Originating from Italy the bird is easy to train and a good breed for backyard flocks. They tend to be flighty and easily spooked but settle down once they get to know their keepers. They are good fliers so clip one wing or have them completely fenced in.
The breed was actually developed in England after a flock had been imported from Italy, inter bred to attain the repeating characteristics. They are related to the Leghorn and in Germany they are called Mottled Leghorns.
They are very broody and will produce as much as 250 eggs per year. They are mostly black or beetle green that is mottled with white. The toes spread out more than usually, yellow legs with black markings. They are a hardy breed that does well on free range.
Rooster will weigh about five pounds, hens around four pounds and they lay around 220 white to cream colored eggs per year. There are also bantam breeds.