I currently have a relatively new breed of chicken to the United States, the Swedish Isbar (pronounced "Ice-Bar.") or Silverudd's Blue. The Silverudd's Blue is one of the most sought after chickens with very few left in the world. Here in the United States we have the Blue variety. As in many other chicken breeds, the blue color does not breed true but provides a 3 color variety; blue, black and splash. My breeding pen consists of the blue, black and splash mix. I obtained my breeder stock from Agape Hills Farm, Orchard Hill Poultry and Posey Hill Poultry. These genetics come from the Greenfire Farms imports 1 and 2.
Some Silverudd's Blue chicks are also auto-sexing, which means that when they hatch, males will have a different coloration than females. Because of the genetics of the blue coloring, the auto-sexing feather patterns in chicks are not as pronounced making them difficult to sex at hatching.
The Swedish Silverudd's Blue Chicken is a smart and savvy bird being very alert to predators and good foragers. They are a sleek and compact chicken and fly well. Their personality is quite friendly and interactive with humans. They are not aggressive towards people and are fairly docile, easy going birds.
They lay large eggs tinted in various shades of green from olive to light moss and some are speckled in brown. They are good layers, producing 250+ large eggs per year. The color of the eggs can darken as the hen ages and will vary in shade from one day to the next. The hens are seldom broody. My eggs weigh around 63 grams placing them in the extra large USDA classification. They are a pretty light moss green and some have gold speckles.
Characteristics: Swedish Silverudd's Blue are a medium weight chickens with pullets weighing about 4 to 5 pounds and cockerels 5 to 7 pounds. They are short legged and long bodied.
There are several varieties and colors of Silverudd's Blue including the beautiful Blue variety that was imported into the US, which comes in the usual Blue, Black and Splash coloring mixture. Swedish Silverudd's Blue roosters are flashy having a bright silver head and neck against dark bodies with a blue or black sheen. They often have a beautiful iridescent “leakage” of color in their hackles, bows, and saddle. Hens are also striking with their blue or black feathers, and splash color patterns. Swedish Silverudd's Blue provide a view of varied metallic colors with lots of splash patterning in your flock. Colors range from pewter to silver to patinaed-bronze on the beautiful blue and black background.
They are excellent layers, generally laying through all seasons, and sometimes even through molt. They lay 250+ large eggs per year in various shades of green from olive to light moss and some with brown (gold) speckles.
The Silverudd's Blue has a single red comb and white skin. They are cold hardy and do well in both cold and hot weather. They have a relatively docile temperament, are thrifty easy keepers, and are good foragers and do well on pasture.
History: The Silverudd's Blue is a rare, relatively new breed developed in the 1950s in Sweden, by the Catholic monk, Martin Silverudd as part of the great genetic poultry project. His goal was to create auto-sexing breeds that laid high numbers of unusually colored eggs. He was very well known and his protocols of breed development are still being used today in universities and breeding programs. Unfortunately he died before completing this project adding the barring gene for auto-sexing; but was able to begin this trait as evidenced by the different coloration of the male and female chick in some Isbar color varieties. As a tribute to Martin Silverudd, the breed was recently renamed “Silverudd’s Blue” in honor of his efforts.
Several breeds are believed to have gone into the development of the Silverudd's Blue including the Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds and Cream Legbars.
Greenfire Farm imported them from Sweden to the United States in 2011 and 2013. They are still relatively rare and are not accepted by the American Poultry Association or listed with the Livestock Conservancy. DC Heritage Poultry noted they are rare and in danger of extinction. Developed by the Monk, Silverudd in Sweden, they were mainly bred for looks and for multiple purposes on the small sustainable farms and for the abundance of beautiful moss green eggs.