The Leghorn is an Italian breed, named after the port of Leghorn, from which they were shipped all over the world. The breed was further developed in the USA, arriving in Britain in the 1870s.
The Leghorn is usually an all-white bird except for its yellow legs and beak, and coloured facial features. Like your favourite pair of white jeans (or is that just us?), Leghorns will get dirty and muddy, so don’t keep them if you’re a clean freak, and want your chickens to look as immaculate as your home!
Joking aside, the Leghorn is a superb chicken to keep at home if you love eggs, as they are proficient layers, and lay throughout the winter. It’s no wonder that they are the breed of choice for commercial egg farms, laying eggs as white as their feathers.
Leghorns are not broody, are non-sitters, and continue laying after many other breeds are spent. The chicks mature early, and young hens are ready to lay themselves within four to five months. Legorns are heat tolerant, but hate the cold, so make sure you bring them in during frosty weather, and provide them with a draught-free coop and plenty of bedding.
Leghorns are not ideal for an urban garden, as they are noisy and easily flustered by loud noises or sudden movements. They are rather aloof, and since they can fly, they should be kept in an enclosed run. In the countryside, however, they take quickly to being free-range.
They also come in other colours, but no matter their variety, they always lay white eggs.