I think it’s pretty safe to assume that most of us think of the iconic white Leghorn when we think of the Leghorn breed. But did you know that there are a couple of other Leghorn varieties? That’s right, and the Brown Leghorn chicken is one of them.

Not only is the Brown Leghorn an elegant beauty, but this variety is also quite the egg producer. Keep reading to learn some fun facts about this lesser-known (but impressive) Leghorn chicken.

Brown Leghorn rooster and two hens standing in grass

Brown Leghorn Breed History

The Leghorn breed has a rich history that can be traced back to Italy, Denmark, and England. This breed was admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 1874.

Bred for their ability to forage and lay eggs, these chickens became quite popular. Over time, the Brown variant came about, with its lovely brown plumage setting it apart.

Leghorns in general mature early and are active foragers which has made them a long-time favorite throughout history.


I’ve personally tried to gain a colorful flock, and brown chickens were not at the top of my list. But learning about Brown Leghorns changed my mind forsure.

The Brown Leghorn chickens have quite an array of brown shades, arranged just perfectly. It’s not just a plain Jane brown (apologies to the Jane’s out there). The glossy feathers, splashed around like art, create an appearance that catches the eye.

Whether simple backyard birds or used as show poultry, the Brown Leghorn chickens are certainly captivating enough to most onlookers.

The males, like most birds, have more colors to display. Cream, black, brown, and golds with an orangish-colored saddle make for handsome roosters. The female is more muted brown but with elegant penciling and shades throughout (from lighter browns to dark brown to even darker brown). They can have salmon-colored breasts.

They have large wattles and a single comb (which is great for hot climates) or rose combs (which is better for very cold climates). Be prepared for the slimly built Mediterranean look, not a fluffy feathered butterball look.

Brown Leghorn Chicken Egg Production

When it comes to egg production, the Leghorn family excels beyond compare. They are not broody and that means they are laying instead of sitting. Renowned for their remarkable productivity, these birds are known as exceptional layers. The hens can lay 300 plus large white eggs each year.

Their focus on egg-laying has earned them a reputation as efficient and reliable producers. Many backyard farmers seeking a breed consistently delivering high-quality eggs turn to Leghorns, including Brown Leghorns. With their perfect blend of beauty and utility, these chickens are the epitome of egg-laying wonder.

I will say that due to their athletic build and active nature, they are not ideal as meat birds. And that’s just fine with me.


Alongside their impressive egg-laying skills, Brown Leghorn chickens possess the best of work ethics. It’s true that most chickens are pretty industrious but the Leghorns are certainly good examples of this.

These birds are hard workers, joyfully pecking and scratching their way through the world. They, like all Leghorns, are not lap chickens and tend to be high strung and flighty. Regardless, they are still enjoyable to have around.

While individual personalities may vary, common traits include curiosity, alertness, and active natures. Due to their athletic build and tendencies, they are better as free-rangers than they are for confinement. If they do have to be confined they need plenty of room and activities to keep them from boredom because they are such active birds.

Their ability to tolerate various climates and conditions further adds to their appeal, putting them high up on the hardiness scale. This makes them an ideal choice for farmers and backyard enthusiasts.

Brown Leghorn hen standing in front of barn door

How to Care for Chickens


The Brown Leghorn chicken is a great choice for someone who needs an excellent egg-laying hen with the ability to avoid predators. If you don’t want a broody bird, you want a lot of eggs, and you aren’t looking for meat, this breed might just be a good fit. And if you have traditional white Leghorns, you might also consider giving the Brown Leghorn chicken a try.

Leah Betts

A happy wife, mother, teacher, writer, hobby farmer, lover of chickens, and contributor to Pampered Chicken Mama!

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