Leghorn chickens are a popular breed of chicken for backyard poultry owners in the US. They are very hardy and easy to care for, making them one of the best breeds available. In this article I will take you through the week by week White Leghorn chicken growth chart, from birth until their first year as an adult. I hope you enjoy!
The Use of the Leghorn Chicken
Leghorn chickens are typically used in the poultry industry for their high egg laying capability.
Leghorn chickens are very friendly birds that grow to be about 5-6 pounds with an average lifespan of 8 years.
This article will also include approximate weights at different intervals throughout the first year.
The White Leghorns is known for their remarkable egg-laying capacity, outperforming other breeds in terms of sheer numbers. These chickens can lay around 280 to 320 large, white eggs per year, making them one of the most prolific layers in the poultry world.
Their energetic and alert nature, along with their efficient feed-to-egg conversion, adds to their appeal for those seeking consistent egg production. While they are celebrated for their egg-laying prowess, White Leghorns are also valued for their adaptability to various climates and their ability to thrive in free-range environments.
Their combination of practical utility and eye-catching appearance continues to make the White Leghorn breed a sought-after choice for both commercial egg producers and backyard chicken keepers.
White Leghorn Chicken Growth Chart
The week by week growth rate chart of White Leghorn chickens will provide information on the weight of this breed from hatch date to about 40 weeks old. This study was made by The College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri.
|Age in Weeks
|Weight of Leghorn
Pullets in Pounds
Starting with day-old chicks, a backyard chicken owner can have pullets laying in 6 to 7 months. The next Leghorn growth chart shows the weekly gains of pullets by 4-week period.
|Age in Weeks
|Gains by 4 weeks of
Pullets in Pounds
The average Leghorn chicken will weigh around five to six pounds when they are fully matured.
Leghorn Growth Chart – Cockerel vs Pullet
Now, let’s compare the weight gains of cockerels and pullets between weeks 1-20.
|Age in Weeks
You might have noticed that the cockerel’s weight gain is much more noticeable between 9-12 week of age than the pullets.
A White Leghorn chicken growth chart outlines the developmental stages of this breed from hatching to maturity. In the first week after hatching, White Leghorn chicks typically experience rapid growth.
They are highly active and start developing their characteristic white feathers. By the end of the second week, their wing feathers begin to emerge, and they become more coordinated in their movements. Over the third and fourth weeks, their primary feathers start to appear, and they continue to gain weight steadily.
As the White Leghorns enter the fifth and sixth weeks, their growth rate remains consistent. They become more independent, exploring their environment and exhibiting their natural foraging behaviors.
By the eighth week, the chickens’ plumage becomes denser and more defined, as they transition from fluffy chicks to juvenile birds. Throughout their growth chart, White Leghorn chickens are known for their agility, energy, and their remarkable ability to convert feed into lean muscle mass efficiently.
White Leghorn chickens, with their distinctive appearance and exceptional egg-laying capabilities, have long been prized in the world of poultry farming. These birds, known for their compact bodies, pure white feathers, and remarkable productivity, go through a series of growth factors that contribute to their development from hatch to maturity.
Understanding these growth factors is essential for both commercial egg producers and backyard enthusiasts seeking to raise healthy and productive flocks of White Leghorns.
Hatching and Early Development The growth journey of a White Leghorn chicken begins in the incubator. The incubation period typically lasts around 21 days, during which the embryo undergoes intricate stages of development. Upon hatching, White Leghorn chicks are born with a soft downy covering that helps regulate their body temperature.
This initial down is replaced by feathers as they grow, with the characteristic white plumage emerging as a prominent feature. During the first few days after hatching, chicks rely on the nutrients from the egg yolk, absorbed just before hatching, to sustain them. This natural supply of nutrients provides essential energy for the chicks to strengthen and prepare for their transition to a diet of chick starter feed and water.
Nutrition and Feeding
Nutrition and Feeding Nutrition plays a crucial role in the growth and development of White Leghorn chickens. Proper nutrition during the chick stage is essential to support rapid growth, feather development, and overall health. Commercially available chick starter feeds are formulated to provide the right balance of proteins, vitamins, and minerals needed for optimal growth.
These feeds help White Leghorn chicks reach their juvenile stage, characterized by the emergence of wing and tail feathers. As they progress through the growth stages, transitioning to grower and layer feeds ensures they receive the specific nutrients required for their egg-laying potential.
Growth Phases White Leghorn chickens go through distinct growth phases, each marked by physiological changes and developmental milestones. In the first week of life, chicks experience rapid growth as they adapt to their new environment. Their downy fluff is gradually replaced by feathers, and their legs and wings become more coordinated. By the second week, their wing feathers begin to emerge, enabling them to become more active and agile.
As White Leghorns enter their third and fourth weeks, their growth rate remains consistent. Primary feathers begin to appear, contributing to their overall feather coverage. During this time, these young birds start to assert their natural behaviors, exploring their surroundings and exhibiting their instinctual foraging tendencies.
By the fifth and sixth weeks, White Leghorn chickens enter their juvenile phase. Their primary feathers continue to develop, and they become increasingly independent. At this point, they are adapting to their future roles as prolific layers. The eighth week marks another crucial phase, where their plumage becomes denser, and they transition from fluffy chicks to well-defined juvenile birds.
Factors Influencing Growth Several factors influence the growth of White Leghorn chickens throughout their development. Genetics play a significant role, as the breed’s genetics determine its growth potential, egg-laying ability, and overall health. Selective breeding programs focus on traits that contribute to rapid growth and high egg production, ensuring the continuation of these desirable characteristics in future generations.
Nutrition is a critical factor in promoting healthy growth. Providing a balanced and nutritionally complete diet tailored to each growth stage ensures that the birds receive the necessary nutrients for bone development, muscle growth, and feather production. Adequate protein intake is particularly important, as it supports muscle growth and the formation of egg proteins as the birds mature.
Environmental conditions also play a role in growth. Proper housing, temperature control, and ventilation are crucial to preventing stress and promoting healthy growth. Stressors such as overcrowding, poor ventilation, or extreme temperature fluctuations can hinder growth and increase the risk of health issues.
Maturation and Egg Production As White Leghorn chickens reach maturity, usually around 18 to 20 weeks of age, their focus shifts from growth to egg production. Hormonal changes trigger the development of the reproductive system, and hens begin to lay eggs. The amount of daylight they are exposed to can influence the timing and frequency of egg-laying.
White Leghorns are renowned for their prolific egg-laying abilities, often laying around 280 to 320 large, white eggs per year. This high level of productivity is a result of their genetics, selective breeding, and nutritional support. Proper management practices, including providing suitable nesting boxes and maintaining a stress-free environment, further encourage consistent egg production.
Leghorn Chicken Questions
How quickly do Leghorn chickens grow from hatch to maturity? The growth rate of Leghorn chickens is influenced by factors such as genetics, nutrition, and environmental conditions.
On average, Leghorns reach maturity around 18 to 20 weeks of age. During this time, they undergo significant physical changes as they transition from fluffy chicks to fully feathered young adults. Their growth is marked by the development of their skeletal structure, muscle mass, and reproductive organs in the case of hens.
The rate of growth can vary slightly between individual birds, but attentive care and appropriate management practices can ensure consistent development.
What is the typical growth rate of Leghorn chickens in terms of weight and size? Leghorn chickens exhibit a relatively rapid growth rate compared to some other breeds. T
heir growth is most pronounced during the early weeks of life, where they experience significant weight gain. From the moment they hatch, Leghorn chicks exhibit an eagerness to explore their surroundings, a trait that is often linked to their inherent vigor and growth potential.
Their compact bodies gradually expand, and their feathering becomes more pronounced, signaling their progression from the chick stage to juvenile status.
At what age do Leghorn chickens start developing their distinctive white feathers? Leghorn chicks begin to develop their distinctive white feathers within the first few weeks after hatching.
Their initial downy plumage is gradually replaced by the adult plumage, which is characterized by the iconic white feathers that give the breed its name. The emergence of these white feathers is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional. As the chicks grow, their plumage becomes more robust, providing better insulation and protection against external elements.
What kind of diet is best for promoting healthy growth in Leghorn chickens? The foundation for healthy growth in Leghorn chickens is a well-balanced and nutritionally complete diet.
During the chick stage, providing them with a high-quality chick starter feed is crucial. This feed is formulated to contain the essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals required for proper bone development, muscle growth, and feather production. As Leghorns transition to the grower and layer stages, their dietary needs evolve to support their specific roles.
Adequate protein intake remains crucial for muscle development, while the introduction of layer feed ensures they receive the nutrients necessary for optimal egg production.
Are Leghorn chickens known for their rapid growth compared to other breeds? Yes, Leghorn chickens are recognized for their relatively rapid growth compared to certain other breeds.
This growth trait is particularly significant during their early stages of life, where they exhibit a strong propensity for weight gain. The combination of their genetic predisposition and their efficient feed utilization contributes to their reputation for being one of the faster-growing breeds, especially when compared to some of the heavier heritage breeds.
How does nutrition during the chick stage affect the growth of Leghorn chickens? Nutrition during the chick stage lays the foundation for the future growth and development of Leghorn chickens.
The chick starter feed they receive provides the essential nutrients required for their initial growth spurt. These nutrients support the development of strong bones, well-formed muscles, and the gradual replacement of downy feathers with adult plumage.
A well-balanced diet during this critical phase ensures that the chicks have the necessary resources to thrive and progress through subsequent growth stages.
What role does genetics play in determining the growth potential of Leghorn chickens? Genetics play a pivotal role in shaping the growth potential of Leghorn chickens. Selective breeding programs have focused on traits that promote rapid growth, efficient feed conversion, and high egg production.
As a result, modern Leghorns possess genetic characteristics that set them apart from their historical counterparts. Breeding for specific traits has contributed to their reputation as a prolific egg-laying breed, while still maintaining their inherent growth capacity.
Do Leghorn chickens have specific growth milestones, such as the emergence of wing feathers? Yes, Leghorn chickens have distinct growth milestones that signify their progression through different developmental phases.
For example, by the second week after hatching, the emergence of wing feathers marks a notable milestone. This development allows the chicks to become more active and agile, contributing to their overall growth and readiness for their juvenile phase.
What environmental factors are important for supporting optimal growth in Leghorn chickens? Environmental factors significantly impact the growth of Leghorn chickens. Providing suitable housing that offers protection from extreme weather conditions, along with proper ventilation, is essential.
Overcrowding should be avoided, as it can lead to stress and hinder growth. Adequate space, comfortable temperatures, and access to clean water are all crucial elements for supporting optimal growth and ensuring the birds thrive.
When do Leghorn chickens typically reach maturity and start laying eggs? Leghorn chickens typically reach maturity and commence egg-laying around 18 to 20 weeks of age. This phase marks a significant transition in their growth journey, as their reproductive systems mature. Hormonal changes trigger the development of the ovaries in hens, while roosters also undergo physiological changes related to sexual maturity.
How does the growth rate of Leghorn hens differ from that of roosters? The growth rate of Leghorn hens generally exhibits a slightly faster pace compared to that of roosters.
This discrepancy is due to the differing priorities between the sexes. Hens channel more energy into developing their reproductive systems to support egg production, while roosters allocate resources to the development of muscle mass and physical attributes required for mating behaviors.
Are there any special considerations or challenges when raising Leghorn chickens for rapid growth and egg production? Raising Leghorn chickens for rapid growth and egg production requires a comprehensive approach. Providing a well-balanced diet, ensuring proper management practices, and maintaining a stress-free environment are key considerations.
Monitoring their health, addressing any potential issues promptly, and offering appropriate nutrition according to growth stages are vital steps in fostering their optimal growth potential and egg-laying capabilities.
Whether you are a backyard poultry owner or not, I hope these growth/weight charts of Leghorn chickens, have been informative and helpful for you.
I hope that you learn more about this beautiful breed and how they change over time.
Also, keep in mind that every chicken grows at a different speed, so just because your bird is a week behind doesn’t mean there’s something wrong!
There is so much to learn about these beautiful birds and it seems like every week there is another new discovery made by someone somewhere in the world!
No matter how deep down your list of interests may be on chickens, I think we can all agree that they are one of the most fascinating animals on earth.