Icelandic Chickens of Whippoorwill Farm
|About||A landrace breed of chicken originating in Iceland, considered an Old World treasure, brought to Iceland by the Vikings in the 9th century AD. Very rare.|
Considered an Old World treasure, Icelandic chickens were brought to Iceland by the Vikings in the 9th century AD and were found on most farms for centuries. Indeed, one of their Icelandic names -- Íslenka landnámshænan -- means "Icelandic hen of the settlers." With the advent of the commercial type chickens, the Icelandic breed was nearly extinct by the 1950s. All the birds now existing ( around 3,000 ) are descended from a very small group of fowl saved in the 1970s. The Icelandic chicken is significantly different genetically than modern chicken breeds, therefore, crossing with other breeds is strongly discouraged and once crossed, the offspring and descendants from these crosses can never be considered Icelandics.
A landrace, with no set standard, Icelandic Chickens come in a variety of colours and comb types and lay richly flavored, ivory or tinted colored eggs. Known for their hardiness, prolific egg laying and docile nature, Icelandic chickens are capable of foraging for much of their own food around a farm, a great asset considering the high cost of feed these days.
We don't keep any other breeds of poultry to insure the purity of our Icelandic Chickens. Our chickens are from five imports representing five preservation farms in Iceland. The U.S. Icelandic chicken lines are named after their importers and are referred to as the Behl line, Sigrid's line and Vala's line, there may be others that I'm unaware of. The Behl line birds came from Kolsholt farm, Sigrid's line from Steinum II and Syðstu Fossum farms and Vala's lines are from Hlésey and Húsatóftir farms.