Leghorns are active and efficient foragers. They typically avoid human contact and tend to be nervous and flighty.
Leghorns are good layers of white eggs, laying an average of 280 per year and sometimes reaching 300–320. They have a good feed-to-egg conversion ratio, needing around 125 grams per day of feed.
Leghorns rarely exhibit broodiness and are thus well suited for uninterrupted egg laying. The Leghorn is a light breed that matures quickly.
The Leghorn is a breed of chicken originating in Tuscany, in central Italy.
In Italy ten colour varieties are recognised. There is a separate Italian standard for the German Leghorn variety, the Italiana (German: Italiener).
The Fédération française des volailles (the French poultry federation) divides the breed into four types: the American white, the English white, the old type (golden-salmon) and the modern type, for which seventeen colour variants are listed for full-size birds, and fourteen for bantams; it also recognises an autosexing variety, the Cream Legbar.
Both the American Poultry Association and the American Bantam Association (ABA) recognise a number of Leghorn varieties including white, red, black-tailed red, light brown, dark brown, black, blue, buff, Columbian, buff Columbian, barred, exchequer and silver.
In Britain, the Leghorn Club recognises eighteen colours: golden duckwing, silver duckwing, partridge, brown, buff, exchequer, Columbian, pyle, white, black, blue, mottled, cuckoo, blue-red, lavender, red, crele and buff Columbian.
Most Leghorns have single combs; rose combs are permitted in some countries, but not in Italy. The legs are bright yellow, and the ear-lobes white.