My Crested Cream Legbar’s are from the championship Jill Rees and Curtis Hale Bloodlines originating from Greenfire Farms. They are known for their active foraging and ability to survive in a free-range environment. The roosters are vigilant and protective of the hens. The hens are good layers of sky blue and green eggs averaging 260 eggs a year. The hens are rarely broody. They lay large to extra large eggs under USDA egg sizing standards. My eggs average 2 ½ inches long by 2 inches wide. They average a weight of 70 grams falling in the USDA Jumbo egg size.
The Crested Cream Legbar is a unique auto-sexing chicken. This means you can easily tell a female hen from a male roo immediately after hatching. Female chicks (pullet) have a dark brown triangle on the top of their head. Male chicks (roo) are lighter in color and have a white/yellow spot on the top of their heads. The Crested Cream Legbar breeds true generation after generation.
My Crested Cream Legbar’s are happy chickens. They are housed together at all times in their own separate coop and run. I let them free range every 3-4 days alternating between the different breeds that I have so they don’t get mixed up. I feed them organic layer feed with free access along with daily cracked corn and wheat. My coops are cleaned daily to make sure they have a clean environment.
Characteristics: The Crested Cream Legbar is a medium sized chicken. The male weighs in at 6-7½ lb and the female is around 4½-6 lb. They are very firm and muscular birds having a wedge shaped body, broad at the shoulders and tapering towards the rear. The wings are large and carried close to the body. The back is long and flat while the tail is held at 45 degree angle to the back. The head has a strong beak and large single erect comb with five to seven even spikes. The Crested Cream Legbar is named after their crest which lies at the back of the head behind the comb. The comb is small in the male and larger in the female. The face is smooth with pendant cream or white ear-lobes, long thin wattles and a long, well feathered neck. They have a yellow beak, red face, comb and wattles. They have yellow legs and feet which are un-feathered. They have four evenly spaced toes.
The male has cream colored, barred neck hackles and saddle hackles which are accented with dark grey and cream tips. The back and the shoulders are mostly cream barred with dark grey. The wings have dark grey barred primaries and secondaries with cream tips. The breast and tail are barred dark grey and the crest is cream and grey. The female has softly barred cream neck hackles. The breast is almost salmon colored while the body is silver-grey with broad barring. The wings are speckled with grey and the tail is silvery grey with light barring.
History/Origin: In 1927 a British horticulturalist. Clarence Elliott, set out on a plant collecting expedition that eventually took him to Chile. Along with ornamental plants, Elliott brought back many animals for the London Zoo including three hens. He gifted these hens to Cambridge Professor - Reginald Crundall Punnett (1875-1967) who was doing pioneering work on poultry genetics. Professor Punnett had already identified a sex linkage between gold males and silver females, and also the sex linkage carried by barred feathered birds. He began his breeding programs to utilize this to a create autosexing breeds.
Around 1932 the Gold and Silver Legbar was the second of these breeds to be created at Cambridge Agricultural Research Department. The Gold Legbar was first standardized with the Poultry Club of Great Britain as a breed in 1945 and the Silver Legbar was standardized six years later in 1951.
From this the Crested Cream Legbar was developed. In 1939 Michael S. Pease was trying to improve the productivity of the Gold Legbar. Through several mating combinations, he developed a crested, blue egg laying, auto-sexing breed he named the Crested Cream Legbar. The Crested Cream Legbar was first introduced at the London Dairy Show in 1947 and received a written standard by the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1958.
The Crested Cream Legbar 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. They are viewed as the pinnacle of locally produced gourmet eggs in that country.
Greenfire Farms is the first and only legal importer of the Crested Cream Legbar to the United States. They first introduced the Crested Cream Legbar in the fall of 2010. In 2012, they traveled to England and viewed the Crested Cream Legbar flock curated by Jill Rees. The birds from her flock consistently win top ribbons in the major UK poultry shows including a first and second place at the National Poultry Show of Great Britain. In late 2013, Greenfire Farms imported birds from Jill’s flock.