Hedemora Chicken Breed
- Country of origin: Sweden
- Primary uses: For egg production and preservation
- Production: 150 – 200 eggs
- Size: Medium
- Color: Cream
- Cock: 2.5 kg
- Hen: 2 kg
- Colors: Varied but black, red, white, and blue are the most common
- Useful to know: They are docile and active birds. They have a good ability to survive well even under extremely cold weather.
The ability to adapt to intensive living environments as well as the strange beauty make Hedemora chickens become more attractive to many professional chicken raisers.
If you are a newbie and looking for a type of chicken suitable to raise at your home, let’s read this article to learn more about the Hedemora chickens. Thus, you will be able to determine whether they are the right option for you or not.
Background and history of the Hedemora chicken breed
Chickens were first introduced to a small town in Sweden called Hedemora around five hundred years ago.
Over the years, chickens have changed a lot to adapt well to the frigid weather in Hedemora. Until now, those Hedemora chickens are known as one of the coolest hardy chickens in the world.
Hedemora chickens are a landrace that is divided into three distinct varieties. They include Wooly Silkied-Feather, Feather-Legged, and Clean-Legged. Those varieties are named as their own special features.
Hedemora chickens have an attractive beauty with different skin colors such as black, red, white, and blue. With those colors, it is much easier for them to optimize solar gain.
Their bodies are quite small to maintain heat against the extreme cold weather. Their comb and wattles are small as well. And most Hedemora chickens have red earlobes. The Hedemora chicken feathers now get a fur-like texture so as to protect and keep their bodies warm.
To be more specific, the “Wooly Silkied-Feather” variety has fine and furry-looking feathers which cover its body. Meanwhile, the other two varieties including “Feather-Legged” and “Clean-Legged”, have a heavy down layer behind their smooth feathers. Thus, this can help them to overcome the frigid weather.
Hedemora Chicken Breed is considered great free-rangers. Foraging is one of their most favorite activities throughout the year. They are able to forage even in the snow when the temperature would be sub-zero for many hours.
They also have the ability to create a close relationship with their owners. Due to their docile and friendly nature as well as good adaptability, Hedemora chickens can be a good option to raise as pets in your house.
Hedemora chickens are more likely to go broody. In fact, not all of the Hedemora hens would be broody but only half of them will go broody.
However, most Hedemora chickens can show their good mothering skills. They are able to protect their baby chicks well from many external factors.
Unlike other breeds, those chickens often lay their eggs in the frigid weather. They tend to lay their eggs throughout the place instead of nest boxes.
Due to the thick feathering, the Hedemoras would be able to broody huge clutches of eggs at the same time.
The Hedemora chicken productivity
Is the Hedemora chicken good for eggs?
The Hedemoras are well-known as good layers. Most Hedemora chickens can lay 150 eggs per year and sometimes, this number would increase up to 200 eggs per hen.
With the special origin, Hedemora chickens are able to produce eggs throughout the year, especially in the colder months. Their eggs often have cream or light brown color. And all of them are medium-sized eggs.
Compared to other chicken breeds, the Hedemoras might not be one of the best layers with the highest number of eggs. However, with 150 to 200 eggs per year, it is still remarkable for a cold and heat-hardy chicken like Hedemoras.
Is the Hedemora chicken good for meat?
Even though Hedemora chickens are usually raised for egg production, you can still get many benefits from their meat.
Compared to other chicken breeds, Hedemora chickens are quite small. It is only 2 kg for a mature hen and 2.5 kg for a rooster. It does mean that they do not offer you a lot of meat.
However, the quality of their meat is so impressive. It tastes pretty decent and goes along well with different recipes. Therefore, if you live in a cold location, Hedemora chicken meat is not a bad idea for you to try.
To raise Hedemora chickens well, you should consider some important factors related to their living environment as follows:
- The most suitable temperature for Hedemora chicken development is above 5 degrees F. They are still able to suffer from the heat. However, it is hard for them to grow with too low or too high temperatures.
- For egg production, Hedemora hens would like to lay eggs under the frigid winters at around – 15 degrees C.
Therefore, if you live in a hot location but still want to raise Hedemora chickens, it requires setting up an artificially cooling system to create the appropriate conditions for their development.
For other factors, Hedemora chickens are flexible so they do not have strict requirements for their survival.
In general, Hedemora chickens have a lot of unique features to adapt to intensive weather conditions. So it is not much difficult for you to make a suitable environment for your chickens.
Benefits and drawbacks of raising the Hedemora chicken
Benefits of raising the Hedemora chicken
- One of the coolest hardy chickens: The thick and fur-like feathers can help Hedemora chickens to overcome even the frigid weather. You can still keep them outside under the snow for many hours each day.
- Easy to handle: The Hedemoras are very friendly to humans. Those chickens have the ability to make friends and often follow your orders well. So it has no issue to raise them in your home.
- Often go broody and be a good mother: Many Hedemora hens go broody when they need to lay their eggs. They also have many good mothering skills to keep their chicks safe and healthy.
- Simple dietary feed: There is no requirement for feeding Hedemora chickens. Those chickens prefer foraging outside instead of eating in a bowl or any container. You can offer them basic dietary feed throughout the day.
- Good egg production: Hedemora hens are able to lay up to 200 eggs per year, especially in the winter. If you are living in a colder place and want to have a good chicken for eggs, this is the best option for you.
- Delicious meat: Although the Hedemora breed does not have much meat, they offer you decent meat quality. It can mix well with different types of food with a good taste.
Challenges or drawbacks of raising the Hedemora chicken
- Require cool weather conditions: Hedemora chicken can get good development under the cold weather. They can suffer from the heat. However, this can cause many problems to their health as well as behaviors.
- Quite difficult to raise the eggs during the winter months: The Hedemora chickens tend to lay their eggs when the weather becomes colder. These cold conditions would have a negative impact on the baby chickens with weak immune systems.
- Low popularity: The number of Hedemora chickens is decreasing over the years. In spite of many efforts made, Hedemora chickens are considered one of the most threatened breeds now.
Is the Hedemora chicken right for you?
The Hedemora chickens would become your most suitable choice for the following reasons:
- They are able to suffer from both cold and hot weather. Originating in intensive weather like Sweden, they have improved many features to be flexible with many living conditions. Therefore, you do not need to worry about whether your chickens can adapt well to your location or not.
- They are docile, active, and bond well with their owners. Those characteristics make Hedemora chickens appropriate to keep in your home as pets.
- Hedemora chickens are free-rangers and prefer to forage around your backyard. So it is possible for you to keep them outside all day and feed them with a basic diet. It does not cost you a lot to prepare suitable feed for those chickens.
- In case your residence is in an extremely cold area, Hedemora chickens are great for not only egg but meat production. With a high potential to produce eggs regardless of weather conditions as well as tasty meat, Hedemora chickens can dominate other breeds easily to be your first choice.
How to raise the Hedemora chicken?
The Hedemora chickens are able to go through the most intensive weather conditions without many difficulties. However, you should consider some essential factors to help them grow effectively as belows:
Keep all of Hedemora chicken varieties in one flock:
When you get three types of Hedemora chickens living under the same roof, it is more possible to assure the genetic diversity of this breed. Each Hedemora variety has their own special features to go through the harsh conditions well.
Apply a small amount of vaseline on their combs and wattles:
Despite Hedemora chickens have developed many outstanding features to adapt to the cold weather, this action can still be useful to keep your chickens resistant to frostbite well. Vaseline is safe enough to be used for your Hedemora chickens.
Raise the eggs in an incubator:
Because most Hedemora hens will breed in cold locations, sometimes it is quite difficult for them to raise their chicks. To give the best condition for your baby chicks, you should follow the below guideline:
- Firstly, collect all the eggs from the nest boxes, then clean those eggs carefully before putting them into the incubator.
- Secondly, mark your eggs with different characters or numbers. So you can turn them easily several times per day.
- Thirdly, prepare your own incubator. Then, put all of your cleaned eggs inside it to start incubating. There are now many types of incubators with different sizes and prices. So you need to consider which one is the most suitable for the number and size of your eggs.
Offer some cooling methods:
When it becomes warmer or hotter, you should protect them from heatstroke due to their thick and fur-like feathers. For example, you can ventilate the coop, provide many shades, much cool water or freeze their feed, etc.
So, is the Hedemora chicken right for you? Hedemora chickens have many outstanding features and characteristics. Those make them more attractive to many chicken raisers.
Even though they do not have a big body, they can still get a stunning appearance with various colors. Besides, many parts of Hedemora chickens have developed to keep them warm during the frigid weather.
They are also more likely to go broody and show their good skills to raise their chicks. Their egg production capability is not affected much by external conditions which is up to 200 eggs all year.
However, Hedemora chickens have some disadvantages. Those are considered to be a rare breed so that it is hard to raise with a large number. Besides, you need to keep them in a naturally or artificially cooling environment for their good growth.
Hopefully, this article can sum up some necessary and key information which can be useful and contributes to your right decision.
Links to useful sources:
- Domestic Forest, https://www.domesticforest.com/hedemora-chicken/
- Chicken Mag, https://chickenmag.com/swedish-hedemora-chicken-colors-eggs/