Saturday, May 18Food Security Matters

White Leghorn Chicken Breed Profile and Characteristics

White Leghorn chickens are great for backyard flocks – they are a robust and active breed that lays lots of large white eggs. Their cheerful nature and chipper personalities will keep you entertained for hours.

If you’re considering adding White Leghorns to your backyard flock, you should know a few things about this breed. This article covers key information about the breed, its physical characteristics, history, origin, personality, and temperament. You’ll also learn about White Leghorn noise level and egg production.

white-leghorn
White Leghorn

We hope this introduction to White Leghorn chickens gives you all the information you need to decide if they’re the right choice for your flock. Read on to learn more about this wonderful breed!

What is a White Leghorn Chicken?

White Leghorn chickens are a breed of domesticated poultry originating in Tuscany, Italy. They are a type of lightweight chicken known for their high egg production and are the source of most commercial egg-laying hens. White Leghorns are known for their white feathers and single comb. They have slender and slightly smaller figures than other breeds, and their feathers often have a greyish tinge. White Leghorns are active, curious animals with an alert and active nature, making them ideal for free-range farming. They are hardy birds and can survive hot climates and colder temperatures. As egg layers, they produce a high-quality number of eggs. On average, a White Leghorn hen can lay up to 280 white eggs per year.

History and Origin

The White Leghorn chicken is a breed of chicken originally bred in Tuscany, Italy, in the 1800s. The bird’s plumage is entirely white and its’ egg-production capabilities made it popular outside of Italy. It soon became one of the most common breeds of chickens in the United States, and the White Leghorn continues to be popular among poultry farmers. The bird is noted for its fluffy feathers and its small size, and is renowned for its high egg-laying capacity, sometimes producing over 300 eggs a year. It is also known for its relatively high meat-to-bone ratio, making it a popular choice of chicken.

White Leghorn Chicken Personality

White Leghorn chickens are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are generally curious and quite active, often entertaining themselves by exploring their surroundings and seeking out your attention. These birds are alert and can make good watchdogs, making them a great addition to nearly any backyard. They are known for their daily vocalizations, their comical facial expressions, and their strong flock mentality. They require plenty of space to roam and will also enjoy a few hours of free range each day.

Physical Characteristics of White Leghorn

White Leghorn chickens are a medium-sized breed known for their production of white eggs. They possess a large, upright comb and small wattles. The white plumage of these chickens helps to reflect heat from the sun, and the breed is quite hardy and active. Additionally, White Leghorns are more vigorous and alert than other breeds and are well-suited for free-range poultry farms. Though small in stature, these chickens have a high rate of egg production and are known for their ability to lay large, white eggs.

This type of hen has very marked peculiarities that differ from other laying birds. Among the characteristics of the Leghorn hen that we can highlight, the following can be listed:

  • They have white plumage all over their body.
  • Its tail feathers are large, very long, and developed, this can best be seen in the rooster.
  • Its head is medium size and elongated in shape.
  • His chest stands out very easily from his body, it is wide and round, with a horizontal bearing.
  • Medium-sized crest, starting at the beginning of the beak, and serrated with 5 notches.
  • Its beak is short, yellow, and slightly curved.
  • Its legs are of a yellow tone that is very easy to distinguish.
  • They have an average weight of 3 kg for males and 2.5 kg for females.
  • Their eggs are completely white in their shell.

When observing the Leghorn hen, you can see that it has an excellent body balance and great presence, both in females and males, having a stylized bearing in the different parts of the body. In addition, the Americans have considered the tail of this bird a sign of beauty and a sign of a good egg producer.

Temperament

White Leghorn chickens are known to be quite active and active birds. They are often described as friendly, curious, and daring. These social birds are also quite vocal and can be quite loud at times. They are usually friendly towards humans and make good pets, however, they are not considered to be the best birds for families with young children as they can be easily startled and may become aggressive when handled too roughly. White Leghorns are also known for their high egg production rates and can lay up to 250 eggs a year.

Noise Level

White Leghorn chickens are known to be fairly vocal, making a range of distinct sounds from cheerful chirps to loud cackles. This makes them an excellent choice for people who want to keep backyard chickens for their auditory entertainment. White Leghorns are notably noisier than other breeds and can often be heard from a great distance, so those living in areas with noise restrictions would be wise to research local regulations before keeping White Leghorns.

Egg Production

White Leghorn chickens are known for their prolific egg-laying capabilities. These chickens can produce up to 300 eggs per year, with eggs reaching an average weight of 55 grams. White eggs are popular for their large size, thick shells, and exceptionally white yolks. White Leghorns are particularly suited for commercial egg production and generally start laying eggs earlier than other breeds.

Common Questions About Leghorn Chicken

Why are chickens called Leghorns?

The origins of the Leghorn are not clear; it appears to derive from light breeds originating in rural Tuscany. The name comes from Leghorn, the traditional anglicization of Livorno, the Tuscan port from which the first birds were exported to North America.

Are Leghorn chickens friendly?

As the best egg layer, they’re generally friendly, though they can be noisy and a bit aggressive at times. Leghorns are good layers of white eggs, laying an average of 280 per year and sometimes reaching 300–320.

What is Leghorn chicken good for?

In more recent times this breed has excelled in backyards and small homesteads. Whilst each color variety of Leghorn Chicken will lay a good amount of eggs, it is the white Leghorn that is the superstar of the family. She will lay for many years at the rate of 4-6 eggs each week.

Are Leghorn chickens used for meat or eggs?

Their large size makes them good dual-purpose chickens for meat and egg production.

Do all Leghorns lay white eggs?

Leghorn chickens come in a variety of colors, most notably white, brown, and buff. All Leghorns lay white eggs.

How many years do Leghorns lay eggs?

A hybrid chicken will lay for 2-3 years and will lay about 300 eggs per year. A Leghorn chicken will lay for about 4-6 years and lay 280 eggs per year.

Are Leghorns broody?

White Leghorn hens lay more eggs than just about any other chickens, and they rarely go broody. If you want to raise white leghorn chicks from eggs, then, you’ll have to use an incubator or slip fertilized eggs under a brooding hen of another breed.

Do Leghorns stop laying in winter?

Chickens naturally stop laying eggs during the winter because their body needs to rest. It’s a personal decision whether you want to force your hens to continue laying during this time.

When should Leghorns start laying?

You can expect them to begin laying between 4 and 1/2 and 5 months of age. Most of the white-shell eggs you see at the supermarket were laid by Leghorn hens

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