Chicken Breed Focus - Legbar

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    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 of Cambridge 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.

    Details:

    Detail Value
    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


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    Pic by @Papa Brooder

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    Pic by @Papa Brooder

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    Pic by @sunnydalefarms

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    Pic by @GaryDean26

    BYC Breed Reviews:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/legbar

    BYC Breed Discussions:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/509483/cream-legbars/0_30
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/459044/the-legbar-thread/0_30
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/713115/cream-legbar-working-group-standard-of-perfection/0_30

    Do you own Legbars? Are you a Legbar breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

    · What made you decide to get this breed?
    · Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
    · What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
    · Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!
     
    3 people like this.
  2. N F C

    N F C got coffee? Premium Member Project Manager

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    Looking forward to reading comments from members that have these.

    Thanks Sumi!
     
  3. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    Do we know if they are working to standardize the white legbar?
     
  4. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    I have eggs in the incubator currently, due 4/25 that I got from @duluthralphie and his beautiful birds
     
  5. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    I have two beautiful Legbars! Only for laying purposes though:)

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    As you can probably tell I uploaded more pics than necessary :D
     
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  6. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    I got my first quad of Legbars in december, and they have just started laying little blue eggs. [​IMG]
     
  7. N F C

    N F C got coffee? Premium Member Project Manager

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    Good looking birds & eggs!
     
  8. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Frozen Premium Member Project Manager

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    Here's my cream legbar, Enya...
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  9. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I purchased 2 Cream Legbar pullets from a breeder about 2 years ago, who got them from 2 separate breeders, so they (supposedly) represented 2 different lines.

    My purpose is for color variety in my egg basket and breeding.

    My CL lay/laid lovely, deeply hued blue-green eggs... when they lay/laid. They are not my most prolific layers. However their egg color was superior to the EE's I've had and even to the Isbar eggs, though those are really nice as well. (However Isbar is especially genetically temperamental in my area from too much inbreeding...thus I've gone to CLs for my blue coloring).

    My CLs took a long hiatus over this winter, and sadly, one was killed by a coon in December, so now I am down to the other one, which was a less thrifty bird, who hasn't come back to laying, or possibly is laying cream as I've seen her in the nest box but have seen no blue green eggs. (I may have mistaken the other's eggs for both birds, although I thought I was getting 2 blue).

    I will likely cull this remaining CL hen due to unthriftiness (even after additoinal care) and wrong egg color. That leads to two other thoughts. I do find my more designer bird types to be a bit less hardy, likely do to limited genetic lines. My CLs did seem very vulnerable to digestive issues which I think was lurking coccidia as they always seemed to rally on medicated feed but never showed frank symptoms of coccidiosis. Had I kept these longer, I might have tried the fermented feeds with them. Secondly, CL is rare enough and popular enough that there is lack of education about the breed with opportunity for misrepresentation. The lines may not always be pure (which may be the reason my CL may be laying cream eggs rather than the blue...though crested, she may be more of a Silver Legbar or simply mixed CL...though I've heard that you can have a non-blue throw back in the CL breed).

    Not one to give up, as I really do like the coloring of the CL eggs, I recently set 6 Cream Legbar eggs (purchased from a different breeder) which are now under a broody with hopes to hatch a nice batch of CLs (due April 23rd). A point here, CL are harder to find, and at times very hard to find making both chicks and eggs expensive.

    I do really like the autosexing of the CL breed and the fact that their barring lends itself nicely to sex linking (with the right rooster).

    To that goal, I have a really nice Barnevelder rooster. The Barney/CL cross creates olive egger sex linked chicks. The boys generally have noticeable head dots and greyish tone bodies (blurred barring) while the girls are typical wild type, dark chipmunks.

    Sadly last year I could only seem to hatch roosters (4 rehomed) leaving me with 2 pullets, both of whom met with untimely deaths (one from heat stroke, possibly dehydration from a lurking coccidia, possibly from weaker digestive genetics, and the other crushed during early chickhood). Sigh.

    So my luck with CL's has not been good...of course that is Murphy's Law...the one breed you desire most is the one that seems to have the misfortunes. However the fertile Barney/CL eggs I sold to customers did hatch some lovely olive egger pullets that lay a nice sage green.

    I do love the feather coloring of the CL/Barney olive egger cross. That combination produces a gorgeous black base with gold pencilling/lacing for truly stunning pullets. The males are a really nice barred brown/silver similar to the male CL. The crest appears to be dominant as all chicks were crested.

    I do find my CL's flightier like Leghorns, but not uncontrollable. The one hen left typically forgets where the coop is at night and roosts on a fence. She allows me to easily pick her up and put her in the coop with only a little mild squawking.

    They do have a big floppy Leghorn type comb, so that would need to be considered in cold climates. However, they have done well in my wet Oregon. Their partridging and naturally flightier nature makes them hawk savvy.

    Other than the digestive troubles my 2 have had, and the less than prolific laying (likely stemming from the digestive problems), they seem to be nice birds.

    Hopefully these eggs from a different line will prove hardier and advance me back into olive egger sexed linked chicks.

    LofMc


    CL at the bottom

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
    2 people like this.
  10. Ashdoes

    Ashdoes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had a nice flock of CL, 6 Hens and 2 Roos, and we hatched hundreds of eggs. The Hens are very sweet, and we never had a decline in egg production, even in winter. They were travelers, foraging all over the property, and only eating when they stopped in the barn to lay an egg. The Roos were the worst we ever had. Very mean, aggressive birds, often attacking my kids even running from across the property to do so. We were told by someone that bought hatching eggs from us that his Roos did the same thing, and like us, he culled them.
    I would definelty get Hens again, but no more of those Roos.
     

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