Four Lines in the US

Icelandic lines in the US

The four Icelandic lines in the US are originated from four importations between 1997 and 2012 by Sigrid Throdarson, Lyle Behl and Vala Andrèsdòttir Withrow. These lines include Sigrid, Behl, Hlèsey and Husatoftir.  
Sigrid's 1997 import included birds from Steiner II and Syōstu Fossar. These 2 farms are only about 1\2 hour drive apart. In 1997 there were only a few hens and at least 13 roosters left at Syōstu Fossar after the group was transferred to Strive II. The 1998 Sigrid import was from Steiner II. 

The Behl line was imported from Kolbrun Juliusdottir. This flock is more typical of the farmstead type of bird. 

Vala also had two imports, first in 2011 from Hlèsey and then in 2012 from Hùsatòftir. The Hlèsey line seem to show more similarities to the RALA birds where the Hùsatòftir line resembles the old farmstead type. 

Preservation Efforts

The preservation of the Icelandic chicken started in 1971 when Àndrés Filippusson, a graduate from the Agricultural University at Hvanneyri, believed the breed was about to become extinct in Iceland. Àndrés' efforts began with an old hen, Toppa from the old landrace at Styōisfjõrôur and a rooster from Vopnafjörōur. This flock was by far the largest number of birds used to start the RALA flock at Keldum.  

  • For 10 years, from 1975 to 1985 Dr Stefàn Aôalsteinsson with his assistant Àndrés Filippusson, kept a pure Icelandic flock at RALA, the Agricultural Research Center at Keldum. 

  • In 1985 the RALA chickens were placed in Hvanneyri for a few years. 

  • Then the flock was moved to Syōstu Fossar for 2 to 3 years. (A few birds were left at Syōstu Fossar but died out around the year 2000) 

  • In 1991 they were permanently placed at Steiner II and are still there to this day (2016).  

The RALA flock was started by Dr Stefan Aôalsteinsson and his assistant Andrès for the protection and study of this breed. The collection contained the purest Icelandic chicken stock from all of Iceland. Today many farms have flocks built on RALA birds while others are still raising birds they had before the project.  

Many of Iceland's farms now have some degree of contamination.  As a result the ERL was formed by the owners of Hlèsey, Hùsatòftir and Kolsstaõir dedicated to the preservation of this breed.
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