Liven hens - the phenomenon of Russian poultry


Domestic breeders have made a huge contribution to the formation of many breeds of domestic chickens with high productivity. Unfortunately, many of the created Russian birds today are completely driven out of the poultry farms by foreign chickens. So it was with Livon calico, once considered a bird, carrying a record-large egg among all local breeds. Now the liven calico chickens, forgotten and practically lost, are supported only by enthusiast poultry breeders, who deserve to appreciate the beauty and productivity of this breed.

Breed overview

Livensky calico breed of chickens refers to the meat-and-egg type of productivity, but also looks quite exotic. It is pleasant to keep such a bird in the yard, because it will necessarily attract the views of the surrounding. This breed is a unique and very successful result of selection, it is literally created for the yard. Livensky chicken does not need special care and unpretentious feeding.

History of origin

The history of this breed is very interesting, and it begins at the very beginning of the 20th century. Then the selection as such did not exist. But peasants and farmers, in an effort to improve the performance indicators of their farm, willingly crossed their chickens among themselves. It is believed that one of these experiments led to the appearance of a liven chintz ginger.

But when and how did her fame spread throughout Russia? Back in 1902-1904, the attention of the poultry community was attracted by the Livny district of the Oryol region. After all, it was there that produced the largest, by the standards of the time, an egg with colored shells. He was actively exported to England, where it was considered very valuable.

According to some data, it is known that in 1903 over 43 million eggs were exported from Liven - they had such great popularity abroad!

A little later, in 1915, scientists decided to check what kind of hen produces such wealth. It was then that a special commission identified several highly productive breeds of the Livnensky county, among which was the calico chicken. It was the ideal bird suitable for the Russian court - unpretentious to the stern, undemanding to the content and very attractive in appearance. It was then that she won the most popular, she began to show at exhibitions in Europe, where the chicken received prizes and awards.

But in the 60s, the need for it began to fall - poultry farms became interested in other breeds, mainly leggorny, and the Livenian began to degenerate gradually. By the end of the 20th century, not a trace was left of its former popularity, it seemed that the breed had been lost and forgotten forever. But at the beginning of our century, we managed to find specimens that exactly corresponded to the standards of that time. Livensky calico chicken was found far from their homeland - in the Ukrainian city of Poltava.

Today, this breed, although it has not found its application on a factory scale, has been successfully used in private farms. And it’s not for nothing that its advantages are obvious: she almost lost in her productivity indicators, and her exhibition beauty is pleasing to the eye.


Since the breeding of the breed was initially done by ordinary peasants, the general standard for the bird was formed late. In the past century, the bird was distinguished not only by its special color, but also by a leaf-shaped or rose-like comb. In a third of cases, the then Livenian had a crest, and half of the total livestock could have feathered legs of yellow or black color. A full and clear standard chicken found only by 1990.

Some characteristics of this breed are:

  • a large, massive, horizontally set body. The back and chest are well developed;
  • on a medium length of a thick neck there is a not very large head;
  • crest leaf-shaped, medium size. Bird earrings are oval, bright red;
  • yellow beak of medium size;
  • legs strong, yellow.

Roosters of this breed are easily distinguishable from chickens. In addition to immediately noticeable scallop, they can be identified by a shorter body. The back with the tail forms a practically right angle. The tail itself is short, but with distinct braids. Roosters differ in color: their main color is usually dark brown or brown. The tip of the pen is necessarily white, may have a greenish tide, as in the photo.

Characteristic calico color is characterized by the predominance of black and yellow feathers on a dark background, but may have silver or gold inclusions.


Livny chickens, like a hundred years ago, have high rates of productivity. Laying eggs can carry up to 220 eggs per year, weighing 60 grams. Larger eggs are often found in the clutch - up to 90 g of weight. The color of the shell usually depends on the color of the plumage of the chicken and can be both white and light brown.

This breed is carried well both in summer and in winter. The peak of productivity comes in the first year, and then decreases slightly. In each of the next year of life from the liven hen it is worth waiting for 30 eggs less than in the previous one. The problem for the farmer can be a slow ripening of this breed: the bird begins to rush only by 7-8 months.

The slow growth of the bird is often accompanied by a long period of feathering, and sometimes chickens are not completely covered with feathers. Because of this, young animals are exposed to some danger, especially during the cold season.

Meat breed performance is also good. The bird grows for a long time, but it gains a good weight. Roosters usually weigh 4 kg, chicken - 3.5. The big advantage is that the weight gain goes well, not only on special feed, but also on ordinary homemade mash.

Features of the content in the private sector

The maintenance of the liven hen on his plot does not require any special knowledge from the farmer. After all, she was taken out precisely so that she would live without problems in the Russian court. The bird is rarely sick and not picky about feed.

It does not require a highly insulated room for keeping - calico chicken is experiencing cold very well. The big plus of the breed is also the fact that the layers willingly sit on the clutch. Hatching the bird is not lazy, but takes care of the offspring well.

The owners of this breed point out that sometimes the Livenian behaves aggressively towards another bird. Therefore, an enclosure for her is better to fence in order to avoid constant fights and conflicts. See in the video from the channel of Andrei Nikolaevich, how the liven print calico contained with the Yurlov chickens.

Owner reviews

Reviews from owners of such a beautiful chicken are positive. The bird really carries large eggs, and lovers of consuming them raw note their particular taste. It conquers the heart and its openwork feathers. The only minus of the breed is its small prevalence: it is very difficult to get eggs for your farm. In Russia, this breed practically does not occur, and in Ukraine it can be found only among amateurs.

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Photo Gallery

Photo 1. Livon calico chickens Photo 2. Calico rooster on scales Photo 3. Livensky chickens in the aviary Photo 4. Unusual color of the rooster Photo 5. Calico Chickens close-up Photo 6. Calvine Liven breed on the run

Video "Livenskie chickens at the exhibition"

Still not sure, is it possible to recognize individuals sold under the name of the Liven real? Is it not completely lost, and the manufacturer's proposals are false? We will try to convince you of the opposite, because the liven hen is not only recognized and received a standard, but also participates in exhibitions! For information on how these wonderful chickens were presented in their homeland, see the video from the channel ZagorodLifeTV.




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