Other name(s): Suomalainen Maatiaiskana
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: Finland
History: The Finnish Landrace chicken was brought to Finland at the start of the Christian era, and has been adapting to the country’s climate since. At one time, it was very common amongst poultry keepers, but as imported fowl came to the area the breeds' popularity declined, and most pure blooded fowl where crossed with the imports. By the 1960’s, the Finnish Landrace was thought to be extinct, but birds where discovered in the 1970’s. Because the Finnish Landrace was well spread throughout Finland, the breed has certain lines (a group of birds breed in one location that has similar characteristics.) For example, the Hornoilainen is a Finnish Landrace from the village of Hornio. Other lines include the Piikkiöläinen, Alhon, Horniolainen, Saviaipaleen, Ilmajokelaine, Kiuruvetinen, Lindellin, littiläinen, Tyrnäväläinen, Jussilan, and Luumäkeläinen. Today, the Finnish Landrace is extremely rare. There is a conservation program for the breed, operated by the MTT Agrifood Research of Finland.
Current Uses: Breed Preservation
Appearance: The Finnish Landrace chicken varies in size and color. With each strain, specific characteristics and coloration will be more common. All of the strains have single combs and white earlobes. For most lines of Finnish fowl, the most common color is black. Weight varies, but a medium sized dual-purpose fowl is the ideal.
Average weight: N/A
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: The Finnish Landrace is a very good forager, and can find a good portion of its food. However, their diet should be supplemented with quality feed with grains such as barley and oats. Higher protein feed should be avoided.
Housing: Housing can be simple, but does require planning. You will need a coop that provides your birds with a safe place to escape the weather, night and day-time predators, and is well-drained, clean, ventilated, and comfortable. Wooden roosts should be provided for sleeping, and nesting boxes for egg laying.
Health issues: The Finnish Landrace chicken is very hardy. Health and climate issues are rarely a concern. However, the most common health ailments for the breed are Marek’s disease, and lime scale infestation. Rubbing oil on your roosters combs will help prevent frostbite and chapping during severely cold weather. To keep your birds healthy parasite control and treatment is necessary. Quality feed and clean housing is also an important step.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: The Finnish Landrace is active, but calm enough to tame. Hens take brooding very seriously, and make excellent mothers.Written by Jamie Clark