The Olandsk Dwarf chicken is a rare small breed of chicken that originated in Sweden. Today, these petite, speckled chickens are popular backyard pets for enthusiasts who appreciate their good looks, docile natures, and compact size.
In this post, we’ll explore what’s special about the Olandsk Dwarf chicken to help you decide whether there could be a place for them in your backyard or on your ranch.
Quick Facts About the Olandsk Dwarf Chicken
|Olandsk Dwarf Chicken
|Place of Origin:
|Cock (Male) Size:
|0.6–1 kg (1.3–2.2 lbs)
|Hen (Female) Size:
|0.5–0.8 kg (1.1–1.7 lbs)
|Speckled with a range of colors—black, white, brown, red, and gray
|Approximately 5 years
|Well-adapted to the cold, moderate temperatures are ideal
Olandsk Dwarf Chicken Origins
The Olandsk Dwarf chicken hails from Öland, a Swedish island. The breed nearly went extinct in the 1980s due to being too small to be a viable meat chicken. By this point, there were around 50 remaining Olandsk Dwarf chickens. They were later exported to the US, where their numbers began to rise, though they’re still considered relatively rare today.
Olandsk Dwarf Chicken Characteristics
A true dwarf chicken breed that isn’t a miniature version of a larger breed, Olandsk Dwarf chickens are known for their small stature and colorful, speckled plumage. Their attractive features certainly make them stand out in backyards, on farms, and on ranches, though they’re never shown as they’re not a recognized breed.
As they originated on the Swedish island Öland where the climate is cold and sometimes harsh, the Olandsk Dwarf chicken is well-adapted to cooler temperatures. That said, in spite of their cold-hardiness, they shouldn’t be kept in extreme temperatures on either end of the scale.
If you live in a hot climate and are considering acquiring some Olandsk Dwarf chickens, make sure there are plenty of comfortable, cool spaces for them to hang out in. Likewise, in a cold climate, you’ll need to provide warm spots.
Temperament-wise, Olandsk Dwarf chickens are reputed to be generally friendly, docile, and easygoing. They’re also less flighty than other chicken breeds, making escape attempts less likely. This, coupled with their compact size which makes it so that they don’t need as big a living space as larger breeds, makes them a popular choice with hobbyists.
The Olandsk Dwarf is not used for meat due to its small size. However, these chickens are known for being pretty decent egg layers, producing around 250 eggs per year. Those who keep Olandsk Dwarf chickens have commented on the tastiness of these eggs, in spite of their small size. For this reason, they’re a good choice for those who enjoy fresh eggs.
In short, hobbyists and enthusiasts largely keep Olandsk Dwarf chickens as ornamental birds with their eggs as an added bonus!
Appearance & Varieties
Olandsk Dwarf chickens are often a vibrant mix of red, black, brown, or gray splattered with white. On some Olandsk Dwarfs, the tail feathers take on a blue/green-black, iridescent appearance. Their single combs tend to vary a little in size and they have long red wattles and red earlobes. These are chickens with a delicate appearance and a sweet personality to match.
In spite of their small size, Olandsk Dwarf chicken legs have a long and sturdy appearance and they tend to carry themselves tall. Males weigh slightly more than females at around 0.6–1 kg (1.3–2.2 lbs), whereas females weigh approximately 0.5–0.8 kg (1.1–1.7 lbs).
As a breed not recognized by the American Poultry Association, there is no specific standard for Olandsk Dwarf chickens, so their features and colors may vary somewhat. This is part of what makes Olandsk Dwarf chickens such a diverse bunch!
Olandsk Dwarf chickens are a generally hardy breed, but they have some requirements in terms of where they live and, of course, the conditions they’re kept in. Their coop should be set up to offer at least 4 square feet per chicken and should contain plenty of straw, perches, and nesting boxes. The coop needs to be a clean, well-ventilated space to reduce the risk of bacteria and parasites.
Chickens also appreciate an open space for free-roaming. As long as they have a place to shelter if it gets windy, rainy, or too hot, they’re pretty easy to please. In summer, provide plenty of fresh water and cool, shady spots to protect your Olandsk Dwarf chickens from the sun and in winter, consider adding extra insulation to their coop (old blankets, old carpet, etc).
For very cold weather, hens and their chicks will appreciate an area with a heat lamp. It’s also a good idea to have a heat lamp on standby for sick chickens.
Population-wise, Olandsk Dwarf chickens are not as uncommon as they were in the past, but they’re still considered quite rare.
Are Olandsk Dwarf Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?
Olandsk Dwarf Chickens are perfect for those with enough room in their backyard to offer them a comfortable coop and an open space to roam. They produce a decent number of eggs, which is great if you’re a fan of fresh eggs for breakfast or plan on selling them.
They’re also pretty chilled-out, docile, friendly birds and you’re sure to enjoy hearing their daily chirpings and chatterings!