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The Leghorn Chicken is a fantastic chicken especially if the production of eggs is your priority

Originally, these lovely birds were known as Italians, but their name was changed to Leghorns over time.

Asides from exploring the Leghorn’s egg-laying ability and determining if it’s a suitable fit for your flock, this article will go into its history, temperament, and disposition.

So keep reading to find out more about this beautiful bird that lays a lot of eggs.

Leghorn Closeup

Overview

Leghorn
Beginner Friendly:No.
Lifespan:5+ years.
Weight:Hens (5lb) Roosters (8lb).
Color:White, brown, black and more.
Egg Production:4+ per week.
Egg Color:White.
Known For Broodiness:No.
Good With Children:No.
Cost of Chicken:$3+ per chick.

Background

The Leghorn’s precise origins are unclear. The Leghorn was developed from a number of tiny landrace chicken breeds in the Tuscany area of Italy.

Leghorn is the anglicization of the Italian word Livorno. Leghorns were originally shipped to the United States in 1828 or thereabouts from Livorno, an Italian port city. It is unknown what happened to these early birds.

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Leghorns were imported to the United States by Captain Gates. These birds were the forerunners of today’s Leghorns when he docked at Mystic Harbor, Connecticut.

The white Leghorn won the New York exhibition in 1868 after considerable breed refinement (including breeding for a rose comb) in the United States, and the Leghorns were finally sent to the United Kingdom about 1870.

The English didn’t like the Leghorn’s petite body, so they crossed it with the Minorca to create a more robust frame, making it more of a dual-purpose breed. Despite this, the Leghorn remains a frail bird that is unsuitable for eating.

Around 1910, these crosses found their way back to the United States, where their bigger size made them more attractive to the burgeoning chicken business.

Soon after, Leghorn lovers were separated into two camps: those who admired the bird in its original state and those who prioritised output above everything else.

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The distinction exists to this day, with just a few individual breeders preserving the original Leghorn lineages. Today, the great majority of Leghorns are bred for use as industrial hens.

Appearance 

Folks are usually surprised to learn that the Leghorn comes in a variety of colours; white is the colour that most people associate with the Leghorn.

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They have either a single comb or a rose comb, which is a shocking fact! The rose combs were developed in the United States to withstand the hard winters. The hard winters of the northern regions were no match for the enormous single combs. The huge floppy combs are the most obvious sign of this breed!

They have red wattles and a single or rose comb; their white earlobes indicate that they deposit white eggs.

The beak is yellow, and the eyes are orange/red. They have yellow skin and legs, as well as four toes on their feet.

Except for that solitary comb, which gives the bird a little ludicrous aspect, the entire appearance may be characterised as long, sleek, and aerodynamic.

Leghorns Hen

Standard

In 1874, the Leghorn family became the founding members of the American Poultry Association.

Mediterranean class, standard or bantam, clean legged, single, or rose comb are the classifications.

The Italian Association recognises ten standard variations, however rose combs are not included.

1874 – black, brown, and white single comb

1883 – light and dark brown rose comb

1886 – white rose comb

1889 – red and black-tailed red Colombian single comb

1894 – buff and silver single comb

1981 – buff, silver, gold duckwing, and black rose comb

The normal bird weighs 712 pounds for males and 5-6 pounds for females. Male bantams weigh 1kg, while females weigh 0.9kg.

As usual, there is a minor disparity in weights across each country’s many organisations.

Silver Rooster Leghorn Chicken

Disposition and Temperament

If given the opportunity to roam, the Leghorn is a smart and clever bird that will locate most of its own food.

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They are a foraging bird that is industrious, clever, and energetic. They can fly well and will roost in trees if given the opportunity. They’re a little loud, so they’re not ideal for an urban backyard.

Although they may endure confinement, make sure they have plenty of space and things to do since they are high-energy birds that become bored rapidly. Many Leghorn lines are not flighty, but they do maintain away from human interaction. They have a reputation for being loud and highly agitated, though this varies from strain to strain.

Because not all are created the same, it’s difficult to generalise in a breed with so many diverse kinds. The best approach to predict how your chicks will grow up is to meet their parents if possible or inquire about their disposition from the vendor.

The chicks will get more tolerant of people if you touch them regularly, but don’t expect them to become lap chickens.

Egg Laying And Health Issues

The Leghorn hen is a popular choice among industrial poultry producers. She’ll lay between 280 and 320 eggs every year! This corresponds to four or more eggs every week; she is a prolific egg producer!

They’re also said to lay until their third or fourth year.

She lays white shelled eggs that weigh around 55g (2 oz.) apiece. As she grows older, her eggs develop bigger, and by the conclusion of her laying cycle, they may be extra-large.

Leghorns are bred to lay rather than brood, thus it’s an uncommon hen who becomes broody. They don’t make good mothers since they don’t set properly, so you’ll have to turn on the incubator if you want chicks.

When chicks do hatch, they feather up swiftly and mature swiftly.

The Leghorn is a vigorous and energetic hen with no ‘common’ health problems.

You may need a container of Vaseline in the winter to avoid frostbitten combs and wattles due to their huge and floppy combs. Alternatively, the rose comb variations are available.

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White Leghorn Chicken

Coop Setup

You must provide 4 square feet of coop area for each Leghorn.

While they are little, they are highly active and need plenty of room to roam about since they are a restless bird.

The typical 8 inches of roosting area per chicken will enough for these ladies. It will provide them with ample room to sprawl out in the summer and cuddle up in the winter.

Finally, nesting boxes of 12 by 12 inches will be required. It’s big enough for them to move about in, but not big enough for double bunking. Two chickens in a nesting box may seem charming, but it generally results in mucky or damaged eggs.

Is the Leghorn the right choice for you?

In general, the Leghorn is not the chicken breed to choose if you want a loving and sociable chicken. While some individuals claim that their pet Leghorn is soft and pleasant, the great majority of individuals disagree.

They develope as wild landrace birds and have kept some of their independence.

The Leghorn is the hen for you if you want a regular and productive layer who doesn’t consume a much. The feed-to-egg ratio is one of the greatest in the industry, particularly if the chickens are allowed to free-range.

Because the Leghorn may be timid, flighty, or shy, it is not advisable to leave little children alone with them.

Conclusion

The Leghorn is a sleek and well-designed bird with lovely proportions.

Because of its egg-laying capability, this bird has unfortunately become one of the most exploited in the poultry business.

If chicken owners can rehome these industrial females in backyard flocks, they will have a second shot at life. These birds are said to be wonderful animals by those who have re-homed them. It will serve you well as a backyard hen, laying a large number of eggs for a little amount of food.

They may not be too cuddly and are hardly a “pet,” but they can keep you company and give hours of chicken TV.

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