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Legbar

Average User Rating:
3.4/5,
  • Breed Purpose:
    Egg Layer
    Comb:
    Single
    Broodiness:
    Seldom
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    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 Size:
    Large Fowl
    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.
  • 62231d1c_Blaze__Lilly.jpeg

  • 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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    Rooster
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    Hen
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    Egg
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    Chick
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    Adolescent
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Recent User Reviews

  1. allpeepedout
    2/5,
    "Mixed feelings on hatchery stock"
    Pros - Adorable chicks, good layer of good-sized blue egg, calm as adult, integrate well
    Cons - Seem slow-witted, overpriced as novelty
    I got two of these chicks from a hatchery last year, looking for backyard layers of colored eggs who would be productive for a number of years. I liked the breeds used to develop Legbars. I got two pullets, super-cute, one very friendly and seemingly "typey" and the other more flighty and slightly darker. Unfortunately, the sweetest one died due to an unknown internal injury, according to the vet. The second has calmed down as she has matured and turned out to be a good layer of relatively large blue eggs, very round as per expectations. I was surprised at how small these birds are, about the same as my leghorns, but pleased because I wanted strictly layers for feed efficiency. I would not purchase these again from a hatchery because of pricing and find that my easter eggers fill the bill very well for colored eggs. But obtaining them from a breeder may well be worthwhile and I would not discourage anyone from giving them a try. My sample of two is not much to go on. They add a lot aesthetically to a mixed flock and mine turned out to be a surprisingly good layer of gorgeous blue eggs.
    Overall:
    2.5
    Purchase Price:
    35.00
    Purchase Date:
    2015-06-16
  2. Squamate Farmer
    1/5,
    "Not my kind of chicken"
    Pros - Cool egg color
    Cons - Small, flighty, unable to fend for themselves
    I really thought I'd like these guys, but the sad truth is that I do not. The egg color is pretty cool, but that's where my interest ends. Perhaps mine are defective, but they're pretty useless on the whole. They never follow the flock into the pen for the night, they have zero ability to watch for predators, they don't grow big enough to be worth the effort for the pot and in general they're little more than useless yard ornaments. Sadly, even my other chickens do not care for them.

    Perhaps I'm too utilitarian, but I need a bird that can forage, take care of itself and who has the good sense to put itself up for the night. The odd straggler here and there, ok, no problem, but these...I was chasing these idiot birds all over the yard every night trying to get them to safety. Definitely not dual purpose. Definitely not self-reliant. Definitely not smart. The autosexing is a nice feature, but they just don't body up enough to bother caponizing them and you can't give away spare roos.

    If you have a secure neighborhood backyard and don't mind a free range flock, legbar hens will make you some pretty eggs. If you're more of the homesteader mindset, don't waste your time, these are little more than hungry pets.
    Overall:
    0.5
    sueiris likes this.
  3. jackcooper
    4/5,
    "brilliant bird and a good layer"
    Pros - nice blue eggs
    Cons - none
    I have had 2 of these birds for a month now and they do nothing but lay. I have had an egg every day from these and they are stunning:yiipchick
    Overall:
    4.5

User Comments

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  1. allpeepedout
    An update to my review: This morning, I found my one surviving Legbar hen inexpicably dead on the coop floor at only age 1.5, no signs of injury. I noticed she molted late, that her comb was pale, and that both my deceased Legbars seemed thin. She had been wormed and had free access to commericial chicken feed. So I would only consider buying this breed again from a breeder with proven vigorous stock. These were pricey chicks, both dead at at 6 mos. and 1.5 years. I have other hatchery birds, my first flock, still going strong at age 6 and laying.
  2. Candy442
    I have not experienced any issues with the two CCLs that I have. We recently acquired a rooster from someone else who is very docile. We have him in with three white leghorn hens who are very good at foraging and going in at night. He follows along. Our CL hen is bonded with our Biele rooster who also is very docile, but in a different pen. Eventually we will put her in with our CCL boy so we can hatch some chicks from them. Both of the CL/CCLs have learned wariness and foraging from the other flock mates. They are nice birds and we get large blue eggs from our hen. We can't wait to hatch some Sapphires :)
  3. RumAndCoconuts
    Wow, nothing could be further from the truth for my cream legbars. Mine are always up in the roosts at night. Love to forage and equal to my sussex they are the most friendly birds I have. Any of my cream legbars and legbar crosses will be the first to jump on my lap if I sit down. I can't think of a negative about this breed. I also have bielefelders, Black copper marans, Americauna, Wyandotte and sussex so I have a few to compare with.
    it's a shame your line brought you such a negative experience.
  4. Squamate Farmer
    Omaeve, they were raised with the flock as month old chicks in the spring, their useless continued throughout the summer and into the fall.

    They were breeder, not hatchery stock. They were too simple, they went to freezer camp.
  5. allpeepedout
    Sorry to hear that. I hope they get with the program and work out for you eventually. I have two pullets, not laying yet. One started out fearful but is now okay to handle.To me, they seem somewhat under-reactive and unobservant, if anything, which would not make them good free-rangers. Mine do forage actively in a grassy pen and put themselves to bed. I understood them to be layers, not dual purpose, with a mature weight of only 5 lbs according to Meyer. Would you mind saying where you got your birds? Is egg production good?
  6. omaeve
    New chickens right rarely integrate with the older flock also chickens need to be kept in their coop for a solid week before being allowed to free range a light to come home to encourages them to come to the right place it's just like dumping you in New York City and expecting you to find your way home

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