- Breed Purpose:
- Egg Layer
- Climate Tolerance:
- All Climates
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly, Flighty, Bears confinement well, Noisy, Shy
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- White, light brown, dark brown, black, blue, buff, Columbian, buff Columbian, barred, exchequer and silver
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
- APA/ABA Class:
The Leghorn appears to derive from light breeds originating in rural Tuscany, though the origins are not clear. The name Leghorn was derived from Livorno, the Tuscan port from which the first birds were exported to North America. The date of the first exports is variously reported as 1828, "about 1830" and 1852. They were initially known as "Italians" and they were first referred to as "Leghorns" in 1865.
The Leghorn was included in the APA's Standard of Perfection in 1874, with three colours: black, white and brown (light and dark). Rose comb light and dark brown were added in 1883, and rose comb white in 1886. Single comb buff and silver followed in 1894, and red, black-tailed red, and Columbian in 1929. In 1981 rose comb black, buff, silver, and golden duckwing were also added.
The breed was first introduced to Britain from the United States in 1870, and from there re-exported to Italy. White Leghorns that had won first prize at the 1868 New York show were imported to Britain in 1870, and brown Leghorns from 1872. Pyle Leghorns were first bred in Britain in the 1880s; gold and silver duckwings originated there a few years later, from crosses with Phoenix or Japanese Yokohama birds. Buff Leghorns were first seen in Denmark in 1885, and in England in 1888.
A flighty breed, the Leghorn are popular today for their great egg production and also for exhibition.
For more info on Leghorns and their owners' and breeders' experiences, see our breed discussion here:
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Egg Layer
Climate Tolerance: All Climates
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: High
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: White
Flighty,Calm,Bears confinement well,Noisy,Shy
Breed Colors / Varieties:
white, light brown, dark brown, black, blue, buff, Columbian, buff Columbian, barred, exchequer and silver
I love Leghorns! They are great layers, beautiful birds, and if raised right very friendly. Leghorns are usually very flighty and scared, but when I raised mine from day old chicks they were/are friendly and love to be held. They lay nice tasty, white eggs almost every day, they get along well with other breeds of chickens and they are very funny and full of character.
Recent User Reviews
"Dark Brown Leghorn"
Pros - Flighty, active, energetic
Cons - sloooooow to lay, flighty.
We purchased 5 straight run Dark Brown Leghorns from a small hatchery. Two turned out to be very handsome males....but they were loud, crowing all the time! They were culled from our flock around 16 weeks old. The females were slowest to lay of all 6 breeds we purchased at same time. The first to lay did so around 38 weeks old. The next began to lay at around 46 weeks old. Maybe because daylight was waning, but we had supplemental light and all other breeds began to lay between 18-26 weeks old. Eggs were white, strong, well formed, but only around medium sized. Pullets, while flighty, had a generally docile disposition. Overall, we didn't care for this breed as much as some others, and sold them to make room for other breeds.
"Much better than expected!"
Pros - Pretty, proficient layers, active, predator resistant, interactive, good free-rangers.
Cons - None so far.
After many descriptions of the breed claimed Leghorns are flighty, I decided strongly against trying them. But lo and behold, we ended up with four this February! Might I add that I'm highly impressed? That squad of white (or dingy brown, since nothing stays snow white around here ) hens wins hearts easily with their tendency to greet each day with vigor, get into everything, and even allow themselves to be picked up for snuggles. Flighty, my foot! Alert, yes, but far from unfriendly. Looking forward to expanding our Leghorn collection in the future!