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Cream Legbar Chicken: Is This Blue Egg Wonder The Chicken For You?

Cream Legbar Chicken

The Cream Legbar has become a firm favorite here in the US at least, in part for its’ blue eggs.

It is a fascinating study in genetics as few breeds have had their origins so well mapped.
As you may imagine, the breed was not created overnight, in fact, it took several decades of study, research, and testing to get the bird we know today.

In this article, we explore the Cream Legbars’ temperament, if it’s suitable for your flock, its blue eggs, and more…

Cream Legbar Chicken

Cream Legbar Background and History

Prior to 1931, there was no such bird as a Cream Crested Legbar.

The story of this bird is the result of the work and vision of two men: Professor R.C. Punnett and Professor Michael Pease of Cambridge, England.

Professor Punnett led the Breeding Program at the Genetic Institute for Cambridge University. Michael Pease worked with him and when Professor Punnett retired

Professor Pease took his place. Punnett a famed geneticist who went on to write many papers on genetics was working on producing chickens that would be auto-sexing, making sexing chicks easier and foolproof.

In 1930, Clarence Elliott, a renowned horticulturist, gave Professor Punnett some South American Araucana chickens that he had collected on his travels. These chickens laid blue eggs.

Professor Punnett, now retired and working at home, started crossing these birds first with a gold penciled Hamburg. Numerous crossings and back crossings followed and eventually he produced a cream-colored bird.

The Professor now had a color never seen in chickens before – cream. This was a breakthrough in finding a recessive gene.

Professor Pease, working separately also came across the cream coloring in one of his projects. The two men crossed their birds and the Cream Legbar was eventually born.

It was first exhibited in 1947 at the London Dairy Show.
We are lucky to still have this breed around today. In the 1970s the breed almost became extinct.

There was no market at that time for ‘novelty’ eggs, so people were not buying them.

That started to change when the more ‘up-market stores started selling the blue eggs.
Suddenly, the Cream Legbar was popular again.


Legbar Chickens
The Cream Legbar is a light fowl, with males weighing 7½lbs and females weighing 6lbs. It has a triangular-shaped body with a long, flat back.

They have a single red comb with 6 points, wattles are also red. Earlobes are cream or white. Eyes reddish bay in color and the beak is yellow to horn colored. The beak has a slight downward curve.

Both sexes have a crest that should not fall forward otherwise it will obstruct their vision.

The neck is long leading down to a full breast. The bird is moderately broad at the shoulders leading into a flat slightly sloped back.

Males hold their tails at 45 degrees, the hens slightly less. Wings are held close to the body.

The coloration of the Cream Legbar is a combination of cream and grays. The barring is most noticeable on the tail and breast of the males. Females barring is much more subtle and she may have some salmon color to her neck and breast.

Legs should be clean, yellow in color, and have four toes. They have an upright, alert carriage. The skin also is yellow.


Currently, the American Poultry Association does not recognize the Cream Legbar as a breed.

It is however recognized by the Poultry Club of Great Britain since 1958, where it joined the other two Legbar varieties – gold (1945) and silver (1951).

It is classified as a rare, soft feather-light fowl.

Disposition and Egg Laying

Close up Legbar Chicken
There seems to be some disagreement about the temperament of this bird. Some sources say they are flighty, nervous, and noisy; whereas others say they are docile, friendly, and easily handled.

Why the discrepancy?

Perhaps it has to do with there now being two distinct strains.

There are those that conform to the original standards and those that can best be described as ‘production’ birds. In general, Cream Legbars are friendly, easily handled and quite sociable.

However, they do have a wild side which is why they don’t particularly care for confinement.

They are excellent foragers, very watchful, and predator savvy.
Roosters can be aggressive, especially in the mating and breeding season.

Egg Laying

Cream Legbars are very productive layers, averaging 4 medium-sized light blue eggs per week which equates to around 230 eggs per year.

Some sources state they are broody, others disagree. Broodiness will therefore depend on which strain you have.

They are autosexing which means chicks are distinct at hatching. The female will have a noticeable dark chipmunk stripe down the back; the males’ stripe is much less distinct. Poorer-quality birds will likely be difficult to sex.

Auto sex vs Sexlink

Just what is the difference between auto-sexed and sex-linked birds?

  • Autosexing birds are those breeds that will produce offspring that can be sexed at birth. The chicks will go on to breed with their kin and produce more autosexing chicks.
  • Sex-linked chicks require two different parents – for example a New Hampshire rooster with a Barred Plymouth Rock hen = black sex link chicks.

The sex linking requires you to have two separate breeds to pair up as the sex link chicks will not breed true.

Common Health Issues of the Cream Legbar

They appear to be a healthy breed of bird with little in the way of problems. The crest should be carefully checked for lice as birds with ‘headgear’ have a tendency to collect them.

Whilst very rare, they can get a type of ‘wryneck’ or torticollis. This may in fact be ‘Seahorse Syndrome’ which is caused by a rare type of recessive gene particular to crested breeds.

As with all crested breeds, you should be careful when introducing juveniles to adults. The skull is still not completely formed and a peck in the right spot can cause brain injury.

In addition to these health concerns, you have the usual parasites which can be expected (mites, lice, and worms). Regular health checks and preventative measures will keep your birds healthy.

Is the Cream Legbar Right for You?

Cream Legbar Chicken
The Cream Legbar is a chicken that enjoys foraging, so if you can provide them with an area to patrol so much the better. Although they can tolerate confinement, they don’t do it gracefully and may become flighty and difficult.

They do have a tendency to get picked on in a mixed flock, so they should be kept separate or with docile, non-aggressive breeds.

In general, they are a fairly low-maintenance bird in the way of special needs or care, so would be ideal for beginners. Since the APA does not recognize them currently, 4H is not an option at this time.

Small children should not be near the rooster until it has been established what sort of personality and how aggressive the bird maybe, this is especially important during mating season.

If you are looking for a chicken that is different, lays blue eggs, and is semi-independent, this may be the chicken for you.

Cream Legbar Summary

The Cream Legbar chicken is now a firm favorite here in the US as well as its homeland.

The prestigious lines of Jill Rees (UK) have been imported in the US, but unfortunately, a few of these lovely birds will set you back quite a few dollars.

They can be bought cheaper from some hatcheries, but as always – you get what you pay for.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about the Cream Legbar and hopefully you might add a few to your flock.

Let us know in the comments section below if you have any questions about this breed…

Cream Legbar Chicken

9 thoughts on “Cream Legbar Chicken: Is This Blue Egg Wonder The Chicken For You?

    1. Hi Marybeth,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Legbars are reasonably cold hardy so they should be ok in snowy climates.

  1. Hi,
    We are new to chickens! We got six 16-18 week hens and then had the opportunity to get a 1 year old created cream legbar. We didn’t have the option to separate them during The introduction period and it all seemed pretty smooth. The new legbar laid an egg after 2 days, and then a 2nd one the next day. And then stopped. It’s been about a month.
    We find her in the nesting box hanging out but no eggs!
    I’m pretty sure there isn’t any egg eating going on.
    But otherwise I’m a bit lost on how to approach this!
    Any tips or advice?

  2. I have 3 cream legbars and I love them! They are such silly birds, but also very laid back. Mine are around 24 weeks old and two have just started laying the prettiest blue egg! Waiting for my third to start laying as well. I have a maran rooster and he’s considerably larger than the girls. How big do the cream legbars usually get? They just seem dwarfed compared to him.

  3. I am lucky enough to have the Jill Rees line of cream legbars here in kitsap county, Washington State.
    I can say I’ve never eaten one of their eggs because I just have to hatch every single one in our gqf cabinet incubator.
    They are my absolute favorite.
    They are a true lap bird,when hatching and raising them!!
    they follow us around until dusk just a heard of them underneath our lawn chairs while we’re hanging out by the fire.
    such wonderful Birds!!
    we also raise the novogen hens, our second favorite. 4 personality and large eggs.
    So this year we are creating our own breed of Easter Eggers!
    by crossing our cream legbar rooster with our novogen hens our two favorite personality chickens make our new breed Easter Eggers !!!
    we are so excited about this on our homestead hatchery!
    I just love breeding for personality!
    And who doesn’t like a new breed of an Easter Egger??
    Crested cream legbars are The Best Birds I’ve ever had, and I’ve hatched almost everything.!!
    Beautiful article thank you for this post!
    Sincerely, J.T. of JTTAPIAFARMS

  4. I had to laugh reading about the aggressive males. We started with a group of 3 hens and 2 roos and bred them the second year. The boys are so aggressive and nasty with eachother, we call them gang bangers. LOL. Anyways, we kept the biggest and least aggressive of the bunch and he is still the smallest and most aggressive of our 8 roos. We have a big brahma mix that has good temperament and keeps everyone in line. The legbar hens are little beauties and do love to forage. Dont love to be handled, but i would say they are friendly.

  5. Thank you happy chicken coop for many useful tips. In May we bought three Cream Legbars (born 13 of May) to add to our little flock of six Lohmans, one Sussex and one Orpington. This is the first time we have had chickens this young, and we made an effort to handle them and spend time with them. The result is that the girls will follow my husband round the garden wherever he goes and if he sits down they will gather round him. As I am writing this one has jumped up in his lap and is now falling asleep on his knee! Friendly, chatty and pretty birds – can’t wait for the blue eggs to arrive.
    Best wishes from Norway to all chicken enthusiasts!

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