Iceland Mag

2 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


The hardy Viking Chicken has become wildly popular in Canada

By Staff

  • Everywhere a cluck cluck The Landnámshæna is considered to be hardy, wild and very colourful and has become increasingly popular in Canada. Photo/Stefán Karlsson

According to Morgunblaðið the Icelandic chicken has become so popular in certain parts of Canada that there is a two year-long waiting list for chickens.

The breed, often called Viking Chickens or simply Icelandics, is known as Landnámshænan (The Settlers’ Hen) in Icelandic and was brought to Iceland by Viking settlers in the 9th century. The breed was close to extinction nearing the 1950’s. All the birds now existing are direct descendants from a small group of fowl saved in the 1970’s.

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The breed is known to be very colourful, intelligent, hardy, self-sufficient, and good flyers. They are also said to be great escape artists who love to roam free and hide their nests, more often than not high up in trees.

It has been revealed that 78 per cent of the Icelandic chicken’s DNA is unique and cannot be found in any other of the world’s chicken breeds. That is why breeders strongly discourage crossing the Icelandic chicken with other breeds.

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