The Sussex Chicken breed, quite a long time it has been with the human species.
The Sussex Chicken has lived among us, bred, multiplied, almost went extinct, and yet considered to be a rapidly recovering chicken breed reared as a dual-purpose hen, egg, and meat production and again exceeding at both purposes.
It has an intriguing history and has suffered through the high points and low points of the poultry world.
During the early times, the Romans were shocked that the native Britons didn’t view the Sussex chicken as a supply of standard food, so they began educating them on chicken farming.
The History Of The Sussex Chicken Breed
The Sussex chicken breed was initially reproduced in Sussex County in southeast England at some point during the 1800s.
The Speckled Sussex was the first to be produced, yet there were presently eight color varieties of the Sussex Chicken recognized by the Poultry Club of Great Britain.
These colors were; black, yellow, gray, a faded white, red, dotted, white, and silver.
The American Poultry Association acknowledged just the red, dotted, and light shades of the Sussex Chicken breed; however, the entirety of the color variety can be found in the United States.
The Sussex was at first reproduced for their excellent quality of meat and was for quite a long time, the primary producer of meat among fowls.
Due to the production of a lot more chicken breeds, later on, the Sussex’s popularity began to dwindle tremendously, pushing it aside.
During the Victorian times, there was a plague called the “Hen Fever” widespread across the United Kingdom and the United States, at that time, a group of Chicken
Known as the; “Sussex/Kentish Fowl” was at that time, exhibited at the first-ever poultry show in the year 1845.
The show took place at the Regents Park Menagerie and attracted a lot of persons. The poultry show was the first public exhibition of the Chicken that was later called the dotted Sussex.
The dotted Sussex was initially being raised within the Counties of South Japan.
The Sussex and Kentish fowl were also supplied to London with plum.
The Sussex roosters were caponized and sold, and they were abundant in demand because the capons were force-fed milk and ground oats and grew to be to a large size for a chicken.
The Sussex has had a rather distinguished history dating back to its origins, and it has been known to be high egg layers, consistent ones at that, and great for meat. They are calm and easy to tame chicken breed.
Sussex are certainly not little chickens.
The roosters weigh around 7-8 pounds, and hen weighs somewhere in the range of 9.5 and 11 pounds.
A few chicken breeds have fluffy feathers, which makes them look a lot bigger than they are.
But not the Sussex chicken breed. They have smooth and small feathers, yet in no way do they look small. They are a reasonably large Chicken.
The Sussex Chicken breed has a single comb, wattle, and ear cartilage.
Depending on the color variety of the Sussex Chicken Breed you choose, their eyes will be either red or orange.
The Sussex is a smooth feathered creature with a long, broad back, broad shoulders, and a rectangular formed body.
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The tail is held at a 45-degree point upwards; this usually makes them look enthusiastic as they walk around the yard.
The Sussex Chicken Breed Temperament
These curious little chicken breeds just love chasing after you and picking at your shoelaces and jean sleeves.
Sussex is a natural out-going chicken breed and move along well with other breeds in your yard.
They are very great foragers, and they get a lot of their daily meals from foraging in the nursery.
Despite their size, the Sussex, in some instances, get singled out and picked upon by some of the other breeds of Chicken due to their trait of being very submissive and docile chicken breed.
At the point when hens go broody, which they most of the time do, they make brilliant moms, and the hens make great surrogate moms to other breeds of Chicken.
The Sussex Chickens are amazing watchmen, and they are truly adept at making their group aware of potential predators and dangers.
They tend to want to assist you in the nursery, following you all around and hoping to peck a few treats you may have for them.
The Sussex chicken can adapt to a lot of climatic and weather conditions; in rainy seasons, they will require some obscure spots to rest and have access to freshwater.
However, it is essential to note that Sussex Chicken survives a lot more in the summer heat conditions a lot more than the winter season.
Because the Sussex Chicken breed is a cool-tempered Chicken, it is best not to mix them among other forceful breeds as they will experience ill-treatment and harassment from the others.
They develop rapidly as opposed to the Jersey Giants a little before six months, although the dotted Sussex takes a lot longer time to develop fully.
The Sussex Breed Egg Production
For a dual-purpose breed, The Sussex have high-quality egg production.
They lay an approximate amount of 250 eggs in a year.
The Sussex chicken typically lay huge light brown eggs around 4-5 times a week.
A most amusing fact is that they will keep laying all through the cold weather season even when other hens have shut down egg production for the year.
Although, the egg-production potential of the Sussex chicken breed depends on the exact type of Sussex you rear, however, it’s a standard for them to lay between four to five eggs weekly.
The Sussex chicken breed is very predisposed to broodiness, and they make a great sitter for their eggs.
The level of broodiness will depend on the range you choose – the Light Sussex is said to be hardly ever broody, although this may rely upon the line you want.
The Sussex Breed Meat Production
The Sussex chickens were once one of the leading chicken breeds for meat production.
They are still can be reared for their fatty succulent meat, and if you feed your Sussex more, they can add up a lot of kilos quickly.
Caring For The Sussex Chicken Breed
There is no doubt about the fact that Sussex loves their food. Well, every chicken breed out there loves their food, but the Sussex is not one to joke with in terms of it’s feeding.
Scratch grain, mealworms, scraps, you name it, they love it.
You will need to take care when feeding your Sussex to ensure they do not get overweight as they are very prone to adding up weight pretty quickly.
And it has been established that an obese chicken will have issues with reproduction and very likely to be vulnerable to health issues.
Most Sussex keepers choose not to feed them based on their cravings. Instead, the rational feed needed for their growth and development.
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Sussex, as we have earlier established, makeup excellent foragers and thus making a great supplementary food plan.
Beyond the eggs laid and the quality meat we get from the Sussex Chicken, it’s crucial for their specie to carry one, thus breeding becomes very necessary.
Very many persons breed the light feathered Sussex to birth auto sexed chickens.
While very many other breeders are looking to mend the color variety that hasn’t been accepted by the American Poultry Association.
They also allow other individuals to participate in this.
You can quickly locate the clubs of different breeders working on this in your location and be a part of this.
The Sussex Breed Health Issue
The Sussex is quite a robust chicken breed and can survive a wide range of temperatures and environmental conditions.
They genuinely don’t have any alarming health issues besides a mild propensity to becoming obese, and as stated earlier, this can be prevented if you feed them appropriately.
Although if you want your Sussex chicken fattened for its meat, that’s completely understandable, if you do need them for the sole purpose of egg-laying, then you need to watch their weight closely.
The speckled Sussex is one chicken breed we find rather amusing to examine as they have such beautiful camouflage feathering. This breed became an endangered species until recently.
Due to an increasing amount of the emergence of various chicken breeds, the Sussex Chickens was saved from extinction, and now, the American Livestock Breed Conservancy had it listed as a “Recovering Specie.”
Now, people who have developed an interest in this breed and read on it, have realized that it’s heritage hen had a lot going for it in the earlier days.
This vintage time breed is being observed by an entirely new institution of bird keepers and playing a resurgence of popularity.
This is excellent information for such an unassuming chicken breed, whose ancestors hung around with the Romans!
The Pros And Cons Of Raising Sussex Chicken Breed
There are ups and downs when rearing Animals, specifically poultry breeds.
In the list below, we highlight a few pros and cons to consider when rearing the Sussex chicken breed.
They’re Friendly and Intelligent
Originating from England, the Sussex are also very sensible and friendly; this makes them a perfect choice if you need a smaller one breed flock.
They will provide you with enough quantity of eggs and even serve as an excellent pet for your family.
They also get along just fine with other chicken breeds, which is good, and they come in reasonably large sizes, and this scares some predators away.
Plus, they are excellent “watch chicken.”
- They’re Persistent Egg Layers
Very similar to the Australorp the Sussex are very impressive egg layers; the hens can sit on up to 20 eggs at the same time if appropriately raised because of their massive bodies.
They are perfect for raising chicks and meat production. They also lay eggs during the cold weather, saving you the time and stress of waiting for other breeds of Chicken to begin their egg-laying season.
They’re a beautiful Looking chicken breed.
It is safe to mention that this breed will be a tremendous addition to just about any hen farm only due to their size and their looks (there are Light, Speckled, Buff, all very beautiful).
Their broodiness, mixed with their beautifully elegant feathers, make them just appealing to look at.
There aren’t many breeds that can be selected just due to their appearance, and the Sussex chicken breed is not one of them.
Now, The Con Of Having Sussex Chicken Breed
- They’re an Overly Curious Bunch
Now you would possibly wonder why we placed this; “Their Curiosity” on the cons list, so allow us to explain.
As many persons say – curiosity killed the cat (or in this situation the Chicken), this breeds friendliness and interest can get them at the incorrect place at the wrong time a lot more often than you can imagine.
Although their length can make a few predators afraid, as we have pointed out above, however, some predators might be very happy to run into one in all your Sussex chickens.
If you plan on keeping this breed, make sure that your coop or hen house is tightly closed and that the places in your garden that you suspect are a tad bit dangerous or prone to getting unwanted visitors, considered a Chicken free zone.
What You didn’t know about Sussex chicken breed is that they’re mostly speckled, as their name suggests.
But what some fowl keepers don’t acknowledge is the fact that with each time a Speckled Sussex fowl molts, her speckles multiply.
It’s rather fun to look at hens development because the years pass on as she becomes more mottled than a speckled bird.
On everything you need to know about the Sussex Chicken breed, there you have it.
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