Legbar

General Information

Breed Purpose
Dual Purpose
Comb
Single
Broodiness
Seldom
Egg Productivity
Medium
Egg Size
Medium
Egg Color
blue
Breed Temperament
moderate
Breed Size
Large Fowl
4.jpg

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.

egg.png
Legbar egg

chicks.jpg
Legbar chicks

juv.jpg
Legbar juveniles

93b7a865_IMG_6675.jpeg
Legbar hen

700.jpg
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
  • Like
Reactions: CopperPhoenix

Latest reviews

Pros: Pretty
Sweet
Blue eggs
Cons: N/a
Got a pair of these as my starter flock, and am actively working to expand it. The Legbar is just the sweetest little bird! They stay nearby when foraging, lay blue eggs (which was my selling point), and are auto-sexing. I personally think they have the best-tasting eggs of all the eggs I have tried.
Purchase Price
15
Purchase Date
2017

Attachments

Pros: Friendly, Free Range Well.
Cons: Don’t lay in the winter.
I really like this breed. I got mine from a breeder. They are the silver color not the brown.

They lay very pretty blue and blue green eggs. There are the friendliest birds I have. Very sweet little personalities. Cute little crest. The rooster is a great watcher of the flock but very friendly to people.
Purchase Price
$10
Purchase Date
10/1/17

Attachments

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
Gift
Purchase Date
More than a year

Comments

Mine put themselves to bed at night. The first ones into the coop get the best roosting spot I suppose.
 
She is beautiful and she seems very relaxed and friendly. I have wanted Cream Legbars for a long time. Maybe someday.
 
Looks like you have a lovely girl there and a sweet pet. Please update when she starts laying. I also purchased two Cream Legbars from Meyers about the same time as you. They were both raised with lots of human exposure. One is very friendly while the other has been very fearful. In general, this breed is calm and sensible. They are "middle of the pack" as far as curiosity and foraging, and seem to be very kind to other birds. The topknot is a hoot.
 
I was glad to read your review about sweet Amy. These have been on my "wish list" for some time now, maybe next spring. I'm curious to see what her eggs will be like so please share pictures when they show up! Thanks for the review and the great pictures.
 
I have been interested in the CL for months. We want a lap flock. We are going to try them this fall. I have been hesitant since the leghorns we have had were touch me not's.
 
My two CCL are the friendliest of the bunch. At 2.5 mo they still like to hang out on my lap, and will jump up on my back (along with one of the Salmon Faverolles) if I'm bent over fussing with something in the coop. One of them is always the first out the door in the morning. So far I just love this breed and hope to always have some.
 
You started with one year olds from a large breeder so I wouldn't count on them being friendly as if they were raised and handled often. The eggs are the wrong size and wrong color, and you believe you bought birds with genetic problems and then give them a low rating!
 
I've been watching mine for a few weeks now. They are in with Leghorns. Feeding time they run away. Leghorns run to me. Thought that was strange. Hope they lay well or they are in the same situation as yours will be.
 
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. .
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
i have 2 that were give to me. if they live through the winter i will get them a rooster next spring
 
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.
 
Thanks for noting the Rees differences. I had debated giving them a try at some point.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
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.
 
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.
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.
 

Item information

Added by
ChicKat
Views
25,102
Comments
62
Reviews
25
Last update
Rating
4.52 star(s) 25 ratings

More in Chicken Breeds

Share this item

Top Bottom