This large Asiatic bird is calm, and easy to keep; making it a very good family bird. Its plumage is either black or white, which is quite attractive. The large male weighs 4.1kg (9 lb ) whilst the bantam male weighs 0.77-0.91kg (27-32 oz). The female Croad Langshan weighs 3.2kg (7 lb) and the bantam (or miniature) female weighs just 0.65-0.79kg (23-28 oz). It is typically heavy, and soft feathered.
It first arrived in Britain in the 1870s when it was imported by Major Croad from the Langshan region in China, which gave it its name. Experts considered it to be another type of Cochin as they are of similarly colourings, though slightly different builds. The Major and his daughter, however, continued to breed the Croad Langshan in its original form, but it never became as popular as the Cochin. This probably saved the Croad Langshan since show-poultry usually has the practicality bred out, in favour of fine feathers. There was also a taller version called the Modern Langshan developed by breeders, but it was never hugely popular and so has faded to obscurity somewhat, today.
It has been described as the most attractive Asiatic variety of chicken, due to its simple black or white soft feathers and elegant form. The male appears to have a particularly short back due to the angle of its tail. This angle also creates a great U shape, as seen in the accompanying photos, between the neck and tail. It has a bright red, single comb with multiple serrations. The Croad Langshan's face, wattle, and ear lobes, are also bright red, and its head is very small as is typical in Asiatic breeds. It also has long, dark, feathered legs.
The Croad Langshan is a reasonable layer. The hens lay medium sized, dark brown coloured eggs that often have a pretty, plum-coloured hue that may appear pink in early eggs. They produce 140-150 eggs a year, and are good winter layers.Credit: windwoodpoultry.tripod.com
This variety generally has a calm and well-rounded character. It is very well suited to a family environment and on a practical level are very easy to keep. (However, dry conditions are essential for their feathered legs.) These birds tolerate confinement well, yet also like to fly low, or flutter, over small hedges and fences, meaning they must be kept within a secure boundary. They are fairly hardy, and tolerate hot and cold temperatures moderately, though are unhappy and become unhealthy in damp. Finally, despite their Asiatic origins the Croad Langshan are an active breed of chicken and like to forage and scratch.