Legbar

Legbar cock

Key Characteristics

The Legbar is an active bird that can be flighty. It is a good layer and a non-sitter. 

History

  • The Legbar is one of a number of autosexing breeds developed by Professor R.C. Punnet and Mr M Pease at Cambridge University in the first half of the 20th century.
  • The aim was to create an autosexing breed with different coloured male and female day old chicks for sex identification that would make a good commercial layer.
  • The breed was developed from a crossing programme based around the best layers at the time, the Leghorn and the Barred Plymouth Rock.
  • After further development the Gold Legbar was standardised in 1945 with the Silver Legbar following in 1951.
  • The breed was widely exported but was never widely used commercially, as they were supplanted by the early layer hybrids.

Appearance

  • The Legbar is a slender and elegant breed with similar proportions to a Leghorn.
  • The breed has characteristic ‘crele’ plumage. As with other autosexing breeds both sexes have a little black plumage on their middle.
  • Males have grey barred breast, legs and tail with blonde and gold barred neck and saddle.
  • Hens have salmon plumage on their breasts with grey and brown barring on their back and wings.  
  • Two colour varieties are standardised, Gold and Silver (along with Cream Legbars which are recognised as a separate breed.)

Uses

Eggs

Depending on the strain, Legbar hens should lay more than 180 eggs a year. 

Did you know?

Legbars are an auto-sexing breed. When chicks hatch, females have very distinct dark and light stripes down their body whereas males are lighter all over with a distinct yellow spot on their heads. This allows breeders to be more efficient and not raise unwanted males.

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