Key Characteristics

Like other Mediterranean breeds Leghorns can be excitable (try and keep away from the house) noisy and flighty. It is not a child-friendly breed. The bantams are more docile than the large fowl. The breed can cope well with confinement and are good winter layers. They are non-sitters.  


  • Although the Leghorns originated in Italy, different development of the breed has occurred in a number of countries, including the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, America.
  • Breeders in America used the White Leghorn as their main commercial laying breed, partly because of US consumer preference for white shelled eggs.  Later they were used in the development of many of the high egg-producing hybrids.
  • British Exhibition type Leghorns are slightly larger than other versions, have a very large comb and wattles, and a smaller tail, often closely folded or ‘whipped’.


  • The Leghorn is a light soft feather breed
  • They are characterised by their large, single comb, which is folded on the female.
  • Birds have white earlobes and yellow legs.
  • There are many colours- Black, Blue, Brown, Buff, Cuckoo, Golden and Silver Duckwing, Exchequer, Partridge, Pile, and White.  



Depending on the strain they lay around 260 pure white eggs per year. They are one of the top pure-breed layers.

Did you know?

Leghorns are known for their impressive combs. Males have an exceptionally large upright single comb. On females, the comb should fall to one side which is known as folded comb. In cold weather, these are susceptible to frostbite so should be covered with Vaseline. 

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

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The Leghorn Club

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