Leghorn Chicken – Breed, Eggs, Facts, Colors & More

If you want a purebred chicken that is able to lay an astonishing number of eggs each week, then the Leghorn chicken may be just the chicken for you.

While it is not as popular with backyard chicken owners as it used to be, you will still find Leghorn chickens kicking around in home chicken runs around the country.

They are best known by the fact that they lay more eggs with less food than any other chicken breed. Actually, they are excellent layers and they have good fertility. It is because of these reasons that they are so popular choice in the egg industry.

Hopefully, a lot more people start to wake up (again) to the amazing eggs that this breed of chicken is able to produce.

leghorn chicken
Leghorn Chicken

Leghorn Chicken Characteristics at a Glance

Eggs280 +/- per year
Egg Color White
Skin ColorYellow
Comb TypeSingle or Rose
Weight Male Standard: 5.3-6 lb (2.4-2.7 kg)
Male Bantam: 36 oz (1020 g)
Female Standard: 4.5-5 lb (2-2.3 kg)
Female Bantam: 32 oz (910 g)
Country of origin Italy

The Origins of the Leghorn Chicken

We do not know the full story of the Leghorn chicken. Pretty much all we do know is that it was imported to the US from Tuscany, Italy at some time in the 19th Century. It was in the US that it became a ‘purebred’ chicken, and has remained as such to this day.

What we do know is how the Leghorn Chicken got the name. It is because the chicken was exported from a port in Tuscany known as Livorno. This was translated in English as ‘Leghorn’, and the name stuck.

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Leghorn Chicken Look

The Leghorn chicken is probably one of the most-beautiful looking chickens around, they always have fantastic feathers, and their look is nice and refined.

They come in a variety of different colors, and these colors really do pop out. They will always have a fantastic bright-red comb, with it looking slightly different depending on whether it is a hen or rooster.

Leghorn Chicken Recognized Variety

According to the American Poultry Association these are the Leghorn Chicken recognized variety:

Single Comb: Bared, Black, Black Tailed Red, Buff, Columbian, Dark Brown, Golden, Light Brown, Red, Silver, White

Rose comb: Black, Buff, Dark brown, Light Brown, Silver, White

Leghorn Chicken Eggs and Egg Laying

The Leghorn Hen is one of the most-regular egg-laying of the purebreds. Hens can produce a sizeable number of eggs each week, often from a young age. A decent flock of chickens should be able to cater to most family’s needs.

The Leghorn chicken is so great at laying eggs that the chicken was bred with other chickens to create the egg-laying breeds that dominate commercial egg operations nowadays.

On average, you should get about 280 eggs per year from your Leghorn Chicken, but sometimes 300 or more. The Leghorn Chicken egg color is white.

The great thing about this particular breed is that egg-laying is not going to slow down during the winter months.

They should still be pumping them out fairly regularly. For this reason, a lot of people will incorporate at least a couple of Leghorn chickens into their flock. This way they can be sure that they are always going to be getting eggs, even as the colder months start to roll in.

leghorn chicken
Leghorn Rooster

The Personality

Since the Leghorn is a pure breed, it is going to be fairly easy to predict the behavior and health characteristics of the chicken.

In terms of personality, the Leghorn is one of the best chickens to just ‘watch’. These are well-known explorers, and they are never afraid to enter the unknown. Of course, this is something which could cause a couple of problems if your coop isn’t completely secure. They may try to dig under the coop, for instance.

Leghorns are very noisy and active breed but suitable for beginners. They make great backyard chickens especially if they are kept in warmer weather places, since they will tolerate hot weather more than cold.

Leghorn chickens can be quite friendly too. Although, this may be lot more down to the ‘braveness’ that they boast. They won’t be afraid to get a bit up and close and personal with you. They are not going to ‘attack’ you or anything like that. Just expect them to be a bit more confident than other chickens that you may find.

They Can Fly Well

Most chickens are abysmal at flying. Not the Leghorn chicken. It is a fantastic flyer. This is great to watch, but it is also another reason as to why you will want to ensure that your coop is 100% secure.

If the fences are a little bit too high, then you are going to have chickens that are prone to escaping. For this reason, most people will not put their Leghorns completely free-range. They will always be in a large, sealed, chicken run.

Hardy Animals

Leghorn chicken can be found around the world. This is a chicken that has proven, repeatedly, that it is more than up to surviving the challenge of living in the harshest of environments.

It can deal with hot and cold temperatures rather well. There are also no ‘issues’ with the breed i.e. health issues that could hamper the chicken.

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