Is the Leghorn the best

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by Yellowsnow, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Yellowsnow

    Yellowsnow Well-Known Member

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    Fowl Ever?

    Leghorns lay a bunch of eggs, are very beautifully shaped, and make great squab/fryers.

    Eat very little grain compared to a DP breed and come in many different colors.

    They feather and mature quickly.

    I've always admired the little birds and admit I have a weak spot for them. I like productive fowl, and Leghorns are very productive.

    You're not going to get a Roaster out of them, that's where a good DP or Old Meat bird would come in handy. But for someone who loves to grill like I do, the fryer birds are perfect size and tenderness.
     
  2. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    Only if you like skinny white chicks.
     
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  3. Yellowsnow

    Yellowsnow Well-Known Member

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    They come in other colors. :p
     
  4. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    I like diversity.
     
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  5. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    I think buff orpingtons are the sweetest bird and lay nice size eggs.
     
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  6. GTX63

    GTX63 Well-Known Member

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    First batch of leghorns we had would crack me up on a daily basis. There were so high strung they ran around like...well a chicken with their head cut off. Just a kooky bird that is fun to watch.
    They were also the earliest layers we've ever had. They were cranking out little eggs the size of robin eggs while my broody Buff and Lorpe just peered out and scowled.
     
  7. aart

    aart HOW do they DO that?

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    I can only think of two colors, white and brown.......that's not very 'many'. :)
    If I had more room I'd have a few tho.
     
  8. Yellowsnow

    Yellowsnow Well-Known Member

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    Black, white, silver, buff, light brown, dark brown, cuckoo, Mottled, and probably a few more I have missed. I wouldn't doubt somebody has blue and splash around somewhere. I'd have to look in the SOP to see which colors are recognized.

    Also come with a Single or Rose comb. Not sure how I missed that last night in the op.
     
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  9. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Red, Exchequer, Buff, Isabelle, and more, I'm sure.
     
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  10. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like my Leghorns! I want eggs, and big eggs, and a lot of them. I don't care really for eating chicken meat, but for OK for chicken soup and bone stock, and all you need for that is an older rooster or hen.

    Having said that, you have to love a flighty bird to love Leghorns. If they aren't flighty, I think you are looking at a bird that has recent forays into other genetics (I'm looking at you, Mille Fleurs!) I got some 55 Flowerys this year from Greenfire and they are essentially Leghorns. They are the WILDEST Leghorns I've ever had! They make the Brown Leghorns look like a stroll in the park. Very pretty, though, and can't wait for them to start laying to see how they do. Since they have been commercial layers, I expect good things from them. The ability to instantly see at hatch which are roosters and which are hens is very nice, too. I already offed 3/4 of the roosters when they were a few weeks old at decent feed savings because of it. I can kill them right out of the incubator because it seems mean . . .
     
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  11. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Years ago, I got several colors of leghorns from people who raised them for showing in the big chicken shows. They were all old show lines. As I remember, I got white ones, black ones, and red ones. They were a bit larger than hatchery leghorns, and they were calm. I could reach down and pick one up any time I wanted to. I could even set one on my shoulder and go walking around. That's how tame they were.

    Chickens that aren't bred to be tame don't make good show birds. That's one of many differences between show chickens and hatchery chickens.
     
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  12. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    They're by far my favorite! There are those hobbyists who hate them because they're 'flighty' - but not sure why people care so much if they're truly into production birds and not pet chickens. They're not supposed to be your friends. ;)

    We have mainly browns and whites. Someday I'd like to breed several varieties of the rarer types.
     
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  13. barnbilder

    barnbilder Well-Known Member

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    Not much more striking than the exchequers. Generally, the plain white ones will outperform all the others though. Number of eggs per year, age when they start laying, feed conversion, age when you can sex straight run birds, all make leghorns stand out. I've pulled the breasts out of the little cockerels, mighty fine eating, almost like quail. Though it's not big, they do put on meat at an early age. It seems like a lot of other breeds grow bone for the first three months and then start putting meat on it. (Outside of broiler breeds.) The leghorns have meat on their breasts a lot sooner than you'd think.
     
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  14. aart

    aart HOW do they DO that?

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    Huh, how 'bout that! Would be curious what the SOP recognizes.
    Not really surprising, I guess, with what some folks do with crossing/breeding/showing/etc.
    I'll try some white and browns someday....not keen on flighty tho...and my focus now is crossing for OE.
     
  15. Yellowsnow

    Yellowsnow Well-Known Member

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    My 2010 copy of the SOP lists:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    White
    Buff
    Black
    Silver
    Black Tailed REd
    Red
    Columbian
    Golden

    All listed as Single Comb except for the Silver, Black, Buff, White, and both Browns can have Rose COmb as well. I'd guess if more people bred the other colors and a breed group got together, they could get any color they have stabilized added.

    The breeder birds I have been around are not as flighty as the "Feed Store" leghorns.
     
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  16. Yellowsnow

    Yellowsnow Well-Known Member

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    The Exchequer Leghorn are beautiful. Very similar to the Silver Spangled Hamburgs.

    The Silver Leghorns are looking good as well. I might try to track down some breeders of the Silvers and try to get some hatching eggs.
     
  17. Yellowsnow

    Yellowsnow Well-Known Member

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    A Rose Comb leghorn in Golden Duckwing, ready to butcher by 15-16 weeks (16 to meet "Heritage" criteria for marketing), small boned, and less feed consumption... ;)

    Seems The wife needs to let me build some more chicken pens. :D
     
  18. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    When I used to have a lot of leghorns, I butchered a lot of cockerels at quail size or a little larger. Good eating! They are surprisingly meaty at that age!
     
  19. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

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    I've heard conflicting reports. Do any of the Leghorn breeds lay brown eggs? Or are they all white eggs?
     
  20. barnbilder

    barnbilder Well-Known Member

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    The big downside to leghorns. They lay white eggs. Might be able to cross them with something and get other color eggs, I believe there is a green egg leghorn composite breed out there, it's been discussed on here can't remember the name for the creation though. But it would take some very careful breeding to end up with reliable egg production and keep another color.

    The problem with white eggs is that if you sell eggs, nobody wants them. Everyone knows that white eggs come from a factory farm laboratory and only brown eggs come from a farm. Ha.