The captivating Lamona chicken is believed to have originated from the cross-breeding of White Leghorn, White Plymouth Rock, and Silver-Gray Dorking.
The Lamona chicken seems almost perfect. It has a beautiful appearance, and it’s also a productive bird. You could say this chicken is something that came out of someone’s imagination, and you wouldn’t entirely be wrong.
Harry S. Lamon had a vision, he wanted the perfect bird for America, and he didn’t stop until he got it. After years of hard work, he finally got America’s perfect chicken. Today, we know this chicken as the Lamona, their name probably a nod to their founder.
Background and History of Lamona Chicken
As we have already said, the Lamona chicken first existed in the mind of Harry S. Lamon. As he embarked on the journey to find America’s perfect chickens, he might have crossed several breeds. However, only three are widely known to have been used in his conquest, and those birds are the White Leghorn, the White Plymouth Rock, and the Silver-Gray Dorking.
After sixteen long years, the Lamona chicken came about. With Henry Wallace’s approval, Lamon’s work, effort, and dedication were honored by naming the chickens after him.
It is not clear what drove the population of the Lamonas to decline, but around the 1980’s they have almost gone extinct. It came to the point where there have only been less than a hundred known Lamonas left.
These birds have remained a mystery for many. Different people are saying different things regarding their status. Some say that they have been wiped out, completely. On the other hand, others tell the story of the several attempts made regarding their preservation. However, the problem is it is vague whether the endeavors were a success or not.
Among various accounts, Steve Gedes’ venture stands out and is well-acknowledged. The belief is that he had been successful in recreating the Lamonas. Some may question the authenticity of these birds. However, the formula to make the Lamonas is well-known, and Gedes was well acquainted with the birds, which makes the genuineness of his chickens believable.
Breed Standard and Appearance
The Lamona chicken is recognized by the American Poultry Association and the American Bantam Association. There are only two accepted varieties which are the Large Fowl White Lamona and the Bantam White Lamona.
They have crisp white feathers that make them look like elegant little critters. Furthermore, it also helps in emphasizing their other features, such as their red earlobes that stand as their defining distinction from the Leghorn.
Another difference between Lamona and Leghorn chickens is how compact their feathers are. Compared to the Leghorn, the plumage of the Lamona is not as well-packed. Their feather makes them look like large fowls. However, it only accentuates their size as they really are big birds. Would you believe it? They could weigh up to 8 pounds!
Additionally, they also sport a red, single comb paired with red wattles. On the other hand, their beak and their legs share the same yellowish shade. Furthermore, they appear to have shorter legs than the Leghorns.
It can be tricky to distinguish the Lamona chickens from the Leghorn chickens but take a look at our description here and you would do well in identifying which is which.
Personality and Temperament
The Lamona chicken truly deserved to be considered as one of America’s best birds. They give much but don’t require much.
In addition to being productive birds, they are also easy to care for. They are known to be friendly and calm, so they would most likely do well with humans and other chicken breeds alike. Compared to less affable breeds it would be easier to interact with them. Of course, as a general rule, spending more time with these birds would prove to make them friendlier to their handlers.
Despite their calm temperament, they are no lazy birds. They may not be the most active birds out there, but they are great foragers and thrive in free-range environments. However, they also adapt well to fenced areas. They can tolerate confinement well.
Overall, the Lomana chicken will not be a problem bird on your farm and will not give you a difficult time. You could say these birds know their chicken manners well!
Egg Laying of Lamona Chicken
Here’s an interesting thing about the Lamona chickens! While most breeds with red earlobes give brown eggs, the Lamonas give white eggs.
This chicken is also an excellent egg layer that can give you as many as five large eggs a week. That’s around 250 eggs each year!
Furthermore, these birds are seldom broody, so you will not have much of a problem when it’s time to collect their eggs. However, this could pose a problem if you’re looking to hatch and raise your own chicks. In that case, hopefully, you have other hens that are willing to be surrogate mothers. If not, of course, you can opt for artificial incubation and a brooder.
Health Issues and Care
The Lamona chicken is a robust bird. They are not known to be especially prone to any disease or illness, and you only need to look out for common health issues.
Furthermore, they are also hardy birds and are believed to be able to tolerate any weather. However, do not forget to give them the necessities during any season. Make sure you give them some shade and lots of water during the hot seasons to keep them hydrated and on their feet. On the other hand, make sure you give them some heat source during the cold seasons to ensure optimal health.
Overall, the Lamona chickens are not high-maintenance, but of course, they would not say no to some extra tender loving care. It’s also a good idea to keep their surroundings clean so that you will prevent any disease before there’s even a chance for germs to attack your little critters.
3 Tips for Raising Lamona Chickens
As we have said earlier, the Lamona chickens don’t require much. However, we did also mention they won’t say no if you can give them some extra loving care, so here are some tips to help you better tend to your Lamona chickens.
If you’re planning to have a flock of authentic Lamona chickens, then you need to have a good eye. Since the Lamona is the descendant of three other breeds, sometimes there are defects. Make sure your baby Lamonas don’t exhibit white earlobes which is more a characteristic of a Leghorn, have five toes which are more characteristic of the Dorking, or producing tinted egg which is more characteristic of the Plymouth Rock.
Earlier, we said that Lamonas are not known to be broody. That would be a problem if you want to hatch and raise your own Lamona chicks. You could try encouraging your hens to become broody. If that fails, then it would be a good idea to use your broody breeds to become surrogates. If you don’t have any broody hens, you could opt for artificial incubation and a brooder. You could buy these instruments or even try making a DIY incubator and brooder. It’s quite easy and we believe you’ll enjoy it.
The Lamona chickens are large birds, and as a rule, larger birds need larger space. Furthermore, they also like to forage, so they would also need room for that. Make sure you give these birds a large expanse of land so that they can freely move around and do some foraging.
From one man’s vision, the Lamona chickens came to life. However, it was not that easy. You could say this bird’s existence is heavily tied to hard work, effort, and dedication.
It took almost two decades before the vision turned into a reality. A few years later, their numbers started to dwindle until the brink of extinction. Again, another man stepped up and saved these birds from being erased from the face of the planet.
The Lamona chicken was once hailed as the “chicken of tomorrow”. Today, that may sound too much of a stretch. However, that did seem likely back in the old days.
Furthermore, they may not be the best of the best, but they’re undoubtedly a great breed. The Lamonas are dual-purpose chicken and are excellent options for both fields. They can produce around 250 eggs a year while being great table birds as well.
Additionally, they are a breed that gives a lot but does not require much. They are easy to handle and won’t give you much difficulty.
Overall, the Lamona chicken is a great breed to consider adding to your flock if you get the chance.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.