My Leghorns

Tillie Lays an Egg was inspired by a diminutive Bantam White Leghorn named Snowball. She was friendly and an independent thinker, and I enjoyed having her around so much that I got three more Bantam White Leghorns, Coco, Eggers and Betsy Ross. They were charming birds, but none with the spunk of Snowball. Betsy, however, was a great school visit hen until her retirement last year.

I’ve heard very good things about full-sized Leghorns, and so ordered two white and two brown in the batch from McMurray. It was clear from the first week that these were speedy chickens, with places to go and things to do that did not include me. They did not act like the bantams that I knew and loved. Still, I decided to keep one, if only to have a bright white bird with a brilliant red floppy comb in the flock. I’ve named her Twiggy, as she is stylish, leggy and lean. At only 9 weeks of age, Twiggy already dwarfs Betsy.



Betsy is fascinated by another white chicken. We’ll have to wait and see how this relationship develops. So far, it’s been one-sided. Twiggy has no interest in  getting to know the older generation.


  1. Twiggy is a sweet little hen. I love how clean and white they stay. I got my white Leghorn because of Betsy. I explained to Doc, Leghorns are smaller hens. Not really even half the size of the standard breed. Showed him Betsy’s pic in “Tillie Lays an Egg”. So he let me add one more to my six. Took a lot of persuading. I later read in a post that Betsy was a bantam. ooops. Now I’m waiting for him to come back and say, “I thought you said”…….Dottie is our Leghorns name and is 4 weeks old. I have a little time left to think of my answer. One good thing is Dottie has turned out to be his favorite. That might help. A barred rock is my favorite and her name is “Gravel Gerty”. We call her Gerty.

      • Great names. I’m eager to see how Twiggy’s personality develops. The standard White Leghorn breeders that I’ve met at shows have all talked about what nice birds they are. They look it, too. I’m sure no one will be thinking “oops” when yours grows up.

  2. I too have been watching your white leghorn with interest and might get one. A much loved rescue hen lived with me for a number of years. A friend had found her alongside the road. She was large and white with a floppy red comb,and had had her beak trimmed. This did not slow her down. She laid eggs in a cat carrier and slept in the garage, spending much of each day following a group of wild turkeys around the neighborhood. All the neighbors enjoyed her too. She was friendly and fun to have around, and I would love to get another of whatever she was, but we don’t really know. I will be looking for another couple of hens to add to my remaining four, as my seven-year-old dark Cornish died this week.(Beautiful, healthy to the last, still laying eggs several times a week, but aloof. She just slowed down slightly for a day or two , and then was gone. When I came home from work. I found her in her favorite spot under the chayote vine in my run.)

    • She was likely a leghorn hybrid production hen, but a standard Leghorn would be a good stand-in, I think. BTW, that’s ancient for a Cornish. Hawaii must be the Garden of Eden for chickens :)

      • I feel better if that is ancient for a Cornish. She came with 2 others from the same hatching, and neither lasted as long. The Turken, like the Cornish, just fell over unexpectedly, and the large grey hen with feathers on her feet and the lovely personality was the first to go. Hawaii is a great place for chickens except that people let their dogs out, so my white rescue hen was the last to free range. Now I use a 150 ft perimeter electric mesh.

  3. I have a Buff Leghorn and half the time I don’t see her because she is speed racing everywhere. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her and say “Oh! There you are! I forgot about you!”

    • I didn’t know that they came in the buff color. They should all be named “Road Runner” or “Beep Beep.”

  4. I had a Twiggy, too! She was a rescued Humane Society game hen pullet. Very skinny, but very sweet.
    Also acquired two White Leghorn chicks–sweet, but aloof. I named them Pearly and Lily White Leghorn.

  5. i have two white rocks and it’s amazing to me how clean their beautiful feathers stay even through muddy and nasty winter weather.
    I love the way Betsy is looking at Twiggy in this picture. :)

  6. Nice youngster. I have two leghorns. The three year old is still laying 5 eggs a week.