Keeping Pet Chickens

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A Guide To Keeping Chickens At Home

Leghorn Chickens

August 21st, 2010 at 13:34

Leghorn Chickens Are Consistently Good Layers…

Leghorn Chickens, Appearance & Background

leghorn chickensLeghorn Chickens  originate from the Italian city of Livarno, (the German translation of the city is Leghorn). Although the development of the breeds various strains developed in many other countries. Initially the breed was known as Italians Chickens when they were first introduced to the US in the early 1800′s, but the name Leghorn got globally accepted later.

The white leghorn was imported to the UK from the USA in the late 1800′s shortly followed by the brown leghorn. White Leghorns are some of the most popular egg layers used commercially around the globe, but show standard true breeds are less common.

leghorn chicken show winnerIn exhibition standards, there are still extremes, for the UK the combs of the hens should be large and flop over, but in Europe & US the comb should be smaller and only slightly flop. There are also rose combs allowed.

The British Leghorns have small tails compared to the American spread tail and the German Dutch large full feathered tail. Colours are now diverse and most types are accepted.

Caring For Leghorns.

Leghorns are a breed of chicken who are agile flyers, if you are going to let them free range, you may have to consider wing clipping to prevent them from escaping. They also like to roost high in trees, so if you’re going to keep them in a run, it would be great to get a variety of trees within the run.

You may find that your leghorns are particularly noisy birds and you may end up getting complaints from your neighbours.

The chooks are also a bit nervy of humans, but they do settle down a bit once they’re familiar with the surroundings.

Leghorns do like to forage and if left to roam will feed themselves very well, but you should always compliment they’re diet with traditional corn and mash wich includes medication.

Egg Laying Leghorns & Broodiness.

If your main reason for keeping pet chickens is high egg production, then the leghorn is one of the best hens you can keep. Leghorns have been bred to produce a high yield of eggs and you’ll get on average 280 eggs a year from your birds. 

Part of the selective breeding has also meant that they hardly show signs of broodiness, giving an uninterrupted supply of eggs. But of course you’ll always hear stories from leghorn owners who state their birds are always broody and having chicks…

The birds are used widely by commercial egg producers and most of the chalky white eggs you’ll find in the stores are from these hens.

You won’t often hear me talking about keeping chickens for their meat on this site (I’d rather get my cooked chicken from the Supermarket!!) but leghorns are not a good bird to choose, if you are looking for birds for the table.

They start laying at about 18 weeks old and continue producing into old age.

If You’re Looking For A Hardy Hen With Great Egg Laying Qualities & Can Put Up With The Noise And Flightiness Then Leghorn Chickens Are For You…

Here’s a few facts about the leghorn…

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11 Responses to “Leghorn Chickens”

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  11. Sylvester Says:

    Where others will say their breed of chicken is the king of chickens, I say the white Leghorn is the queen. Our white Leghorn is certainly the queen of our flock. She is graceful, polite to the bantams, and will not tolerate bullying even if she is half the size of other standard breeds. Not flighty, she respects fence barriers, aloof but friendly to humans, always foraging, and because she is an easily seen bright white she seeks safe snoozing shelters under bushes, lean-to’s or the pen. She’s always alert, chases off stray cats, and will sound a barnyard alert if the Cooper’s hawk hangs around too long. She can give 6-7 snowy white large eggs per week in the warm months. She takes a break during her winter moults before beginning laying again in the warmer spring. The Leghorn is a breed to be respected if not totally adored.

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