Legbar - Chicken

Legbar Details

Uses
Prolific egg layer, small table bird
Origin
Cambridge, England
Class
Light, soft feathered, auto-sexing breed
Colour
Gold or Silver
Comb
Single (folded on females)
Eggs
White
Weight, cock
3.4 kg
Weight, hen
2.5 kg
Sitter?
A non-sitter
Autosexable?
Yes
Breed Club

Rare poultry Society

Breed Ratings
Temperament
Hardiness
Egg Laying
Table Value
Flightiness
Brooding

Legbar Description

The Legbar was the second auto sexing breed developed at Cambridge Agricultural research department. They were developed to compete with the Leghorn and Rhode Island Red as a commercial egg laying breed. Their auto sexing ability gave a distinct advantage to the farmer. The Legbar was being created from 1932 using utility strains of the brown Leghorn and Barred Plymouth Rock.

Brown Leghorn cockerel (Gold sex linked) X Barred Plymouth Rock hens (Silver sex linked)

BL/BPR cockerels (barred markings) X Brown Leghorn hens

All resultant progeny without barring or of the appearance of Barred Plymouth Rocks were discarded.

The remaining were selected for leghorn type and mated together.

From the offspring:

Pale coloured males carrying two barred genes and Crele coloured females were kept. All Dark (Crele) male chicks that carry one barred and one non barred gene and all non barred birds were discarded.

To increase numbers and bloodlines the resultant Gold Legbar cockerels could be crossed back with brown Leghorn hens. From this cross 50% will be dark crele males and 50% pale crele (Gold Legbar) females. The dark crele should be culled.

The Gold Legbar was first standardised with the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1945. Silver Legbars were later standardised in 1951.

 

AKA Crested Legbar

The Cream Legbar has a different parentage to the Gold and Silver varieties, differing from the original Legbar in being created with the addition of the Araucana, leading to the production of blue eggs.

Cream Legbars were created accidentally in 1939 by Michael Peace who was trying to improve the productivity of the original Gold Legbar by crossing with a utility white leghorn. Two off-white pullets from this crossing were kept and bred to a Gold Legbar cockerel. From the offspring of this mating one of the cockerels produced cream coloured chicks. The male and female chicks were noticeably different in colour. These cream coloured birds were in turn bred to cream Araucanas owned by Professor Punnett. In time,The Cream Legbar a crested, blue egg laying, auto-sexing, breed was selected.

The crest is a tuft of feathers on the crest of the head behind the comb and is a feature derived from the Araucana.
The breed was standardised by the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1958.
They are now the most common auto sexing breed and widely used by hobbyists for their blue eggs. Unfortunately the colour of the egg varies from pale green to pale blue depending on strain.  Careful selection for high production and an even pale blue egg is required. Good shaped pale blue eggs such as seen in many bred for exhibition birds does not necessarily mean prolific egg laying ability!


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