Wednesday, September 28News That Matters

What is Svarthöna Chicken Breed

Svarthöna (Black Swedish Hen) also known as Svart Hona is a Swedish breed of a domestic chicken, believed to have been first transported from Mozambique to Norway by sailors sometime in the 17th century. Since then, the Svarthona has adapted to the northern climate, but without losing its main characteristic: It is black from the beak to the nails.


The Swedish black hen, or SvartHona, has the same dominant trait that causes hyperpigmentation (Fibromelanosis) as Indonesia’s most coveted breed of chicken, the Ayam Cemani. That is, all the physical characteristics outside and inside the SvartHona chicken are black. Some breeders claim to be able to distinguish the differences between the Ayam Cemani and the SvartHona, but the external differences are subtle and, if they exist, can only be discerned by a highly trained eye.

Despite these physical similarities, the Swedish black hen has a very different history and has adapted to a much colder climate over the centuries than the Ayam Cemani.

Breed temperament

These birds are excellent fliers and enjoy perching off the ground when given the opportunity. Due to their abilities, these birds are incredible rangers. The roosters are always alert to possible attacks by predators and will protect the hens at all costs. If they feel danger lurking, chickens seek refuge in high places quickly, usually escaping from danger. However, with their caregivers, they behave very differently.

SvartHonas are some of the friendliest birds you can raise, and they are very docile to their keepers. They will fly up to your shoulder, or they will walk and sit on your lap looking for their food. Another great advantage for the breed is that they are extremely healthy, the eggs are extremely fertile.

Egg production

SvartHona is a small bird, although they are not considered Bantam (miniature breed birds). SvartHonas weigh between 5 and 7.5 pounds and the hens are excellent producers of off-white eggs. For the size of the hen, the eggs are extraordinarily large.


SvartHona, also known as the Swedish black hens, were imported to Sweden in the 1800s from Mozambique, but the breed’s earliest descendants are believed to have come from Indonesia. In the mid-19th century, the breed appeared in the Bohuslän Dalsland region, near the Norwegian border, where it was raised alongside local chicken breeds. Today, the SvartHona is considered a different breed from its early ancestors and has received the status of a native variety in Sweden.

At present, the breed is considered extremely rare, and there are very few breeders of the breed in America. Birds are even extremely difficult to find in Europe to this day.

Additional data

The gene that causes fibromatosis (its black appearance) is a mutation that has existed in Asia for more than 800 years. The gene promotes the proliferation of black pigment cells. This same mutation may have proliferated from chickens transported to Norway up to 400 years ago. Norway and neighboring Sweden have a complex history, but there was a period of time where Norway was a state within Sweden until Norway gained its independence in 1905.

A variety of black exotic birds flourished in what is now Sweden and the Norwegian border, and what probably started out of curiosity, due to their incredible looks, they eventually ended up perfectly adapting to the colder climates of Sweden.

On the brink of extinction

These birds are extremely rare, and there are very few known breeders in all of America. Birds are even extremely difficult to find in Europe to this day. According to the national poultry census in Sweden, there are around 500 registered birds.

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