Father Silverudd Has a Chicken…

(Isbars in our Store)

We have toyed with the idea for a long time and now it’s finally happened.  Sunbird Farms is proud to offer the wonderful Blue Isbar to our friends and family.  This fantastic breed is a great addition to our laying flock.  After much deliberation, we decided to wrap up our Cream Legbar program.  They are beautiful birds, and we’ve retained a few hens, but fanciers have done such a great job with them that they no longer need our efforts.   Greenfire was the original importer of the Blue Isbar a few years ago, and at that time they estimated that fewer than 100 of these magnificent birds existed in the world.  Their number have certainly climbed, but the Blue Isbar remains a rarity and worthy of preservation.  Recently Greenfire decided to move on from the Blue Isbar, and we were lucky enough to purchase a couple of additional hens that were hand selected for their breeding program.  We are really excited about this opportunity and are thrilled to be part of the few that are preserving this unique breed.   

The Isbar was created by Martin Silverudd, a catholic monk from Sweden.  During the 1950′s and 60′s, Father  Siverudd created a number of interesting breeds, one of which was the Isbar.  While a few varieties exist, the blue is perhaps the most beautiful of them all.  It was Father Silverudd’s desire to create an auto-sexing bird that would lay a large number of uniquely colored eggs.  The Isbar was the actualization of this dream.  Strikingly colored in dark blue and with shimmering metallic hackles, the blue Isbar rooster is a treasure to behold.  In addition to their good looks, the Isbar hens lay an egg that is as unique as the man who created them, a khaki green, sometimes speckled delight.  Because of the blue color patterns, the auto-sexing traits may be nearly completely absent, but the charm of these birds far outweighs this inconvenience.  We want to thank Greenfire for their work and research with this breed and are excited to carry on the preservation of the blue Isbar.

Breda, FBCM and Blue Isbar eggs.

Breda, FBCM and Blue Isbar eggs.

Rhodebar

What do you get when you cross an American treasure like the heritage Rhode Island Red, with a British bombshell like the now nearly extinct Brussbar? You might get the ultimate backyard chicken. The Rhodebar is a striking beauty, with its richness of colors and dynamic barring. Not only is this bird a prolific egg-layer, but it dresses out well too. Even more amazing, the Rhodebar is auto-sexing, meaning the chicks can be identified by sex, at birth. These birds are truly amazing and an absolute gift for the small poultry enthusiast. Our birds come from the Greenfire lines, and include both heritage and production lines of the Rhode Island Red, combining strong depth of color and traditional hardiness with outstanding laying abilities.  We will also be adding some fantastic heritage Rhode Island Reds to our pens in the coming months thanks to our friend Mr. Fogle.  He has some truly amazing birds that can be seen in this post.  We are considering outcrossing our Rhodebars to with these lines to create a unique line of Rhodebars from Sunbird Farms.  Stay tuned for more on that development.  We currently have a limited number of Rhodebar pairs available.

Cream Legbar

The Cream Legbar in a auto-sexing breed that resulted from a cross between the Brown Leghorn, Barred Plymouth Rock, and likely the Araucana, which allows this bird to lay a beautiful sky-blue egg.

In the first quarter of the 19th century, a plant collector named Clarence Elliott from Stow-in-the-Wolds in Gloucestershire returned  from his travels in Patagonia, South America.  He brought back three hens and a cockerel, but unfortunately the cockerel did not survive. These “blue egged-fowl of Chile” (Araucana) were also crested, and many were rumpless.  Elliott’s remaining hens traveled to Cambridge University where Professor R.C. Punnett was studying poultry genetics and helped create the Cream Legbar.

The Cream Legbar belongs to a group of breeds known as Autosexing Breeds, which means that the offspring can be sexed on day one.  Cockerels will have a small white dot behind their heads, while the pullets will have strong “chipmunk” markings.

We are very excited to have attained some juveniles that will be part of our little farm, with a look to Spring for hatching eggs and chicks!  Stay tuned.

For more info on the Cream Legbar, you can read the Greenfire Farms website.