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. This guide includes history, lifespan, egg production, temperament, lifespan, color, size, appearance, characteristics, care info about this bird.
What is Sussex Chicken?
Sussex chicken is one of the most popular chicken breeds, which is very easy to grow and friendly. It is a dual-purpose chicken, so people raise this breed for both eggs and meat.
Most people love to take them to various exhibitions because they are a famous show bird. The Sussex chicken may suit your backyard coop if you are a beginner.
History of Sussex Chickens
The first time Speckled Sussex chicken was developed in Britain in the 18th century. It was shown at a poultry show in 1845 in London zoo and became popular after that.
The red, speckled, and light recognized varieties of the Standard breeds of Sussex chicken were introduced in 1902. The Sussex Poultry Club was established in 1903.
In 1913, Brown Sussex was developed, and in 1920, Buff Sussex was developed. The Coronation was first developed in the 1930s for the Coronation of King Edward VIII. Robert Whittington and Silvers by Captain Duckworth created the Coronation Sussex.
Now you can see both bantam and standard size in most western countries. The standard size was lost for a few years in history, but now it’s available in most places
Common Varieties of Sussex Chicken
The Sussex hens lay around 180-200 eggs per year on average. In some Sussex, you may get 220-250 eggs. It is different in birds because of their strains.
Sussex chickens lay large-sized eggs of cream to light-brown color. The eggs of hens weigh about 60-65 g.
Hens of this breed usually start laying after four months and lay continuously for up to 1-1.5 years. Thereafter, you may see a decline in the number of eggs the hen lays.
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.
A new chicken raiser can easily raise this bird because it is very confident and non-aggressive.
Sussex chickens are good cold hardy breeds, and the hens of this breed lay well in cold weather. During cold weather, the large body of this breed keeps them warm and comfortable.
Sussex birds don’t like hot climates. If there are many trees in your backyard, they may get some relief in the summer.
Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Sussex Chicken
Sussex chickens come in many colors. You can see white, buff, silver, brown, red, coronation, speckled, etc.
The white is popular in most countries, and the red, buff, brown, silver-colored Sussex are rarely seen in this country.
You can see black color lines on the neck area in White Sussex chicken, and you can also see color variation feather lines on other varieties.
Sussex chickens are medium size and meet the requirements of a meat chicken. A standard-size rooster weighs about 9 lbs, hens are about 7 lbs, and bantam roosters weigh about 2.5 lbs and the bantam hens weigh about 1.75 lbs.
The Sussex chicken body shape is wonderful and elegant. All the color varieties of this breed look astonishing.
The body of Sussex chicken is fully covered with soft feathers. The feathers on the tail are black and have a nice 45 degree bend angle.
Sussex has red color earlobes and red eyes. The legs and skin color of this chicken are white.
The Speckled chickens have multi-color plumage and white spots, which makes them beautiful.
Sussex chickens love to free-range. The Sussex hens are good mothers and raise their baby chicks very well.
This bird is easy to care for and becomes friendly quickly. Sussex chicken is more popular in England, Canada than it is in the United States.
Benefits of Raising Sussex Chicken
Here are some expected benefits of raising Sussex chicken as a backyard fowl:
- If you want to raise a chicken breed that lays lots of eggs, you can own a few of the Sussex. The breed usually lays about 220 to 250 eggs per year, but sometimes they lay up to 300.
- Standard size Sussex weighs around 7-9 lbs which makes it a good meat chicken.
- If you are a new chicken raiser, raising this breed is very easy and good for you.
- If you want a show bird or exhibition bird you can keep Sussex because they look great.
Problems in Raising this Breed
Sussex chicken is the best bird with very few problems. Here are some common cons:
- As we have told you, it is a friendly chicken. The birds don’t pay much attention to predator. Wild dogs, foxes, and cats kill them because of their social nature. Make a suitable predator-proof coop and run for your chickens so that they forage and live safely. Read our complete guide on chicken fencing ideas and fencing equipments.
- 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.
Care Tips for Sussex Chicken
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.
This chicken breed is very calm and friendly, so predators usually 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.
The hens are also big egg-layers and meat birds. Therefore, give them balanced amount of feed.
Do not feed them more than they need because it could lead to obesity. Birds get a balanced diet from grass, insects, and treats if they are free-ranging.
So, overall, Sussex is a great fowl with lots of good things and very few bad things. But they would like some extra care because they are very friendly.
If you are searching for a dual-purpose chicken, then this breed is best for you. Also, Sussex chickens do not like hot climates, so this is a good breed for cold areas.
I hope this breed guide on Sussex chicken helped you to know all about this breed.
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