Legbar

Posted

Pros: History, Popularity, Rare, Blue Egg Color, Cresting, Autosexing, Beauty, Size, Character

Cons: Price, Availability, Winter Production, No APA standards, No USA breeders club

We are just getting started out but are really excited about this breed.   We got week old chicks from all three of the Greenfire Farms  bloods that were imported from the UK.  We look forward to network with other breeders and are happy to answer anyone's questions about the breed.  We are currently preparing a display for the Fancy Feathers Poultry Show in New Braunfels, TX on March 10 to introduce and educate the public to the Cream Legbar.

 

This breed was developed by Prof. Punnett (who developed Punnett squares) in the 1920's & 1930's as part of the Cambridge University breeding  program.  It is an autosexing breed which means the male and female can easily be distinguished at birth by color and they breed true generation after generation.      This breed also is know to be a good layer of sky blue eggs.  They are good foragers, medium sized, and a really pretty bird making them one of the all-around best backyard chicken breeds to keep.

Posted

Pros: unique, blue eggs, calm and inquisitive

Cons: none so far

I acquired my first pair of Cream Legbars, Baby & Boa, soon after their hatch date of March 19 and they are growing ino some pretty little birds! The best part about them is their nature. They are calm, not flighty, and very inquisitive, When we take them out of their brooder box they just hang out with us, mill around a bit, but do not go far & do not object to being picked up. They are also quite curious about anything we are doing, or writing, or typing, & sometimes calmly watch us. They enjoy perching in their box & are not content on the ground. They also seem to hang out together like buddies and are often seen seperate from the other chicks. As they are feathering, they are gaining a beautiful checkering pattern, and Baby has already developed a well-defined crest! I became interested in this breed for their blue-egg laying capabilities, so this is yet to come, but their personalities are astounding! Their personalities actually remind me of the few pure Araucanas that we have- very friendly and personable birds. They have a few new family members from hatching eggs, and maybe more to come.

Legbar
Description:

This breed was created from the Barred Rock, Brown Leghorn and Araucana chickens. However, simply crossing these three breeds will not give you a Cream Legbar and there was a lot of work which went into the original project in the 1930s. Currently there are few pure Cream Legbars about and the novelty of blue chicken eggs has caused commercial producers (in the UK anyway) to produce hybrids from this breed to provide larger and more plentiful blue eggs for the premium egg sales market. Males are firm and muscular bird with an alert and perky carriage, a wedge shaped body, broad at the shoulders tapering to the rear. A long flat back, prominent breast with straight keel, the wings are large carried close to the body. The tail is held at 45° from the line of the back and is moderately furnished. The head is fine with a strong beak and large single comb, straight and erect, five to seven even spikes with broad bases. Smooth face, well developed pendant ear-lobes, long and thin wattles. Long well feathered neck. Strong clean and round shanks, four toes evenly spaced. The breed is yellow skinned. The females have more salmon/orange on them, with a colourful breast, bright red comb and a dark spotty crest which, in a really good example, resembles a close-fitting hat. The earlobes of both sexes should be pale blue as this denotes egg colour in many breeds of chicken. The male should have as little brown or salmon on him as possible and the female should have grey/cream neck hackles. If hatched at early in the year they will come into lay around 20 weeks but if hatched later than April will be affected by the reducing daylight and will not lay until after the following winter solstice. Egg picture shows Cream Legbar eggs hatching in incubator with other eggs for contrast.

Details:
DetailValue
Breed PurposeEgg Layer
CombSingle
BroodinessSeldom
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ColorBlue/Green
Breed TemperamentFlighty,Noisy
Breed Colors/VarietiesThere are three varieties of Legbar. Gold, Silver, Cream. The Gold and Silver are types of Leghorn and lay cream/white eggs. They are quite different to the CREAM LEGBAR which is an autosexing blue-egg layer.
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
APA/ABA Class
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Egg Layer
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Seldom
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: Blue/Green

Breed Temperament:

Flighty,Noisy

Breed Colors / Varieties:

There are three varieties of Legbar. Gold, Silver, Cream. The Gold and Silver are types of Leghorn and lay cream/white eggs. They are quite different to the CREAM LEGBAR which is an autosexing blue-egg layer.

Breed Details:

Cream Legbars are a fairly noisy breed and have voices which sound very like the Araucana which contributed it's egg colour gene. They tend to be nervous and flighty and in recent times have been bred more for their looks than their productivity, leading to medium-large eggs in the second year but only about 180 or so eggs at best. Some opinions are that they are not good winter layers though I have found that their period off lay for winter is fairly short though they tend to take quite lengthy breaks between laying clutches. They are known as non-broody, which is useful, and I have seen no problems resulting from winter temperatures in England down to -9 deg celsius or high summer temperatures in a heat-wave. Although large fowl, they are one of the more compact breeds of chicken with the females being considerably smaller than the males. The eggshells should ideally be sky blue, though some will produce olive or green eggs perhaps as a result of outcrossing. The blue eggshells differ from Araucana shells in that Araucanas should be blue all the way through the shell, whereas the cream legbar eggshell is blue outside but white inside. I have found that they are content when free ranging but dislike confinement. The males are easily tamed and respond to bribery with treats like most breeds, but can become aggressive, particularly in the breeding season. My experience of the male bird is that he will attempt a courtship ritual, always offer the best food to the hens, and do little damage to the hens when treading. Apart from the blue egg colour, the most important fact is the autosexing nature of this bird. Good Cream Legbars are sexable as soon as the fluff dries on the chicks, enabling culling of males to be carried out (if desired) straight from the incubator. Female chicks have clear stripes down their bodies whereas the males have blurred markings and a pale yellow head spot. Females may have a vestigial or no head spot at all. My experience has been that a chick may occasionally hatch which seems to be unclear as to sex and these always turn out to be males. The three stripey chicks in the picture are females. The others are Cream legbar/Light Sussex crosses. By three weeks old, the orange brown chest and the little crest is apparent on the female birds, whereas the males feather clearly grey/barred at this time. It can be a benefit to keep one or two males in the brooder box as they are bolder and will help to boost the confidence of the female chicks if you are trying to make them more tame and easy to handle. It is difficult to source sky-blue eggs for hatching the pure breed as it is currently very fashionable and there are plenty of counterfeits and crosses sold as pure Cream Legbar.

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