The Croad Langshan chicken is a heritage Asiatic breed that originated in 1872. With the enthusiasm for large Cochins and Brahmas, the Croad Langshan became a popular chicken in England and the US as a utility breed.
Several varieties of Croad Langshan chickens exist today, including the original Croad Langshan that hails from the mountains of China. Regardless of variety, the Croad Langshan is a tame, friendly, non-aggressive chicken breed that yields high-quality white meat, good market weight, and large egg clutches.
Quick Facts about Croad Langshan Chicken
|Place of Origin:
|Rooster (Male) Size:
|Hen (Female) Size:
|Black, white, blue
|7.5–9 lbs market weight
Croad Langshan Chicken Origins
The Croad Langshan chicken likely originated in China. The first recorded imports came from the Langshan, or Wolf Mountain, area of Nantong near the Yangtse-Kiang River in 1872.
The breed was imported by Major F.T. Croad to Britain, and his niece is credited with establishing them. The “Croad” in the name differentiates the original imported Langshan chicken from the tall and Modern Langshan, which was developed for show.
The Langshan chicken was imported to North America in 1878 and admitted to standard in 1882. Currently, three varieties of Langshans are accepted according to the US standard: black, white, and blue.
Croad Langshan Chicken Characteristics
Croad Langshan chickens are large with deep, long breasts and a sharp, dramatic rise in the back. The original roosters weighed over 10 pounds, but they’re now an average of 9.5 pounds. The hens are around 7.5 pounds.
Though Croad Langshans were originally used for utility, they can be productive layers. Hens may lay between 180 to 240 eggs and often lay in winter. The eggs are a characteristic dark brown with a plum coloration.
Both roosters and hens have good temperaments and are easily tamed. They can adapt to different climate conditions, though they struggle in hot temperatures due to their size. Croad Langshans should be provided shelter and dry soils to thrive and produce.
Croad Langshans are often kept for general purposes, especially meat production. As the only Asiatic breed suited to the Southern States, Croad Langshans are adaptable and are hardy, fast-growing, and easily cared for. They have full breasts, white skin, and dense, richly flavored white meat.
These chickens may also be kept for egg production. The hens become broody in the spring and are not especially determined, but they’re attentive to their clutches. Pullets begin to lay around 6 or 7 months of age.
Appearance & Varieties
The American Poultry Association recognizes black, white, and blue varieties of the Croad Langshan. The primary color seen today is that of the original Croad Langshans, which are black with a brilliant iridescent green similar to a peacock’s flight feathers.
There are four distinct types of Croad Langshan, including a shorter-legged version, a German version, and the current Modern Langshan developed in England. The fourth type is the original Langshan, the most common type seen in the US.
Distribution & Habitat
These birds originated in the mountainous regions of China, but they’re adaptable and can thrive in many different conditions. They’re ideal for dry soils with adequate shelters, though they can be comfortable in confinement or free-range.
Special care is necessary for these heavy birds in hot climates, especially roosters. On hot days, a chicken house with insulation, reflective foil, or overhanging roofs can provide enough shade to keep your chickens comfortable. In dry climates, evaporative cooling systems can be effective.
Are Croad Langshan Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?
Croad Langshans are good-natured, adaptable chickens that produce good market weight and good egg-laying. They may also be kept for ornamental or show purposes.
Croad Langshans may get along with other birds on a larger farm, but their gentle temperament may leave them vulnerable to bullying from more aggressive birds. It’s also possible for heavy hens to accidentally damage eggs or harm chickens in cramped conditions, so it’s important to provide enough space for your flock.
The Croad Langshan is a desirable chicken breed kept for egg and meat production, showing, and ornamental purposes. With its tame nature and excellent yield, this chicken is suitable for hobby farmers and commercial farmers alike.
Featured Image Credit: McLinclock Finehair, Shutterstock