Langshans, a rare, endangered breed from China, lays a pretty brown egg. The Croad line of Langshans once laid a dark brown egg, but this line is not available from hatcheries (and is even rare to find from breeders). The Langshan is a graceful, nicely-proportioned bird with feathered legs. They are good layers, but somewhat slow to mature to their full size and begin laying. They are also quite active for such large birds! Today they’re mainly kept by those conscientious folks who want to ensure this breed’s continued survival.
Origin of Langshan chickens
Langshan chickens are an old breed that originally hails from China. They are named after the Langshan District or Langshan Hill near the Yangtze River.
Langshan chickens were first imported to England in 1872 by Major A.C. Croad, and from there, were imported to America in 1876 by the ornithologist, E.A. Samuels of Waltham, Massachusetts. Langshans were appreciated in both countries for their eggs, meat, and beauty.
Langshan chickens are no longer a common breed, and they have been given a conservation status of “Watch” by The Livestock Conservancy. However, some major hatcheries are now breeding Langshans, so they are available to backyard chicken keepers in the U.S.
What do Langshan chickens look like?
If you Google “Langshan chickens,” you may come across images of chickens that look very different from each other. That’s because Langshans have been developed into 4 distinct types (of which, only 1 type is recognized in the U.S.). The 4 different types are:
Langshans of the shorter-legged type. These were bred to look more like Cochins in type, and were used in the development of the Black variety of Cochin chickens and the Orpington breed.
German Langshans. Developed by German breeders with a focus on prolific egg-laying, this type of Langshan was crossed with Plymouth Rocks and Minorcas. German Langshans have longs legs with no feathering and smaller breasts.
Modern Langshans. Developed by English breeders, this type of Langshan was developed for long legs and a smaller breast, similar to Modern Games.
Croad Langshans. This is the original Langshan and the most common variety. These chickens have long, feathered legs, a large breast, and a large body. Croad Langshans were used in the development of the Jersey Giant, a popular American breed of chicken.
The only type recognized in America was developed from the Croad Langshan, although the “Croad” has been dropped from the name. They are just referred to as “Langshans” here.
American Langshans are particularly tall, full-bodied, and have thick and stunning plumage.
What is notable about the Langshan chicken’s appearance?
Langshan chickens are gorgeous. They are very tall, full-bodied chickens with dense and stunning plumage, long necks, and long tails. Langshans have a characteristic “U” shape in profile. You can see this U shape very clearly in the video below showing a beautiful, White Langshan rooster.
How big do Langshan chickens get?
Langshan chickens are a very large breed. Although not the heaviest breed, they are the tallest of the non-game chicken breeds.
Roosters: 9.5 lbs
Hens: 7.5 lbs
Bantam roosters: 36 oz
Bantam hens: 32 oz
What do Langshan chicks look like?
The appearance of Langshan chicks varies, depending on the variety. Below, you can see videos of Black Langshan chicks and White Langshan chicks, respectively.