If you love raising exotic chicken breeds, you’ll love the Langshan chicken. This striking chicken is prized for so many of its brilliant features.
The chicken has a rich history and is one of the easiest to raise. If you’d love to know more about this beautiful breed and learn how to successfully raise it in your yard, read this article.
Table of Contents
History and Origin
As the name of the beautiful chicken suggests, the chicken originates from China, around the Langshan Mountains.
Though these birds were first discovered in those mountains, they spread across the Guangdong province of Southeastern China.
This breed got to the United States in 1872.
In 1893 the American Poultry Association (APA) officially recognized Langshan chickens.
You’d surely recognize this beauty whenever you see it:
A Langshan has long and majestic tail feathers as well as an elegant neck. This chicken’s entire body (aside from the lower legs) is covered in black plumage.
Note that the skin is not black.
The weight of the Langshan breed depends on the type of chicken that you have. Here are some examples:
- Rooster: 9.5 lb. (4.3 kg)
- Hen: 7.5 lb. (3.4 kg)
- Cockerel: 8 lb. (3.6 kg)
- Pullet: 6.5 lb. (3 kg)
- Bantam rooster: 36 oz. (1 kg)
- Bantam hens: 32 oz. (900 g)
- Bantam cockerels: 32 oz. (900 g)
- Bantam pullets: 28 oz. (794 g)
These chickens are truly large. Note that “bantam” means the dwarf form of chicken breeds.
Langshans have brown eyes.
These chickens have tall black or gray legs.
Their shanks and toes are blue-black, with some pink pigments between the scales on their legs. Langshans have white soles.
Hens lay brown, medium-sized eggs. They lay just around three eggs per week or slightly above 150 eggs per year.
Langshan chicken eggs are special. The eggs sometimes have a purplish tint complimenting the brown shells.
These gorgeous chickens can live for five to eight years when you raise them as pets or ornamental birds.
When raising them as farm birds, they will not live close to five years before they are ready for butchering.
Both Langshan males and females have long, elegant tail feathers. They also come in black or sometimes have a blue or purple hue. However, you can indeed distinguish one from the other.
Langshan roosters stand more erect and dominant.
Males have longer necks and slightly more aggressive behavior, especially with other males (and other birds).
When sexing Langshan chicks, you can use the venting method. To do this, gently squeeze the stomach of the chick, directing the content (inside the stomach) toward the anus of the bird.
You will see a slightly sizable bump close to the anus in males. This bump is either non-existent or not sizable in females.
Behavior and Temperament
Langshan chickens may be among the few chicken breeds with a close connection to wild birds, but they are still docile.
To tame them, regularly feed and care for them.
These birds love gracefully and easily get along well with other birds and animals.
So long as there is enough food and shelter for every animal in your yard, you can successfully raise Langshans with others.
However, like other chickens, Langshans may be loud, especially when they are uncomfortable.
These beautiful birds indeed make good exhibition birds across the United States.
Many people collect the Langshan feathers for millinery thanks to their shiny feathers. They’re also used in fly fishing.
Aside from being used as a pet and exhibition bird, the pretty Langshan breed produces meat and eggs well. It is a versatile breed that you can use for whatever you want.
If you love white meat, you’ll love Langshan chicken meat.
Something extra special about this chicken is that its bones are small compared to its general size. This fast-growing chicken will give you a lot of meat in no time.
Though not the best egg-producing breed, you will surely get a handful of eggs with the Langshan breed. If you are a fan of brown eggs, this is the breed for you.
So long as you feed your chickens with feed for layers or make protein and calcium-rich feeds for them, they will give you a lot of eggs.
However, their egg production rate will drop significantly or even stop when winter comes.
Do you love your birds and are super proud of them? Look at their beautiful tails. Fancy, right?
Note that you’d need to raise your birds strictly for exhibition and feed them with nutritious feeds to help beautify their feathers.
Your chickens will surely steal the show, even amidst other breeds.
If you love collecting and storing the feathers of different bird species, the feathers of Langshans will surely look unique to you.
You can use Langshan feathers for a lot of things.
For example, you can decorate hats and other fashion accessories with Langshan feathers. You can also use the feathers for fly fishing. Awesome, right?
Hatching and Raising
Learn how to properly care for your birds so that they can be more productive and live a longer life.
Caring for your Langshans involves incubating their eggs, brooding them when they hatch, and feeding and housing them.
Incubating and Brooding
Langshan hens are poor mothers. Though they sit to incubate the eggs, they do so poorly, and the egg hatching rate is not 100%.
When the eggs hatch, you can’t rely on the hen to fully care for her chicks.
This means that if you want a lot of healthy chicks, incubate and brood them by yourself if you can. You can use an incubator and brooder box to achieve this.
During this time, keep the eggs in an incubator and care for them regularly by misting and turning them, as described in the incubator instructions. Remember to occasionally candle the eggs.
Transfer the chicks to a well-insulated brooder box with suitable bedding when they hatch. Care for the chicks in the box until their real (black) feathers cover most or every part of their body.
When you see a lot of feathers, you can release the chicks to join other chickens. However, ensure that you introduce them carefully so that other chickens do not bully them.
These chickens may be beautiful, but they still have their wild connections. They are excellent foragers and will find a lot to eat in your yard, even where other chickens cannot find food.
However, don’t leave the chickens without food just because they are good foragers.
Ensure your chickens have access to a healthy supply of processed chicken feed, grains, seeds, or healthy treats.
When you give them feed, and they have access to objects in your yard, they will grow quickly.
Remember that their feed must be clean. Also, regularly wash their water trough so tthey can only drinkclean water.
Housing and Fencing
Note that Langshans are great fliers (or tall jumpers). They will fly out of your yard and probably get lost if you do not fence them properly.
When housing your birds, consider the temperatures of each season.
Ensure the coop is properly ventilated so tour birds can stay cool throughout the summer months. However, keep it well-insulated so your chickens stay warm in winter.
Install multiple doors so no dominant male can prevent other chickens from entering or leaving the coop. If possible, make some roosting areas around your yard.
Not to worry, your chickens can always find a good place to rest whenever they leave their coop.
Even though your favorite chickens are hardy in winter, they still need your care. Ensure that there are at least two layers of bedding in their coop so they don’t have to walk on the cold ground.
Give your chickens a grain-rich diet when winter comes, especially at night. Digesting grains helps to keep birds warm.
Try to keep the birds busy. If you can, install a vegetable piñata so the bored birds can jump and peck whenever they want.
Ensure that you check on your birds daily. If you see a bird moving slowly or looking sick, isolate it and give it extra care.
Don’t fail to reach out to the vet in case of anything.
These chickens are truly gorgeous. While they are docile and will beautify your yard, remember to take good care of them so they live a long, beautiful, and healthy life. Enjoy the beauty of your chickens.