A hardy, medium sized bird that lays white to light cream medium to large eggs. They will lay around 180 eggs a year and will produce through the winter. I have found that some hens like to brood, it doesn’t seem to be a standard. Icelandic chickens offer variety with a colorful, unique flock. They can differ in disposition from flighty to sweet. You can keep multiple cocks in the same flock if they grow up together.
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Icelandic Chickens are a type of chicken from Iceland. Called íslenska hænan (Icelandic chicken), Haughænsni (pile chicken) or landnámshænan (hen of the settlers) in the Icelandic language. They are a landrace fowl which are rare outside their native country. They have been present on the island since introduction by Norse settlers in the 9th century.
The population of Icelandics in the world is only within the thousands, making this unique chicken endangered. In the 1930’s, commercial chickens were imported into Iceland and they crossed with Icelandics, diluting the gene pool. Their future was seriously threatened as they nearly disappeared by the 1950s. Iceland adopted strict imports and export regulations to protect the original landrace breed and put forth a significant conservation effort in the 1970’s. Their success has kept this breed alive and Icelandics today descend from this restoration flock.
Icelandic chickens are alert and react quickly to danger. Icelandic chickens love to forage, dig in manure and compost piles, and can fly quite well, which helps them to roost as high as they are able to at night.
Icelandic Chickens are not standardized in appearance, possess a wide range of plumage colors and patterns, and comb types. Some have feather crests. The Eigenda- og ræktendafélag landnámshænsna (ERL) or The Owners and Breeders Association of Landnámshænan in Iceland, has written a description of the landrace. Being a landrace, and capable of evolving to conditions it lives in, it cannot have a Standard of Perfection that a Breed has. Unlike a modern chicken breed that commonly has an inbred factor of 12%, Icelandics have proven by DNA analysis to be remarkably genetically diverse.