Tuesday, July 5News That Matters

What is Swedish Isbar (Silverudd Blue) chicken

The Isbar is a breed developed in Sweden in the early 1950s by a Catholic priest named Martin Silverudd. These chickens are prized for their olive-green eggs. If you are looking for friendly and beautiful birds, this rare breed might be just what you need.

Image credit Alchemist Farm

This rare breed of hen makes excellent foragers, devouring all the insects and pests they can find! and they adapt well in confined areas, they are hardy birds and easy to care for. These birds are always very attentive to their environment and roosters are almost always alert to predators and make a fuss if something threatens them.

Characteristics

The Isbar is a medium-sized, but highly dimorphic, cold-hardy single-crested bird. Chickens weigh up to 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds), while roosters can be considerably heavier – up to 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds). Isbar is friendly, lively, active, and fast in her movements and reactions. Hens can be broody, but they are also very prolific layers, even in winter. These rare and beautiful birds come in three varieties: blue, black, and splash.

Most of Isbar’s chickens do not reproduce true to color. The original color of the Isbar was black and this is the only color that is 100% naturally obtained by crossing two birds of the same variety. Today, the light colors of blue and splash are also available and can be reproduced according to this generally approved genetic chart:

Blue x blue = 50% blue, 25% black, 25% splash
Blue x splash = 50% blue, 50% splash
Blue x black = 50% blue, 50% black
Black x splash = 100% blue
Black x black = 100% black

Blue became the most popular hence the Isbar is now called by many “blue isbar”.  It is later called “Silverudd blue” to honor the person who developed the breed.

Temperament

The Isbar’s temperament has been described as docile, friendly, lively, and quick to react. This makes them excellent free explorers. The chicks are usually quite friendly, although some report that they can be skittish. Adult birds are calm and friendly. This breed loves to feed early on and is thrifty and easy to care for.

Egg production

Isbar chickens are amazing and friendly birds that lay beautiful green-colored eggs. The base color of the eggs varies from pale green to almost olive. Some eggs also have small brown spots on the green background, and many hen fans think that Isbar’s eggs are the most beautiful of all eggs. Whether spotted or pure green, Isbar’s eggs are as fantastic and exotic as the birds themselves.

Isbars lay 200 to 250 large eggs per year and have a smaller body size relative to the size of their eggs.

Isbar History

Between the 1950s and 1960s, Martin Silverudd, a Catholic monk plumbed the depths of genetics and created various breeds of chickens. Silverudd had in mind the goal of creating self-sexing breeds that lay large numbers of eggs of unusual colors.

Silverudd succeeded in researching him and, along the way, created breeding protocols that would later be studied and adopted by sophisticated university geneticists and animal scientists. But, perhaps his greatest achievement was the creation of the Isbar, a race as productive as it was beautiful.

This monk was also involved in the creation of a number of breeds with quirky names, including the flowery hen 55, the queen Silvia, the molilja, and of course the isbar.

The races that participated in the development of the Isbar according to historians, include Rhode Island in its red variety, New Hampshire Red and Cream Legbars.

Additional data

In 2016, the Swedish Hen Cultural Association held an annual meeting where the decision was made once and for all to change Isbar’s name to a correct breed name. It was like this that since March 2016, the breed is called Silverudd’s Blue to honor the man who did so much for the development of this breed.

Finally today the breed would have to be called Silverudd’s Blue as Isbar was a misnomer for the breed, but for now we will continue to refer to this ancient heritage bird as Isbar.

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