Early this spring we order 25 day-old chicks that arrived later that summer. In that order we were suppose to have 11 Icelandic chickens. We lost a couple of chicks during transport and a few more died within that first week. We anxiously watched as they grew to see which chicks were of what breed. Now we are several months down the road and it is apparent we only ended up with 2 Icelandic chickens, which are both roosters and a couple of unknown breeds. To say the least we are a bit disappointing but we still really enjoy our two guys, they seem to stick out in flock!
We are anxiously waiting the winter out to place another order (with probably a different hatchery!) of more Icelandic chickens. We have heard they are quite hardy and lay decently even in the cold, dark winter months making them a perfect fit for Montana winters. Plus they fit right in with the Icelandic sheep and Icelandic sheepdogs that live here. 😉
Here is some info about Icelandic chickens:
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 colours and patterns, skin colouration 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 coloured eggs. They are also said to be docile in temperament, and hens will readily go broody.
There is another very informative article here.
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