Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter
The Leghorn Chicken comes from the Mediterranean area, and from the rural areas of Tuscany, Italy. Before becoming known as Leghorns, they were called ‘Italians’. In 1865 they were introduced to America and by 1870 they were introduced to the UK.
In Italy, 10 color varieties are recognized. Leghorn chickens usually have single combs, but in some countries, the rose combs are ‘allowed’, but not however in Italy. Even though the Leghorn is used quite a bit in a factory setting, they are considered today as a Heritage-Breed.
Heritage breeds are actually endangered chicken breeds. In order to support their conservation, and to recover chicken breeds, the Livestock Conservancy has defined heritage chickens as chickens that need to meet certain criteria to be classified.
Basically, they are free-ranging birds, they have natural mating procedures and grow slowly and naturally outdoors – no small and cramped confinement.
Leghorn Chicken | Breed Profile
|Country of origin:
|2.4–2.7 kg, Female: 2.0–2.3 kg
|Single Comb Red, Rose Comb Buff
|Egg production (annual):
|Single or rose
Characteristics Of The Leghorn Chicken
Birds from the Leghorn chicken breed are slender, muscular type birds A leghorn cock will weigh in at around 3.4 kg, hens around 2.5 kg, cockerels between 2.7 to 2.95 kg and pullets 2 to 2.25 kg.
For the bantam variety, the weight for cocks is around 1.02 kg, for hens 0.91 kg. These weights are according to the standards of the UK. The Leghorn will lay a large white egg, and average on around 280 eggs a year, sometimes even exceeding the 300 mark.
The Leghorn is not a great meat producer though. They are good flyers too and love to roost up in the tree. They don’t care a great deal about brooding. The Leghorn chicks are not hard to raise at all, growing and maturing quickly.
They can tolerate all climates. They have long yellow legs and their prominent eyes are red. Their feathers are soft and silky.
Although white Leghorn chickens are the most popular colour choice, there are other colours too in this chicken breed such as dark brown, light brown, black, buff, silver, Columbian, red, cuckoo, and red-tailed black.
Generally, they are a very healthy breed and can live to be around 9 to 10 years old. If you’ve ever heard of Foghorn Leghorn Chicken Hawk is the name of the Looney Tunes movies which depicted a fictional big Leghorn rooster!
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Behavior / Temperament
Leghorns can be rather noisy birds, enjoying roosting in trees as well. They are friendly, calm, noisy, and very active; shy humans.
The Leghorn chicken breed tends to be rather flighty and skittish and not all that interested in personally interacting with people, rather enjoying being left alone with their own kind.
They run extremely fast. A lot of chicken breeds will have a certain personality type and a lot has to do with the way a chicken is raised. If you do spend time interacting with them from when they are very young, it is possible to end up with more personable friendly chickens.
Leghorns love foraging and free-ranging and get most of their nutritional needs met just by their foraging. People have been heard to say that the Leghorn does not mind a confined space that much.
It’s got a kind of wildness to it, loving to roam and then come home to roost up in high places. Being excitable birds and a less domesticated type of bird with a penchant for wandering, they are not really ideal as a pet.
The Leghorn is not into being cuddled you could say. They cover great distances in their constant search for food. Experts of the breed classify the Leghorns, as far as chicken breeds go, as the most dedicated of the chicken foragers in the world.
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The pros and cons of the Leghorn Chickens …
- Beautiful looking birds.
- Good foragers.
- Grows fast.
- Wonderful egg producers.
- Intelligent and active.
- Not broody, not such good mothers.
- Not hardy in winter.
- Not good for producing meat.
Is The Leghorn Chicken The Right Choice For You?
Yes, the Leghorn Chicken is a great choice for you. Why?
- It is a wonderful egg producer, laying eggs through the year.
- They grow and mature quickly.
- They are not aggressive.
- It’s a great forager, able to obtain most of its nutritional needs through foraging.
Leghorns are a joy to have in the backyard. White Leghorns are inclined to lay better than the brown Leghorns and are larger than the white Leghorn. Even though they are suited for the warmer type climates, they also do well in winter.
But in wintertime, you need to be mindful of their floppy, big combs and cover them well with Vaseline so as to prevent frostbite. If your intention is to breed Leghorn, you most probably want to buy an incubator, just because the Leghorn does not go broody; this has basically been bred out of them.
That’s why chicks will need to be artificially hatched. Sometimes this wonderful bird is overlooked when you compare it to magnificent-looking birds such as the Frizzles, the Polish, or the Silkies. But if you are interested in a steady supply of eggs, they stand in a league of their own!
How To Care For Leghorn Chicken?
If you have decided to raise Leghorn chickens, you need to know how to care for them. These chickens are not difficult to care for, but there are a few things that you need to do to keep them healthy and happy.
One of the most important things you need to do is provide them with a good diet. Leghorn chickens are known for being very active, so they will need a lot of food to maintain their energy levels. You should feed them a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. You can either purchase a commercial chicken feed or make your own at home.
Another important thing you need to do when learning how to care for Leghorn chickens is to make sure that they have plenty of water. These chickens are very active and will need a lot of water to stay hydrated. Therefore, you should provide them with a fresh water supply every day.
You also need to make sure that the chicken coop is clean and dry. Leghorn chickens are very susceptible to diseases, so keeping their living quarters clean is important. You should clean the chicken coop at least once a week using a disinfectant solution.
Finally, you need to provide your Leghorn chickens with plenty of exercises. These chickens are very active and will need plenty of space to run around and stretch their legs. Therefore, you should provide them with a large fenced area where they can run and play.
By following these tips, you will be able to care for Leghorn chickens successfully. These chickens are not difficult to care for, but there are a few things that you need to do to keep them healthy and happy. With a bit of effort, you can provide your Leghorn chickens with everything they need to live a long and healthy life.
FAQ: Leghorn Chicken
What are the best foods to feed Leghorn chickens?
A diet high in protein and low in fat is the best diet for Leghorn chickens. You can either purchase a commercial chicken feed or make your own at home.
How often should I clean the chicken coop?
You should clean the chicken coop at least once a week using a disinfectant solution.
What kind of exercise do Leghorn chickens need?
Leghorn chickens are very active and will need plenty of space to run around and stretch their legs. You should provide them with a large fenced area to run and play.
Are Leghorn chickens good egg layers?
Leghorn chickens are excellent egg layers and can lay up to 280 eggs per year.
Final Verdict: Leghorn Chicken
If you are looking for a chicken that is easy to care for and is an excellent egg layer, then the Leghorn chicken is a great choice. These chickens are not difficult to care for, but there are a few things that you need to do to keep them healthy and happy. With a little effort, you can provide your Leghorn chickens with everything they need to live a long and healthy life.
About Author (Pauline G. Carter)
Pauline G. Carter is a well-known pet blogger who has written about the world of pets for several years. She is passionate about pets, from cats and dogs to birds, reptiles, and poultry. Her blog, which is updated regularly, is filled with articles and guides on pet care, nutrition, and training. She also shares her experiences and observations on pet ownership, making her blog relatable and informative for pet lovers. She is a true animal advocate and is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Let’s Go …