Leghorn or Livorno Hen - Origin, Characteristics and He alth

Leghorn or Livorno hen: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The domestication of animals is a process that goes back...

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The domestication of animals is a process that dates back thousands of years, so it has accompanied the history of humanity. When the different ancient human groups started moving from one place to another, in many cases they brought with them different species of animals, which makes the introduction of species in different regions a fact. historical. Birds belong to the dynamics of people, and chickens are not excluded from this process. But did you know that there are different breeds of chickens? One of them is Livorno, which we will talk about in this article.

Next, at PlanèteAnimal, we explain the characteristics of the Leghorn hen and we also talk about its natural habitat, its diet and much more. Keep reading to discover all its curiosities.


  • America
  • United States

Origin of the Leghorn hen

" The Italian name for the Leghorn hen breed is livorno, but it is also called Italian hen. It is associated with the Tuscan port from which the birds from which the breed originated were shipped to North America. This event happened in 1828, and in 1870 specimens of the Leghorn hen were brought back to Europe, more precisely, to England. From there they then returned to Italy. However, these already matched the new breed that was born."

Over time, new crosses were made until the characteristics currently observed were obtained.However, it is reported that in England individuals with the original characteristics can still be observed. As early as 1874, it was already recognized by associations dedicated to establishing standards for this type of pet.

Features of the Leghorn Hen

Now that we know its origin, let's talk about the characteristics of the Leghorn hen. These characteristics that make it such a special hen are:

  • It is a slender bird with an elegant appearance and harmonious proportions.
  • There is a sexual dimorphism between males and females of the species: the weight of the rooster is around 2.4 and 2.7 kg, while that of the hen oscillates between 2 and 2, 3 kg approx.
  • She has a relatively long trunk with broad shoulders, but it tapers towards the tail.
  • She is growing fast.
  • It has a medium and somewhat elongated head, the crest is simple, although it is very well developed and it is straighter in the rooster. The crest coloration is red in this breed.
  • It has a slightly curved yellow beak, although in some varieties it may have a black coloration at the tip.
  • Their eyes are large, with red or orange irises.
  • The lobe is well formed and, in the case of the female, slightly folded.
  • Beards are red with an oval shape.
  • The face is also red, smooth and clear.
  • The neck is medium in size, with an upright stance and a layer of feathering that extends to the shoulders.
  • While in the rooster the back is slightly inclined, in the hen it remains practically horizontal.
  • The chest is prominent. In females, the abdominal region is more developed and is more prominent towards the rear.
  • She has a harmonious tail with erect plumage.
  • It has broad, long and strong wings that are attached to the body.
  • The legs are medium sized, yellow, featherless and have four toes.

Colors of the Livorno hen

The typical coloring is completely white, both for the female and for the male, but other varieties have been produced, such as: black, fawn, gold, blue and tricolor, among others. For this reason, although the white Leghorn hen is the most common, it is possible to find the golden, black and even silver Leghorn.

How are the eggs of the Leghorn hen?

The eggs of the Leghorn hen are white or darker and weigh about 65 g, but this characteristic also depends on the variety of the breed.

Habitat of the Leghornn hen

Domestic hens live in the spaces that are conditioned to them, and these must meet good conditions. The Livorno hen, as we have seen, lives in different countries, with different conditions, so it adapts to different types of climate and vegetation, except for those that are too humid.Of course, a hen, or any other animal, should never be confined in a cage or in a space that is too small. In the case of keeping one or more specimens of these hens, the best environment is one that allows them to be in semi-freedom. If you don't have enough space, we don't recommend adopting this type of chicken.

Leghorn Hen Character

She is described as a breed with an active and lively temperament. In addition to being a beautiful hen, it is characterized by being very good at looking for food, so it is very curious and likes to move around in open spaces. She generally does not like to be around people, it is better not to take her as a pet. As she is a rather cheerful hen, she is quite noisy and she is even able to fly up to some trees.

Despite their ability to lay eggs, females don't tend to lay eggs constantly like other breeds.

Leghorn Hen Care and Feeding

It is an animal that, like all animals, needs good food to be he althy, as well as the correct hygiene, temperature and humidity conditions, since this last aspect can affect them, so it is necessary that they are in a dry space. In this regard, constant cleaning of the place where they sleep and spend time should be carried out regularly. Another important factor to consider is sufficient space to move around. Like we said, they need natural land to live happily.

" For more details on feeding, do not miss this other article: What do chickens eat?."

Leghorn Chicken He alth

It is considered a generally he althy, vigorous and strong bird. Certainly, its very active and explorer character contributes to this, since there is no doubt that the consumption of certain natural foods provides good nutrients that contribute to the he alth of the animal.However, if adequate conditions such as those mentioned above are not provided, his he alth will deteriorate.

Leghorn hen: curiosities

Because of the different crosses that have been made, we finally speak of three main types:

  • English: who have a larger bearing and size.
  • Americano: in which the male is distinguished mainly by an intense and beautiful plumage.
  • European: which, although similar in size to the English, has a peculiar elongated shape and the rooster has a striking tail.

Crosses have also been made to generate a dwarf variety, which has the typical white color of the breed. This dwarf Livorno has the same traits that characterize this hen, only the size and weight are smaller.

Photos of Leghorn or Livorno hen

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