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A unique breed that hails from Sweden and is known for its moss green eggs.
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Isbar Unsexed29.00
Every nation seems to harbor its share of backyard biologists and mad monks who are irresistibly drawn to tinker with the chicken genome in the quest for a more perfect bird. Sweden is no exception, and its monk –almost literally in this case—was Martin Silverudd, a priest who in the tradition of Gregor Mendel before him plumbed the depths of genetics and created a number of chicken breeds in the 1950s and 1960s. Silverudd had in mind the goal of creating auto-sexing breeds that laid a high volume of unusually colored eggs. (For a more detailed description of the auto-sexing function, please read the section on this website that addresses this remarkable trait.)

To an astonishing degree Silverudd was successful in his quest and along the way created breeding protocols that would later be studied and adopted by sophisticated university geneticists and animal scientists. But, perhaps his greatest achievement was the creation of the Isbar (pronounced ice bar), a breed as practical as it is beautiful and one that has the unique distinction of being the only green-egg-laying single combed chicken breed in the world.

Father Silverudd created a number of fancifully named breeds including the 55 Flowery Hen, the Queen Silvia, the Molilja, and, of course, the Isbar. (Greenfire Farms has also imported the 55 Flowery Hen and the Queen Silvia.) There are a few varieties of Isbar, and Greenfire Farms was lucky enough to locate one of the last remaining flocks of blue Isbars, the most spectacular variety of the breed. Roosters have shimmering metallic hackles that overlay deep blue body feathers. The hens are also striking with their blue feathers, and splash color patterns are common within the variety. Because of the genetics of the blue coloring, the auto-sexing feather patterns in chicks are not as pronounced (and may be altogether absent) when compared to other auto-sexing breeds like the Cream Legbar.

Greenfire Farms first imported this breed from Sweden in 2011. Our Isbars were fertile and produced many chicks, but we believe the birds were closely related and showed some signs of a suppressed immune system that could be linked to inbreeding depression. In 2013, we imported Isbars from unrelated flocks. These birds should allow breeders to mitigate the effects of inbreeding in their flocks.

These cold-hardy birds are thrifty foragers that will produce 150-200 green eggs a year. We often let our Isbars forage on pasture, and they are alert for predators but calm with people. The eggs vary in shade of green from a dark olive to a lighter moss green. Some eggs also have small brown speckles against a green background, and many chicken aficionados think Isbar eggs are the most beautiful of any egg. Whether speckled or pure green, the Isbar eggs are as fantastic and exotic as the birds themselves.