Swedish Flower Hens: Complete Chicken Breed Guide

swedish flower hen rooster full height

There are many breeds of chickens out there, some of which you would have never fathomed. Enter the Swedish Flower Hen, a breed with a name so charming, you might think they were from a fairy tale. Though Swedish Flower Hens are indeed rare, they are also very real and worthy of consideration for your flock. Aside from having a charming personality, Swedish Flower Hens look stunning and can lay many eggs throughout the year.

Here is the complete Swedish Flower Hen breed guide to help you decide if you need a few of these ladies for your backyard or farm.

Breed Overview: Swedish Flower Hen

Before getting into the history and characteristics of the breed, here it is at a glimpse:

Weight5-8 pounds
Lifespan5-10 years
ColorBlack, red, brown, orange, and blue
PurposeDual purpose (meat and eggs)
Egg Production3-4 eggs per week
Egg ColorBrown
BroodinessLow
Beginner-FriendlinessHigh
Cost per Chick$20

Swedish Flower Hen History

swedish flower hen rooster head

Also known as the Skånsk Blommehöna, the Swedish Flower Hen is a traditional breed from Sweden. It is also a landrace breed, meaning that it was not the result of human selective breeding. Nature had everything to do with this one! Interestingly, the Swedish Flower Hen is also the largest native Swedish breed. This says a lot about the environment within which this breed has evolved!

It is believed that the original Swedish settlers brought chickens from their homeland. Those chickens needed to adapt to the new land, and as a result the Swedish Flower Hen was born. Due to this, Swedish Flower Hens are survivalists who can be left to roam to find food and safety on their own. They are very resourceful.

Because the Swedish Flower Hen was not bred for any purpose, it has been used for eggs, meat, pillow and blanket stuffing, and even for companionship throughout the years.

However, this also proved to be problematic for the breed. As engineered breeds emerged, the popularity of the Swedish Flower Hen decreased. At one point, only 500 of the breed lived in Sweden. Fortunately, conservationists stepped in to assist with saving the breed. What they discovered was nothing short of amazing. There were three unique colonies of Swedish Flower Hens.

For instance, in the town of Vomb, these chickens were crested. In Tofta and Esarp, the Swedish Flower Hens were not crested. In 2010, 20 of these hens were sent to the US to be bred. Since then, chicken enthusiasts in America have caught on to this amazing breed, and more are being bred than ever before.

Appearance and Breed Standard

swedish flower hen baby chick

Although the Swedish Flower Hen has been around for a very long time in Sweden, it is currently not recognized by any governing body beyond Sweden. Therefore, there is no breed standard to tell you what it should look like. However, breeders continue to keep the bloodlines as clean as possible. They know exactly how a Swedish Flower Hen should look, as well as which colors and patterns the feathers should have. In other words, if you decide to add some of these hens to your flock, you are getting a pedigree chicken.

The most distinguishing physical characteristic of the Swedish Flower Hen is their plumage. The base colors of their feathers vary — black, blue, red, yellow, and so on — but they all have a millefleur pattern. That means all the feathers are white-tipped. Other millefleur breeds include the d’Uccle and the Dutch Booted Bantam. So there may be some connection between those breeds.

The rarest color variation is called Snow Leopard. Instead of white tips, the edges of their feathers are black.

Since crested and non-crested Swedish Flower Hens were discovered, both of those are acceptable among breeders. The skin on the legs is typically yellow, but there are instances where the yellow is marbled with black.

Do Male Swedish Flower Hens Exist?

Yes! Swedish Flower Hens are more aptly called Swedish Flower chickens, because there are also males of this breed. The roosters of this breed are also beautiful. They have the same millefleur pattern on their chests, but their capes are more solid. With red-based Swedish Flower roosters, the cape is an ombre of red and orange. Their sickle feathers are often solid colors — black or white.

Swedish Flower Hen Personality

swedish flower hen rooster crowing

This is one confident breed that will adapt to your yard without any issues. Swedish Flower Hens are incredibly calm and independent. They prefer to forage for their next meal rather than eat it out of your hand, but they are also friendly, particularly when you offer them plenty of treats. Even the roosters of this breed are serene and will rarely become aggressive. The only issue with the males of this breed is their noise level. Your neighbors may not appreciate the extremely loud crowing that erupts from this breed.

Owners describe this breed as inquisitive and quick to learn. They are curious and also vigilant, making them difficult prey for any predators that come sniffing around.

Since their homeland is frigid in many places, Swedish Flower chickens can withstand cool temperatures. However, they may be less comfortable in hotter, more humid climates.
They are also forgiving, and with great care, they can live for 5-10 years.

All this makes the Swedish Flower Hen a low maintenance package that is ideal for beginners and children.

Egg-Laying and Broodiness

Even without being bred to lay tons of eggs throughout the year, Swedish Flower Hens have the ability to lay up to 200 light beige eggs annually. As the chickens get older, the size of their eggs increases, often reaching jumbo (extra-large).

Given the chance, a third of Swedish Flower Hens will go broody a couple times a year. The others won’t go broody at all. This makes them excellent mothers (when they do get broody), but it can detract from the overall egg production. If you don’t mind an occasionally broody mama, however, these chickens will continue laying eggs throughout the year. They also mature fairly early.

Additionally, if you want to hatch a few Swedish Flower Hens from fertilized eggs, it is recommended that you put them in an incubator. There really is no telling when these ladies go broody. But once those eggs hatch? The hens are the happiest mothers on the planet.

How to Care for Swedish Flower Hens

swedish flower hen portrait

Wondering how low maintenance the Swedish Flower breed can be? Here is what you need to know:

Health Issues and Concerns

If you want a truly healthy breed, go with a landrace one like the Swedish Flower Hen. They do not get many health problems beyond the normal issues with lice, mites, and other parasites. When that happens, follow the same treatment method that you would for any other chicken. Take them to the veterinarian when something happens to ensure they get the best treatment, too.

Since these chickens evolved in a climate that rarely gets above 70 degrees F (21 degrees C), it is recommended that you do not let them get overheated. In the summer, you will need to offer plenty of shade, ventilation, and cool, fresh water. On the flip side, this breed will tolerate cooler temperatures well and may even enjoy a walk through the snow.

Feeding Swedish Flower Chickens

As with any kind of chicken breed, you want to provide them with a balanced diet that utilizes a high protein feed. That will supply your Swedish Flower Hens with all the nutrients and vitamins they need to lay eggs and remain energized. It is also important to give your egg-laying hens a little more calcium.

Treats like fruits and vegetables work well with this breed, but they also enjoy being able to roam and pick up their own food. This also counteracts any laziness and helps them stay fit and trim.

Free-Ranging

Mentioned previously, the Swedish Flower Hen has a history of being left to her own devices. Farmers hundreds of years ago would let their chickens fend for themselves. And so, these chickens have learned to be vigilant and agile when there is the possibility of danger. If you let your Swedish Flower Hens roam your yard, you won’t have to supervise them every second of the day. They are capable of exploring without getting into much trouble, so long as the area is secure.

Also, their plumage is a natural camouflage that works exceptionally well. Ensure that the run provides at least 8 square feet of personal space per chicken.

Coop Setup

Since this breed does not handle confinement well, you are going to need to provide them with plenty of room within the coop. That means around 4 square feet per chicken, but you could offer a bit more room, if you have it.

Create nesting boxes big enough for 3 hens to lay down comfortably. Swedish Flower Hens rarely go broody, and so you do not need to give them dozens of nesting boxes. They are not going to spend a lot of time there.

In this video, you can see how a flock of these chickens roam freely in their pen:

How Much Does a Swedish Flower Hen Cost?

If you have decided that you would like to bring a couple of these beautiful birds home, you should be prepared to pay a slightly higher fee than normal. Keep in mind that Swedish Flower Hens are still considered rare in the US. The price per chick reflects that. As such, prices can be dramatically different (from US$5.00 to $30.00), but you should beware very cheap prices.

Breeders who sell this breed for a low price are often offering up the healthiest of birds.

Once you have a Swedish Flower chicken or two, you can count on them costing about as much as any other similarly sized chicken. They do not require any more food than the next adult chicken.

Final Thoughts on Swedish Flower Hens

How can you resist such a lovely breed? The Swedish Flower chicken breed has everything you need for your flock: decent egg-laying, stunning plumage, and a charming personality. You are going to love having these colorful chickens roaming around your yard. Once, the Swedish Flower Hen was unknown except for its home country. Now, it is getting some much deserved attention.

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