Hens were an important feature of the medieval household and onwards. Both the meat and eggs were used and eggshells are often found at archaeological sites.
The rooster was considered to protect the household from lightning since it always sought out the highest place on the farm. By crowing, it also drove away the powers of evil and darkness. This is one of the reasons why one can often see a rooster sitting in the highest tower of a church.
In the olden days, it was not uncommon for the hens to live inside the cottage during the winter so they were protected from cold and predators.
In the 19th century, people realised how important light was for the hens’ egg-laying. That is why older hen houses are often characterised by their large windows.
Hedemora, Åbo and Bjurholm are some common native breeds of hen.