The Herd


Olandsk Dwarf Chickens

I have always had a penchant for the rare and unusual, and for challenges. The Olandsk Dwarf chicken meets all of these criteria, and we are delighted to welcome them to Gryphon Tor Farm in 2012. We were proud to bring in our inaugural stock from Greenfire Farms and Mother Nature's Daughter.

The Olandsk Dwarf is a very small and colorful breed of chickens, known for their laying ability. They are true dwarfs, and have no larger counterpart in poultry, unlike most bantam breeds that were bred down from large fowl. The breed was recently imported to the US by GreenFire Farms, who report that in 1989, only 54 Olandsk Dwarfs existed worldwide. In recent years, US breeders have propagated the breed more widely, but it is likely that they are still just a few hundred in number.

Photo by Mother Nature's Daughter

As one of the smallest laying breeds, the Olandsk Dwarf is perfect for the backyard hobbyist, and of course they eat less than full-sized chickens. Smaller eggs have a certain appeal to those who love eggs but are trying to maintain a healthy diet - two Olandsk eggs served sunny side up are very cute on a piece of toast!

The Olandsk Dwarf originates, logically enough, from the island of Íland, off the southeastern coast of Sweden. It is generally accepted that their forebears were "British Garden Hens," brought over centuries before. Over time, the breed became a "landrace," meaning that natural selection and necessity shaped the Olandsk Dwarf for size, hardiness and production to suit the region.

Photo by Mother Nature's Daughter

As a landrace, no official standard of perfection exists for the Olandsk Dwarf... yet. They are surprisingly similar in type and style for a landrace breed, and I think breeders could settle on a standard with little argument.
We are quite curious to see if this distinctive and practical breed will attract enough breeders to be considered for inclusion within the APA.

The brightly spangled color patterns of the Olandsk Dwarf include red, white, black and blue, with a lot of variation between individuals. This makes them very easy to tell apart in a small flock, especially nice for those who like to name their chickens! In Sweden, both straight and rosecombs are seen, but the US strains are all straight combed.

Photo by Mother Nature's Daughter

One of the characteristics that drew us to the Olandsk Dwarfs are their bright, social personalities. They are not flighty like many bantams and our roosters rarely fight, preferring to posture and strut to establish their precedence.

Gryphon Tor's Olandsk Dwarf flock will be bred to focus on high production, small size and gentle personality as our primary goals. The challenge in this breed lies in its small gene pool, and we expect to work hard for several years to bring in as many strong birds as we can from lines that are now diversifying across the US, culling very strictly for defects (culls will make great pets but will not be used in our breeding program).

Photo by Mother Nature's Daughter

Sources for the best Olandsk Dwarf breeding stock:

MotherNaturesDaughter (Cheryl Horning). You can find Cheryl under her pseudonym on the Backyard Chickens forum, where she dispenses all manner of useful information for her fellow breeders. Her stock of course also originates with GreenFire Farms. She often has birds or eggs for sale on BYC or on eBay under the account 1chickenaddiction (with 100% positive feedback!).

HIgh View Farm, located in TX, and the source of a very nice young quad we obtained in December, 2012. Samantha was terrific to deal with.

Black Walnut Farms - they often have eggs on offer.

GreenFire Farms, the original importer of the breed to the US. Importing any livestock is a daunting endeavor, and requires a substantial investment of both time and money. Although they no longer carry Olandsk Dwarfs, GreenFire has some very interesting rare poultry on their site - well worth looking at!

Do you raise Olandsk Dwarf chickens?
Are you fully committed to development and support of this unique breed? If so, I'd be happy to link you here as well!
Drop us a line too, as we will be looking for a few top notch OD Roosters each year to breed out our flock!

Please click here to join the Facebook discussion group on the amazing Olandsk Dwarf!