Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Breed Temperament:
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl

    The Legbar breed was the second autosexing chicken breed created in the early twentieth century by Reginald Crundall Punnett and Michael Pease at the Genetical Institute ofCambridge University (the other being the Cambar, which was created in 1929). The Legbar was created by crossing Barred Plymouth Rocks, Leghorns, Cambars, and in the case of the Cream Legbar, Araucanas. The Araucana blood in the Cream Legbar is reflected in its crest and blue to blue-green eggs.

    The aim of the breeding project was to create an autosexing utility breed with the focus on egg laying, where male and female day old chicks could easily be sexed by their down colour. To achieve this Punnet and Pease used a crossing programme with excellent egg layers, the Leghorn and the Barred Plymouth Rock. The Barred Plymouth Rock was used to introduce the sex-linked barring gene ('barring' (B)) into the Leghorn. By crossing Brown Leghorn and Barred Plymouth Rock the Gold Legbar was created and standardised in 1945. The Silver Legbar followed in 1951. It had been created by crossing the Gold Legbar, White Leghorn and Silver Cambar. The Cream Legbar were standardised in 1958 but nearly died out in the 1970's as blue eggs were not in demand any more. They were created by crossing Gold Legbar with White Leghorn and creme-coloured Araucanas. The Araucanas introduced the dilute creme gene ('inhibitor of gold' (ig)), as well as the crest and the blue eggs into this variety.

    Legbar egg

    Legbar chicks

    Legbar juveniles

    Legbar hen

    Legbar rooster

    For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1163832/chicken-breed-focus-legbar/0_30
  • 3d6e73c4_BeautifulRobin2.jpeg ff320ade_image.jpeg 93b7a865_IMG_6675.jpeg 0b52c52e_20151024_101135-1.jpeg 4.jpg juv.jpg egg.png chicks.jpg 700.jpg

Recent User Reviews

  1. janiedoe
    "A 5 stars"
    Pros - Calm, tame, easily handled, good forager
    Cons - Picked on in a mixed flock
    I have had two cream legbar hens and currently have only one. Both were at the bottom of the pecking order. They are so sweet. Floppy has slept out of the coop/run a few times as she disappeared and didn't return until the next morning. We live next to wooded areas and I know there are predators around but she always returned so I would say she is savvy. I would love to have more legbars. 20180710_174403.jpg 20180710_174403.jpg
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    More than a year
  2. SimplyLivinthatFarmLife
    "Cream Legbars"
    Pros - Very inquisitive, pretty eggs, easy keepers
    Cons - Flighty, quick runners
    I love my cream legbars!!! I am hopeful that I can hatch some soon.
  3. Enchanted1s
    "Love our Crested Cream Legbars"
    Pros - Beautiful, friendly, curious. Pretty blueish eggs.
    Cons - More expensive than other breeds.
    We LOVE our CCLB's! I keep reading all the posts about them being 'flighty'. I do not see that in ours - but they are our babies. Handled and cuddled from day 3. These were the first chickens that we chose ourselves. I only wish I could have afforded more than two. Once the first two matured, we purchased a male from a different breeder. At the time of this writing, he is only 9 weeks. Now HE is flighty! But, not the girls. Not sure if I have used enough characters for my review. I will add some pictures of our beautiful girls and our handsome young man.

    The girls started laying at 22 weeks. One of them gave us two double yolk eggs in her first week of laying!
    23Wks.Legbars.jpg 23Wks.LittleBit.jpg Cream.Legbars.jpg 8Wks.BlueBoy.jpg 6Wks.BlueBoy.jpg
    Purchase Price:
    $25 Pullets $10 Cockerel
    Purchase Date:
    27 Nov 2017 & 3 Apr 2018

User Comments

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  1. Chook to chook
    We loved that we knew we weren't getting a roo and were super excited about the blue eggs that were to come however, they seem to be a more sea foam greenish. She's a great layer but not the nicest bird. She's a bit skittish and a bully with the other girls from time to time. She won't put up much of a fight once caught but she'd prefer to be nearby at arms length. They were right about her being an excellent forager though. Her crest makes her distinguishable in our flock.
  2. ChicKat
    It's so nice to see my Cream Legbar "Robin" appear on the home page, in the 'reviews' band of BYC. She was hatched in 2012 from Greenfire's "C" line -- which were the high egg producers.

    Robin's a dream hen -- and is going to be 6-years-old this January. I'm amazed that she still is laying a couple eggs during the week at her age. She is a Legbar that lays the bluer end of the spectrum, unlike some Legbars. -- If you want a nice long-lived bird that is excellent for your BYC flock -- try to find a legbar from the more original or 'production' lines if you goal is a hardy, curious, friendly egg-layer.

    ETA, that's a pullet picture of her, but she's equally pretty now-a-days as a hen.
  3. dheltzel
    You really should. They can be a bit hard to find still, but a lot of breeders have them now, so they should get more common (and cheaper) with time.
  4. fatcatx
    Thanks for noting the Rees differences. I had debated giving them a try at some point.
  5. dheltzel
    Not all strains of legbars are the same temperment. I have 2 strains, an older strain that I got locally with poor cresting and more gold than cream. They are quite flighty, but excellent layers. The second strain is the Jill Rees strain straight from Greenfire. These are obviously show birds, bred to be calm and handleable. They are often underfoot in the pens and I can just pick them up like the Ameraucanas and Bielefelders. I have crossed the 2 and the calmness is definitely genetic, with the hybrids falling in between the 2 parent personalities.
    If you want a productive blue egg layer that has the calm personality of your DP's, try a pure Jill Rees Legbar pullet or 2. I think you will be amazed at the difference. I find the Rees birds to be very productive, more than my show Ameraucanas, and of course 100% sexable at hatch. They are my top recommendation for new chicken keepers.
      SnowKnitty likes this.
    1. SnowKnitty
      I also have hens from the Hale line and the Rees line. The Hale line has a completely different temperament and I can't gain their trust. The Rees hens are so comfortable around people they sometimes jump/fly up to meet my hand when they suspect I might have something edible for them. The only downside is that they are really aggressive about food and can peck quite hard! For that reason, I wouldn't recommend them around small children.
      SnowKnitty, Jan 16, 2018
      dheltzel likes this.
    2. dheltzel
      I have turkeys and they make any pecking by a chicken seem mild. I can't feed them bread by hand, they get too excited and bite me hard. They aren't aggressive so much as excited. It seems like all my breeds attack their food with "gusto". I would monitor small children with any poultry, and teach them to respect their beaks (and feet and wings). Even my very mild mannered cochin bantam hens have pecked me quite hard when there was good food involved.
      dheltzel, Jan 17, 2018
  6. cubalaya
    i have 2 that were give to me. if they live through the winter i will get them a rooster next spring
  7. PeterNaomiGray
    Our Amy is 7 months old now, and still a sweet, beautiful bird. We can see how CCLs got the "skittish" reputation, because when we approach Amy, she often freaks out a little, running away or flying over our heads. When we get down low, we can quickly grab her or get her into a corner. Once we pick her up, she immediately calms down and loves to be held. If you get a CCL, I wouldn't be put off by a little skittishness; just work with it and she'll probably respond to affection and gentleness.
    More and more, she comes to us on her own for lap time. Despite her lean build and thin, fragile-looking comb, she doesn't seem to have any problem with cold days, and we've had a few that dipped below 0 F. She hasn't started laying yet, but we're in no hurry, and we don't extend winter lighting in the coop.
    Amy is lively, smart, curious, athletic, and a lot of fun to have around. I'd gladly add more CCLs to our flock when we're ready for new chicks.
  8. Bocktobery 10
    I think you'll find you are happy with the results of boosting your egg color using your EE roo. I did that, and I'm very pleased with the results... a whole cornucopia of egg colors and various feather patterns! That said, I'm sorry that you've not found the legbars to be worth your money. I'm really happy with mine, and while they can get flighty at times- I've not experienced what you wrote about with mine. I've noticed mine are very street smart. The males get along really well together- no fighting, yet eager to protect the females. Perhaps you just weren't around them long enough when they were young to really bond with you or perhaps your CL chicks had some traumatic experiences with humans while young? I've found that helps if you coddle the chicks if you want your birds to be friendly- but not always does this work. I agree with the eggs being on the small side and are not so proficient as other breeds... however they never were known to be a proficient breed. I also agree that the roosters combs do freeze easily.
  9. animalgrl
    I had one CL who was my one of my favorites. Unfortunately we only had her about 6 months before she died from an impacted intestine. She was pretty and curious. While she wasn't particularly keen on being handled, she would often jump up on my lap to peck my jewelry or buttons, and almost always jumped up on my shoulder when I cleaned the run. I can't comment on laying ability, as she never laid (found out on necropsy she had no oviduct and no properly formed ovary) but personality wise, she was great. I would love to get a couple more CLs someday.
  10. ChicKat
    How unfortunate that you are having bad experiences with this breed.

    Most who have them love them. The frost-bit combs are a definite disadvantage in very cold climates, so your observations for people in ultra cold areas can help them with their view of the breed. Interesting that the egg color is one that will boost the color of your EE flock. Most likely you decided to give them a try based on comments in threads about CL here on BYC. sorry to hear that yours turned out to be lemons. .

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