Australian Langshan are a utility breed, bred for their egg laying ability and the table.
They also make excellent exhibition birds, are not difficult to prepare for show and most need very little pen training. I find them to be elegant, chatty, friendly and inquisitive fowl that seem to enjoy being handled and judged.
Langshan are sometimes described as a bird of V’s, however, the outline of the bird should flow neatly from one part to the next. The tail should be carried ‘gradually upwards and outwards to an angle of not more than 35 degrees’ (APS2) but this does not mean the tail should be at 35 degrees, just not above 35 degrees. The comb should not follow the line of the neck but leave the head with the lower edge of the blade in line with the top of the beak. The stance of the bird is with the hocks slightly bent and a V shaped appearance to the undercarriage. The shanks should be feathered on the outer side to the tips of the outer toe. Leg colour is blue-black in young black birds and the leg colour can lighten as the birds mature. Soles of the feet are pinkish white with white toenails.
According to the Langshan Breed Handbook (2010) the Australian Langshan was bred from crosses of Croad Langshan, Modern Langshan, old type Cook Orpington and later, some selected birds from progeny of Mr Wakfer’s Chinese Langshan.
The Australian Langshan is very different in appearance today from the Chinese Langshan imported in 1905 from China’s Langshan Province by Mr C Wakfer.
Mr R H Boardman writes in the Langshan Breed Handbook (1962) “I can well remember seeing these, and their progeny, not at all striking, but just common black fowls with feathery legs”.
Six pullets from those imported birds won the Hawkesbury College Egg Laying Competition in 1906 and many other egg laying competitions around that time so the breed sparked a lot of interest from commercial egg producers.
Excerpts from the APS2
Carriage: Graceful, well balanced, neat, active and alert
Back: Fairly broad, flat, of medium length
Tail: Carried gradually up and outwards to an angle of not more than 35 degrees
Comb: Single, medium size, straight and upright. Blade showing good clearance from the back of the head
Shanks: Feathered down the outside to the end of the outer toes
Plumage: Close feathered of medium texture
Black: Dense black with a brilliant beetle green gloss
Blue: Ground colour an even shade of light blue throughout with dark even lacing
White: White throughout free of brassiness
Scale of points
Richness of colour 10
Head and comb 15
Legs and feet 10
Thin skin and white flesh 5
Fine bone 10