The Olandsk Dwarf chicken (Öländsk dvärghöna) is a chicken that was on the brink of extinction just a few years ago. Although, to be honest, this isn’t really surprising. The area that it originates from is exceedingly small.
Now, while the bird is still at risk of dying out, the number of breeding Olandsk Dwarf chicken pairs has started to rise sharply in recent years, this is all thanks to a few breeders in the United States. Let’s look!
The Origins of the Olandsk Dwarf Chicken
The Olandsk Dwarf chicken originates on the island of Öland in Sweden. This place is, mostly, a farming island.
The chicken breed wasn’t really developed as a breed there. It naturally developed based upon the space that it had around it.
However, there is some evidence that the breed has a bit of British chicken mixed into it at some point.
Now, Öland has a chicken farming industry. A major one, with the big commercial chicken farm supplying chicken meat to the rest of Sweden.
However, the Olandsk Dwarf chicken was never part of that chicken farm. It was far too small. As a result, the breed started to die out over time.
As we said at the start, at one point, the Olandsk Dwarf was on the brink of extinction. There were under 40 breeding pairs on the island.
However, some American breeders saw the appeal of the Olandsk Dwarf chicken and shipped it over to the United States.
The Look of the Olandsk Chicken
As the name suggests, this is a small chicken breed. In fact, it is bantam chicken sized. However, since there is no larger equivalent to this breed, it is regarded as a dwarf chicken.
It is only available in one color. A speckled version with these colors on its feathers:
It has a larger comb, which sometimes would need to be protected during the colder weather.
The chicken stands nice and proud when it walks around.
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As a Show Chicken
It is unlikely that you will find that many shows for this chicken breed about. This is because it is not officially recognized as an official chicken breed by APA in the Untied States. This is highly discouraging to breeders.
That being said, it is a stunning looking chicken. As you may well know from some of the other articles that we have written here in the past, a chicken doesn’t necessarily have to be used for shows in order to be attractive as an ornamental chicken.
If you are in the United States, this is a rare and beautiful breed that is going to look wonderful wandering around your yard.
We doubt that this is a breed that will ever be officially recognized.
There simply isn’t enough of them around, and there certainly are not enough breeders out there that are producing it.
We know that breeders of the Olandsk Dwarf chicken are never going to give up, though!
Is It Worth Raising It For Meat?
This chicken is far, far too small to be a viable meat chicken. This is why those major chicken producers located on Öland never touched it, and part of the reason why it is dying out.
With an average weight for a hen of 1 – 1.7 lb (0.5-0.8 kg) and a rooster of 1.3 – 2.2 lb (0.6 – 1 kg); we are sure that it may make a decent meal for a single person.
Just do not expect to get a huge amount of meat from it.
There are far better smaller breeds of chicken out there if you are looking for a viable meat chicken.
The Olandsk Dwarf Chicken for Eggs
This is where this chicken really shines.
On average, the Olandsk Dwarf hen is going to lay around 200 eggs per year. Now, they are going to be smaller eggs.
However, this is something that a lot of people do prefer. After all, smaller eggs means that you are going to be eating far fewer calories when you consume one.
If you are looking for a chicken breed that can provide your family with a steady flow of eggs, then you will almost certainly want to look into the Olandsk Dwarf chicken.
It should be a fairly decent breeder, too. They do get quite broody and they are good at raising their young.
The main reason why this chicken started to die out wasn’t so much the fact that it isn’t good as a breeding chicken, it is more because everybody wanted the eggs and nobody saw any reason to continue breeding it when it wasn’t that useful outside of eggs.
Raising the Olandsk Dwarf Chicken
While Öland isn’t a dreadfully cold place, often boasting temperatures roughly in line with the United Kingdom, this is a breed of chicken that has been raised in a coldish environment.
This means that it is quite a hardy breed. Although, as we said, if you are planning on raising this chicken breed, then you probably will want to find some way in which to protect that large comb so it won’t get frostbitten.
A bit of vaseline ought to do the trick.
Due to the smaller size of this breed, they are going to be a target for chicken predators.
This means that you will probably need to ensure that they are in a secure coop. However, try to ensure that their secure chicken run covers a decent area.
This is because this bird absolutely loves to forage.
These are smaller birds, so that means that they retain an ability to fly. They cannot fly huge distances but, once again, this is going to mean that you need to have them in a secure coop so that they are not constantly escaping.
In terms of food, they only need a fraction of what larger chickens require. This is probably why they are so well-loved as birds for homesteaders that love eggs.
They do not cost a whole lot to raise, but they are going to be an incredibly productive breed.
Although, you will have to remember to give them fewer treats, because they have smaller stomachs and if they are filling themselves up on treats, they can’t really do much in the way of eating. proper food.