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The Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is a distinct and recognizable breed known for its ability to adapt to various climates and conditions. With a rich history and lineage tracing back to the early 1800s, these chickens are known for their hardiness and resilience.

They were originally bred in the Jæren region of Norway and have since become popular throughout the country and beyond. The Jærhøne chickens are medium-sized birds with distinct feather patterns and colors, known for their beautiful appearance. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they also excel in egg production, making them a practical choice for both backyard hobbyists and commercial farmers.

Whether you’re looking for a unique addition to your flock or a reliable egg layer, the Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is a great choice.


The Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed has a rich history that dates back several centuries. Known for its unique characteristics and heritage, this breed has become a favorite among poultry enthusiasts. Here’s a closer look at the fascinating history of the Norwegian Jærhøne:

  • Origin: The Norwegian Jærhøne breed originated in the Jæren region of southwestern Norway. It is believed to have descended from old landrace chickens found in this coastal area.
  • Traditional Use: Historically, the Norwegian Jærhøne was primarily valued for its eggs and meat. The locals recognized its exceptional laying capabilities and the quality of its meat, making it an essential component of their diet.
  • Endangered Status: Over time, the Norwegian Jærhøne faced the threat of extinction due to the introduction of foreign chicken breeds. To preserve this cherished breed, concerted efforts were made to protect and promote its unique attributes.
  • Revival Efforts: Dedicated breeders and enthusiasts played a vital role in rejuvenating the Norwegian Jærhøne breed. By selectively breeding individuals with desirable traits, they helped revive the breed’s population and ensured its continued existence.
  • Recognition: In 2007, the Norwegian Jærhøne was officially recognized by the Norwegian Rare Breeds Council, highlighting its significance as a heritage breed. This recognition not only inspired greater awareness but also safeguarded the breed’s future.
  • Cultural Importance: The Norwegian Jærhøne holds a special place in Norwegian culture due to its historical significance and regional importance. It is seen as a symbol of local heritage and pride, representing the traditions and customs of the Jæren region.
  • Unique Characteristics: Known for its hardiness and adaptability, the Norwegian Jærhøne is particularly well-suited to challenging climatic conditions. The breed exhibits exceptional foraging abilities and a moderately fast growth rate, making it an excellent choice for free-range systems.
  • Genetic Diversity: One of the highlights of the Norwegian Jærhøne breed is its genetic diversity. Over the centuries, a variety of strains and color variations have emerged, adding to the breed’s charm and appeal.
  • Modern Popularity: In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in heritage chicken breeds, including the Norwegian Jærhøne. Today, this breed continues to captivate poultry enthusiasts and conservationists alike, showcasing its enduring allure.
  • Conservation Efforts: Ongoing conservation efforts are vital in maintaining the genetic purity and unique qualities of the Norwegian Jærhøne. Organizations, breeders, and enthusiasts strive to protect and promote this breed, ensuring its legacy for future generations.

The history of the Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is a testament to the resilience and dedication of breeders and enthusiasts in preserving a treasured heritage. Its unique attributes and regional significance make it a beloved breed sought after by poultry enthusiasts worldwide.

Norwegian Jærhøne Chicken
Ranveig, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

General Characteristics

The Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is renowned for its unique set of features and characteristics. This breed offers a fascinating combination of traits that make it stand out among other chicken breeds. Here are the general characteristics of the Jærhøne breed:


  • The Jærhøne chicken breed exhibits an attractive and distinct appearance.
  • They have a medium to large-sized body with a muscular build.
  • The plumage is predominantly black with hints of brown and reddish hues.
  • Their feathers are glossy, adding to their overall appeal.


  • The Jærhøne breed is known for its exceptional hardiness, and ability to thrive in various weather conditions.
  • They can withstand harsh winters and hot summers without compromising their health or productivity.


  • This breed is highly adaptable and can adjust to different living environments.
  • Whether you have a spacious backyard or a compact urban setting, the Jærhøne chickens can adapt and flourish.


  • While primarily considered a dual-purpose breed, the Jærhøne chickens excel in egg production as well.
  • They are known to lay a respectable amount of large brown eggs throughout the year, making them valuable additions to any flock.

Foraging ability

  • Jærhøne chickens possess excellent foraging abilities, exhibiting their natural instincts to search for food.
  • They enjoy free-ranging and are efficient at finding insects, fruits, and seeds, ensuring a diverse and balanced diet.

Parenting skills

  • This breed showcases exceptional parenting skills, making them great broody hens.
  • They are diligent and attentive, taking good care of their chicks while instilling good behavior and natural instincts.

Meat quality

  • Jærhøne chickens are prized for their flavorful and tender meat.
  • The breed’s ability to develop well-defined muscle structures contributes to the high-quality meat it produces.

The general characteristics of the Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed demonstrate their overall appeal as an exceptional choice for poultry enthusiasts. From their striking appearance to their adaptability and productivity, these chickens offer a well-rounded package that fulfills both practical and aesthetic purposes.


The Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is known for its unique temperament. This breed has distinct characteristics that make it fascinating for chicken enthusiasts. Let’s take a closer look at the temperament of the Norwegian Jærhøne chickens.

Friendly And Docile Nature

  • Norwegian Jærhøne chickens have a friendly and docile temperament, making them a great choice for backyard chicken owners.
  • They are known for their calm and gentle nature, which makes them easy to handle and interact with.
  • These chickens are known to be tame and flock-oriented, making them ideally suited for families with children.

Active Foragers

  • Norwegian Jærhøne chickens have a natural instinct for foraging and exploration.
  • They are active and curious, constantly on the lookout for insects, worms, and vegetation to supplement their diet.
  • Their independent nature allows them to adapt easily to free-range environments, where they can roam and display their natural foraging behavior.

Tolerant And Sociable

  • The Norwegian Jærhøne breed is renowned for its sociable and tolerant nature.
  • They get along well with other chicken breeds and are typically non-aggressive, which makes integration into an existing flock relatively easy.
  • Their sociability extends beyond chickens, as they can also coexist peacefully with other animals, such as ducks or geese.

Good Mothering Instincts

  • One notable characteristic of the Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is their excellent mothering instincts.
  • They are attentive and caring mothers, diligently watching over their chicks and teaching them important survival skills.
  • This breed is often chosen for brooding and hatching as they excel in raising their young.

Adaptable To Different Climates

  • Norwegian Jærhøne chickens are hardy and adaptable, able to withstand various climates.
  • They have originated in Norway, a country known for its harsh winters, which has made them resilient to cold weather conditions.
  • Additionally, they can also handle warmer temperatures without much difficulty, making them suitable for a wide range of climates.

The Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed possesses a friendly, docile, and sociable temperament. Their active foraging behavior, good mothering instincts, and adaptability to different climates make them an excellent addition to any backyard flock. Whether you’re a novice chicken raiser or an experienced poultry enthusiast, the Norwegian Jærhøne chickens are sure to bring joy and fascination to your poultry-keeping experience.

Comb Types

The Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is known for its unique and distinctive comb types. There are three main types of combs found in this breed:

  • Single Comb: The single comb is the most common type of comb found in chickens. It is a straight, elongated comb that has a smooth texture. The single comb of the Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is medium in size and evenly serrated.
  • Pea Comb: The pea comb is a compact comb that resembles a row of small, round bumps. It is shorter and wider than the single comb, providing good protection against extreme weather conditions. The pea comb of the Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is dense and evenly spaced.
  • Cushion Comb: The cushion comb is a low, round comb that covers most of the head. It is thick and heavily cushioned, providing excellent insulation during cold weather. The cushion comb of the Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is large and well-rounded.

The choice of comb type can vary depending on the breeder’s preferences and the specific climate in which the chickens are kept. Each comb type has its advantages and can contribute to the overall appearance and functionality of the breed.

With their unique comb types, Norwegian Jærhøne chickens stand out among other chicken breeds, adding to their appeal and charm.


The Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed is a unique and versatile choice for poultry enthusiasts. With its roots dating back to the 18th century, this breed’s hardiness and resistance to harsh climates make it a valuable addition to any flock. Not only does the Jærhøne chicken exhibit excellent foraging skills, but its ability to thrive in free-range environments sets it apart from other breeds.

Whether you are a backyard chicken keeper or a commercial farmer, this breed’s high egg production and tasty meat make it a valuable asset. The Jærhøne chicken’s distinct appearance, with its beautiful feather patterns and vibrant colors, adds aesthetic appeal to any farm or backyard.

By choosing the Norwegian Jærhøne chicken breed, you are not only getting a reliable and productive chicken but also contributing to the preservation of a rich cultural heritage. Embrace the Jærhøne chicken breed and enjoy its many benefits for years to come.

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