The Lamona poultry breed was developed in an effort to create a new dual purpose breed. Several objectives were pursued when creating this new breed. The chicken must be an excellent layer, the eggs must be large and white, meat quality should be exceptional especially once egg production had declined, early development and fast growth was important and finally good foraging abilities were essential.
Harry S LamonCredit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=lamona+chicken was attached to the Beltsville Agricultural Research Centre in Beltsville, Maryland, at the time. This was part of the Bureau of Animal Industry, which later became the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Lamon was the senior poultry expert at the Bureau and the breed has taken its name from his.
Trials began in 1912 and 16 years later, the Lamona breed was established as having the desired objectives which were sought with the project.
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The Lamona was a high quality bird, an excellent layer with a well-rounded body and well-fleshed carcass. Silver-Grey Dorkings, White Leghorns and White Plymouth Rocks had been used to develop the new breed which was heavier than the Leghorn but lighter than the Plymouth Rock and Dorking breeds.
The Lamona was admitted to the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association in 1933. Some 27 years later, a bantam version was also recognized.
Although the Lamona was quite popular, by the early 1960s the Cornish-Rock had taken over as a meat producer and the White Leghorn as an egg layer. By the 1980s, the Lamona was nearing extinction. Several breeders were found who were still keeping the breed alive and the American Breeds Conservancy, together with the American Poultry Association and the Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities, have since taken an interest in helping to preserve this heritage breed of chicken.
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The bantam version was recreated using the same crosses as were originally used.
The Lamona is a medium-sized chicken with cocks weighing around 8 lbs and hens 6 ½ lbs. It has a larger body size than the Leghorn and has white plumage. The skin, beak and legs are yellow. The ear-lobes are red and the Lamona has a single comb. Although most breeds with red ear-lobes lay brown eggs, the Lamona lays large, white eggs. A Lamona has the record for egg production (using a trap nest system for recording), laying a total of 268 eggs for the year.
A manufacturer of kitchen appliances and tapwear has adopted ‘Lamona’ as a brand name and has used the chicken as a logo for its company.