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 The Cotswold Legbar

The Cotswold Legbar was developed through selective breeding, for commercial use, 35 years ago, by Philip and Janet Lee-Woolf on their farm in the pretty Cotswold town of Winchcombe. In those days, eggs came in dreary, grey pulp packaging, all competing for the lowest price, with quality, flavour, and hen welfare taking second place. For most people, chicken eggs in pastel blue, eau-de-nil, and celadon, were something of a mystery, so it’s no wonder that this little hen from the Cotswolds, took the market by storm. Philip & Janet supplied the eggs, under their Clarence Court label, a business they started in the late eighties. Clarence Court soon grew to become Britain’s leading producer of traditional free range eggs, supplying many of London’s blue chip food stores, and restaurants, while bringing a touch of colour to major supermarket shelves across the UK.  The eggs were, and still are, the preferred choice for most of our top chefs, including Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Mark Hicks, & Tom Parker-Bowles, to mention a few. It was like a breath of fresh air. The market embracing something which had been lacking for years.

Just over ten years ago, having moved to Broadway, Janet and Philip passed the Clarence Court business on to another egg supplier, to allow them to concentrate their efforts on breeding the beautiful Cotswold Legbar, and Burford Brown chickens, under the ‘Legbars of Broadway’ brand. Now you can have the pleasure of owning your own magical Legbars, and enjoy their superb pastel coloured, eggs – fresh from your garden. Why buy shop eggs when you can enjoy the real thing, just an arm’s length from the kitchen!

Please note – we continually work hard to improve the quality of our breeding stock, in order to produce strong, vigorous  pullets, which we are happy to guarantee. For this reason, and to protect the ‘trade marks’, we do not sell cockerels or hatching eggs. Cotswold Legbar hens are only available to purchase through this web site.

To avoid disappointment, beware of unscrupulous traders using our breed names to offer hatching-eggs, or ‘look-a-like’ hens of inferior quality.

To reserve your birds: Click here  – or call/text 078 318 490 36

Delivery available to most areas, using our specialist bird courier –

or come to a convenient meeting point to collect.

The Bird

The first Cotswold Legbars were bred near Broadway in the late 1980’s, using descendants from blue egg laying stock brought to England from Patagonia in 1940 by Clarence Elliott, a well known botanist, and grandfather of Martin, an estate agent in Stow-on-the Wold. Elliott’s hens were given to his friend, Prof. Reginald Punnett at Cambridge University, who used them in experimental breeding programmes being carried out for the Government. Our ‘Cotswolds’ are auto-sexing, so the gender of the chicks can easily be seen at day-old, and contrary to comments on some forums, they are not hybrids.

Happy-go-lucky and fun loving, the Cotswold Legbar has attracted love and affection
over many years and her fame has done much to raise awareness, and interest in blue-egg-laying, and traditional breeds of hens. She provides a lively and interesting attraction to any garden, and makes a wonderful, easy-to-keep, pet, which will provide eggs for many years, if kept in good free-range conditions. The Cotswold Legbar is not suitable for keeping in a small run and if not free-range, the run space should be a minimum of 10 square metres per hen.
They have a long back and well-developed 45º tail, with an alert stance and sharp eye. Tough and resilient they are a bird for all seasons, able to thrive in most situations, living for a long time. However, they enjoy the company of their own kind & can be timid in the company of other more dominant breeds. (Note: about 10% of Cotswold Legbars lay pink or tinted eggs).

The Cotswold Legbar is only available through this website.

Beware of inferior copies from unscrupulous traders (birds or hatching eggs)!

The Egg

blueeggboxThere is no doubt that the stunning pastel coloured, thick shells, the deep yellow yolk, dense white, and wonderful flavour, make the Cotswold Legbar eggs very special. She is a prolific layer, producing up to 240 eggs in the first year, and up to 430 over three years. In a good free range situation, many Cotswold Legbars have lived up to eight years.

 

 

 

History

Clarence Elliott, explorer and botanist –

Clarence-Elliott-boat                                                    Clarence-Elliott

Availablity

Please note that we rear the different breeds separately to give them the best chance of normal development, so we cannot always offer mixed breeds of the same age. If growers are purchased at different ages, they must be kept separate until mature.

Priority will be given to orders of the same breed

We are taking bookings now   –reserve your Cotswold Legbars