The breed leghorn chicken mainly originated in Italy. It comes in Mediterranean class. Leghorn is one of the best egg producing breeds. The breed exported from Italy to America in the mid of 1828. some varieties developed in America and Europe. It is a very active breed but rarely show broodiness.
Leghorn has used to enhance the egg productivity of other strains.
White Leghorn is the most popular variety of Leghorn. White is the first known variety. It is the Egg purpose breed or also known as prolific Egg layers.
It comes in both single and Rose Comb. There is eight variety of leghorn which is as follows:
- Single comb White
- Rose comb White
- Single comb Brown
- Rose comb Brown
- Single comb Buff
- Rose comb Buff
- Single comb Silver
- Single Comb Black
the single comb and rose comb varieties both are the same in shape and color the only difference is comb.
In my opinion single comb, black looks beautiful in all the varieties of leghorns.
Facts and Productivity of Leghorn Chicken
|Name of Breed|| Leghorn |
|Other Name of Breed|| Livorno, livornese|
|Disposition|| Very Active |
Single comb White
Rose comb White
Single comb Brown
Rose comb Brown
Single comb Buff
Rose comb Buff
Single comb Silver
Single comb Black.
|Comb type||Single or Rose comb|
|Cock weight||2.5 kg to 2.7 kg (5.8 lbs to 6 lbs).|
|Cockrel weight||2.1 kg (4.8 lbs)|
|Hen weight||2 kg to 2.2 kg (4.4 lbs to 4.8 lbs).|
|Pullet weight||1.8 kg (3.9 lbs)|
|Egg capacity per year||290-300 eggs|
|Age at first Egg (days)||112-120|
|Egg weight||52-54 g|
|Survivability % upto 6 weeks||99|
Characteristics of Leghorn Chicken
Leghorns are active and very energetic and have the ability to fly on the tree. The best egg layer in Mediterranean class. It is the small size breed but gives large size eggs. Foraging ability in leghorn is quietly good in large areas.
White Leghorn is commercially used for eggs purpose on a large scale. The feed they eat is very low and mature early as compared to other breeds. It is considered as the most profitable breed which gives excellent returns. The only disadvantage of the breed is its small size.
It is further classified in soft feather- light categories.
Appearance of leghorn chicken
Leghorns has eight varieties of single and rose comb. The single comb is vertical upright with five to six tip or red in color, and the rose comb is either tapered in shape or red in color.
The ear lobes are in oval shape or white in color. The wattles are long and equal and round from the bottom or red in color in both the single or red comb variety.
The hen appearance is beautiful compared to cock.
Shanks and toes are yellow with no feathers. The beak is small, curved or yellow in color. The tail is long, inclined and well spread.
The shape is medium, the breast is full or round in shape. Eyes are red in color. The neck is medium and arched.
The average standard weight of cock ranges between 2.5 kg to 2.7 kg (5.8 lbs to 6 lbs).
The average standard weight of Hen ranges between 2 kg to 2.2 kg (4.4 lbs to 4.8 lbs).
Egg Production of Leghorn chicken
Single comb leghorn is used commercially for Hybrid egg production on a large scale.
Generally, leghorn hen starts laying eggs in 16 weeks, they give large size eggs. it matures early or lay egg continuously up to 72 weeks. Normally they give 290 to 300 eggs in a year. Some hens give more than 300 egg in a year.
At the first egg, the weight of the hen noted approximately 1.7 kg ± 100 g. it lays full white color eggs. Weight of the first egg is at least 54 g.
The cost of raring leghorns is very low and they are the most profitable breed for eggs either it is on free range or on large scale battery cage commercial poultry farm.
Sufficient Space requirement is the key part of laying eggs. The age of hen in a layer house should be above 17 weeks. 2 sqft (square feet) per hen is the sufficient space for laying eggs in both large or small scale.
House should be clean and disinfected, proper light at night and well ventilated for the fresh air circulation.
For the large scale commercial leghorn farming, battery cage system is one of the best for egg purpose in my opinion. And for small scale leghorn farming, free range is quite good.
Special care and management
- Birds are susceptible to viral and bacterial disease. So prior vaccination is better than cure. follow the proper vaccination schedule.
- Don’t overcrowd; manage leghorns according to space for better productivity.
- Leghorn is a good egg laying breed, for the good egg production the hen requires healthy feed. Provide them quality feed. The feed should be packed with a proper amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
- For the better results deworming the leghorn at the interval of every eight weeks. Debeaking at the time.
Why choose leghorn ?
Is leghorn good for your farm ?
- Leghorns is a prolific egg layer. 300 eggs per year are very good to figure, it shows the productivity of leghorns.
- It Matures early, small in size but gives large size eggs.
- Leghorn is one of the most profitable breeds which eats less. The raising cost of the leghorn is half in comparison to raising other breeds.
- Very active with good foraging ability.
- The leghorn cock can be used for mating to enhance the egg-laying capacity of other breeds through cross-breeding.