4. The Sussex Chickens
The Sussex is a British breed of dual-purpose chicken, reared both for its meat and for its eggs.
Eight colours are recognised for both standard-sized and bantam fowl. A breed association, the Sussex Breed Club, was organised in 1903.
Sussex chicken weight
Male: Standard: minimum 4.1 kg, Bantam: maximum 1.5 kg
Female: Standard: minimum 3.2 kg, Bantam: maximum 1.1 kg
How does sussex chicken looks like?
This is a large dual purpose chicken.
They have a rectangular shaped body with wide shoulders and a long broad back.
You will notice they have a five pointed comb that is a lovely rich red color.
She will hold her tail at an almost 45 degree angle to the body.
Her shanks are whitish and clean and she will have four toes to each foot.
The Sussex comes in a large variety of colors with the speckled, red and white being the most popular varieties (more on this later).
The Sussex comes in eight different color varieties – here is a brief description of the color variations:
- Speckled: Mahogany colored base feathers with white and black speckling. The speckling becomes more pronounced with each molt.
- Light: White with black markings on neck and tail feathers.
- Red: Similar color to the Rhode Island Red.
- Brown: Deeper red than above with a partridge pattern.
- Buff: Buff base feathers with black neck and tail feathers.
- Silver: Black with silver penciling that is most pronounced on their breast feathers.
- White: Pure white.
- Coronation: White base feathers with lavender/light blue neck and tail feathers.
Sadly the silver, buff, brown and red varieties are very rare and hard to find these days.
In the US only the speckled, red and light varieties are recognized. Whereas in the Poultry Club of Great Britain the following are recognized:
- Light, and red (1902)
- Brown (1913)
- Buff (1920)
- White (1926)
- Coronation (1936)
- Silver (1948)
Sussex Egg Laying Capability
Egg laying ability varies with the particular variety of Sussex that you choose, but in general the Sussex will supply you with 4-5 large brown eggs every week.
The really great thing is that they will continue to lay through the winter when most other hens have shut down production for the year.
It has been said the only time they take a break is when they are molting!
They do have a tendency towards broodiness and make great mothers. The extent of broodiness will depend upon the variety you choose – the Light Sussex is said to be rarely broody although this may depend on the line you buy from.
Health issues and special care
Although is the Best Chicken Breeds for Egg Laying, Sussex is a versatile bird with a wide range of temperatures. They really do not have any health issues other than the habit of being overweight.
If you want to get fat on the table that’s fine, but if you want them to keep laying eggs, then you need to keep their weight down.
Relevant weight should be 9lb rosters and 7lb chicken. Bantam Sussex should weigh between 2-4lb.
Sussex is a low maintenance, no aggressive bird species and will not require special care or treatment.