Friday, July 08, 2005

All you wanted to know about Chickens & Chicken Farming

Today I want to tell you about the Leghorn chicken. The Leghorn is a white-feathered egg layer that lays white eggs. It's the most common chicken used for commercial egg production.

I don't know how long they've been around, but at least 50 years. At maturity they weigh about 4 pounds and they start laying eggs at 4 to 5 months of age. They've been bred to have a very high feed to conversion rate, meaning you don't have to feed 'em much to get lots of eggs.

On the down side, it's been my experience that Leghorn chickens are very very high-strung. They are very exciteable, easily agitated, and a minor disturbance in the hen house can send them into a frenzy. This can put them off their lay for a day, so you lose a day's worth of eggs.

It's also been my experience in farming that Leghorns are more prone to eat their own eggs than other breeds. They're also not as hardy as other breeds so if you're looking for barnyard chickens running around the farm on their own, Leghorns aren't the best choice.

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