Swedish Flower Hens


The Swedish Flower Hen is still fairly rare and relatively new to the US, having only been imported in July of 2010. It originated in the southern part of Sweden. Swedish Flower Hens are mentioned as far back as 1800, historically, but may be even older. The breed was noted in the 70's to be declining, and only three flocks were known at that time, each in a different village. Escarp, Tofta and Vomb. Since then there has been a concerted effort to revive this breed from those three flocks. It is the largest native Swedish breed and is considered a 'landrace' breed, which is defined as "a local variety of domesticated animal which has developed largely by natural processes, adaptating to the natural and cultural environment in which it lives. It differs from a formal breed which has been selectively bred to conform to a particular standard of traits."  
 
The SFH has largely developed as a superb forager and free range breed. They are self-sufficient, confident and friendly. They are good layers of medium to large eggs but can be broody at times. The roosters are (in my experience) easy going but vigilant in guarding their flock and warning of dangers.
 
My own SFH flock has changed over the years that I've had them. Some I've lost to predators, others to their own fearlessness! In my earliest flock, I lost three pullets and one cockerel in rapid succession. Not to predators, but because they keep getting stepped on by an old, arthritic and very blind Morgan Horse mare. Usually while trying to steal her grain. 
 
This year I have eight hens and one  rooster, with a young cockerel growing out and waiting his turn to join the girls. Most of them, at this time, are black-based mille fleur (some darker some lighter) with one blue mottled hen and a blue mille. Two of the girls are crested as well.
 
I prefer to breed blue to black, but right now the vast majority of my chicks will hatch out black-based with a few blues scattered among them. There's also a small chance of crested chicks, from the two crested girls. The cockerel growing out is a dark blue, so will give me more variety in the colors down the road. Also, I will not breed a crested to crested, as I feel the larger crests produced have a negative impact on the bird's ability to free range. These are simply my own preferences, based only on my own desires for my future flocks. Other breeders may have their own preferences or goals. To each, their own.

Some of the birds I've had over the years are shown below. Several of the girls are still in my flock, but my current rooster is not pictured (yet).
 
berta 660.jpg
one of the darker mille fleur girls - she gets prettier each year!
 
crested cockerel 660.jpg
blue mille crested rooster
 
dark mille 660.jpg
 the other dark mille fleur girl - another of my favorites
 
gunnarssonweb.jpg
Gunnarsson, a black based mille rooster and a crested blue mille girl 
(Both are identical to ones I have now)

 bluesfhgirlweb.jpg
one of my blue mottled girls - I had 3 at one point, I'm down to one girl now
 
crestedsfhgirlweb.jpg
a crested blue mille pullet
 
 Here are a few pics showing some SFH youngsters at various ages.
smsfhchicks.jpg
 
smsfhgrowing.jpg
 
smsfhjuvies.jpg
 
Updated 04.30.2017