Flockers from the 9th Century

Cold Hardy – Low Maintenance Chickens

Icelandic chickens are a great idea; if, you want a low maintenance flock.  They are the hardiest of animals for cold weather.  No need for fences; as these birds fly well and have a very strong sense of survival.  Build a chicken coop the chickens like.  Are great foragers; Icelandic chicks scavenge and hunt for grub.  You want to provide feed.  This keeps Icies near their roost.  No need for expensive egg incubators.   Viking Hens, are broody and the flock will not -likely need assistance; once you’ve established the population.  Viking hens lay colorful eggs.  You can make omelets or hatch little-speckled chicks.

Even aging Viking hens produce a reported 3-4 eggs a week.*  However, commercial growers replaced the hearty-heirloom with Leghorn.  Leghorns produce more eggs than Icies.  Consequently, you’ll need to weigh the positives and the negatives of these feathered flockers.

If you are looking for a cuddly pet.  Sorry, Viking Hens are not pets.  They are not -likely, let you hold and pet them.  However, most cases of salmonella are from children kissing their chickens . . . so this could be a positive if you have children.

If you are worried about catching these little Norse birds; for the purposes of eating them, well, these chickens are on the smallish side (3-4 1/2 lbs.).  While, they are considered delicious; they are not a meat producer, they are egg layers.  Think game hen size and taste.

A brief history; this 9th-century fowl was a Norse livestock, that didn’t make its way to the US, until 1930’s.  In 1930’s the bird was breed to make our modern day Leghorn.  Icies where breed with other breeds to create Leghorns.

If you want to check out reviews and tips by flock owners click here.
For more information check out what Mother Earth News has to say about them.

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