The White Leghorn originated in Tuscany, Italy (see map below) and is considered a Mediterranean breed. White Leghorns were brought to America in 1853 by ship. Mr. W. Simpson, of West Farms, New York (now a part of New York City) claims to be the first person in America to breed the White Leghorn (Standard Bred Leghorns, Drevenstedt, 1911).
Leghorns are excellent layers and are often used commercially for egg production. They lay large white-shelled eggs.
The Pearl White Leghorns we sell at McMurray Hatchery are a special strain that was developed through 45 years of breeding research. The White Leghorn hens weigh about 4 pounds at maturity. They start laying at when they are about 4 1/2 to 5 months old. They have a high resistance to diseases, and they have small appetites when compared to many other egg laying breeds, particularly the larger, dual purpose breeds. This helps reduce the overall cost of eggs.
The Pearl White Leghorn is the breed that we recommend to local farmers when they ask us which pullet will lay the most eggs of top grade and size, uniform shape, good shell, and highest interior quality, and do it on the least feed and in smallest amount of space.