, and all have a single red comb, which can be floppy or less floppy. They have red wattles and white earlobes. Roosters have an upright stand and broad chest.
Swedish Flower Hen Breed
The Swedish Flower Hen occurred as a landrace in Sweral hundreds of years ago. It's an ancient race of backyard farm chicken, and we can only guess what its ancestors were. As the Swedish Flower hens are a landrace, they were not intentionally bred for colors or patterns resulting from natural selection and random pairing.
The breed almost came to extinction in the 1970s, but after discovering three flocks in rural Swedisch villages, the effort was made to breed with the remaining chickens, and the breed could be saved. By the 1980s, 500 birds of this race existed worldwide. After exporting them to the US in 2010, breeders outside Sweden started breeding with the Swedish Flower Hen.
Today, the breed remains ultra-rare, but its future seems ensured. In 2019, there were only 1123 chickens alive, spread over 85 flocks (204 roosters, 919 hens), with only 100 hens purebred.
They're called Skånsk Blommehöna in Swedish, or Blommehons, in short. The Swedish Flower Hen can be purchased in the US at Meyer Hatchery or a handful of smaller breeders.
The Swedish Flower hens are decent egg layers and lay 3 to 4 eggs per week. Their eggs are large to extra large and cream-colored to tanned. They reach sexual adulthood around 16-20 weeks and start laying around that time. Swedish Flower hens will keep on laying for 3 to 4 years.
Their eggs are enormous! But you'll have to be patient; the first eggs of a Swedish Flower Hen may be a bit small. If you wait a couple of months, they'll produce extra large eggs weighing more than 2 - 2.5 oz (60 - 70 gr).
The breed is hardy in every climate, especially in cold weather, as it originated in Sweden. They'll keep laying during winter, although egg production may temporarily decrease.
Swedish Flower Hens are friendly and kind chickens, especially to humans. The roosters are not aggressive toward their owners, and both hens and roosters enjoy human attention. They're a favorite backyard pet that keeps you company during garden chores as they follow you wherever you go. But they are not pet chickens in the sense you can hold them on your lap.
They can be kept with any other breed without issues; they may be high in the pecking order but don't tend to bully other chickens.
This breed is calm but adores free-ranging, and because they are curious and independent, they love exploring the neighborhood. They need plenty of space when kept in confinement to keep them happy and healthy.
Swedish Flower Hens are low in maintenance; they do not need much extra care next to their basic needs. They don't tend to get ill easily and are unusually hardy. This makes them an excellent beginner-friendly breed. Swedish Flower chickens can be kept in any climate because they're cold and heat-hardy. But remember that any bird needs extra attention in extreme weather circumstances.
You'll find everything you need in the Swedish Flower Hen if you're looking for a stunning, rare, friendly, and easy-to-keep breed. Because of their unique looks, they are gaining popularity each day. Swedish Flower Hens are decent egg layers, bringing around 4 to 6 eggs per week to the table. This breed is friendly and an excellent forager that does not need much extra care than their basic needs.
If you want to learn more about chicken breeds, check out our 'Chicken Breeds Page' to see every specific breed we address. Or go to our listicle breed summary on 'The Classroom', or, if you're unsure where to start, take a look at our 'Chicken Breeds: Ultimate Beginners Guide'.
Read more about other Swedish chicken breeds:
- 55 Flowery: The famous chicken of Martin Silverudd
- Hedemora Chicken: The most cold-hardy chicken in the world
- Isbar / Silverudd Blå: The famous green egg layer
- Genetic Diversity of Five Local Swedish Chicken Breeds Detected by Microsatellite Markers
- Skånsk blommehöna
- Fertilizer analysis using Swedish Flower Hens
Swedish Flower Hens lay cream-colored to tinted eggs, all large to extra-large in size.
No. Swedish Flower Hens are calm chickens. Even the roosters are known to be friendly and never aggressive. They are not louder than any other chicken breed, but the roosters can wake you and your neighbors up in the morning.
Yes. Swedish Flower Hens are both cold and heat tolerant, but as most chickens, they stand cold better than heat. Always keep an eye on your chickens during extreme weather.
Swedish Flower Hens reach sexual maturity between 16 and 20 weeks, and will start laying around that time.
Swedish Flower Hens are medium-sized birds. The roosters can weigh up to 7.8 to 8 pounds (3.5 kg) and hens are tipping the scale at 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg).
Credits Featured Image: @hensonoxney (IG)