If you have been thinking of increasing your flock by adding a free-ranging chicken, you should be considering Cream Legbar chickens.
The breed is unique, cute, and a good chicken for laying eggs. Each hen can produce 250 eggs or even more in a year under favorable conditions.
Generally, the Cream Legbar is a low-maintenance chicken. It is, therefore, an excellent addition to any flock.
The history of Cream Legbar chickens
The Cream Legbar was first introduced to the poultry world in 1947 at a London expo. Ten years after its introduction, the Poultry Club of Britain published a written description of the breed.
The Cream Legbar breed was developed by Professor Michael Pease and R.C. Punnett. It was a result of a cross between Gold Leghorns and Danish Brown Leghorns. The two considered qualities such as blue egg production, cream color, and crest.
The most important quality was the auto-sexing trait in chicks. Currently, the Cream Legbar is the oldest breed in existence with this trait. It was also the second breed to have the auto-sexing trait in chicks.
The Chamber, its predecessor, is now extinct because it did not compete with the Cream Legbar in the production of eggs.
The Cream Legbars’ beautiful pastel blue distinguishes them from other breeds of chicken. A variety of subsets of the original breed have developed since then. Today, the Cotswold Legbar, which is a descendant of the Cream Legbar, is among the leading producers of fine eggs in Britain.
In Britain, the Cream Legbars have been around for more than 70 years. However, their appearance in the US has been shorter.
Farmers in Canada discovered the breed in 2012. Pullets providers are still very few in Canada and the US. However, the breed has proved to be a valuable asset in the free-range scene.
Cream Legbar appearance
The breed is a light fowl with a triangular-shaped body. It usually has a long, level back.
The earlobes of the Cream Legbar are primarily white or cream. They have red bay eyes and a yellow to horn tinted beak.
They have a long neck that leads to a complete breast. Besides, the Cream Legbars have a wide shoulder. This is the reason why they have a level back.
The principal characteristics for hens are:
- Cream-colored in the neck, chest, and head
- The under-color of all parts has a silver-gray coloring
- Long feathers that are closely packed to the body
- A red comb with six different points.
- A stout beak that is yellow and slightly curved
The comb follows the line of the head over the back of it in roosters. It should not have twists or any irregular markings.
The standard weight for pullets is 4.5 lbs, and that of hens is 5.5 lbs. Roosters, on the other hand, may weigh up to 7 pounds.
They have clean, yellow legs with four toes. The skin is also yellow.
The auto-sexing feature makes the Cream Legbars an absolute breed for the future.
Personality and Temperament
The Cream Legbar is generally a free-range breed. Chickens, therefore, need to be responsive and alert to any form of danger. This means that they may not be very friendly in your coup. It gives them a curious nature that makes them fun to include in your coop.
Cream Legbars are expert foregers. They can easily pick insects and other sources of food in the yard. This is one of the reasons why their roosters are very aggressive sometimes, especially during mating times.
There have been some disputes concerning the temperament of the Cream Legbars. Some sources say that they are loud, wayward, and worried. On the other hand, other sources say that the birds are pleasant, accommodating, and can be handled easily.
In general, they are friendly birds that are easy to handle. Cream Legbars are the utility type of chicken that is appropriate for the production of eggs. They are relatively loud with a voice like that of the Araucana.
The Cream Legbars are nervous and flighty most of the time. Their hens lay ego-friendly or blue eggs. However, they lay poorly during the winter months. Hens of the Cream Legbars are not broody.
Cream Legbar Laying and egg color
One of the most unique and joyful things about having the Cream Legbars in your flock is the collection of eggs.
The breed is known for laying blue eggs that are very beautiful. The color of their eggs is the same as that of the Araucanas, which come from cross-breeding.
Their eggs can be light green also. The unique colorings of their eggs can be an advantage for you if you are selling them in your locality and you are the only producer.
With a bigger size of the hen, their eggs are relatively more considerable as well. The USDA classifies their eggs as large.
Just like the size of the eggs, their quantity is amazing too. Under suitable conditions, their hens can lay four eggs in a week. This corresponds to about 230 eggs in a year. An average layer can give you 170-200 eggs in a year.
Most sources indicate that the hens of Cream Legbars are not broody. However, there are a few sources that have mentioned that the hens are broody. Broodiness may therefore depend on the pressure that you have.
The Cream Legbars are autosexing. This means that their chicks can stand out during hatching out. It might be difficult to sex poor-quality birds.
Health and maintenance
The Cream Legbars are mostly independent. However, to be more productive and stay healthy, they will require regular care just like other flocks.
You will have to clean their water and check the supply every day. It would be best if you also stocked their food supply regularly.
Keeping a feeding recording can work well when rearing Cream Legbars. During the foraging months, your chicken may not necessarily need a lot of food supply since they can easily find it on their own.
You will have to monitor them during molting. At this time, your chicken will need an extra supply of proteins that will aid in the growth of healthy feathers. You must also remember to collect their eggs daily for consistency and freshness.
It is good to observe your chickens daily for any change in appearance and behavior. They must be energetic with smooth feathers and bright eyes.
The Cream Legbar is a curious and vibrant animal. You must take immediate action if you notice excess conflict or lack of energy in your flock.
Generally, this is a healthy breed with little trouble. You must, however, check the crest feathers carefully as they are more likely to attract lice and mice. Worms can also be anticipated. You will have to employ preventive actions and routine health checks to keep your chicken healthy all the time.
From chick to a mature chicken
It can be so joyful having hatched chicks in the coop. It is not demanding to raise Cream Legbars from chicks up to the point when they are mature roosters or hens. The breed has the advantage of autosexing. You can, therefore, separate females and males as you choose.
Male chicks are a bit yellow on the head and have a lighter appearance. Female chicks, on the other hand, have striping on the back and are darker in color. With an increase in popularity of the Cream Legbars, you can easily find a good market locally to sell your chicks.
The flock will forage at any possible place, but you will also have to give them laying feed to increase their productivity. The chicken may not need a lot of space while on the roost.
When designing your coop, you must ensure that it is large enough to accommodate the whole of your flock. Every chicken in the flock must be given enough space to roam around.
The Cream Legbar chickens may not at times integrate well with other breeds in your flock. They can be a target to the breeds that are more aggressive. It is therefore important to be sure that the current birds in your flock are not aggressive before you add the Cream Legbars.
The safety of your chickens can also be a big challenge, especially among young birds. A peck on the head can cause a serious injury that may even lead to a variety of diseases and eventually cause.
The Cream Legbar chicken has now become a preferred and common chicken breed in the United States of America. Its features make it one of the best breeds that you can introduce to your flock.
The breed is easy to maintain and can easily adapt to the existing environment. However, you will have to monitor their health conditions on a daily basis. This will help in increasing their productivity.
You can try to include this breed in your flock. Their chicks are affordable, and there is a high chance of them surviving to maturity.