The Leghorn (/ˈlɛɡhɔːrn/ or UK: /lɛˈɡɔːrn/; Italian: Livorno
or Livornese) is a breed of chicken originating in Tuscany, in central
Italy. Birds were first exported to North America in 1828 from the
port city of Livorno, on the western coast of Tuscany. They were
initially called "Italians", but by 1865 the breed was known as
"Leghorn", the traditional anglicisation of "Livorno". The breed was
introduced to Britain from the United States in 1870. White
Leghorns are commonly used as layer chickens in many countries of the
world. Other Leghorn varieties are less common.
4 See also
6 External links
The origins of the Leghorn are not clear; it appears to derive from
light breeds originating in rural Tuscany. The name comes from
Leghorn, the traditional anglicisation of Livorno, the Tuscan port
from which the first birds were exported to North America. The date of
the first exports is variously reported as 1828, "about 1830"
and 1852. They were initially known as "Italians"; they were first
referred to as "Leghorns" in 1865, in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Leghorn was included in the
American Standard of Perfection
American Standard of Perfection in
1874, with three colours: black, white and brown (light and dark).
Rose comb light and dark brown were added in 1883, and rose comb white
in 1886. Single comb buff and silver followed in 1894, and red,
black-tailed red, and Columbian in 1929. In 1981 rose comb black,
buff, silver, and golden duckwing were added.
The breed was first introduced to Britain from the United States in
1870, and from there re-exported to Italy. White Leghorns that had
won first prize at the 1868 New York show were imported to Britain in
1870, and brown Leghorns from 1872. Pyle Leghorns were first bred in
Britain in the 1880s; gold and silver duckwings originated there a few
years later, from crosses with Phoenix or Japanese Yokohama birds.
Buff Leghorns were first seen in Denmark in 1885, and in England in
Brown Leghorn hen
In Italy, where the
Livorno breed standard is recent, ten colour
varieties are recognised. There is a separate Italian standard for
the German Leghorn variety, the Italiana (German: Italiener). The
Fédération française des volailles (the French poultry federation)
divides the breed into four types: the American white, the English
white, the old type (golden-salmon) and the modern type, for which
seventeen colour variants are listed for full-size birds, and fourteen
for bantams; it also recognises an autosexing variety, the Cream
Legbar. Both the
American Poultry Association and the American
Bantam Association (ABA) recognize a number of Leghorn varieties
including white, red, black-tailed red, light brown, dark brown,
black, buff, Columbian, buff Columbian, barred, and silver. In
Britain, the Leghorn Club recognises eighteen colours: golden
duckwing, silver duckwing, partridge, brown, buff, exchequer,
Columbian, pyle, white, black, blue, mottled, cuckoo, blue-red,
lavender, red, crele and buff Columbian. Most Leghorns have single
combs; rose combs are permitted in some countries, but not in Italy.
The legs are bright yellow, and the ear-lobes white.
The Italian standard gives a weight range of 2.4–2.7 kg
(5.3–6.0 lb) for cocks, 2.0–2.3 kg (4.4–5.1 lb)
for hens. According to the British standard, fully grown Leghorn
cocks weigh 3.4 kg (7.5 lb), hens 2.5 kg; cockerels
weigh 2.7–2.95 kg and pullets 2–2.25 kg; for bantams the
maximum weight is 1020 g for cocks and 910 g for hens.
Ring size is 18 mm for cocks, 16 mm for hens.
Leghorns are good layers of white eggs, laying an average of 280 per
year and sometimes reaching 300–320. The eggs are white and weigh
a minimum of 55 g.
Foghorn Leghorn, an anthropomorphic Leghorn from Looney Tunes
^ [s.n.] (1998). The American Standard of Perfection. Mendon,
Massachusetts: American Poultry Association.
^ Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Accessed August
^ a b c d e f g h i Atlante delle razze di Polli - Razze italiane:
Livorno Accessed December 2011. (in Italian) "Atlas of chicken breeds
- Italian breeds: Livorno".
^ a b c Standards The Leghorn Club. Accessed December 2011.
^ Crawford, RD (1990) Poultry breeding and genetics Amsterdam; New
York: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-444-88557-9 p.46
^ a b Leghorn
Chicken American Livestock Breeds Conservancy,
1993–2009. Accessed December 2011.
^ Background On The Brown Leghorn
Chicken American Brown Leghorn Club,
1998-2004. Accessed December 2011.
^ Wright, Lewis; Sidney Herbert Lewer [1911?] Wright's book of
poultry, revised and edited in accordance with the latest poultry club
standards London; New York; Toronto; Melbourne: Cassell. pp.411–422
^ a b Liste des races et variétés de Gallinacés et Palmipèdes
domestiques et diamètres des bagues en mm Fédération française des
volailles. Accessed December 2011. (in French) "List of races and
varieties of gallinaceous and web-footed poultry with ring diameters
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leghorn.
The American Brown Leghorn Club
The Leghorn Club (UK)
The Leghorn Club of Australia
Chicken breeds of Italy
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Collo Nudo Italiano
Ermellinata di Rovigo
Mericanel della Brianza
Millefiori di Lonigo