Chicken Coop Chatter©
Our rare Icelandic chickens date back to the 9th century and often referred to as the *Viking Chickens*. Being a landrace breed, these chickens had no intervention from man over the centuries, they lived off the land; survived and thrived on vegetation, berries, bugs and carrion. After raising this breed for several years now, we have to concur to their *Viking* instincts and fearless behaviors.
The Icelandic do go broody and are the best mother hens of all the chicken breeds we raise, including other rare landrace breeds. What we have observed about them is that when the chicks are born, the entire community of the Icelandic family readily accepts the chicks. Mama hen will ruffle her feathers and give warnings, but there has never been an encounter with any of the flock displaying aggression toward the chicks. The chicks interact with the flock and all the community actually raises those chicks, teaching them all the things they need to know to survive and thrive on their own.
If a chick happens to be stepped on and cries out, other birds will attack that perpetrator even if accidental, the misstep does not go undisciplined. If the care taker attempts to remove the chicks, or come between them and the mama; the mama hen as well as the other members, will attack to protect those babies. All of the flock is gentle with the chicks, including the roosters, but there is consequence to any interloper that attempts to approach those chicks, and we know this first hand with a few battle scars to prove it. An Icelandic will defend their offspring to the death.
Obviously the Icelandic's long history is testament to their survival instincts and their babies are protected as a *mothering* community to perpetuate the breed long into the future. Interaction among the mama, chicks and the rest of the flock is a lesson in discipline, survival and community dynamics that we have not found in any other breed we raise.
We find our Icelandic's to be not so different from any Mom. A Mom will fiercely defend her offspring from any and all that attempt to harm them, she begins teaching at the moment of birth, with tender loving care and will lay down her life to protect her offspring.
As we celebrate Mom's around the nation and around the world, we felt it appropriate to also celebrate the Icelandic Mom's that have fiercely protected and taught their offspring to survive and thrive for centuries in all adversity.
NOTE: We do not advise trying to raise chicks with a flock that has a rooster or aggressive hens, not all chickens will display the behaviors of the Icelandic's and it would not be uncommon for other members of the flock to harm those chicks. Any time chicks are introduced to a flock, extreme caution and monitoring is a must for the protection of those babies. The mother hen will do all she can to protect those chicks, but all too often the aggressive action is so quick, there is simply no time or opportunity for intervention.
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