Icelandic Chickens

Icelandic Chicken

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Icelandic Chicken
A blue Icelandic cockerel

A blue Icelandic cockerel
Country of origin Iceland
Skin color Various
Egg color White, light brown
Comb type Various
Crest type Tassel
Face color Red

An Icelandic cockerel

Icelandic Chickens are a breed of chicken from Iceland. Called íslenska hænan, Haughænsni or landnámshænan in the Icelandic language, they are a landrace fowl which are rare outside its native country. They are an old breed of chicken, having been present on the island since introduction by Norse settlers in the 9th century. However, despite this isolation, the breed has barely survived in a pure form in the 21st century, largely due to the importation of commercial strains of chickens in the 1950s. The few thousand Icelandic Chickens in existence today are the result of conservation efforts in the 1970s; a handful of flocks have been exported abroad.

Icelandic Chickens are not firmly standardized in appearance, and possess a wide range of plumage colors and patterns, skin coloration and comb types. Some have feather crests.

Despite this variance in appearance, Icelandic Chickens are uniformly hardy in winter, have white earlobes, and lay white to light brown colored eggs. They are also said to be docile in temperament, and hens will readily go broody.