Sussex Chicken: Breed Guide, Eggs, Color, Care, Pictures

Sussex chicken is one of the beautiful fowls that most chickens lover to raise. It is a popular dual-purpose and show bird found in both bantam and standard sizes.

In this complete breed guide, you will know all about Sussex chickens. It includes standard info, history, egg production, temperament, lifespan, color, size, appearance, characteristics, care guide about Sussex chickens.

What is Sussex Chicken?

Sussex chicken is one of the most popular chicken breeds, which is very easy to grow and friendly. Also, it is a dual-purpose chicken breed, so people use both eggs and meat.

It is a famous show bird, so most people love to take them to various exhibitions. However, if you are a newbie chicken raiser, Sussex chicken may suit your backyard coop.

History of Sussex Chickens

White Sussex Rooster
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White Sussex Rooster

The first time Speckled chicken was developed in Britain in the 18th century. It was shown on a poultry show in 1845 in London zoo, and it became popular gradually after that period.

Three Standard breeds of Sussex chicken were firstly introduced in 1902 with red, speckled, and light recognized varieties, and following this, The Sussex Poultry Club was established in 1903.

In 1913 Brown and 1920 Buff varieties of Sussex were developed. The Coronation Sussex was first developed in the 1930s for the Coronation of King Edward VIII. The Coronation was created by Robert Whittington and Silvers by Captain Duckworth.

Nowadays, most breeders breed their Sussex chicken with Dorkings, Brahmas, and Cochins to get a good Sussex variety.

Now in most of the western countries, you can see it’s both bantam and standard size. However, the standard size was lost for a few years in history, but now it’s available in most places.

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Common Varieties of Sussex

  1. Buff
  2. White
  3. Light
  4. Coronation
  5. Brown
  6. Red
  7. Speckled

Egg Production

Speckled Sussex Chicken Hen
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Speckled Sussex Hen Picture

The Sussex chickens lay around 180-200 eggs per year on average, but it may vary from bird to bird. In some Sussex, you may see eggs laying about 220-250. It differs in birds because of different strains.

Sussex chickens lay large-sized eggs of cream to light brown color. The eggs of Sussex weigh about 60-65 g.

The hens of this breed usually start laying after four months of age and lay continuously up to 1-1.5 years. After that, you may see a significant decline in egg-laying.

Lifespan

The life expectancy of Sussex is about 8-10 years which is suitable for a dual-purpose chicken. You may see shorter life spans in a few different strains, but mostly they live around eight years.

Temperament of Sussex Chicken

The Sussex chicken is a very friendly chicken and popular as one of the best birds for new poultry keepers. 

This bird is very confident and non-aggressive, making it easy to raise by a newbie chicken raiser.

Training them is very easy, and they can also become pet chickens. Just give them a few types of chicken treats and give some commands. They will start following you within a few days of practice.

Sussex chicken is an excellent cold hardy breed, and the hens of this breed are good layers during cold weather. In addition, the large body of this breed makes them comfortable during cold weather.

The Sussex birds do not like hot climates. However, if you have lots of trees in your backyard, they may get a little bit of relief in summer.

Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Sussex Chicken

Buff Sussex Chicken
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Buff Sussex Chicken

Color

Sussex chicken is found in various colors. You can see white, buff, silver, Coronation, brown, red, and speckled. 

The white is popular and found in most countries, and the red, buff, brown, silver-colored Sussex are rarely seen.

In White Sussex chicken, you can see black color lines on the neck area, and on the other varieties also you may see some color variation feather lines.

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Size

Sussex chickens are medium in size and pass the criteria of a meat chicken. A standard-size rooster weighs 4-4.2 kg, and hens are about 3-3.2 kg, whereas the bantam rooster weighs about 1-1.2 kg and hens about 750-800 g.

Appearance

The body shape of Sussex chicken is wonderful and elegant. In addition, all the color looks great on all varieties of this breed.

Sussex has very soft feathers, and the body is fully covered with them. The feathers on the tail are entirely black, having a lovely 45-degree bend angle.

Sussex has red color earlobes and red eyes. The legs and skin of this fowl are white. 

The Speckled variety of the Sussex chicken is beautiful because of its multi-color plumage and white spots.

Characteristics

Sussex chickens love to free-range. The Sussex hens make excellent mothers, and they raise their chicks very nicely.

This bird is effortless to manage and becomes friendly very fast. Sussex chicken is highly popular in England, Canada as compared to the United States. 

Benefits of Raising Sussex Chicken

Here are some expected benefits of raising Sussex chicken as a backyard fowl-

  1. If you want to raise a chicken breed that lays lots of eggs, you can own a few Sussex. This breed typically lays about 220-250 eggs per year, but sometimes they may lay up to 300 per year.
  2. Standard size Sussex chicken weighs around 4 kg which makes it a good meat chicken.
  3. Raising this breed is very easy, so it is good for you if you are a new chicken raiser.
  4. If you want a show bird or exhibition bird you can keep Sussex because they looks great.

Problems in Raising this Breed

Sussex chicken is the best bird with very few problems. Here are some common cons of Sussex chickens-

  1. As we have told you, it is a friendly chicken. The birds are not that much alert about predators. Most of the time, because of their social nature, wild dogs, foxes, and cats kill them. Make a suitable predator-proof coop and run for your chickens so that your flocks live safely. Try out our DIY ideas for making PVC chicken coop and run.
  2. They have an amiable nature with their owners, but they are afraid and run away when it comes to outsiders. One of my chickens once fell inside my backyard well because of this type of disturbance. So, keep the outsider away from your chicken coop and run area.
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Care Tips for Sussex Chicken

White Sussex Hen
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Sussex chickens love to live in a chicken tractor. So, if possible, use one. Here are some fantastic portable chicken coop ideas which you can make at your home.

The birds of this breed are very calm and friendly, so, most of the time, predators attack and kill them easily. Use chicken wire for regular fencing, and if you live near a forest, you can use some electric chicken fencing.

Sussex chickens are big egg-laying and meat birds. So, give them balanced amount of feed. However, do not overfeed them because it may lead to obesity.

If your birds are free-range, don’t worry about it because they get a balanced diet from grass, insects, and treats.

Summary

So, overall if we can say Sussex is a fantastic chicken with lots of pros and very minimal cons. However, it would help if you had some special care because they are very friendly.

If you are searching for a dual-purpose chicken, then this breed is best for you. In addition, this is a good breed for cold areas as Sussex chickens do not like hot climates. 

Hope this breed guide on Sussex chicken helped you to know all about this breed. Share your queries and experience below in the comment section.

Sussex Chicken: Breed Guide, Eggs, Color, Care, Pictures
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