History

The Blommehona as it’s known in Sweden, has a long history being mentioned in records from around 1800, but as a breed may be even older. It has developed as the largest native Swedish breed and is considered a ‘landrace’ breed, which is defined as “a local variety of domesticated animal which has developed largely by natural processes, adapting to the natural and cultural environment in which it lives. It differs from a formal breed which has been selectively bred to conform to a particular written standard of traits.”

Photo credit L Day

During the 1970 it was thought near extinction, due to the introduction of production breeds / hybrids, and the increased commercialisation of farming practices, with only three known flocks in the villages of Escarp, Tofta and Vomb. It was then that a group of enthusiasts started the process of protecting the breed and increasing both numbers and the breed’s profile within Sweden, as even there, the Blommehona was not well known.

In 2001 the Swedish GeneBank added the Blommehona to their endangered species list, providing the breed protected status within Sweden, and a framework for breeders to conform to to ensure the maintanence of the gene pool and “type” of the breed. Many breeders outside of Sweden respect the requirements of the GeneBank and follow the ethos of this framework as far as is practicable.

The profile of the Swedish FlowerHen was given a huge boost, when in 2010 Greenfire farms imported a flock of FlowerHens to the USA and began promoting the breed to their customers. This in turn has raised the profile of the breed worldwide.

The Swedish FlowerHen is still rather rare and relatively new to the UK, having only been here in small numbers for the last few years. There are though, a handful of dedicated breeders who have fallen in love with FlowerHens and are quietly enjoying their beautiful flocks.

Being a “Landrace breed” it is unlikely that any of the National or International Poultry organisations will ever recognise the FlowerHen within their structures – “Breed Standards” are too constricting to accomodate the varied nature of this wonderfully practical and colourful breed.