Swedish Black Hen: Egg Production, Breed Personality and Care

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The Swedish Black Hen is a Swedish chicken breed, thought to have been brought to Norway and later Sweden from Mozambique by sailors in the 17th century. Over time, the Swedish Black Hen has adapted to the cold weather in Sweden, while retaining its unique appearance.

The most distinguishing characteristic of the Swedish Black Hen is its fibromelanistic genes, which give the hen its striking black pigmentation. These chickens are black from the feathers to the bones just like the Ayam Cemani from Indonesia.

Also referred to as the Svart Hona, its name loosely translates to “Swedish Black Hen” and the word “Hona” means female. However, the Svart Hona breed comprises both hens and roosters.

Svart Honas are cold-hardy chickens that make great egg layers and foragers. However, they are smaller than the Indonesian Ayam Cemani.

If you want to amaze people with your backyard flock, look no further than the Swedish Black Hen.

Swedish Black Hen Breed Overview

Recognized Breed NameSwedish Black Hen (Svart Hona) from Sweden
Lifespan7 to 8 years
Coloring and PatternBlack
WeightHens: 5 pounds
Roosters: 7 pounds
Comb TypeBlack single comb
PurposeOrnamental and egg-laying
Quiet, friendly and good free rangers/foragers
Easily trained and handled
Feather TypeFrizzle
Heritage BreedYes
Tolerant to Heat?Mild
Tolerant to Cold?Yes
Meat Production Breed?No
Egg Production Breed?No
Lays in Winter?No
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ColorWhite, off-white, creamy
Egg Production200/Year
Starts Laying20 weeks

Sweden Black Hen Appearance & Breed Standard

The Svart Hona possesses the same Fibromelanosis trait as the Ayam Cemani. That’s why all of this chicken’s physical characteristics are black.

Additionally, the Svart Hona chicken is a small, well-built chicken breed that can withstand cold weather. Roosters weigh up to 7 pounds and have a large single comb, and large, oval-shaped wattles.

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Hens, on the other hand, weigh up to 5 pounds and have a single comb and smaller wattles that are less vulnerable to frostbite.

Egg Production

Despite being a landrace and ornamental chicken breed, the Swedish Black Hen is an excellent layer.

They go broody and can lay around 250 eggs per year with an impressive hatching rate of around 98%. Svart Hona hens also lay eggs continuously even during winter with some supplemental light.

These hens also make good moms to their baby chicks. However, they are unlikely to start laying eggs until they are around 24 weeks old. They adapt well to the cold winter weather, so their egg production tends to be high at all times.

Svart Hona chickens are not mainly used for meat production, but they can still be slaughtered for their meat. As you would expect, they have black flesh.


The Svart Hona chicken breed has a small, compact body, which makes them great flyers. Roosters are vigilant, and they usually alert other chickens when they sense danger. Since Swedish Black Hens are small and lightweight, they will usually roost in tree branches until the threat passes.

Many Svart Hona owners also say that their birds are very friendly and affectionate. Although they may be flighty at times, these birds often crave the attention of their owners. They may follow them around or even rest on their laps and shoulders.

Since this is a landrace breed, modern Swedish Black Hens descended from chickens that spent a lot of time searching for their food, so they need a lot of space to forage.

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Feeding, Coop and Health

Unlike many other ornamental chicken breeds, the Swedish Black Hen is easy to raise. This breed has minimal maintenance requirements because of its small, well-built body.

They can withstand cold weather since they’re from Sweden but will still need a warm chicken coop. During the summer, these chickens will require more shade because they are vulnerable to heat stroke.

With their all-black body, these chickens can absorb a lot of light, leading to heat issues. So before buying a Swedish Black Hen, ensure you have a lot of space to free range and natural or artificial shade. These chickens are natural free-rangers and do not tolerate confinement in the chicken coop for long periods.

As with other chickens, make sure to buy them good-quality feed. They can be fed on a scheduled basis or free feeding (at any time) while allowing access to a garden.


Swedish Black Hens are rare, but they are in high demand because of their beautiful appearance. If you want to keep this breed, the following are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What Does a Swedish Black Hen Taste Like?

The Svart Hona hen has black flesh, but it tastes the same as ordinary chicken meat. The way chickens are raised does influence the taste of chicken meat more than its color.

How Rare are Black Chickens?

Some black breeds like the Svart Hona and the Ayam Cemani are quite rare. However, it is still possible to find Svart Honas for sale. so you won’t have to break the bank to get this rare breed.

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Do Black Chickens like the Svart Hona Lay Black Eggs?

There are no chickens on the planet that lay black eggs. The darkest color chicken eggs can be is dark brown. Even if a chicken has black color, their eggs will not show that, but the baby chicks might have black feathers.

Is Swedish Black Hen the right breed for me?

If you live in a cooler climate and want to increase the aesthetic appeal of your backyard chickens, consider getting the Swedish Black Chicken. They’re friendly, affectionate, produce a generous amount of eggs and get along well with their owners and other chickens.

Patrick Anampiu

Patrick is an avid pet lover and passionate writer who enjoys crafting stories and feels most alive when telling stories about people whose lives have been enriched by their pets. He enjoys adding more chickens to his flock and loves sharing insights on how to take better care of pets and other animals in our lives. When not writing and raising chickens, Patrick enjoys traveling and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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