Red Leghorns
Flag USALetter from America


THE RED (click for pictures)  Flag UK          British Flag UK                  return to homepage Walking Cockerel

I think your idea of using a large Buff Leghorn male on the Red Leghorn females will work if you are willing to give it a few generations to work for you. I would pick out the biggest females from the cross, the color can be off or of several shades .( Maybe culling only the poorest colored ones if you have lots to select from). Wait until they are well matured pullets or young hens laying good sized eggs. Then mate them back to a pure Red male. Then you can mate the f2 together (would not hurt to pick the biggest and better colored this time) and you should have some good colored big birds from these, this mating you need to raise a good number to give selection a chance to help you. It will work.

The Red and Buff have many similar color genes, both are on wheaten, both have gold, mahogany, etc. You are getting rid of dilute, maybe champaign blond, Columbian, or dominant white, depends on what is being carried hidden in the Buff. The F1 carry one dose of the genes you do not want and by using the Red male you cut them in half (double the chances your f2 will have the right color genes),if not some of the f3 will be good. Remember in the f1 and f2 you are after size, color will come later in the f3,so do not get discouraged .Sometimes the very things you want are recessive and need time to recombine and resurface. Stick with a cross a few years (3-5), expect lots of culls, give selection a chance with numbers, and you usually are rewarded.

The Red Leghorns in the US have too much Rhode Island Red blood, black in tail and wings and short legged, long backs, small earlobes. 

Buff is not an easy color, but it never becomes uninteresting. I would love to discuss breeding with anyone who keeps this colour.

A friend was working on Red Leghorns but got interested in another breed instead, but I have some pictures of the first cross between Red and Buff Leghorns.

Danne J Honour New York, USA

I hatched 11 chicks,the Red x Buff  5 hatched ,the Red x Red 6 hatched. From the Red x Buff they looked the same even medium orange.The Red xRed  a bit redder shade with one light chick.The other pictures are my Buff Leghorns to compare color.The pure buffs are a shade lighter.

Danne J Honour New York, USA