White leghorns and white stars

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White leghorns and white stars

Post by farmerjon1988 »

Hi all

Can anyone explain to me how to tell the difference between a white leghorn and a white star?

To me they look the same they are white with floppy red comb white earlobes and yellow legs and they both lay white eggs
So is there something im missing?

Thank you
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Re: White leghorns and white stars

Post by chickadoodle »

I am still learning and i am still amateur, I thought Leghorn was a an actual breed, and whitestar was a crossbreed, engineered to lay white eggs, from the leghorn strain.?? No doubt, an expert can put us on the right track.
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Re: White leghorns and white stars

Post by Icemaiden »

I believe (I'm not an expert either...) that White Leghorns are purebreeds, so they'll live a lot longer, lay their eggs over a longer period of time & breed true to type, whereas White Stars are hybrids, so they'll lay all of their eggs in a shorter space of time, including laying reliably over the winter, but will not breed true to type & will die younger. This should mean, if you are mainly interested in the eggs, that the white star girls will have less non-productive years (between stopping laying & going to the great hen coop in the sky) at the end of their lives taking up coop space, but you won't get to enjoy their company for as long.

Hope this helps. All the best with your decision.
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Re: White leghorns and white stars

Post by dinosaw »

Another non expert commenting, (I believe that Chuck is the person in the know here about both White Stars and Leghorns). I currently have a couple of white stars and am led to believe that they are in fact 100% white leghorn and the 'hybrid' classification is not strictly true, it comes from them being a cross between two very inbred strains of white leghorn which results in the same characteristics you would expect from a hybrid such as increased egg production and lower life expectancy as Icemaiden says. They are also smaller than the breed standard for a leghorn while laying eggs of approximately the same size, in my opinion they also have less feathers though that is just my opinion from my own birds and my friends leghorns which I have handled. I have to say given their small build, the size and sheer amount of eggs you get from a white star is amazing and given the small amount of feed they consume I am surprised they are not used more commercially here in the UK, can only put it down to the publics preference for brown eggs.
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Re: White leghorns and white stars

Post by Nick »

Weird about the egg colour thing. In the US, they love white eggs - coz they are 'pure', whereas in the UK we like brown eggs, coz they are 'natural'.
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Re: White leghorns and white stars

Post by foxy »

Leghorns are an old breed. Originally from Italy, hence the type of bird which still maintains those Mediterranean characteristics, light weight and large comb. It came via the US to the UK around 140 years ago where it is recognised still as a prolific layer of large white eggs.
Leghorns because of their size and laying capabilities are used as foundation stock in the complex world of commercial hybrid development. A white star is one of these hybrids developed and has probably only been around for no more than 10 -20 years.
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Re: White leghorns and white stars

Post by Shitzu »

With the leghorns, a breed focused mainly on egg production, you can get fertile eggs simply by having a rooster around to do his job. Having a leghorn hen that actually wants to set (go broody) and hatch her own chicks is rare. Not impossible, but rare. The broody gene has been pretty much eliminated from the breed because leghorns are designed for heavy egg production and a broody hen is not laying.

The later is a cross breed.

Read more here: https://ecopetlife.com/white-leghorn-hen-and-rooster/

To hatch leghorns your best bet is an incubator.
If you'd like to see it done the old-fashioned way and there is nothing sweeter than watching a hen brood, hatch and raise chicks, you might want to look at one of the heritage breeds. In them the broody gene is alive and well. Some of the best broodies and mothers would be the buff orpingtons, the brahmas, cochins, and on the smaller scale, silkies, seramas, and old english game hens. When you get yourself a broody hen, slip some fertile leghorn eggs under her and let her do all the work.

The cock needs to be comparable in size to your hen/hens, just because a young cockerel or rooster locks on and goes thru the motions doesn't mean he's gettin the deed done. A Banty rooster can jump on a big hen and never make "contact", but he still puts on a helluva show.
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