Different chicken enthusiasts will have different opinions on what breed stands out as the best above the rest. Honestly, we cannot tell you what is the best chicken breed either. However, our chicken for today is undoubtedly one of the best. Let us meet the Langshan chicken.
The Langshan has almost all the good qualities you would be looking for in a chicken. Whether you are looking for a beautiful bird, a barnyard buddy, or an overall productive bird, the Langshan is undoubtedly an option you would want to consider.
7.5 - 9.5 lbs
black, blue, white
Cost per Chick
That is just the tip of the iceberg! Let us go ahead and get to know the elegant Langshan chicken.
Background and History of Langshan Chicken
Can you guess where the Langshan chickens came from?
As their name suggests, they came from China. More specifically, around the Langshan area from which they got their name. They are one of the oldest breeds still here, and they have been around since the 19th century.
They first stepped onto British soil through Major F.T. Croad. However, it was his niece, A. C. Croad, who mainly established the birds. The latter even wrote a book for the Langshangs entitled The Langshan Fowl: Its History and Characteristics, with Some Comments on Its Early Opponents.
The belief is that the Langshans attained their popularity during the Hen Fever. However, it was not without some difficulty. Some chicken enthusiasts and fanciers passionately believed that they were only a variety of the beloved Cochins. On the other hand, some fought in opposition to that notion with the same amount of zeal. While the Cochins are wonderful birds, later on, it was proved that the Langshans were different and distinct.
Today, these lovely birds are still roaming this planet. However, their numbers have dwindled, and they have found themselves listed in The Livestock Conservancy Conservation Priority List. They have been tagged as ‘watch’ on the Livestock Conservancy Conservation Priority List.
You can go to The Livestock Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List to learn more about the different labels and tags as well as to be updated on the status of these birds.
As we have already said, the Langshans are one of the most sublime and delightful chickens you would ever encounter. It would be such a shame to see them go.
Langshan Chicken Breed Standard and Appearance
The Langshan chicken is recognized by both the American Poultry Association, which accepts only six varieties, and the Poultry Club of Great Britain. The recognized varieties are as follows:
- Large Fowl Black Langshan
- Large Fowl Blue Langshan
- Large Fowl White Langshan
- Bantam Black Langshan
- Bantam Blue Langshan
- Bantam White Langshan
The Black Langshan was the first one accepted, followed by the White Langshan, and finally, the Blue Langshan. There are other varieties that are not recognized by any association even if they have been derived from the originals, such as the Australian Langshan.
They are large birds with males often weighing up to 9.5 pounds! Furthermore, they are also tall critters, and their combs help emphasize this, as more often than not, their red, single combs stand high and upright. Their tails are also high up, almost reaching the same height as their heads. As a side note, like their combs, their wattles and earlobes are also red.
These birds are not as fluffy as the Cochins, and their feathers are actually more compacted, but they also have feathered legs. Furthermore, they have black legs, which match perfectly with the Black Langshan’s plumage. Lastly, at the end of their long legs, they have four toes.
Personality and Temperament
The Langshan chicken is one of the sweetest birds in the poultry world. They are often described with dog-like qualities with the bond they create with their handlers. It seems they tend to try to get as close as they possibly could to their keepers. On the other hand, they seem contented even with just following them around.
With that said, they are also great with kids. So, if you have some children, you can trust your Langshans with them. Even the Langshan roosters are known to be gentle enough to be with children. However, there are some things that should be put into consideration. All roosters are known to exhibit some aggression, so make sure your roosters have been well-acquainted with the kids before you allow them to play.
On the other hand, they are not as friendly and social as other birds. They are known to be much friendlier to humans, but they would not mind hanging out with other friendly breeds as well. That is if the other chickens would be brave enough to approach them! Remember, the Langshans are on the larger side, and this might cause other fowls to fear them.
Overall, the Langshan chickens are lovely birds that are easy to handle. They are a mighty fine choice, even for beginners!
Egg Laying of Langshan Chicken
The Langshan hens are great egg-layers, and they’re known to continue laying even during the colder winter months, though at a potentially decreased rate. They could give you around four large, brown eggs each week, which would total more than 200 eggs each year!
They are known to be seasonally broody, particularly during the transition from the first quarter (March) to the second quarter (April) of the year. If you are looking to hatch and raise your own Langshan chicks, you need to time it right. Furthermore, this also makes them great surrogate mothers during those months.
Health Issues and Care
The Langshan chicken is a healthy and robust breed, and it could live for up to or more than eight years.
However, they do need some extra loving care. Since the Langshans have feathered legs, you need to keep an eye out for their shanks. It needs to be dry and clean to avoid having to deal with health complications. Furthermore, it is also ideal to routinely examine their legs since it is not easy to spot scaly leg mites on their shanks due to all the feathers.
Other than the extra attention to their legs, there is not much to worry about. They are not especially susceptible to any other ailments or diseases and you only need to keep an eye out for the common health concerns all chickens face.
Additionally, they are also a hardy breed, and they could tolerate both the heat and the cold. However, it is important to still provide these birds with the necessities during the summer and winter seasons. Give them some shade and lots of water to keep them hydrated during the hot seasons. On the other hand, provide them with some heat source during the cold seasons.
3 Tips for Raising Langshan Chickens
Generally, the Langshan chickens are not hard to handle and will not give you a difficult time. However, we have gone ahead and listed down some tips we hope would further enhance your chicken-raising experience with these critters.
- Space: The Langshan chickens are big birds, and as a rule, large birds need a large expanse of land. Make sure you give them lots of space, and if possible, allow them to free-range from time to time.
- Enclosed Run: These birds can fly high, and a six feet fence might not even be enough to contain them. If you want to make sure they stay inside, you might need to invest in an enclosed run.
- Predators: If you have lots of predators roaming and looming around your land, then you have another good reason to opt for an enclosed run. While your Langshan hens may run and cower, the Langshan rooster might face predators head-on even if he is no match. While his bravery is charming, it might be the reason you lose a rooster. Additionally, you might want to opt for black and blue Langshans to minimize predator attacks. White chickens attract more predator attention compared to others.
The Langshan chicken truly stands as a remarkable breed among others. They have come a long way – figuratively and literally. These critters have come all the way from China. After their arrival on the Western land, they were not immediately accepted. It took some time, but after a long battle, they were finally recognized.
These birds are some of the best chickens you will ever see. They are not only beautiful and elegant birds, but they are also dual-purpose chickens that give a lot but do not require much. If anything, they would be happy with some extra treats and cuddles. With that said, they are a friendly bunch that would enjoy the company of both humans and other breeds.
The Langshan chicken is a wonderous breed that will not give you much trouble and are great even for beginners. So, if the Langshans have inspired you to enter the poultry world, then this might be the sign telling you to go ahead!
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.