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Welcome to the Ice Age Farmer wiki!

The purpose of this wiki is to act as a shared resource for our community as we map a path forward to prosperity, build resilient, self-sufficient communities, and share knowledge in the Grand Solar Minimum.

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Featured Article

Icelandic Chickens

The Story of Icelandic Chickens

Icelandic chickens originated with the settlement of Iceland in the tenth century by the Norse, who brought their farmstead chickens with them. (In Iceland they are known as Íslenska landnámshænan or “Icelandic chicken of the settlers.”) Over the centuries, selection favored breeders capable of feeding themselves on Icelandic smallholdings, and hens with reliable mothering skills. The result was a landrace of active, naturally healthy fowl adapted to harsh conditions, on the small side (mature cocks weigh 4½ to 5¼ pounds; hens, 3 to 3½ pounds), with good egg production, even in winter. (A landrace is a group of domesticated stock selected for utilitarian traits only—not to conform to specific breed standards, such as for color, pattern, or comb style.)

For a thousand years, the only chickens in Iceland were of this robust landrace. But the 1930s brought importations of strains of Leghorns for more commercial egg and chicken production. Inevitably, those chickens were crossed with the natives—the pure landrace was in danger of being lost. Efforts to conserve the native population began in the 1970s. The success of those efforts was followed by importation of these genetically priceless birds into other countries, including the United States.