Have you ever seen a Blue Isbar Chicken and wondered what that breed is all about?
It’s already unique to see a chicken with blue shades in its feathers.
But with this chicken breed, it’s even more fascinating to know that they lay blue eggs!
The Blue Isbar chicken, also known as Silverudd’s Blue, is a captivating and distinctive breed celebrated for its stunning blue plumage and its remarkable ability to lay eggs in shades of blue and green.
Originating from Sweden, this breed has earned a special place in the hearts of poultry enthusiasts for its unique and aesthetically pleasing qualities.
Beyond its eye-catching appearance, the Blue Isbar is cherished for its friendly temperament, consistent egg-laying abilities, and contribution to heritage breeds.
This beautiful breed with a slightly confusing name is an interesting and unique addition to the flock.
It is the only pure (heritage) breed of chicken that consistently lays naturally green-tinted eggs.
Learn everything there is to know about this breed in this article!
Blue Isbar Chicken: Background and History
The Isbar chicken, also known as Silverudd Blue, Silverudd Blå, Swedish Isbar, or Svensk Gronaggsvarpare, hails from Småland in the southern region of Sweden.
The Isbar breed was developed in 1955 by a Swedish Catholic Monk named Martin Silverudd, who had a strong passion for chickens and genetics.
He wanted to develop many breeds for homesteaders and small farmers that were economical, heritage bred, with good hardiness, good temperaments, and fun egg colors.
This man is also credited for developing the 55 Flowery Breed, Smaaland, Molilja, and Queen Silver Chickens.
Silverudd was driven by the desire to create a breed that could produce both blue-green eggs and have a unique appearance while maintaining hardiness.
This developed the Isbar (just Isbar, not Blue Isbar or Isbar Blue).
Then, he added an Australorp to create the Blue variant of Isbar chickens, commonly called the Blue Isbar or Silverudd Blue chicken.
The Blue Isbar and Silverudd Blue: A Special Note About Their Names
In 2016, the name “Isbar,” pronounced “Ice Bar,” was supposed to be retired, though many people still use it today.
Martin Silverudd had initially assigned a “working name” to this breed: the Swedish Grönegggsvärpare, which translates to “green egg layer.”
The issue with adopting this name is that it would create confusion with other Swedish breeds that lay green eggs.
The intention is for the name to exclusively reference the breed developed by Silverudd and not be mistaken for any general Swedish green egg-laying variety.
Next, “Isbar” led to misunderstandings among poultry keepers due to its association with “barring” patterns or stripes on feathers.
This characteristic was distinct and absent in the Silverudd Blå breed.
Thirdly, upon thorough review of Silverudd’s documentation, it became evident that the Isbar chicken and the Isbar blue were dissimilar.
Breeds incorporating “bar” into their names should inherently possess barred or striped attributes—these breeds don’t have any barring in their plumage.
Additionally, the Isbar chicken uniquely lays eggs with a greenish tint.
To prevent confusion and the inadvertent mixing of Silverudd Blå birds with non-Silverudd Blå counterparts, distinct names were assigned to the two separate breeds.
Those two breed names are “Isbar” and “Silverrud Blue” which is often also called “Blue Isbar” or “Silverudd Blå”.
Blue Isbar Chicken: Breed Standard and Appearance
Blue Isbar chickens have a single comb and a medium-sized, well-feathered body.
One of their most prominent features is their striking plumage, which comes in various colors, including blue, black, and splash.
Black is always the base for Silverudd Blue, though other colors may adorn it.
The roosters may have gold or silver in their neck or saddle feathers, making them beautiful additions to flocks.
Their plumage often displays iridescent shades, adding to their aesthetic appeal.
Despite having ‘bar’ in their name, they do not have barred stripes or patterns in their plumage.
However, the most noteworthy characteristic of the Blue Isbar chicken is its egg color.
They are known for consistently laying eggs in shades of blue, green, or olive, adding a touch of diversity to egg baskets.
This trait is inherited from the Cream Legbar, one of the breeds Silverudd used in his breeding program.
Chicks And Their Appearance
Silverudd chicks are not auto-sexing, so you cannot immediately distinguish males from females simply by looking at their colors.
These chicks are often blue or black-based, occasionally with cream, yellow, or white splashes.
Some may have grey patches, and some are entirely black or blue when they hatch.
They range from a light mist shade of blue (grey) to a deep and rich shade of indigo.
It’s preferred for the pullets to be one solid shade of blue throughout the body.
There is some darker shading on the head and neck, but they could also be birchen, though this is not the ideal standard.
Birchen means that the body and tail are dark colored, while the head and neck are silver.
For cockerels, it’s accepted for them to be solid colored all over.
However, it is preferred for them to have metallic-like silver or golden shades on their neck and atop their back, potentially on their wings, too.
Other Isbar Chick Identifiers (NOT the Blue Variety)
This covers the other Isbar varieties.
Sometimes, people will lump Blues in with the “Black” and “Splash” variants, which is why I felt it was important to cover these other two Isbars.
This should help you identify Blue Silverudds apart from the Black and Splash Isbar chicks.
Black chicks may be entirely black or with spots.
It is preferred for pullets to be fully black with minimal to no birchen in the hackles or wings.
It is more acceptable for cockerels to have more coloration on their necks or saddlebacks.
Splash chicks may hatch completely white or with some calico-like coloring throughout their bodies.
It’s most common for them to hatch out pure white and then slowly develop the splash pattern as they begin to grow and feather out over the next two to three weeks.
For the splash variety, it is preferred for pullets to have splash all over.
Birchen is accepted, but not the preference.
With splash roosters, blue or white feathering in the saddle and hackles is accepted, but birchen is preferred.
All three types of these chicks (and their parents) are labeled as medium-sized.
Adult’s Standard Appearance
This is a square-shaped chicken. The hens have dense and triangular tails, while the roosters have arched and prominent tails.
Size and Weight
The Silverudd Blue is a medium-sized breed that weighs about three pounds as hens or five and a half pounds as roosters.
They are twenty to twenty-five inches tall.
Hens are primarily (and are preferred to be) solid blue, with some amount of iridescence.
It is acceptable for them to have some amount of birchen in the hackles.
The “hackle” is the sides and back of the neck.
If you ever see a chicken shake off after getting wet or face off with a challenging chicken, these feathers raise up.
And as a fun fact, these hackles are often used for making fly fishing lures. You may notice some lacing in the feathers too.
This is accepted and looks absolutely beautiful when they’re in good lighting conditions.
Some hens will have patches of lacing, some will have laced plumage all over, and some will not have any.
The lacing patterns may vary quite a bit in size.
Some have small, tight, and prominent patterns, while others have more blurry, larger, or faded lacing.
Roosters are also often blue to black-based, but they typically have colorful saddle feathers and shiny, bright-colored birchen hackles.
Both roosters and hens have incredibly bright red single combs and waddles.
The healthier the chicken, the more vivid the shades.
Both sexes also have blue feet that are almost black and four-toed.
Both sexes also have dark-colored beaks.
Personality and Temperament of the Blue Isbar Chicken
Martin Silverudd set out to create a well-rounded breed when he developed the Silverudd Blue, and I believe he was a great success.
This breed is known to have a delightful personality and temperament.
This breed exhibits a range of traits that make it a favorite among chicken keepers:
Blue Isbar chickens are known for their friendly and docile nature.
They tend to be quite calm and approachable, making them an excellent choice for backyard flocks.
They often enjoy human interaction and can become quite affectionate with their caretakers after a little coaxing.
These chickens are generally gentle and patient with children, making them a fantastic addition to family-oriented flocks.
Their friendly disposition makes them less likely to peck or show aggression towards younger household members, even when a child may accidentally provoke them.
Blue Isbars are naturally curious birds.
They love to forage and explore their surroundings, often scratching at the ground for insects and seeds.
Their inquisitiveness can be entertaining to watch and makes them great for free-ranging environments.
They aren’t flighty but do look around for predators, meaning they fare well in most pastures and backyards.
Blue Isbar Chicken with Other Chickens
Blue Silverudd chickens are social creatures and thrive when kept in a group.
They enjoy the company of other chickens and will often form tight-knit flocks.
They seem to prefer their own breed but will still happily mingle with other docile breeds if needed.
Due to their friendly disposition, Blue Isbar chickens are usually easy to handle.
They are less likely to become skittish or flighty when approached, making tasks like egg collection or health checks relatively straightforward.
This is one of the reasons why we’re classifying them as beginner-friendly.
This breed is known for its adaptability to various climates.
Whether you live in a hot or cold region, Blue Isbars can generally thrive with proper care and shelter.
Finally, Blue Isbar chickens are not typically aggressive towards other flock members.
They tend to be peaceable and cooperative, which can help maintain a harmonious and stress-free environment in your coop.
This may become an issue if you keep them cooped up with other aggressive breeds, like Game chickens, but for most applications, they will not cause problems.
Blue Isbar Chicken’s Egg Laying Capabilities
The hallmark feature of the Blue Isbar is its ability to lay eggs in various shades of blue and green—and this is the only heritage breed to produce true green eggs.
All other green egg layers are not heritage.
These eggs can range from pale blue to mint green, adding a touch of novelty and diversity to your egg collection.
The intensity of the color can vary from one bird to another.
Blue Isbars are known as reliable and consistent layers.
They typically lay four or five eggs per week, sometimes up to six eggs per week if they are in especially good health.
In the winter, this number will drop some, but you can help them with a coop light.
They typically lay eggs throughout the year, although production may slow down during extremely cold or hot weather.
This makes them a valuable addition to a backyard flock, ensuring a steady supply of colorful eggs.
Medium to Large Egg Size
The eggs laid by Blue Isbar hens are typically medium to large in size, with some older hens laying extra-large eggs.
The eggs typically weigh 50 to 65 grams (or 1.7 to 2.3 ounces).
Their egg production, combined with the size of the eggs, makes them a practical choice for those who value both quantity and quality.
The eggs produced by Blue Isbars usually have strong shells, which is an important attribute for both backyard keepers and commercial egg producers.
Strong shells are less prone to cracking during collection and transportation.
These traits are thanks to their foundational start from Rhode Island Reds and Legbars.
Blue Isbars are known for their adaptability to various climates, which can positively impact their egg-laying capabilities.
They tend to continue laying eggs even in colder climates, though the production rate may decrease slightly during the winter months.
While Blue Isbars are not especially prone to broodiness (a state where hens want to sit on their eggs and hatch out chicks), some individuals may occasionally go broody.
However, this trait varies among individual birds.
This trait is sometimes hereditary, so if you want a hen who will hatch eggs for you, purchase from a farm or operation where hens are already doing so.
Blue Isbar hens often have a relatively long egg-laying lifespan.
You can expect them to produce eggs consistently for several years with proper care and attention to their health.
Blue Isbar Chicken Chicken Meat Production
The Blue Isbar chicken is primarily known for its egg-laying abilities and striking appearance, particularly its blue and green-tinted eggs.
So it’s important to note that this breed is not typically raised for meat production.
Instead, it is primarily considered an ornamental and utility breed, prized for its eggs and friendly temperament.
Here are the most common reasons why Blue Isbars are not often raised for meat production:
Blue Isbar chickens are classified as a medium-sized breed.
While they have a good body structure and ample meat for personal consumption, they are smaller than traditional meat breeds like Cornish Cross or Broilers.
As a result, their meat yield per bird is considerably lower.
Blue Isbars are not bred for rapid growth like meat-specific breeds.
They mature at a moderate rate, which means it takes longer for them to reach a suitable size for processing compared to meat-focused chickens.
Many poultry enthusiasts and breeders are dedicated to preserving heritage breeds like the Blue Isbar.
Butchering these chickens typically does not align with these values, with exceptions for cull-situations.
Not an Economic Meat Source
From an economic perspective, raising Blue Isbars for meat production may not be as cost-effective as raising meat-specific breeds.
It is because of the longer time required for them to reach processing size (and, therefore, more costly feed is needed).
Even with all of the above being said, serious Blue Isbar producers will still eat these chickens.
Yes, they are slow-growing and small, but their foraging lifestyle makes the meat incredibly tender and flavorful.
Good breeders must cull excess roosters and undesirable flock members regularly, and eating the birds just makes good sense.
So even though they aren’t ideal meat birds, they are a delicious occasional treat for serious Silverudd producers.
Blue Isbar Chicken: Most Common Health Issues
Blue Isbar chickens were created from good stock and were developed to be hardy birds with few health issues.
For the most part, you won’t need to fret about their well-being.
Still, it’s good to know common ailments to educate yourself before any issues arise.
1. Vent Gleet
Vent gleet is a nasty fungal infection that causes discharge from the vent, feather loss around the vent area, and significantly reduced egg production.
Good hygiene practices can help prevent vent gleet.
2. Egg-Laying Issues
Blue Isbar chickens, like other laying breeds, can experience egg-laying problems such as:
- Egg binding – when an egg gets stuck in the reproductive tract
- Egg peritonitis – infection in the reproductive system
Providing a calcium supplement and monitoring egg production can help prevent these issues.
Overfeeding or providing a diet too high in treats and low in nutrition can lead to obesity in chickens.
This can result in various health issues, including reproductive problems and joint issues.
This breed is more susceptible to obesity because it is so hardy and forages well for itself, paired with its ability to be a good match for beginner chicken keepers.
If these chickens are able to forage on their own, they will walk enough to maintain muscle and stay in good health.
If kept cooped up, boredom could lead to them overeating, losing muscle, and accumulating several health issues.
Where to Find Blue Isbar Chickens for Sale
Blue Isbar chickens are not as common in the United States yet, but they are gaining traction.
You won’t be able to source this breed from major hatcheries yet, but smaller farms are bridging the gap.
Here are a few places where you can order hatching eggs (fertilized eggs) or day-old chicks in the US.
These prices were pulled at the time of this writing (September 2023).
- Greendale Heritage Farm. $7.50 per hatching egg, $90 for a dozen eggs, or $15 per day-old straight-run chick.
- Alchemist Farm. Unsexed day-old chicks are $25 each.
- Feather Lover Farms. Unsexed day-old chicks are $39 each.
- Omega Hills Farm. A dozen hatching eggs is $49. Unsexed day-old chicks are $22 each.
- Hilltop Farms. Hatching eggs are $6 each or $60 for a dozen. Straight-run chicks are $25 each. Laying hens are $70 each.
Care Tips for Keeping The Blue Isbar Chicken
Here are simple ways to take care of this chicken breed:
1. Provide Good Shelter and Clean Spaces
Make sure that your coop is well-ventilated and insulated for extreme-climate regions.
Make sure your chickens have roosting bars, clean nesting boxes, and, if applicable, a good run or predator-proof fence.
One of the best things you can do for your flock is to open and close the chicken doors at dawn or dusk.
This keeps your chickens safe overnight and allows them plenty of outside time so they feel enriched and well-socialized.
We recommend automatic chicken doors because they are reliable, efficient, and easy to set up.
Isbars do well as free-range birds, but if you’re in a smaller space, do your best to fence out stray dogs and other problematic wild animals.
Consider adding a predator apron, an outward extension of fencing material, to deter digging predators.
Electric fences are another wonderful predator deterrent.
2. Offer a Nutritious Diet and Clean Water
Offer a balanced diet that includes high-quality chicken feed.
Look for feeds designed specifically for each age group (or groups) within your flock.
Remember that chick crumble is the same thing as chick starter. Crumble is just ground up into finer pieces for easier digestion.
It’s okay to feed your birds with crumble feed if you have a mixed flock.
If you have adult hens in your coop, set aside some oyster shells to meet their calcium needs.
The younger birds will generally avoid it, while the older girls will ingest it as needed.
You can also supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens and kitchen scraps, to provide variety and additional nutrients.
Or better yet, allow them to forage for themselves if you can.
This breed is great at sourcing a large part of its diet independently.
Other supplements are probiotics, which can be helpful too.
Ensure your chickens have access to clean and fresh water at all times. Proper hydration is essential for egg production and overall health.
3. Control the Parasites
Afraid that your Blue Isbars are going to get infested with parasites?
Here are ways that you can minimize and prevent these pests in your flock:
Practice rotational grazing
Implement a rotational grazing system if you have a large outdoor area for your chickens.
This helps reduce the buildup of parasites in the soil.
Clean the coop out
Keep the coop clean and dry.
Remove soiled bedding regularly to prevent a buildup of parasitic organisms.
Or alternatively, research and then implement the deep litter method.
Provide dust bathing areas
Create dust-bathing areas with dry soil or sand. Chickens naturally dust bathe to help control the external parasites, clean themselves, remove excess oils, and cool off in the summer.
Administer dewormers as needed
Consult with a poultry veterinarian or an experienced chicken keeper to determine the appropriate deworming schedule and medication for your flock.
Chicken dewormers are available in various forms, such as pellets, liquids, and pastes.
Rotate between different classes of dewormers to prevent the development of resistance in parasites.
4. Do Regular Health Checks
Monitor your chickens for any signs of illness, such as changes in behavior, decreased egg production, or unusual droppings.
Learn as much as you can about the signs and symptoms of the most common poultry ailments so you can quickly help your birds if any are sick or diseased.
Breeding Tips for Silverudd Chickens
Here are ways and tips that you can efficiently breed Blue Isbars:
1. Determine Your Strategy and Goals as a Breeder
Before embarking on a breeding program for Silverudd chickens, it’s crucial to establish your strategy and goals as a breeder.
You should do this well before you start buying any birds.
Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your flock.
Are you focused on preserving the breed’s unique blue or green egg-laying ability, improving specific traits, or producing show-quality birds?
Or do you want to do something that hasn’t been prioritized yet, like creating highly broody Silverudd hens?
Clearly defining your objectives will seriously guide your breeding decisions.
2. Choose High-Quality Breeding Stock That Aligns With Your Breeding Program
Selecting the right breeding stock is a fundamental step in your breeding journey.
Look for Silverudd chickens that align with your goals.
They don’t have to be perfect, but they should be steps in the right direction.
Consider their conformity to breed standards, egg-laying capabilities, health, and temperament.
Acquire birds that exhibit the traits you want to pass on to the next generation.
Additionally, diversify your gene pool by introducing new bloodlines to maintain genetic diversity.
3. Keep and Maintain Good Records
Effective record-keeping is essential for tracking your breeding program’s progress and making informed decisions.
Document key information, such as hatch dates, lineage, egg production, health, and any observed traits.
This data will help you identify trends, select the best breeding pairs, and avoid common pitfalls in your program.
Not only is recordkeeping highly beneficial for your own operation, but it could later become a foundational pillar to someone else’s Silverudd chicken farm.
4. Cull Undesirable Birds
Culling is a critical aspect of maintaining and improving the Silverudd breed.
Regularly evaluate your flock for birds that do not meet your breeding goals.
Remove individuals with genetic defects, poor egg production, or deviations from breed standards.
Culling ensures that only the highest-quality birds are used for breeding, enhancing the overall quality of your flock.
Part of the culling process includes having a plan for the culled chickens.
Decide if you want to process them for their meat or sell them.
If you plan on giving them away or selling them, find specific farms or individuals right away– it may not be easy to find new homes for your unwanted chickens.
5. Start Breeding and Raising Chicks
Once you have selected your breeding pairs, it’s time to start the breeding process.
Collect eggs from your best hens, ensuring they are well-fed and healthy.
Incubate the eggs under controlled conditions, paying close attention to temperature and humidity.
After hatching, provide optimal care for the chicks, including warmth, proper nutrition, and a clean environment.
Monitor their development and select the best individuals to continue your breeding program.
We have so many helpful and totally free guides to help point you in the right direction.
Here are just a few of those:
- Simple Tips for Breeding Chickens
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens
- The Beginner’s Guide to Hatching Eggs
6. Regularly Educate Yourself and Re-Evaluate Your Goals
The world of poultry breeding is continuously evolving, so ongoing education is essential.
Stay informed about the latest breeding techniques, health practices, and advancements in genetics.
Additionally, periodically re-evaluate your breeding goals to ensure they remain aligned with your original vision.
Are you still enjoying this breed?
Is your coop or barn working for your operation?
Should you do more or less to maintain your success?
Are you any closer to your breeding goals? Have your breeding goals changed at all?
Adjust your strategy as needed to address new priorities and challenges.
Is the Blue Isbar Chicken the Right Breed For You?
The Blue Isbar chicken is a unique and attractive breed that can be a great addition to many poultry flocks.
However, whether it’s the right breed for you depends on your specific preferences and needs.
Here are some reasons why you may like the breed, as well as reasons why you may not:
Reasons You May Like the Blue Isbar Chicken
Unique Egg Color
One of the primary attractions of the Blue Isbar is its ability to lay eggs in various shades of blue and green.
If you want a colorful and eye-catching addition to your egg basket, this breed delivers.
Friendly and Docile
Blue Isbars are known for their friendly and docile temperament.
They often enjoy human interaction and can be excellent additions to family flocks.
Good Egg Layers
These chickens are consistent egg layers, providing a steady supply of eggs throughout the year.
If you value egg production, they can be a practical choice.
Unique Appearance and Rarity in the US
Blue Isbars have striking blue plumage, which adds a visually appealing element to your flock.
Their iridescent feathers can be especially captivating.
If you want a bird that your neighbors don’t have, the Blue Isbar could be a great choice.
These chickens adapt well to several different climates.
This makes them suitable for a wide range of regions or regions with a bit of fluctuation in the weather.
Blue Isbars are typically not aggressive towards other flock members, which can help maintain a peaceful coop environment.
Reasons You May Not Like the Blue Isbar Chicken
Not Ideal for Meat Production
Blue Isbars are primarily a laying breed, and they are not known for their meat production.
If you’re looking for chickens primarily for meat, other breeds are better suited.
Relatively Small Size
They are considered medium-sized chickens.
So if you prefer larger birds for meat or other purposes, you may find them smaller than what you’re looking for.
While not excessively prone to broodiness, some Blue Isbars may go broody from time to time.
If you want consistent egg production, this behavior can be a drawback.
Blue Isbars may not be as readily available as some more common chicken breeds, so finding them can be a bit more challenging depending on your location.
Egg Production Variability
While they are good egg layers, individual hens may vary in their egg production, and the intensity of the blue or green egg color can also differ among birds.
This could be frustrating if you want uniformity.
FAQs About Silverudd Blue Chickens
What Color Eggs Do Blue Isbar Chickens Lay?
Blue Isbar chickens, also known as Silverudd Blue, are known for laying eggs in various shades of blue and green.
The egg colors can range from pale blue to mint green, adding a unique and colorful element to your egg basket.
What Is The Standard Isbar Chicken?
The standard Isbar chicken, often referred to as Silverudd’s Green Egg Layer (SGEL), is a breed developed by Martin Silverudd in Sweden.
It is primarily known for its ability to lay green-tinted eggs.
The standard Isbar typically has a single comb and comes in various plumage colors, including blue, black, and splash.
Are Blue Isbar chickens good layers?
Blue Isbar chickens are known for being good egg layers.
They are consistent and reliable layers of eggs with blue and green hues.
While the exact number of eggs per week may vary from bird to bird, they generally provide a steady supply of colorful eggs throughout the year.
How long do Blue Isbar chickens lay eggs?
Blue Isbar chickens, like most laying breeds, can lay colorful eggs for several years.
The duration of their egg-laying phase can vary based on genetics, diet, and overall care.
On average, they can continue to lay eggs for three to four years or longer with proper care.
How many eggs do Silverudd hens lay a day?
Silverudd hens, including Blue Isbars, typically lay one egg per day while actively laying.
This rate can vary slightly depending on individual birds and environmental factors.
Most produce four or five (sometimes six) eggs per week in the summer and slightly fewer in the winter.
Is The Isbar Silverudd Blue A Breed?
Yes, the Isbar Silverudd Blue, often simply referred to as the Blue Isbar or Silverudd Blue, is a recognized breed.
It is part of the broader Isbar breed family developed by Martin Silverudd in Sweden.
The primary distinguishing feature of Silverudd Blue is its ability to lay blue and green-tinted eggs, making it a sought-after breed among poultry enthusiasts.
Blue Isbar (Silverudd Blue) Chicken Breed: Final Thoughts
The Silverudd Blue, often referred to as the Blue Isbar or Silverudd’s Blue, is a captivating and distinctive breed of chicken known for its striking blue plumage and its ability to lay eggs in various shades of blue and green.
They are unique and beloved by chicken keepers for their unique egg colors, beautiful plumage, friendly personalities, and heritage.
Preserving and promoting the Silverudd Blue is important for maintaining genetic diversity in poultry breeds.
Breeders and enthusiasts are dedicated to preserving and improving this breed for future generations.