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Mutton

Anyone here keep Leghorn chickens?

Just wondered what they were like to keep - in terms of looking after themselves, being alert.
I've seen them described as "flighty" - are they inclined to shout their heads off at any noise?
Tavascarow

I used to keep exchequer leghorns & they weren't any more flighty than my other birds.
I suppose if they take flight being a lighter breed they can fly farther than say a Marans or Sussex, but so can many other breeds & hybrids.
& is that such a bad thing?
chickenlady

I had one once. She was never friendly but laid so many eggs that she was forgiven. Laid for many years.
LynneA

My white Leghorn was highly productive, but an attention seeking psycho. Not agressive with us, but was prepared to take on practically anything else.

Her eventual demise came when she broke her neck headbutting the roof of her run, cleary trying to sort out some passing creature.

Would I get another? Yes, in an instant. Maybe this time I'd go for an Exchequer.
Mutton

Thanks - to be clear what I am trying to understand is that flighty definitely means alert and takes flight, rather than ditsy and hysterical. (We had a hysterical hen, one of our own mongrels, who would scream her head off and run when she saw anything that worried her. Sort of good, but not when it is a passing cyclist or something common and non-threatening.)

We have a mongrel flock that free ranges out into our field. They are all pretty good at keeping an eye out for hazards, and doing a vertical take off out of reach. We need to put some new blood in the flock as have been breeding them to each other for a few years now, so wanted more like what we've got to wrap in.
So alert to hazards and get out of the way of said hazard.
Leghorn was suggested to us and looks good. Just wanted more than one opinion.
Don't want bantams, prefer medium to large chickens.

Also prefer chickens that do go broody - could do with a couple of new broody hens as we are getting short on reliable broodies (old age got them).
Edited to say = and have just seen that broodiness has been bred out of Leghorns. Still interested in them, also if yours went broody?
Any especially broody breeds? Cos could get one or two of those.

Lynne - why Exechequer?
SandraR

I keep a flock of Exchequer Leghorns, fantastic layers, great forages, not easily spooked but can fly, don't go broody.


chickenlady

I've found the best broody hen is a silkie. They are willing to sit on a stone and try to hatch it!
BahamaMama

and Pekin bantams are broody..... but you don't want little chickens
chickenlady

Pekins are great - I have one sitting on fertile silkie eggs. They are small but have a big attitude and will mix well with large fowl.
Mutton

Cool, thank guys.

We now have some white leghorns (no exchequer available locally) and they are really sweet and yes, they can fly. Boy can they fly. Going to be interesting when they get to the great outdoors.

Years back we had a half-silkie hen from the market and she was a fantastic broody. Had hard feathers.
We're in a rather exposed and can turn muddy place - so would silkies feathers cope with that?
SandraR

Goldtops were the traditional broody hen - a Light Sussex/Silkie cross giving you the broodiness of the silkie but larger in size due to the Light Sussex. (Bodgers Light Sussex still maintain the broody strain)

Many traditional heavy breeds will go broody but for hardiness why not try Indian Game, mine came from Castle Farm. Fantastic sitters and mothers.Covers a good number of eggs despite peoples fears of them being heavy footed. I've never lost an egg or chick.
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