The Legbar breed of chickens is quite rare. Breeders Michael Pease and Reginald Pennett of the University of Cambridge Genetic Institute in the 30s were engaged in breeding a breed of chickens with autosex properties (the ability to determine the sex of chickens by the color of the fluff at day old), but at the same time, so that the chickens had a high egg production.
The Golden Legbar chickens were a cross between Leghorns and Striped Plymouthrocks, and were standardized in 1945. The resulting golden legbar was crossed with a white leghorn and a golden Kempino rooster, resulting in a silver legbar in 1951. Further, he was crossed with white leghorn and araucan. Bottom line: a creamy legbar that was introduced at the 1958 agricultural show. Chickens of the new breed laid blue eggs. For some time, the breed was not in demand and almost disappeared. For the Legbar chicken breed, see the video:
Description of the breed
The description of the Legbar breed is as follows: Legbar roosters are powerful birds. They have a wedge-shaped body, a wide chest, and a long and flat back. The tail is moderately full, sloping at an angle of 45 degrees. The wings are tightly pressed to the body. The head is small, the comb is erect, bright red with 5-6 clear teeth, earrings of a light shade, in chickens the comb is leaf-shaped with 6 teeth, not always erect, it can bend to one side from the middle. The eyes are bright orange. Legs are yellow, thin but strong, with 4 toes widely spaced.
The plumage of birds is soft, silky. A distinctive feature of the legbar is a crest on the head. Therefore, they often say about the breed "crested legbar". Look at the photo to see how the representatives of the Legbar breed look.
In total, depending on the color, three varieties of legbar are distinguished - golden, silver and cream. Today, the most common is the creamy legbar shade, which combines silvery gray and pale gold shades to create an overall creamy color. In cockerels, clear stripes stand out; in chickens, they are absent. In addition, the plumage of Legbar chickens is darker, with a predominance of brown shades: from pale cream to salmon-chestnut with a bright edging of the feather.
Legbar chickens have a pronounced autosexism.
Attention! At day old, females can be distinguished by a dark brown stripe passing through the head, back and sacrum.
In males, the stripe is blurred and mixed with the main background, in contrast to females, in which the edges of the stripe are clearly delineated. In the photo, you can completely distinguish between chickens and cockerels of the Legbar breed.
Legbars have a kind disposition, you will not find them for a showdown with each other and other breeds. But the cockerels jealously watch their girlfriends, protect them and do not give offense.
Chickens of the breed in question are very mobile and love to walk. Therefore, when breeding them, it is imperative to equip a corral for walking. This will allow chickens not only to walk, but also to find some food for themselves in the form of bugs, worms. Chickens of the Legbar breed highly desirable food of animal origin. And the walking method of keeping poultry saves on feed. In the summer, most experts recommend a minor supplement.
The Legbar chicken breed has a meat-and-meat direction. For all the beauty of the external data, the productive abilities of the chickens did not suffer at all.
- Chickens lay eggs with strong shells of blue or olive, weighing up to 60 g;
- High egg production is maintained for 2 years;
- Legbar chickens begin to lay at 4-5 months of age;
- About 220 eggs are produced per year;
- Live weight of legbar chickens reaches 2.5 kg, roosters 2.7-3.4 kg.
The qualities of the breed listed above have led to the fact that it has become quite popular.
Cons of the breed
When keeping the breed in private farms, it is necessary to keep in mind some of the disadvantages that are inherent in Legbar. Without taking them into account, effective breeding of the breed is impossible. The disadvantages of legbars include:
- Every 2 years, a replacement of the livestock is required, since egg production drops sharply after 2 years;
- Legbar hens have practically lost their incubation instinct. Some poultry farmers attribute this to the mobile nature of the Legbar breed. Nevertheless, breeders will have to attend to the purchase of an incubator;
- In the cold season, egg production decreases and may stop altogether. Therefore, in order to receive eggs even in the cold season, the poultry house should be insulated. It may be necessary to install a heater. The main thing is that the room temperature is above zero. At a temperature of + 15 + 17 degrees, you can count on the preservation of egg production in the same volume.
The latter drawback has a significant impact on the further spread of chickens of this breed in the difficult climatic conditions of Russia.
Important! Be sure to equip the house with drinkers that contain clean water. Clean air must also be supplied to the room.
Features of the content
It is believed that legbars are selective about food and will not eat what other chickens eat.
Make up the feed for the Legbar breed from 5-6 components. Then such a combined feed will be well eaten by the bird, and the chickens will receive all the necessary elements from food for life and high egg production.
Important! No special blue food is needed to produce eggs. The blue color of eggs is a genetically fixed trait, so there is no need to add any special ingredients to the diet to give the eggs the appropriate color.
Pour shell, limestone, chalk, crushed egg shells into a separate container. In order for a hen to lay a quality egg, a lot of calcium is required, much more than she can get from feed.
In the summer, be sure to add greens and seasonal vegetables to the diet. If you give wet mash to chickens, make sure they are eaten right away. The remaining food spoils, turns sour.
Important! Legbars must not be overfed.
In young individuals, obesity leads to the fact that the onset of the egg-laying period is postponed. In adult chickens, the number of eggs laid is significantly reduced.
Laying hens consume almost 2 times more water than feed. Change the water 2-3 times in summer, less often in winter.
Fresh air is supplied through a conventional vent. You can also equip the supply and exhaust pipes, providing them with plugs, so you can regulate the air flow, which is especially important in winter in order to preserve heat.
The house should be well lit. Natural light enters through the windows, in winter, when the daylight hours are short, additional lighting is required.
Keep it clean. Change your bedding frequently. It is obligatory to do general cleaning 2 times a year, followed by antiseptic treatment.
The poultry house must be equipped with perches, nests, drinkers and feeders for chickens.
Make roosts from rounded poles at the rate of 20 cm per 1 hen. At a height of 1 m from the floor and at a distance of 50 cm from each other. The most convenient placement of perches is in the form of a ladder, and not one above the other.
For nests, you can use ordinary boxes lined with straw or hay. Approximate dimensions 35x35 cm.
Breeding laying hens can be seen as a lucrative business. With minimal investment, you can quickly make a profit. In the case of the Legbar breed, the business can be developed not only on the basis of the sale of eggs, but also on the sale of eggs and young stock of purebred poultry for further breeding. Do not forget that poultry also has a meat direction. Slaughtered poultry carcasses have a good presentation.
Galina Kotova, 57 years old, Moscow region
It all started with a little hobby. She kept chickens of different breeds for the soul. I especially like legbars, their unusual appearance defies description, and the crests of chickens just touched me. But it turned out that hobby can bring income. Now I sell organic eggs. People care about their health. Legbar chickens lay blue eggs, and some like the unusual color of the eggs. I have a constant circle of buyers.
Natalia Zubareva, 37 years old, Tula region
My first experience of growing legbar was negative. The chickens almost did not rush. I had to hack to death. It turned out that the chickens simply swam with fat. I talked with experienced poultry farmers, adjusted the composition of feed, reduced the amount of compound feed, and added a grain mixture. New birds amaze with their cheerfulness and abundance of laid eggs. I advise you not to feed your pets.