Swedish Flower Hens
From the Greenfire Farms website:
Swedish flower hens emerged as a landrace several hundred years ago, the product of a now forgotten mix of primitive breeds that were brought to Sweden by settlers and conquerors. As a landrace, this breed was not intentionally created by a breeder carefully selecting birds as part of a structured breeding program. Rather, this breed was created through natural selection and random pairings as the breed adapted to the climate and conditions of the Sydskånska Plain in 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 1980s fewer than 500 birds existed in the world. Today, about a thousand Swedish flower hens 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.
Silkie chickens get their name from their trademark fluffy plumage that feels like silk to the touch. Their soft, beautiful feathers make this breed a popular choice both as a pet and for exhibition.
Silkie bantams originated hundreds of years ago in ancient China. Today they are among the most beloved ornamental breeds in the world. They are naturally calm and affectionate. They are therefore perfect for the small backyard flock. Because Silkies are small, friendly, and love cuddling, they are a great breed for children.
Silkie hens are broody and attentive mothers. They make a great option for anyone interested in breeding ornamental chickens to hatch under Silkie hens. Compared to larger breeds, Silkies are easy keepers that eat less and require less space.
Silkies are not, strictly speaking, a laying breed. But they are consistent layers. They typically produce a few small cream-colored eggs each week. However, because of their broody nature, egg production slows significantly as hens age.