BREED NAME: Cream Legbar
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The Cream Legbar is an unusual crested chicken breed developed in England almost 100 years ago and brought to the US in 2011 to help maintain and share this valuable breed.
The male is silver and gold barred and the hen somewhat resembles a Brown Leghorn with hints of barred patterning and a crest.
The name reflects two primary breeds used to create it many years ago, the Brown Leghorn and Barred Plymouth Rock. There are few breeds that produce a sky blue egg due to Araucana influence and the Cream Legbar is one.
Size: Standard Male: 6 - 7 Ibs. / Standard Female: 5-6 Ibs. Comb, Wattles & Earlobes: Red, whitish lobesPlace of Origin: Great Britain
Conservation Status: Rare
Special Qualities: Probably the most unique feature of this breed is the ability to color sex chicks at hatching, called “auto-sexing” when it’s a purebred trait.
Next is its blue egg and the little tuft of feathered crest on their heads just behind their comb. The blue eggs and crest were inherited from the Araucana.
This breed has Patagonian roots through three hens brought from Patagonia to Gloucestershire, England by Clarence Elliott. He was on a voyage to collect and return to England with rare plants in 1927.
The hens and offspring were later used by Cambridge professor, RC Punnett, studying poultry genetics. He developed the Cream Legbar starting in 1929 using the imported Patagonian genes crossed with domestic stock.
By 1947 he could produce consistent results and presented the breed publicly. It was Punnett’s personal challenge to induce auto-sexing traits into chickens.
His first success, aided by Michael Pease, was the Cambar breed, a crossing of Campine and Barred Rock, which produced cockerel hatchlings with a white dot on the head and pullets with chipmunk striping, common in a number of breeds.
Later the Cotswold Legbar was developed from Cream Legbar offspring and is the production version of the Cream.
The Cotswold became popular in the English poultry industry for their high volume laying production and a blue tinted egg. Punnett is credited with over a dozen auto-sexed breeds and is considered the father of poultry genetics at Cambridge.
Cream Legbars are considered prolific egg layers, are charming and attractive and would be a great addition to your farm, garden or back yard.
They excel at free range life, the roosters quite protective of their hens. The hens happily explore yards and pastures for nutritious bugs, greens and seeds all day, when not laying her sky-blue egg.
This is a great Heritage type breed that is useful and hardy in most climates and conditions. The recent introduction of unrelated flocks to the US gives us one more long tried and true breed for our backyard chicken flocks. The following is great news for chicken lovers in the US:
2011 - Greenfire Farms, in the United States, recently imported two unrelated groups of Cream Legbars. They are extremely happy to bring the first of the breed into the US and to be able to offer unrelated birds for sale.
Two lines bring their strengths together with genetic diversities that will prevent much inbreeding and help establish this rare breed so far from home.
Greenfire believes this breed will be very beneficial for backyard breeders, in part due to auto sexing, and could help create a revolution in what breeds make up the backyard flocks in the US. Their sky blue eggs are unique and just a small part of their charm.
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