We are no longer breeding these, but enjoy the information!
We have a beautiful flock of Cream Legbars here at Huckleberry Farm. This very rare and beautiful breed comes from the UK and lays a gorgeous blue egg. One of the Cream Legbars best traits is that the chicks can be autosexed. So nice to be able to tell boy from girl at hatch! We generally have hatching eggs and chicks available for sale. After a century in the United Kingdom, the Cream Legbar is finally available in the United States.
A brief history of the Cream Legbar:
In 1929, Punnett began the initial breeding experiments that were to yield the cream legbar. It took almost two decades and the dedication of Michael Pease to produce a bird that was genetically stable and exhibited the odd array of traits first envisioned by Punnett. Cream legbars were first introduced at the London Dairy Show in 1947 and received a written standard by the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1958. While they probably began as merely a demonstration of Punnett’s skill in manipulating the chicken genome, legbars grew in popularity to fill a niche market in the British egg industry for pastel eggs produced by free-range birds. Today a variant of the cream legbar produces eggs that are marketed under the name of the Cotswold legbar –borrowing the name of Britain’s productive and beautiful pastoral region—and are viewed as the pinnacle of locally produced gourmet eggs in that country.
Cream legbars are medium-sized fowl that are known for their active foraging and ability to survive in a free-range environment. The roosters are vigilant and protective of the hens, and the hens efficiently go about the business of gleaning every seed and insect from the fields and pastures they prefer. They are well-suited for the small homestead and life outdoors.
Given their flamboyant feathering and ability to produce blue eggs, it’s easy to overlook the enormously practical advantage that cream legbars bring to the backyard poultry breeder; their auto-sexing function. It’s a little surreal to see cream legbar chicks hatch and helpfully provide a clear visual signal as to their gender. It’s a convenience to which we are not fully accustomed in this country. To better understand that convenience, it’s helpful to grasp the distinction between auto-sexing chicken breeds and sex-linked chickens. Both create a visually sexable chick, but the differences between the approaches are critical.
By contrast, auto-sexing chicken breeds like the cream legbar breed visually sexable chicks generation after generation. You can buy a pair of cream legbars now, continue to breed their offspring with each other, and eventually your grandchildren can one day be breeding their progeny and still be producing visually sexable chicks. In this sense auto-sexing chicks are like heirloom vegetables. They have a stable genome that always breeds true, and by saving a little seed stock with each generation you are ready to begin anew each year. Auto-sexing breeds like the cream legbar can help the small-scale chicken breeder to create a self-sustaining, visually sexable flock. With the introduction of the cream legbar to America, this is a new opportunity for American poultry enthusiasts.
~courtesy of Greenfire Farms