Croad Langshans Chickens, also known as just Langshans in the US, are definitely a rare breed. Despite their rarity, these chickens have some incredible qualities that make them ideal for a practical homesteader.
This is not a small chicken, so they are good for producing large quantities of white meat. In addition to good meat production, Langshans are efficient layers of large, dark brown eggs.
About Croad Langshan Chickens
Langshans are an Asiatic chicken, meaning they originate from within Asia. Langshans also share similarities with some other Asiatic breeds like the Brahma. These chickens have been used in the breeding of many other popular breeds that we know today such as Marans and Australorps.
In 1883, Langshans were first recognized by the American Poultry Association in the black color variant. Since then, several color varieties have been added to the Standard of Perfection, with the most recent one being the Blue Langshan in 1987. Today the Black, White and Blue Langshans have all been recognized by the American Poultry Association.
If you live outside of the United States there is a Croad Langshan variety and a German Langshan. However, since German Langshans have not been recognized by the American Poultry Association, farmers in the United States only have the Croad variety.
Croad Langshan Characteristics
1. Size and Weight
Just like many other Asiatic fowl, Langshans are fairly large chickens, which is why they are prized for meat production. Male Langshans can weigh up to 10 pounds. Langshan hens are slightly more petite, weighing in at 7.5 pounds fully grown weight.
Langshans are a generally a tame and docile chicken, despite their very active personalities. This chicken can make a good and protective mother, but she isn’t always the best at waiting out the 21 days for incubation.
3. Egg Production
Egg production from Langshan hens isn’t too bad at all, especially since this is a dual-purpose breed and not specifically bred for streamlined egg production. Average annual egg production is about 150-200 eggs. These birds are especially sought after for the plum-colored bloom that often appears on eggs from a good quality line of birds.
4. Meat Production
Langshans have exceptionally white and clean looking meat, making this a very appealing looking bird when it is fully dressed out. Based on the average weight of this chicken, you can tell that carcasses will be a good size and make a few decent meals depending on how the meat is used.
Taking Care of Croad Langshans
1. Feeding and Nutrition
Chicks will need a strong start with a good quality chick starter for the first 14-16 weeks of their life. If you have access to a starter/grower combo, chicks can be transitioned to a grower around 8-10 weeks of age, but it is not absolutely necessary.
When your young birds are entering adulthood, you can switch them to a good laying feed to prepare their bodies to lay healthy eggs.
Occasionally your laying hens will not receive adequate calcium to support strong eggshells and may need supplementation. Supplementation can be gained in the form of oyster shells or crushed up eggshells in a separate dish.
2. Housing and Fencing
Your chickens will always need a house that keeps them warm, dry, and safe from bloodthirsty predators. Inside the coop, provide 4 square feet of floor space per chicken as well as 12 inches of roost space per chicken.
Keeping your Langshans contained in a run can pose a problem due to their affinity for foraging. Langshans can fly very well and if you intend to keep them enclosed in a run, you’ll need to make sure the top is covered. However, these chickens do thrive in a free-range environment, so do your best to provide that for them if it’s at all possible.
3. Health Issues and Care
All chickens are susceptible to many of the same illnesses and ailments. Langshans don’t have any special vulnerabilities, but it is always important to keep a watchful eye on your flock to catch any symptoms before they spiral out of control. Listlessness, runny nose or eyes, lack of appetite, and strained breathing can all be a sign that you need to isolate the affected bird from the flock and monitor her.
Internal and external parasites are all too common in every flock. Keep a close eye for these pests so they can be treated immediately to avoid further infestation.
Langshans are on the watch list with the Livestock Conservancy. This means they are in need of good stewards to preserve and increase numbers for the breed. These chickens have the potential to lay gorgeous, dark eggs with a plum-bloom if you selected your chickens from the right breeding line.
Croad Langshan Breed Alternatives
It’s no surprise that Marans would make a good alternative to Langshans since Langshans originally went into the breeding of Marans. In appearance, Black Copper Marans strongly resemble Langshans with their feathered feet and gorgeous sheen. Marans are also a dual-purpose breed that lay gorgeous dark brown eggs.
Croad Langshan Fun Facts
While today we all know what Cochins are, back when Langshans were being developed, Cochins were called Black Shanghai chickens. When the black Langshans were exported via the Shanghai port of China, there was some confusion. Poultry enthusiasts believed that Langshans were the Black Shanghai chickens, and some interesting lines of Langshan resulted from this confusion.
You will love the addition of the Croad Langshan Chicken’s eggs and meat to your farm along with their sweet and perky dispositions. Do yourself a favor and add Croad Langshans to your wishlist for next year’s flock!