The Leghorn, which comes from central Italy, is one of the most popular light breeds. They are well known for their excellent laying ability and commercial layers of white eggs are mainly derived from White Leghorns. There still are some White Leghorns in New Zealand that are the descendants of laying strains – these hens lay a large white egg each day during the laying season and they lay well for many seasons. Some strains of Leghorns are bred for exhibition only and their laying is disappointing.
Leghorns come in many different colours. Most are very good layers of pure white eggs. Apart from White, the Leghorn comes in Brown (the Leghorn version of Gold Pencilled), Blue, Black, Cuckoo and a number of very rare colours like Furnace, Buff and Pile.
Like most of the Light Breeds, Leghorns are excellent foragers, mature quickly, don’t go broody and love to roost in trees if allowed to. While they are flighty when kept in confinement, they become friendly and come for feed when allowed to free range.