Leghorn chickens come from Italy, but there are numerous varieties that you can find throughout the world and they are very common in the US.
Many of the sub-varieties come from the US, Denmark, and England. Even if there are multiple types of Leghorn Chickens, the original ones are known as a Mediterranean chicken breed and they are very efficient foragers, not to mention very active.
Leghorn Chickens Facts
Although there are many types of Leghorn chickens, they all tend to be of similar size. Full-grown Leghorn roosters weigh around 3.4 kg, or 7.5 lbs, whereas hens will weigh in around 2.5 kg or 5.5lbs.
They are smaller than many of the larger chicken breeds but are incredible layers, producing many large white eggs each year.
Normally, the Leghorn hens will lay roughly 280 eggs every year and sometime that can go up to 320 depending on the situation. Every Leghorn Chickens needs around 125 grams of food every day.
Although many believe the Leghorn breed is not a good dual-purpose chicken, we beg to differ. We have a lot of personal history with the breed, growing up on a farm where we raised Leghorns exclusively. Each year we purchased a dozen for egg production and around 75 roosters for meat and the meat was lean and tasted incredible. They are a bit smaller in size compared to other dual-purpose chickens, but there is still a lot of meat there and we easily filled the freezer.
Although they take a bit longer to finish (for butchering) than traditional meat breeds like Red Rangers, the meat was excellent and so worth the wait. A leghorn will finish in a minimum of about 6 months.
There are multiple color varieties, so you will find black Leghorn Chickens, silver Leghorn Chickens or even brown Leghorn Chickens!
Leghorn Chicken Varieties And Types
When it comes to types of Leghorn Chickens, you usually have 2 main varieties to focus on. There are the Large Fowl and the Bantam variety.
Large Fowl includes the single comb, rose comb, black tailed red, and red tailed red Leghorn Chickens.
In the case of the Bantam variety, you have the Black, White, Dark Brown, Light Brown, Buff and Silver varieties. These are very interesting because not only are there many differences in color, but even the overall size can differ a little bit.
As for egg color – regardless of Leghorn type/color (silver, brown etc.) or variety (Bantam or Large Fowl) they will lay white eggs.
Other Things To Know About Leghorns
Most Leghorn Chickens are not sitters, they are prolific layers and unlike other chickens, they don’t really go broody. That being said, they mature and grow very fast, which is something to keep in mind. Another interesting thing about Leghorn Chickens is that they feather up fast and are super easy to rear. They love to roam!
Another thing to note about Leghorn Chickens is that they have a large comb. It’s a very important characteristic that a lot of Leghorns have, regardless of which type we are talking about.
Unlike other breeds, Leghorns can be very noisy, and they will try to fly to or roost in trees if you leave them alone.
Leghorn roosters, like roosters of nearly any breed, like to fight with one another. Keep that in mind if you are getting them as a breeder or for meat. If you see one with blood anywhere on it, remove it from the flock until it heals or stops bleeding. Left in the flock, a bloodied chicken can get pecked to death in short order!
We still have Leghorns and thoroughly enjoy them because they are such great laying hens. But just make sure to clip their wings or they’ll explore wherever they have access to.
More facts about Leghorns can be found on Wikipedia. Also, there are several great books specifically about the breed which can be found here.
Where To Buy Leghorn Chickens
- Farm Store – Leghorns are often sold at your local farm store. And unlike a few years ago, chicks are available nearly year round now.
- Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp – Many social media sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace will advertise farm animals. Some farmers sell their chickens once they reach adulthood. However, make sure that the chickens are laying well or if he/she is trying to get rid of their older or sick hens. Having said that, we’ve gotten some great chicks and chickens off of Craigslist.
- Online – People are also buying chicks online and this can be a lot of fun if you haven’t tried it before! Sites like Amazon have them or other poultry companies like McMurray Hatchery.
- Auction – Some livestock auctions sell chickens and you may find some Leghorns there as well. But beware it can be a place where people sell sick or older chickens that no longer produce.
Although there are lots of variations, Leghorn Chickens are rather similar to one another, and they will impress you with their unique look and lifestyle. They are easy to raise, very curious and some of the best layers and foragers out there.
Sure, they can also be assertive and noisy, but that’s the nature of many chicken breeds anyway. At the end of the day, the Leghorn Chickens stand out as a phenomenal breed of chicken and well worth looking into if you’re looking for a top egg laying breed. And in our opinion, it’s also a great dual purpose chicken breed as well!
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Chickening!