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 Post subject: LEGBAR - Breed Profile
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Wise One
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Legbar
An autosexing breed is one in which the chicks at hatching can be sexed by their down colouring. This is different to a sex-linked cross in which two separate parent breeds are needed, being a “Gold” male and “Silver” female or similar crosses involving two separate breeds. The proper name for autosexing breeds would be auto sex-linked. Autosexing breeds breed true to type, and all have been developed on the barring gene (B).

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Breed: Legbar. Meaning Leg(horn) Bar(red).

Origin: Britain. The Legbar is one survivor of the autosexing craze of the 1930’s. During this time, it was discovered that the light patch on the head of day old barred chickens, which is similar in size on the chickens of both sexes with black down, is quite dissimilar on the heads of chickens with brown down. Professor R.C. Punnett and Mr M.S. Pease of Cambridge University, discovered the basic principle in their experimental work, and made the Cambar (barred Campine) in 1929. Later on they developed the Legbar. After that, numerous autosexing breeds were developed including Rhodebar, Wybar, Cream Legbar, Ancobar, Barnibar, Dorbar, Brussbar, Brockbar, Buffbar and Welbar.

Classification: Light breed – Softfeather. Status is rare, although it’s in no danger of becoming extinct as long as their parent breeds, Brown Leghorns and Plymouth Rocks, are plentiful.

Colours/Varieties: Gold and Silver are the only colours currently recognised in the Australian Poultry Standards (first edition). Although the most popular overseas, would be the Cream. The Cream has a small crest and lays a blue/green, coming from Araucana blood in its make up. Australian breeders are currently working on creating the Cream here, although no breeds are known to have the cream (ig) gene, in Australia. It’s been suggested we push to call them Crested Legbars rather than Cream, and work with the Silver colour as a base along with blue egg and crested features. A commercial Legbar has also been developed in England and is known as the old Cotsworld Legbar, being derived from the Cream.

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Eggs: Legbar hens are excellent layers of large, white eggs, coming from their Leghorn heritage. Obviously, the Cream/Crested lay a blue or green (or olive) egg.

Comment: Legbars are an excellent breed for anyone who wishes to learn about genetics and play around with a few chooks, but doesn’t wish to keep many male birds. Legbars (and other autosexing breeds) are the only breed in which you can make your very own line from scratch using a simple set of breeding rules (see below). The hens are excellent layers; and rarely go broody because of their light breed nature. I have found them to be placid, inquisitive birds and are very human friendly. The males also display these characteristics, but at the same time are protective over their hens if they are in danger.


Cost: Prices for good birds are not easy to comment on. I have never seen a bird sold at auction (bar my own culls), I would expect top birds to make at least $80 but that’s what I would pay. Chicks are worth more at day old, because day old pullets can be selected from a brood.

History: As mentioned, Legbars were developed in England at Cambridge. It is impossible to tell whether any original birds from this line were ever shipped out to Australia, because of the ease of developing them from scratch. It is certain, that Victoria was once the Legbar capital of Australia; hard to believe nowadays. Legbars are certainly rare in the most popular variety, Large Gold. Silvers and bantams of both are even scarcer. Creams seem to be around, but are a work in progress still.

Breeding: Barring is sex-linked, meaning that males can carry a double dose (BB) and a single dose in the female (B-), for that reason females have a small defined head spot, and the males have a large blurred patch that spreads over their body, making them easily distinguishable. When this barring is transferred onto brown plumage, it is even more evident and day old Legbar pullets are a brown colour, with distinct stripes and clear, small, white head spot. Males are a blurred, creamy colour with a large undefined head spot.
Type comes from the female, and good, typed females should always be used first and foremost.

Image

Colours:
Gold Male: Gold males to have a pale straw neck sparsely barred with gold and black. Back, shoulder coverts and wing bow pale straw barred with bright gold-brown. Wing coverts dark grey barred; primaries and secondaries dark grey barred, intermixed with white, upper web of secondaries also intermixed with chestnut. Saddle hackle pale straw barred with bright gold-brown, as far as possible without black. Breast, underparts, dark grey barred. Tail grey barred; sickles paler. Tail coverts grey barred.
Gold Female: Gold female’s hackle, pale gold, marked with black bars. Breast: salmon, clearly defined. Body: dark smokey or slatey grey-brown with indistinct broad soft barring, the individual feathers showing paler shaft and slightly paler edging. Wings: dark grey-black with slight indication of lighter broad bars.
Silver Male: Neck and saddle hackle, back and wing bows: silver, sparsely barred and dark grey, tips of feathers shading off to pure silver. Wing bar: dark grey with silver-grey barring. Primaries: dark grey, some white permissible. Secondaries: silver with sparse dark grey barring. Breast: evenly barred dark grey and silver-grey, with well-defined outline. Tail and tail coverts: evenly barred dark grey and silver-grey, sickles being paler.
Silver female: Head and neck hackle silver, with black striping, softly barred grey. Breast salmon, clearly defined. Body: silver-grey with indistinct broad soft barring, individual feathers showing lighter shaft and edging. Wings: silver grey, as free from chestnut as possible. Secondaries: silver-grey, upper web a lighter grey mottled. Tail: silver-grey with indistinct soft barring.
In both sexes of both varieties: Beak yellow. Eyes: orange or red. Comb, face and wattles: red. Earlobes: pure opaque white (resembling white kid) or cream, slight pink markings and pink edging does not unduly handicap an otherwise good bird. Legs and feet: yellow, orange or light willow in the female.


Exhibition: Again, I can’t make a lot of comment on Legbars at shows. The female I bred last year has one her section 3 out of 4 times shown, very unexpectedly, and without competition. I have only met one other bird at show, and she is pictured here as the example of what NOT to look for. If they have good type and colour, there is no reason they can’t be up there with the best, older judges often commenting on the way they “remind me of the birds I had as a kid, grand fowls”.


Weights for Legbars:
FOWLS
Cock 3.20 – 3.40 kg (7 – 7 ½ lb)
Hen 2.25 – 2.70 kg (5 – 6 lb)
Cockerel 2.70 – 2.95 kg (6 – 6 ½ lb)
Pullet 2.00 – 2.25 kg (4 ½ - 5 lb)
BANTAMS
Male 910 – 1075 g (32 – 38 oz)
Female 790 – 910 g (28 – 32 oz)


Feeding: Legbars eat as per normal fowl, and are great foragers, always preferring to run around the garden and paddocks first and come back to grain afterwards. They should be fed a variety of grains plus layer pellets and grit to keep them from becoming bored with pelleted food. Greens provide stress relief, entertainment and great health. One thing I’ve noticed is they are great mouse catchers, they find the thrill of chasing as eating mice great fun and will spend ours digging up tunnels underground (note: this may not be a specific breed trait, and rather just a trait of my own birds).


Legbar links:
Autosexing.co.uk
Legbars of Broadway
Feathersite
Backyard Poultry Legbars


Nick

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Last edited by Nick on Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:27 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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well done nick, great work dude


jase

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:27 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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thats heaps informative.
now i actually understand your birds in the yard. now when your saying something to me about them i wont have to just nodd and smile. LOL!
good job!

ps. HAHAHAHA at the legbar that we were also told if she was silver she'd be a dorkbar! mmmmm ok then!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:22 am 
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Discerning Duck
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Location: drought or flooding rain with the random bushfire storm = yep thats about it for here
Nick - may I also add my thanks for this wonderful post

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:40 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Below are pics of my two legbar cockerals. Thanks to Nick for the eggs.

As you can see they are only youngsters but I have high hopes for them.
The largest is only 6 months old so is not fully grown yet, and the younger one is only 3 1/2 months.

The eldest one has a couple barnevelder pullets to keep him company :biggrin: so hopefully I will get some barnebar pullets from that pen.
The younger one will have some brown leghorn pullets going in with him so that I can breed up some legbar pullets for breeding later on.

Wayne

The older cockerel is a silver legbar (split for gold).
Image

The smaller cockerel is a gold legbar.
Image


Last edited by WBrown on Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:55 pm 
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Wise One
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Beautiful birds indeed :P Great job, and great info Nick :D The colours and type have always been a favourite :D

Thank you :)

rollyard


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:08 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Nick, I am not sure how I missed this, except maybe it was christmas, but mate, well done.

An awesome Breed profile.

Raf

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:52 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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W Brown wrote:
Below are pics of my two legbar cockerals. Thanks to Nick for the eggs.

As you can see they are only youngsters but I have high hopes for them.
The largest is only 6 months old so is not fully grown yet, and the younger one is only 3 1/2 months.

The eldest one has a couple barnevelder pullets to keep him company :biggrin: so hopefully I will get some barnebar pullets from that pen.
The younger one will have some brown leghorn pullets going in with him so that I can breed up some legbar pullets for breeding later on.

Wayne

Image

Image


Wow they grow alot in a few months dont they?

Excellent profile Nick, very informative. cant wait to get my pullets at Euroa

Sigrid

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:29 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Nick - many congratulations - an EXCELLENT Breed profile sure to be of interest to novice and old hand alike.

One very very minor trivial detail.

I seem to recall:
Nick wrote:
.....So it's possible to have Crele Leghorns and Legbars (I won't debate that here)....

Nick


but isn't the painting of Crele Leghorns? :wink: ( I don't know when it was done - and Van Gink lived till 1968 - so maybe he did paint Legbars? )


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:03 pm 
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Wise One
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Htul wrote:
I seem to recall:
Nick wrote:
.....So it's possible to have Crele Leghorns and Legbars (I won't debate that here)....

Nick


but isn't the painting of Crele Leghorns? :wink: ( I don't know when it was done - and Van Gink lived till 1968 - so maybe he did paint Legbars? )

:shock: Is it? :lol: I used it because it's in the current Australian Poultry Standards (although i don't think the colouring of the male is very accurate at all) and i like the painting itself (along with other Van Gink paintings). But i could be wrong...where did have you read they are Creel Leghorns?

Nick

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:02 pm 
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Gallant Game
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It wasn't this exact painting - but the corresponding painting for the silver version that I'd seen here (although I felt sure that painting was somewhere there as well) on this Dutch website:

http://www.leghornkriel.nl/index.htm

I had presumed "Leghornkrielen" meant "Crele Leghorn" - but maybe that IS the term for Legbar? I did read the following Google translation of one of the articles from this site though:

http://translate.google.com.au/#nl/en/

which makes mention of the difference between "Koekoek Partridge Leghorn" vs Danish Legbars.

So, maybe this Dutch website has been caught out? (it would actually seem to make a bit more sense that way - Van Gink has painted a detail of the chicks to display the difference -so maybe they are Legbars (although both Crele Leghorn and Legbars should be just as easily autosexable)?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:15 pm 
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Wise One
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I tried to translate "krielen" on babelfish with no luck. It just told me it was "krielen" in English too :roll:

They are very interesting articles (although I'm not sure what the "cow wafer" bit means :hmmm: ). The look like lovely little bantams!

Crele Leghorns would be the same as Legbars as per autosexing properties go if they wanted BB males, although most Creel/Crele standards call for Bb males or the darker birds. Where as the "washed out" BB males are required in Legbars. Are Creel/Crele Leghorns a recognised variety in any standard around the world?

Nick

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Still unsure of "krielen" but my guess is stil "Crele" - probably too minor a word for babelfish or Google to bother having a translation, and I must admit having missed the reference to "cow wafer" (no idea what that means!). I am fairly sure that "koekoek" is cuckoo, though. I'll see if I can rope in an "expert second opinion" on this subject matter....

Genuine creles (e+) based should retain the autosexing properties as you point out, although barred eb birds are often referred to as "crele" too. In fact, I found a pic via Googling of a "crele" leghorn that appeared to be barred wheaten - in all cases, the adult males will look quite similar (basically, barred BBR).

However, on the issue of Van Gink focusing in on the detail - I suspect it may be to do with Legbars and the newly discovered (at that time that the painting probably would have been done) principle of "autosexing" - I'm not sure that this was thought to translate to crele leghorns at that time (if indeed crele leghorns even existed then)

Can't comment on whether crele has been standardised in other countries or not.

But very interesting (and I do like the painting - even if it doesn't necessarily reflect the Standard for Legbars).

Cheers,
Htul


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:23 am 
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Showy Hen
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Dutch to the rescue... ;)

Kriel means bantam or tiny potatoe.

But the picture is also a crele, in dutch = koekoekpatrijs.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:12 pm 
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Wise One
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I do like the paintings (both Gold and Silver), and would be assuming too that since the chicks have been inserted into the piece that they are Legbars, displaying the autosexing properties.

I'm guessing to that it mean Leghorn-Bantam, not Leghorn-Small Potato :lol: Thankyou Henk :wink:

Nick

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