Creating the Isbar (Silverudd’s Blue)
The Isbar (pronounced: “ice-bar”) was created by Martin Silverudd in Sweden, around the 1980’s. Actually, the Isbar was the name given to a breed created earlier than what we’ve come to know as the Isbar in the US, but we will leave that for later. Today they are known as Silverudd’s Blue (SB).
During the 1950-60’s, Siverudd created a number of interesting breeds. Perhaps the most successful was the Fifty-five Flowery Hen, a breed used in commercial egg flocks in Sweden for decades. However, it was Silverudd’s desire to create an auto-sexing bird that would lay a large number of uniquely colored eggs. While the FF accomplished the desired quantity of eggs and the benefits of auto-sexing, it did not lay a unique egg color. It was the Isbar that most closely accomplished that dream. As a tribute to Silverudd, the breed was recently renamed “Silverudd’s Blue” in honor of his efforts.
While we are not certain of the exact recipe, almost all sources agree that Silverudd used Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshires as the starting point. To get the egg color, he also imported some Cream Legbars from the UK. While this combination would explain a lot about the SB, we still wouldn’t have what we need for the blue variety. To that end, some Swedish sources suggest that it was the Australorps that added the necessary element. Silverudd was known to be fond of the breed and kept them on his farm. Unfortunately, Martin Silverudd’s health declined rapidly in the late 1980’s, and he was not able to finish his work with the breed. As such, there was a great deal of variance in the birds.
It is almost certain that the Isbar’s (SB’s) unfinished nature significantly contributed to the lack of broad adoption. While it was likely on its way to being the perfect expression of Silerudd’s aim to create and auto-sexing, colored-egg layer, it never quite made it. Because of the blue color patterns, the auto-sexing traits are nearly absent, but the charm of these birds far outweighs this inconvenience. The pedigree of the Isbar (SB) can certainly be seen in its qualities: an economical, hardy colored-egg layer of significant beauty. Those who choose to continue these efforts will certainly find they soon fall in love with this top-quality layer.
Strikingly colored in dark blue and with shimmering metallic hackles, the Isbar rooster is a treasure to behold. As with all “blue” chickens, our Isbars will come in Blue, Black and Splash. In addition to their good looks, Isbar hens lay an egg that is as unique as the man who created them: a khaki, sometimes speckled, green delight. No doubt Dr. Seuss would be pleased.
The Isbar is primarily a laying breed, efficient and low-maintenance:
- Rooster: 5-5.5lbs.
- Hen: 3-3.5lbs.
- Eggs: Khaki Green to green/blue; 50-60g
- Comb: Single
- Skin color: White
- Origin: Sweden
- Laying: 150-200/yr
We’ve raised Isbars here at Sunbird Farms for years and they are among the most thrifty and most prolific of all our layers. Our current birds are directly from Greenfire’s 2013 import. For more info, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org