Legbar chickens: characteristics, features of breeding at home
Breeding chickens for meat or eggs is a profitable business in the agricultural sector. Cream Legs are rare crested hens that carry blue eggs. In their genetics there are genes of Plymouths, Leghorn, Araucan and Golden Campin. From Araucan, the breed received a funny little comb and blue eggs, from Leghorn - excellent productivity (180-200 eggs per year). The combination of advantages of different breeds makes Legbar worthy candidates for breeding on farms.
Legbar is the second breed created by Prof. Punnett and M. Pease at the Genetic Institute (Cambridge). The aim of the selection was to create an auctosex breed with an emphasis on egg laying, in which male and female chickens could be distinguished by color. In order to achieve their goals, they used the crossing of the American striped Plymouth Rock with the Golden Campin.
Did you know? Leghorn are considered the most egg-laying chickens. Such a layer per year can lay from 200 to 300 eggs. The weight of one egg is 60–65 g.
Young animals obtained as a result of crossbreeding at a weekly age acquired the required color, but did not have sufficient indicators of egg production. Then the breeders added Leggorn roosters to the mixture of breeds of roosters and got a new breed with high egg production rates. The resulting golden Legbar was standardized in 1945. Continuing work on improving the breed, breeders added leggorn breed hens to the genetic code.The result was Silver Legbar, standardized in 1951. In 1958, the crested cream Legbar was standardized, obtained by crossing with cream Araucan. From them, the new pedigree line received not only the plumage color, but also blue eggs. Unfortunately, by 1970 there were almost no cream Legbars since blue eggs were not in demand.
Legbar - crested, autosex chickens of light and medium weight with the presence of a blue egg gene. These are friendly birds with a good appetite. They adapt perfectly to small yards and plenty of free space. The appearance of the males is very attractive. Chickens of this breed have good egg production and are excellent mothers.
But basically, those who purchase this breed do it because of the eggs of a deep blue color. Legbars are one of the few varieties of chickens obtained as a result of applying the provisions of genetics in practice in order to improve pedigree traits.
Externally, the Legbars are similar to the Leggorn. These are muscular birds, with a wedge-shaped torso, powerful breasts. The body relief is broad at the shoulders, but tapers slightly towards the root of the tail.
|Head||small graceful head|
|Crest||large straight bright red single-rowed with five to seven spikes in golden and silver Legbar; small and compact in cream.|
|Beak||strong yellow horn beak|
|Eyes||red or orange|
|Wings||large, tight-fitting, well-fitted|
|Tail||moderately full, with a bend at an angle of 45 °|
|Paws||yellow legs moderately long, strong and undecided with four straight and well-distributed fingers|
|Plumage and color||color: golden, silver, cream; plumage silky, tight to the body|
A characteristic feature of the breed is that weekly chickens differ in color. The hens have a characteristic dark strip on the head and back.
Did you know? The largest egg was laid by a layer of Leghorn breed. They called the chicken - Blanche.The record was recorded in 1954. Egg weight was 454 g.
Legbars are quite curious and active birds. Despite the activity, they perfectly coexist with other inhabitants in the courtyard and do not enter into conflicts. For one rooster, there can be 7–8 chickens. Roosters are quite peaceful, but if necessary they can protect their herd from an external threat. It is believed that this is one of the most convenient breeds in content along with other birds.
Advantages and disadvantages
- high productivity (200 eggs per year);
- exotic egg color;
- the ability to distinguish a cockerel from a chicken with a minimum age of chickens;
- good taste properties of eggs;
- unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention;
- early maturity (by 4–5 months);
- good maternal qualities of laying hens;
- friendly character.
- termination of oviposition in the winter;
- decrease in productivity with age and the need to replace livestock after 2-3 years.
The breed is undemanding to content. Hens feel good both in a small walking area and in a large area. In the walking area there should be grass and the opportunity for the application of curiosity. It is because of excessive curiosity that Legbar needs a fenced walk. The breed is resistant to noise and stress factors, therefore, it can live near a noisy track without loss of productive qualities.
Did you know? Hens never rush in conditions that are considered unsuitable. A laying hen can hold an already fully formed egg in the oviduct for more than a day.
In winter, hens need a warmed, heated chicken coop to support egg production. It maintains cleanliness and dryness. There should be no drafts in the house.
Sizes of the optimal chicken coop:
- 1 chicken should have at least 0.33 m² .;
- height - not less than 2 m (for the convenience of moving people);
- length and width depend on the size of the livestock; the sides can form a square, for example, 200x200 cm or a rectangle;
- perches are located at a height of 1 m;
- perch with a width of not more than 4 cm (to clasp its paws);
- The perch is completed with 1-2 stairs.
Did you know? Wood and wood products are considered the best material for building a house. Wood-based materials hold heat well, have excellent sound insulation, moisture resistance and are not damaged by rodents and woodworms.
The diameter of the exhaust and supply pipes should be equal. To regulate the power of the air flow, it is desirable to equip them with dampers. Natural ventilation also involves small sliding doors designed to organize the exit of chickens into the recreational courtyard. 3-4 nests are installed in the chicken coop at the rate of 1 nest for 2-3 chickens. Size: 40x40x40 cm. During the day, the nest is necessary for the laying hen only to lay the egg. Some birds will rush quickly, while others will slow. Therefore, the nests should be enough so that the birds do not have a queue.
Cleaning the chicken house consists of:
- cleaning litter 2-3 times a week and partial change of litter;
- weekly wash feeders;
- disinfection of the room at least 1 time in 3 months.
To fight against poohoids, chickens organize an ash bath in the form of a box with ash and sand. Quarterly disinfection can occur more often if there is an outbreak in the chicken coop. Then the room is disinfected immediately as a problem arises.
Place for walking
Legbar - very mobile birds. Therefore, they need a walking area to maintain their fitness, the ability to enrich their diet with insects. The courtyard is surrounded by a grid or net. Its height is at least 1.5 m. The walking area is fenced at the rate of 2 m² per 1 chicken. You can cover the range with a net or not. The advantage of enclosed space is that wild birds or rodents, which can be carriers of diseases, do not penetrate inside.
Here you need to place drinking bowls and feeders. If nipple drinkers are not used in the design, then you can fix the drinker and feeders on the walking net at a height of at least 10 cm above the ground. This will keep clean and tidy. Layers will not rake feed or accidentally tip over water.
Feeding troughs and drinking bowls
The feeder used must be made of material that will be easy to clean and disinfect:
- a tree;
Important! If within 48 hours chickens restrict access to water, egg production will begin to drop sharply. Signs of dehydration: crest wrinkling and loss of interest in food.
Shedding and egg laying break
When it comes to molting, seasonal autumn molting is meant. It can last from 4 to 8 weeks. To help birds and reduce this period, it is necessary to provide them with proper nutrition. Chicken feather consists of protein.
This means that in order to enhance the growth of new feathers, a large amount of protein should be included in the diet along with the mashrooms on the back, cottage cheese, fish and other sources. During molting, some chickens may stop laying eggs. This is due to the lack of trace elements in the body and the high cost of substances for the process of changing feathers. Therefore, it is necessary to provide chickens with a balanced diet.
Herd replacement planned
A feature of egg breeds is a decrease in egg production with each subsequent year of chicken life. So, the peak of productivity falls on the second year. Then it decreases by 10-15% annually. Therefore, chickens are changed for the third year.
Legbar is unpretentious in content, but it must be borne in mind that layers need quality food. You can feed chickens with natural feed or compound feed. Each of the methods has its advantages and disadvantages, so, among the advantages of compound feed, note:
- its balanced composition;
- dosage accuracy;
- lack of time spent on cooking.
Important! Pumpkin seeds are great national anthelmintic. Their addition to the diet helps prevent helminthiasis.
Newborn chickens feed at intervals of 2 hours. There must be at least 8 such feedings per day, including night time. Gradually, their number will be reduced:
- 1-2 weeks - 8, feed norm per 1 individual - 5-10 g;
- 3-4 weeks - 6;
- 5-6 week - 4;
- 7–8 weeks - 3.
The chicken diet is three times a day. The feed rate is about 120 g per 1 chicken. Feed is distributed in the ratio:
- morning - 30%;
- lunch - 30%;
- evening - 40%.
Replacing part of the grain feed with sprouted grain (up to 20% of the mixture) enhances the nutritional value of the diet and saturation with vitamins. The feed is enriched with carbohydrates, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Germinated grain is an active biostimulant that promotes the development of beneficial intestinal microflora.In the daily diet are required:
- calcium - found in shells, cottage cheese and chalk;
- vitamins - come with vegetables, herbs and root vegetables (carrots, beets);
- fine gravel - to ensure the digestion process.