General Information

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

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.

Leghorn eggs

Leghorn chick

Leghorn juveniles

Leghorn hen

Leghorn rooster

For more info on Leghorns and their owners' and breeders' experiences, see our breed discussion here:


Latest reviews

Pros: Good layers.
Cons: Not at all friendly, flighty, extremely aggressive to other chickens.
They are good layers but not good pets. Very flighty and shy. Mine wouldn't stop picking on each other. They had a very strict pecking order and sometimes killed each other because of it.
Pros: Great layers, funny
Cons: skittish, a bit aggressive
I have 3 leghorns, all hens and while they do the laying job nicely they aren't the most friendly and some nip if you're not careful. I love them a lot but it might just be me but mine got sick a lot especially in the winter? overall good breed
Purchase Price
Purchase Date
Pros: Leg horns are GREAT layers.
Cons: They are very skittish and flighty.
I LOVE these chickens! I have 3 of them! They are amazing layers and lay almost every day. They have pretty big white eggs.

though is that they are skittish. I can barely catch mine!:lau
Purchase Price
$5 dollars a chick.
Purchase Date


and treat yourself to a couple of d'Anvers or Seramas or other tiny bantam to run in the same hutches as the Coturnix.
If anyone asks tell them they are domestic quail. People in Japan, Egypt and Russia, Denmark and even Sweden grow their own Coturnix on balconies in crowded high rises. They are personable, smart and lay lots of tasty eggs.
I have 3 of these ladies and they lay large white eggs every single day. Mine aren't as flighty as I expected, and act just like my other breeds. I wouldn't have a flock without them !
They aren't that bad. And part of their flightyness is what let all leghorns escape a dog attack, while two sexlinks got captured. First at your feet first to run. Love them though!
Just get them from feed stores or hatcheries directly.
excellent layers of white eggs. i have 9 of them myself. 6 of them came from meyer hatchery in ohio. great birds. got them in march of 2011, started laying in june.
They sure lay eggs but flighty doesn't begin to cover their behavior. Chicken Little was a leghorn. The adolescent roos are enough to make you stop raising chickens and are worth even less as a meat bird.
The hatchery leghorns and the ones that schools hatch in the classroom are just psychologically crazy. But they certainly do lay eggs! If I were to raise these, I would find a good breeder and hope his were improved varieties.
I know my Leghorn is unusual as the standard goes but she is great. She is from hatchery stock even tho that is not where I got her. She is my flock leader and is a great leader at that. She is never mean or pushy until its the last few scraps of treats left on the ground and then sometimes she will growl at the others to let them know they had enough treats for now =) She also lets the hens that are lower in the order hang near her and they don't get bullied that way because none of the other chickens will charge or mess with anyone sitting near her. She will jump in my lap for scratch/mealworms and tolerate being held....will be a little bummed when I lose her to say the least....hope my next flock leader is as good as her.
I have two White Leghorn/American Game cross roosters that are the most gentle roosters I've ever owned. I figured they'd really be flighty.
My hens are the same way, don't mind coming around while I am out and about, and, they will come up to the door and peck at the door for treats..! I can pick them up, my white leghorn is easier to handle, the brown not as easy, but will put up with it. They like to announce their egg, but mine aren't real talkative, the brown will chatter while I'm out there. Love the egg production!
So glad to hear about yours...I have whites...they are SO talkative! You can't beat them for their eggs. The hens are great, I've had a bit of trouble with the roos, they're TOO noisy! Having chickens is such a rewarding experience isn't it!
Mine isn't too noisy. I think she is my most quiet hen actually. The other two (RIR and Barnevelder) are always talking to the rooster and squawking after they lay. She is kinda flighty, but not unfriendly. Plus she lays big fat eggs! At least one a day. ;) I got two from her the other day. She's a keeper. I'm incubating two of her eggs right now. They will be RIR leghorn mix. She is white.
You can't beat them for eggs! My oldest one, Estee, isn't noisy at all. If she thinks I have food she follows me like a puppy. My other 2, Trickcy and Micky gripe ALL the time! If I don't let them out of their run to free range soon enough they just kick up a fit!
Recently lost my favorite, Lily, to illness, and my best layer, Roma, to a fox. They were good girls too.
Love my girls though. I have several different breeds, mostly bantams, but the Leghorns are regular whites.
Thank you for an objective review and one based on much experience. This kind of review is very helpful to those of us with limited experience with the different breeds.
My experience with Leghorns is one pet aged hen and the cockererls my mother would raise 100 at a time. That was nearly 60 years ago but I have vivid memories of butcher day.
chickensforbackyards.com will ship as few as three. The site says to call for a shipping quote to areas other than the continental US. So they aren't saying they won't ship to Canada, although it may cost you a couple of limbs! Let me know how it works out for you...

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