Other common names: Swedish Black Hen; Bohuslän-Dals Svarthöna; Svensk Svarthöna; Svart Höna
The Swedish Black chicken (Svensk Svarthöna) is a traditional and historic breed of chicken from Sweden. It has completely black feathers, black skin and even black flesh and black bones. This fibromelanosis trait (as the black flesh coloration is more formally termed) is a complex genetic trait resulting from a chromosomal rearrangement that is believed to have originate in birds brought over to Europe from Indonesia.
The legend is that this Swedish breed of chicken inherited their black skin and internal connective tissue colour from Asian chickens that were first brought to Norway by a sailor on the East Asian trade routes centuries ago. Recent molecular genetics evidence indicates that this tale is actually true and that the birds derive from the Indonesian Ayam Cemani, which was brought to Europe by sailors of the Dutch East India company in the 1800s. These were crossed with local chickens and then black crossed to fix the black colour. This resulted in a chicken breed with a similar appearance to the Ayam Cemani (and the same fibromelanosis trait) but a much smaller stature.
The formal name of the breed in Swedish is Bohuslän-Dals Svarthöna as the birds originated in the counties of Bohuslän-Dals and Svarthöna (west central valley of Sweden).
Varieties (Single Comb): Black
Uses: Eggs, Ornamental
Weight: 2.5 - 5 lbs
Personality: Extremely calm and affectionate birds, that with little effort will be eating from your hands.
Preferred climate: Cool
Handles confinement: No
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: White
Egg size: Large