General information

Leggorn (chickens): breed description and characterization


Leggorn - a breed of chickens, reviews of which the owners of farms and household farms are extremely positive, have been bred in our country since the 1920s. This is a very unpretentious bird of the egg direction of productivity. Leggorn is grown not only in small farms, but also in large poultry farms.

Breed history

In the middle of the 19th century, very unpretentious chickens with white feathers were brought to the USA from Italy. Since they were delivered from the port of Livorno, the Americans called them in their own way - "leggorn." In addition to unpretentiousness and undemanding to the diet, these birds did not differ in any other particularly outstanding qualities. The long-term selection work carried out in the USA allowed to get chickens capable of carrying up to 300 eggs per year. Today it is one of the most common breeds in the world, which is considered to be American. In the United States, leggorny make up about 95% of the total livestock raised in the country. The photo below shows a typical modern leggorn rooster.

These chickens were introduced to Russia first in 1925-27, and then in 1946. Subsequently, they were used for breeding and producing highly productive crosses.

Chickens leggorn: description

Most often in the farms of our country leggorny are bred with a white feather. However, there are quite a lot of varieties of this bird's breed, so sometimes on the farms and poultry farms you can find brown, pale yellow, blue, and even black leggorn. At the moment there are about twenty variations of feather color of chickens of this breed. The main distinguishing features of all leggorn, without exception, include:

  • Bright red comb. In hens it hangs down on its side, in cockerels it is erect.
  • A neat head is medium in size and a long, rather thick neck.
  • Light bones and broad chest.
  • Dense plumage.
  • The tail, standing at an angle of 30-40 gr.

In young chickens, leggorn legs are yellow, in older individuals - white.


Leggorn is a breed of chickens, the reviews about which make it possible to speak of it as very unpretentious and productive, are bred mainly for the production of eggs. Too large birds in any case do not grow. The hen weighs about 1.5-2 kg, the cockerel - 2.3-2.6 kg. In terms of egg production, this breed is significantly superior to most other, more heavy.

The leggorn hen alone can carry up to 300 eggs a year. Of course, only when properly formulated diet and good conditions of detention. But in any case, less than 150-200 eggs per year, these chickens are rare. Their weight can be 56-58 grams. The egg shell color of chickens of this breed are white.

Leghorn meat is not diluted. However, after a decrease in egg production (usually not containing them for more than two years), the bird, of course, is slaughtered. Carcases of chickens of this breed are distinguished by white skin and have a rather attractive neat appearance - without dark hemp and cyanosis. At a young age, only extra leggie cockerels are slaughtered. Their skin has a natural yellowish tint.

There is a very interesting variety of chickens of this breed - dwarf leggorn. These are very small, but also highly productive birds. Laying dwarf leggorn weighs about 1.2-1.4 kg, cockerel - 1.4-1.7 kg. Egg production breed - 210-260 pcs. in year.


Leggorny belong to the early maturing breed of chickens and begin to sweep as early as 4.5-5.5 months. Males are very active and fecund. Therefore, it is not necessary to keep them in the household too much. These chickens do not have a brooding instinct. Fertility eggs - 95%. The yield of young stock - 88-92%. Chickens are born active, viable and begin to fledge by the age of two weeks.

Content Features

Leggorn is a breed of chickens, the feedback on which, therefore, is certainly positive. Since this bird does not differ in its large size, it is not necessary to build a spacious barn for it. The same goes for walking. It will be enough to fence a small area next to the poultry house with a wire net. As with most other breeds, perches, nests and feeders should be made for leggorn. The first ones are located at a height of about 80 cm from the floor, on the opposite side from the window. Nests can be nailed to the wall of the shed. It is best to arrange them at the level of the roosts and in close proximity to them.

The window in the barn should be required. Light and fresh air is necessary for chickens to have leggorn for good development and increased productivity. Of course, the barn should be kept clean. Leggorny - hardy bird, quite resistant to diseases. However, the lack of fresh air, the smell of ammonia, a large amount of feces, etc., can lead not only to a decrease in egg production, but also to an outbreak of an epidemic.

Cellular content

Normally tolerates home chicken leggorn and content in cages. In this case, you can save even more space. These chickens weigh very little, and therefore feel great, including on the net floor. Of course, you need to make it inclined and arrange a tray for receiving eggs outside the cage. The feeder and the drinker are usually hung on the door, and the distance between the rods is made so that the chicken can easily stick its head between them.

Feeding features

Food is given to chickens leggorn three times a day. In the mornings and evenings, you can put dry cereals (wheat, barley, etc.) in the feeders, with special commercial additives added to them, as well as a small amount of chalk and salt.

At lunch, make mashki. In the summer, they rub carrots, raw potatoes, beets, apples, and cut cabbage. Nettles and quinoa can also be added. Carrots and beet tops are considered very useful for chickens. If desired, you can also mix grated zucchini. Be sure to add a little bran to the mash. Meat and bone meal will not be superfluous.

Egg Incubation

Especially good is the homemade chicken of the leggorn breed, which is carried in the first year of detention On the second, productivity decreases slightly. Keep these chickens for more than two years, most owners of personal plots consider impractical. Therefore, one-year-old hens need to collect eggs and lay them for incubation. It is necessary to select only equal, without cracks and growths, average size.

The most popular white leggorn shell is almost transparent. Therefore, to identify the spoiled eggs of chickens of this breed with the help of an ovoscope will not be difficult. When radiating, first of all you should pay attention to the yolk and the air chamber. The first must be a whole. When turning a good egg, it slightly moves to the side and immediately returns to its place. The air chamber should be located at the blunt end. Those eggs in which it is strongly displaced are rejected.

Incubation is carried out in the usual manner. That is, the required temperature and humidity conditions are observed.

Chick care

Leggorn chicks hatch on day 21. In the incubator they are left until their fluff dries. Then the chicks are transplanted into the nursery. As the latter, you can use, for example, a large cardboard box.

In most cases, young leggorn chickens, like the chicks of any other breed, are fed with cottage cheese and boiled yolk. However, some poultry farmers have recently refused such a practice, considering such food for chickens, although very small, unnatural. Instead of eggs and cottage cheese, they advise feeding the chickens with the “Starting for Layers” feed specially designed for them. Since the chicks are eating very little, the purchase of a balanced meal, of course, will not cause any special expenses. You can also give chickens finely shredded corn, wheat and oatmeal.

In the first ten days, chicks are fed 5-6 times a day. By the month, the frequency of feedings is reduced to three times. From the age of four days, the chicks begin to give finely chopped greens, mixing it to the main feed. It is also very useful for small chickens to give a small egg shell. On the fifth day, you can begin to add a little chalk to the food.

Monthly chickens can already be given potatoes, carrots and beets. White leggorn chickens are not particularly capricious birds. But it is very important to follow the rules of the “menu” for chicks.

In particular, this concerns the diet of dwarf leggorn chickens. If there are too many proteins in the “menu,” the chicks will have their legs crooked and they will die.

When growing small chicks, it is very important to observe the correct temperature conditions. In the first five days chicks contain at t 30-35 gr. By two months of age, it is gradually reduced to 16-18 grams.

In the first 7 days of a chick's life, nurseries should be lit at least 20 hours a day. The following weeks - 18 hours. On the walking chicks can be released from the age of weeks, in a place protected from the sun and for a very short time. Chickens can be let out all day long, starting from the eighth week of life.

Care features

The laying hens of leggorn are contained with the obligatory observance of the following recommendations:

  • Humidity in the house should not be less than 60%. The lowest threshold is 45%. If the air in the chicken coop is too dry, the chickens will die. Of course, you can not allow a strong increase in humidity. Ventilation in the house, as already mentioned, is mandatory.
  • In the hens' feathers - especially if the barn is not too clean - parasites often infest. At the same time the bird begins to actively pull out feathers. Many owners of private plots put special containers with ashes in hen houses. However, specially developed preparations are considered to be a much more effective way of ridding chickens of parasites. They are simply added to the feed.
  • Do not allow excessive temperature drops in the house. This affects egg production. In addition, chickens can get sick. Despite good health, the bird does not like this breed and drafts.

The leggorn feather is thick enough, and therefore they are not too afraid of the cold. Heating in the barn is not necessary to arrange. However, it is also impossible to allow the temperature in the house to fall too low in winter. In order for the chickens to be warm, it is necessary to pave the floor with a thick layer of straw, hay and sawdust (about 40 cm). In the cold season, this litter will act as a natural heater. In it will begin to occur all sorts of biological processes, accompanied by the release of heat. The only thing is that you should ensure that there is no crust on top.

The cost of chickens and chickens

An incubation egg or leggorn chickens can be purchased from private owners or from a poultry farm that breeds this breed. These are actually very popular and common chickens. The price for them is therefore not too high. An incubation egg, for example, costs about 35 rubles. For chickens usually ask 60-70 rubles. for adult chickens - 300 p.

So, the conclusion from the above can be done as follows. Leggorn - chickens, the price of which is not too high - the breed is very good. It is beneficial to keep this bird because of high feed conversion, resilience and excellent egg production.

Breed leggorn: description

At the moment there are about 20 varieties of leggorn of different colors. However, most often on private farms and poultry farms this bird is bred with a white feather color. This variety is very productive, unpretentious and tolerates the Russian cold even in an unheated barn.

Leghorn chickens have the following distinguishing features:

  • wedge shaped body
  • a bright red leafy comb, erect in males and hanging on the side in chickens,
  • thin long neck
  • yellow lobes,
  • wide large wings
  • long legs, yellow in young and white in adult birds,
  • curved back,
  • bulging chest.

Since the breeding work with these chickens was continued in our time, in private households and factories, mostly leggorn-hybrids are now divorced. Derived, including the cross, does not reduce egg production in the second year from the beginning of the laying. At the moment it is the most popular among professional poultry farmers, as well as among lovers who breed poultry in their backyards, leggorn chickens. The photo below shows exactly this highly productive cross.

Quail, brown and Italian leggorn are also quite popular with homeowners. The latter are good in that they can withstand even the harshest conditions of detention. Poultry breeders and golden, black and white, striped, red, blue, yellow and even orange leggorn are bred. There are also varieties with a pinkish crest and tricolor.


Leggorn - chickens, from which you can get up to 300 pcs. eggs (an average of 180-200) per year. That is, each bird rushes about a day. The mass of one egg can reach 60 gr. The color of the shell, depending on the type of breed, is white, cream or brown. The hen usually weighs no more than 2.2 kg, the cockerel - 2.8. These birds eat very little, which basically determines the profitability of their breeding.

Well-developed reproductive abilities are also what distinguishes the leggorn hens. Characteristic of the breed in this regard is as follows:

  • egg fertility - 95%,
  • chick output is about 90%.

The young of these chickens grow very quickly and survive almost 100%. The bird may start sweeping as early as the age of 4.5 months.

Chickens leggorn: reviews

As already mentioned, this breed is very popular among Russian poultry farmers. Reviews about it from homeowners are excellent. Domestic poultry farmers praise both the high productivity of these chickens and their unpretentious keeping and feeding. Some owners of personal farms advise at least a couple of times a week to give this bird corn instead of wheat. Also experienced poultry farmers recommend feeding leggorn peas. This increases their egg production.

Arrangement of the house

Leggorn - chickens, the description of which was given a little higher, to the conditions of detention is completely undemanding. Caring for them is no different from caring for layers of any other breed. A shed can be built of concrete, bricks, old sleepers, etc. However, most often the poultry houses are made frame-shield. In such buildings, it is quite warm in winter even without additional heating, and in summer it is cool.

The floor in the barn is better to make wood. But you can pour and concrete. A layer of straw or sawdust is always put on top. In the event that it is thick enough (at least 40 cm), the chickens will begin to nestle well, including in the winter. The fact is that such a litter can work as a natural heater in the cold season. In the straw or sawdust begin to occur processes pererevaniya, accompanied by the release of heat.

A window is compulsorily arranged in the house. It is also worth making the simplest ventilation by making holes in opposite walls (in one - at the top, in the other - at the bottom). In winter, they can just cover something.

Next to the house is a large aviary. To fence the area for walking is best net-rabitsy. The gate in the aviary do from the yard. In the wall of the shed they arrange a closing manhole through which the leggorn hens themselves will go out on a walk. A photo of a suitable aviary with an aviary can be seen below.

Poultry equipment

In the barn for chickens should be placed nests, perches, feeders and drinkers. You also need to fence off a place for storing sacks of grain and for a baking table. Next to the feed is to decompose tablets from mice. Above the table are packed hooks for graters and other devices.

Nests are usually made of boards. The especially large chickens of the leggorn breed do not differ, and therefore a standard version with a wall width of 30 cm and a manhole of 20 cm can be used for them. Before entering the nest, a small stem should be equipped to prevent eggs from rolling out. A bed of hay or straw should be laid on the bottom.

Nests are usually stuffed on the wall of the shed at the level of accommodation of the roost. The latter make them poles with a diameter of about 40 mm. Perches are located at a height of 80 cm from the floor. Over the other poles do not place. Otherwise, the upper chickens will shit on the head overnight. Do not install perches and nests next to the window. Otherwise, the chickens will catch cold.

Leggorn feeders fit classic. That is, knocked out of two boards and having a letter V in cross section, with legs and a "spinner" on top. As drinking bowls, you can use the old low pots, cast iron, etc.

In the warm season, most of the day the bird should be outside. Leggorn - chickens (their description in this regard speaks for itself) are active and mobile. The owners should definitely give them the opportunity to walk and poke around in the ground in search of all sorts of worms and bugs. However, in winter this bird is usually not released from the shed (only during the thaw). Very good, if the grass grows on the walking. Если это просто ровная земляная площадка, хозяевам придется 1-2 раза в день подкидывать курочкам морковную ботву, лебеду, свекольные листья и т. д.

Минимальная высота ограждения вольера - полтора метра. Летать куры хоть и немного, но все же умеют. В вольере устанавливают парочку кормушек и несколько поилок.

Leghorn - hens unpretentious, including in relation to feeding. In the diet of birds of this breed should include grain (wheat is better), bran, vegetables, white bread, root crops, fruits. Also, be sure to give bone meal, chalk and some salt. A very good supplement will be a special purchased vitamin mixture for layers.

They feed adult leggorn three times a day. In the morning give the grain. Pour wheat in the feeders in such an amount that the hens completely eat it for half an hour. At lunch, the bird prepare mashanka. Carrots, potatoes (without sprouts), apples or pears, zucchini, beetroot, cucumbers, watermelon rinds, etc. are rubbed into a basin. Next, add a couple of bran mugs, some chalk, white bread and salt to the “salad”. Fill the mash with boiled water or broth, fish or meat. In the evening, hens are again given grain. You can mix into it a little granulated feed.


Since the nestling instinct of the hens of the leggorn is almost lost, chickens are usually artificially obtained. They are displayed in the incubator for 28-29 days. In the early days, the chicks are fed only with grated egg, curds and millet. Then in the diet injected greens and carrots. Then gradually begin to give and other root vegetables, vegetables, fruits, as well as wheat shredded.

Keep chickens away from adult birds. On the run, they can begin to produce already at the week of age (but only in warm weather). Of course, on top of the enclosure for the chicks should be covered with a reliable net. Otherwise, kids can drag magpies. You also need to ensure that cats or any other predatory animals cannot get into the aviary.

What you should know

In winter, when chickens do not walk, it is imperative to put small containers filled with small pebbles in the house. Leggorny will peck them up for better grinding of food in the goiter.

Also in the sheds often place troughs filled with ash. Taking in them the "baths" of the bird get rid of parasites.

Leggorn - chickens, pretty good tolerate cold. But they will only be carried in a warm enough shed. The air temperature in the house should not fall below 5-10 grams. Therefore, the litter should be arranged necessarily. To prevent the appearance in the barn drafts in both summer and winter is impossible in any case. Otherwise the bird will start to hurt, and its egg production will decrease.

As you can see, the chickens are leggorn, the photos and descriptions of which are presented in the article - the bird is unpretentious and very productive. To breed layers of this breed is completely easy. The most important thing is to arrange for them a large enough walking distance and feed well. In the diet of leggorn necessarily include foods that contain large amounts of protein.


Description of the Leghorn breed of chickens: the head is small in size, the crest is leaf-shaped, the cocks are erect, the hens collapse to the side. In young chickens, the eyes are dark orange in color, with age changing the color of the eyes to light yellow. Ear holes are white or blue, earrings are red.

The neck is elongated, not thick. Together with the body forms an elongated triangle. Wide breast and voluminous belly. Legs are thin, but strong. Juveniles are yellow, and adults are white. Plumage tightly pressed to the body. The tail is wide, has a slope of 45 degrees. See the photo of how the leggorn hens look like.

By coloring plumage are white, black, variegated, brown, golden, silver and others. Total more than 20 varieties. White Leghorn chickens are the most common in the world.

Breed features

The poultry farmers of both the huge complexes and the very small farms are happy to get Leggorn chickens. Breeding and subsequent maintenance of chickens carries economic benefits. The bird has positive properties that largely overlap some of the disadvantages.

  • Leggorny are non-aggressive, well accustomed to their owners, have a good-natured disposition,
  • They adapt well to conditions of detention and to climatic conditions. The Leghorn breed can be maintained both in the northern regions and in the southern ones. Russian winters do not affect high bird productivity.

Striped and motley leggorny

Striped motley leggorn was bred in the 80s at the Institute of breeding and genetics of farm animals in the Soviet Union. In the course of the directed selection, the specialists of the institute conducted a hard selection in the following areas: increased egg production, early puberty, weight of eggs and the appearance of chickens. Striped-motley leggorn were derived with the participation of genetic material from the experimental group of black-and-white Australorps.

As a result, striped and motley leggorn were obtained with the following characteristics:

  • Chicken eggs direction. 220 eggs are carried annually. The shell is white or cream colored, dense,
  • Quickly gaining weight. At the age of 150 days, young chickens weigh 1.7 kg. Adult chickens reach a mass of 2.1 kg, roosters 2.5 kg,
  • Sexual maturity at the striped-motley leggorn comes at the age of 165 days. Fertilization of eggs up to 95%, hatchability of chickens 80%, safety of young stock 95%,
  • Disease resistant
  • The carcass has an attractive presentation. What is very important for hens of colored breeds.

The selection work on the improvement and consolidation of the highly productive qualities of the striped and variegated leggorn continues.

Mini leggorny

Dwarf leggorny B-33 - a reduced copy of leggorn. Bred by Russian breeders. Today in demand all over the world. With miniature sizes: the weight of an adult chicken is on average 1.3 kg, of a rooster up to 1.5 kg, mini-leggorny have maintained their high productive indices.

Chickens dwarf leggorn have an egg direction. Laying hens produce up to 260 eggs per year, weighing about 60 g. White eggs with a dense shell. Chickens start feeding early, at the age of 4-4.5 months.

Leggornov B-33 is distinguished by a high percentage of young stock preservation - 95%.

Breed economically for breeding. Chickens are not pretentious in choosing food and consume it by 35% less than larger counterparts. But high-grade egg production requires high levels of protein and calcium in feed.

With a high degree of fertilization of eggs up to 98%, unfortunately, dwarf leggorn have completely lost the incubation instinct. Therefore, it is advisable to use the incubator in the household.

The breed of dwarf leggorn distinguishes the absence of aggression towards man and each other, a high level of adaptation and adaptation to Russian climatic conditions. On the breed, see the video:

Leghorn Spotted (Dalmatian)

Differ from conventional leggorn black and white color. The first chickens with such color appeared in 1904. They were considered an anomaly. However, they became the progenitors of the spotted leggorn, which no longer interbred with any breeds. Perhaps the genes of the black Minorca, with the participation of which the breed of leggorn was derived, had an effect. Chickens of spotted leggorn are good laying hens.


Loman Brown and Broken White

Poultry farmers who want to have even more return on their farm can be advised to choose a broken brown classic breed. There are 2 of its subspecies: broken Brown and broken white. The first was derived on the basis of the Plymouth rock, and the second on the basis of the Leggorn in the German farm Lohmann Tierzuht in 1970. The selection task was to produce a highly productive cross, the qualities of which would not depend on climatic conditions.

The efforts of breeders have borne fruit. Today, Brown crosses are in demand in the farms of Europe and our country. Loman Brown and White Broken differ only in color: dark brown and white. Look at the photo both subspecies.

At the same time, the product characteristic is similar: 320 eggs per year. Begin to rush already in 4 months. Do not require a lot of food, tolerate harsh Russian winters. Most poultry farmers have noted the high economic benefits of keeping poultry.


Breed leggorn well established itself in Russian farms. More than 20 large breeding plants are engaged in breeding the breed. In private farms, keeping and breeding a leggorn breed is also cost effective. It is important to observe the change of generations of chickens in order to maintain a high percentage of egg production.