White Livorno Chicken
Gallus gallus L
RISK OF EROSION: Threatened with abandonment
It is a light, slender and very elegant chicken, thanks to its rich plumage and long, showy tail. The University of Perugia conserves a strain that particularly responds to the ideotype of the breed as described in historical evidence.
The origins of the Livorno breed are not perfectly clear. However, it is believed that Livorno originates from central Italy, selected using light chickens: the name derives from the port from which, in 1828-34, these animals left for North America. In 1874 it was included in the American Standard of Perfection in white, black and brown colors. The white was mainly selected for egg production. From America, Livorno returned to Europe and mainly to England in 1870 and then returned to Italy. With its many differently colored coat varieties it has spread all over the world. Only for a few years have Italian breeders used the Livorno Standard as a reference with autochthonous typology (FIAV). At the time, all the breeds did not have well-established and homogeneous morphological characteristics but with a strong hint on the production of meat and eggs and on adaptability. There is no trace of crossings carried out to modify the morphology, but only of a rigorous selection, by means of “trap nests”, to develop earliness and to increase the deposition. The Animal Husbandry Section of the DSA3 of Perugia has bred this breed over the last 60 years, preserving it from crossbreeding and genetic drift due to the lower production performance compared to commercial hybrids. The trials led to the identification and obtaining of an excellent product, the result of an (extensive) breeding system with low environmental impact which improves animal welfare and the qualitative characteristics of the productions.
TYPICAL FARMING AREA
The farms are amateur and spread practically throughout Italy.
Livorno is an excellent producer of white shell eggs. The white Leghorn can reach high average annual deposits (280 eggs), with peaks of 300-320. The males can also be used for the production of light cockerels. The adult weight of the animals of the animals is 2.500/2.800 kg in the rooster and 1.800/2.100 kg in the hen. They are to be considered very slow growing animals (10-15 g/day). The animals are early fledging and not predisposed to brooding.
Texts taken from “Regional Register of Autochthonous Genetic Resources of the Umbria Region”