A small landrace chicken breed from Sweden. At a local wedding in 1899 close to the Norwegian border a small flock of chickens with black feathers and black skin was given as a wedding present. The bride came from Norway and the groom was Swedish but from which side of the family the gift was given is not known today. The Svarthöns remained in the family ownership until 1958 and all Svarthöns of today descends from this particular flock.
Not much more is known about the origin of this breed. It is possible that the original Svarthöns was brought to Norway by sailors. Some sources claim that the birds came from some place in Africa but it is more likely that they came from South East Asia where similar black coloured chickens are found.
Svarthöns means black chickens in Swedish and it is a very precise name for this breed. The feathers are completely black but also wattles, feet, beak and eyes are black or dark purple. Even muscles, bones and some of the internal organs are black purple coloured. The blood is red but with a darker tone and the eggs are almost white like other landrace chickens.
The Svarthöna is a small chicken breed but not a bantam breed. It has a curious and lively nature and as other landrace breeds the flock behaviour is highly developed and makes it a good free ranger. It likes to fly and if kept free ranging it may chose a three as a night rest in stead of the chicken coop.
The Svarthöna is part of the Swedish gene bank project for domestic landrace animals who categorises it as endangered. The Indonesian breed Ayam Cemani have the all black colouring in common with the Svarthöna, but is not adapted to cooler climates like the Svarthöna.
Weight hen: ca 1,0 -1,5 kg
Weight rooster: ca 1,5 -2,0 kg
Egg: ca 54 g, white to cream
Eggs a year: 140