One of the rarest of breeds the Icelandic chicken is an old breed of chicken, found in Iceland since their introduction by Vikings in the 9th century and were found on most farms for centuries. Indeed, one of their Icelandic names -- Íslenska landnámshænan -- means "Icelandic hen of the settlers." They are also called íslenska hænan or Haughænsni in the Icelandic language and are a landrace which up until recently was rare outside its native country. Importation of commercial breeds of chickens, like Leghorns, in the 1950s almost resulted in extinction of the breed. The few thousand Icelandic chickens in existence today are the result of conservation efforts in the 1970s; and luckily, a handful of flocks have been exported to other countries.
Icelandic chickens have not been bred for type long enough to be standardized. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, comb types, and some even have feathered legs. Bossie Biddies has chosen those that have feather crests to use in our breeding program.