The Svart Hona, a rare breed of chicken, caught my attention a few months ago when I saw a picture of it from Backyard Poultry on Instagram. I did some research on the breed and would like to share with you the unique aspects of this rare chicken.
The Svart Hona is a rare, all black, breed of chicken with origins coming from Indonesia. The Svart Hona, also known as the Swedish black hen, originates from the Ayam Cemani, another all black breed that is also very rare. Svart Honas were imported from Mozambique to Sweden in the 1800’s. They were mostly raised on the west coast valleys of Sweden and have now become very rare in Sweden. A poultry census taken in Sweden concluded that there were fewer than 500 Svart Honas in Sweden. Svart Honas are also scarce in the United States. Very few farms have breeding strains directly imported from Sweden.
The Svart Hona and the Ayam Cemani are very similar in appearance. One of the only ways to tell them apart are by their body shape. Ayam Cemani’s have more of a game fowl body with longer legs and small body. Both breeds get their all-blackness from a fibromelanistc gene. The mutation gene promotes the proliferation of black pigment cells, causing the bird to be completely black, including it’s meat, bones, organs, mouth, feet, face, and feathers. Some strains have a deep purple face or comb and wattles. They are one of the blackest breeds in the world.
Svart Hona’s are a smaller breed, weighing around 5-7.5lbs. They are excellent fliers and the roosters are alert protectors. Svart Honas are friendly, sturdy, and calm. They are known to have very few health problems and rarely get frostbite on their combs, wattles, or toes.
Svart Honas are excellent layers of medium size off-white eggs. The eggs have good hatch rates and produce healthy chicks. Svart Hona’s are mostly raised for their eggs and for their appearance. The are not commonly raised for meat as their black meat looks less then appetizing. In Indonesia, their bones are thought to have medicinal power.
Hope you found these birds as interesting as I did! Have a great weekend!
Photos thanks to http://www.cerdarcrestfarmandfeed.com and http://bjspoultry.com