Extracted from
Leghorn Fowls Exhibition & Utility
by C A House published Poultry World Ltd

THE WHITE (click for pictures)             return to homepage

The breeder of White Leghorns has not so difficult a task as he who essays the breeding of either of the other varieties (Black excepted), because he has neither markings nor colour to bother about.
  Although a White Leghorn is a self-coloured bird, the most successful breeders resort to double mating. To head the cockerel breeding pen one should select as typical a cock or cockerel, as is possible. By this I mean a first-class show bird, and he should have as his mates hens or pullets that have been sired by a cockerel breeding sire, and own as his dam a hen or pullet similarly bred. The chief point to be considered is the comb. This must be firm and upright, with plenty of substance, especially at the base. It should be clean cut in its serrations, and be free from thumb marks, side sprigs or other malformation. The lobes should be pure in colour, of good substance, fine in texture, well shaped and carried close to the face without hollow or wrinkle. In body he should approximate as closely to the standard as possible, possess a good wide chest and be firm on his legs, not in-kneed.

His mates should possess good body shape, have combs that are set on a good firm base, and the more upright they are the better. They also should be free from thumb marks, sprigs, or other blemishes. The lobes should be neat and fine in texture.

When we come to consider the pullet breeding pen we have to proceed on altogether different lines so far as head points are concerned, because we want a falling folded comb on our hens and pullets. The cock, or cockerel, to head the pullet breeding pen should have a large, well cut comb, clean and free from all malformations, but it should be thin in substance, and inclined to fall over, in fad, the less firm and upright it is the better for the purpose. His mates should be pullet bred and be as near to exhibition form as possible. The nearer they are to the standard, the better. Care must be taken not to use hens or pullets with loose, floppy combs. What is needed is a larger comb of fine texture evenly serrated, and which rises straight up for a short distance in the front of the skull and then falls gracefully over to one side. A comb that is flat and flops over is one to be avoided, as is one that falls half to one side and then folds and falls over on the other side. From such one may expect, to breed nothing but badly-shaped combs, for it must ever be remembered that the hen has more than half the say so far as combs are concerned. The lobes of the hens or pullets in this pen should be as pure in colour as possible, be velvety and kid-like to the touch, free from hollows or wrinkles, and a good size.

  Speaking generally, the lobes of pullets and hens are purer in colour than those of cockerels and cocks. Many prefer an ivory white lobe to a dead white, and it certainly looks more natural whilst such lobes are usually of better texture and substance than those that are dead white.