Breed Profile: Leghorn

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 18 July 2020

leghorn chickens foraging in chicken run

Leghorn

This chicken originates from The Port of Leghorn in Italy and arrived in Britain in the late 1800s in the white form followed by the brown. The Leghorns were one of the breeds used to create the modern battery hybrid layer as they are very productive birds and are able to adapt to all conditions.

HISTORY

  • Origin: Port of Leghorn, Italy
  • English Size: 2-3kg
  • British Size: 2.5-3.4kg
  • Rarity: Common
  • Purpose: Family Based Chickens – Dual purpose
  • Colour varieties include: golden duckwing, silver duckwing, partridge, brown, buff, exchequer, Columbian, pyle, white, black, blue, mottled, cuckoo, blue-red, lavender, red, crele and buff Columbian

EGG FACTS

  • Medium and White
  • 280 Eggs Average Annually – Capable of 320 Annually

FEATURES

They have white earlobes and yellow legs and the eye is red in all colours. The females have a double folded comb, a deep abdomen and a whipped tail. The eyes are prominent and the beak is short and stout. Earlobes are well defined and the wattles are long, thin and fine in texture. Their legs are long and featherless with four toes on the feet with a long straight back toe and the feathers on the body are soft and silky.

BACKYARD BEHAVIOUR

  • Hardy in Winter: Yes
  • Especially Docile: No
  • Personality: They are sprightly, alert birds and can be tamed but not enough to allow handling and prefer to remain rather aloof. They can be rather noisy and will roost in trees given the chance.

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Sources and further reading