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).
[map z=”8″ address=”Tuscany, Italy” maptype=”TERRAIN” marker=”YES”]
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.
I wouldn’t have any other breed here in Arizona. With our high heat, they just keep on producing, year around.
I ended up with one Pearl White Leghorn and three White Rocks among the Rainbow Layers my friends and I got. I have to say that “Fancy Pants” (Leghorn) is the smallest chicken, but started producing eggs sooner and more consistently than any of the other hens. She seems to have the most personality (friendly) and has even allowed my 4 year old to pick her up and hold her!
I will have to think about adding some of your Leghorns to our egg laying chickens flock this Spring. I’ve overlooked them thus far because we prefer the brown eggs, but it does sound like these Leghorns are a more efficient breed for the purpose of egg laying.
I have been having problems with very low production lately. I was getting 18-24 eggs per day from my Rainbow Layers. With molting and brooding ( which I have no rooster) I barely get 12-14. I have even increased lay mash and wet it a little to make it more appealing. A few home scraps of leftovers and fresh alfalfa. Where did I go wrong?
During the molt season, egg production decreases. We recommend adding a vitamin supplement, such as Avia Charge 2000, to the drinking water as an aid during molting.
Other factors that may affect egg production include stress, weather conditions, predators, and/or broodiness.
To discourage broodiness, we suggest collecting eggs frequently during the day. Another solution is to place the hen in a wire cage for several days.
For more information, we recommend A Guide to Raising Chickens or Chicken Health Handbook
I got my first egg today from one of my pearl white leghorns. She is 16 weeks and 1 day old. They are the most friendly chickens I have ever raised. When we are sitting in the yard in the evenings they will actually come over and sit on your legs to see if you have any bread to feed them. They are also a beautiful chicken. Thanks McMurray for such wonderful chickens.
I just love all information about chickens.