Langshan chickens, sometimes referred to as Croad Langshans, originated in the Langshan district around the Yangtszekiang River near Shanghai. Major A.C. Croad of England first imported this unique breed in 1872. The Langshan was bred throughout the Langshan region to survive the damp conditions.

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Once they were exported from China, many breeders confused them with the Black Shanghai chicken (Cochin) that is similar in appearance. This led to breeders selecting for specific traits and establishing four distinct types: a shorter legged bird like the cochin (they later became some of the foundation stock of the Orpington chicken), A longer legged bird without the characteristic leg feathers (commonly called the “Deutchman” or “German Langshan”), a long legged, thin breasted bird similar to the Modern Game (now referred to as the “Modern Langshan”), and those that maintained the appearance of the original Langshan- long legged with great depth of body and full, large breasts. The birds that retained their original characteristics are in England and are the Langshan variety that was brought to America.The Black Langshan was recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA) in 1883. A White “sport” variety was developed out of the English Black Langshan stock in 1885 and was recognized by the APA in 1893. A third coloration, the Blue “sport” occurred occasionally from crossing the White and Black Langhsans and was recognized in 1987.

Langshans are a multi-purpose breed, having a fine white meat that is flavorful as well as being a prolific layers of very dark brown eggs. Males weigh 9.5lbs and females weigh 7.5lbs. In appearance, the breed is tall, partly due to its long legs but also its deep body that is held erect. Their shanks and toes are feathered and have bluish-black skin with pink color between the scales and white soles. Their bones are relatively small. They are very hardy, with tight feathering and dark brown eye color.

Langshans are good foragers and are adept at flying, even over tall fences. The males and females are docile and easily handled. They can be kept on any soil type, and are known to be the only Asiatic breed suited to the climate of the Southern States. They do well in confinement and will not become broody until April or May. They are not determined sitter, but are faithful mothers. Chicks are hardy, fast growing, and easily reared. They will begin laying at 6-7 months old. The Langshan chicken is listed as “threatened” by the Livestock Conservancy with fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the United States, with seven or fewer primary breeding flocks, and estimated global population less than 5,000.

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Langshan chickens

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