About Speckled Sussex Chicken
The Speckled Sussex chicken breed is one of the most favorites in England. It has endured for a long time for it to become a go to chicken breed by the people. In fact, during the early 1900s, the varieties of Sussex fowl were about to die out had it not been for the efforts of dedicated chicken breeders. They were able to improve the line of the breed which resulted in the productive Speckled Sussex we see nowadays.
In this article, we will discuss all the important things that you need to know about the Speckled Sussex including their history and origin, egg laying capabilities, appearance, size and color, temperament, and how you could properly take care of them.
History and Origin
No one knows for sure how the Speckled Sussex originated or first appeared. During the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, there were already writings pointing to a chicken similar to that of the Specked Sussex that can be found in England.
No one is sure if the bird described above is the ancestor of the Speckled Sussex. The Romans were quite surprised when they found out that the native Britons did not know that the bird can be consumed for food. Hence, they taught the Britons how to raise and breed these chickens.
Moving forward, during the hen fever in the UK and US, a breed of chicken known as Sussex or Kentish fowl were showcased in the first ever poultry show held in 1845. The show was held at Regents Park Zoo and found many spectators. This was the first time that the speckled Sussex was showcased publicly.
The Speckled Sussex was initially raised in Sussex and Kent to supply chicken meat in London. It is said that the chickens they gave were juice, delicious, and fine. The roosters were much in demand when it comes to meat. They were raised in a specific way with specific feeds so that they could give large chicken meat.
Along with Rhode Island Reds and other varieties of Sussex, the Speckled Sussex became a primary source of food – eggs and meat – during World War 2 where food supplies were cut short.
According to the Poultry Club of Great Britain, the Speckled Sussex is a heavy chicken breed. But it has soft feathers. The American Poultry Association or APA formally recognized the breed in 1914 and classified them to be in English class.
The ear lobes, comb, and wattles of the chicken are all color red. It has a single comb and a horn colored beak. The Speckled Sussex also has white skin, feet, and legs. Each foot has four toes. They have short legs with muscular and stout thighs. They also have a flat back and a broad, deep chest.
Size and Color
In general, the Speckled Sussex weighs about nine pounds for roosters and seven pounds for hens. There are bantam sized speckled Sussex. However, they could be quite difficult to find. This chicken breed has a stunning feather pattern. Its base is rich in color – dark mahogany. Each of its feathers has a white tip which is separated from the mahogany color by a black bar. The feathers also have iridescent tones of green that appears vibrant under the sun. This pattern of coloration gives the chicken a camouflage when it free ranges.
Behind all that good looks, the Speckled Sussex excels in egg laying. On the average, it can give about four to five large-sized eggs every week. They maintain that feat even during winter. The breed also tends to go broody. This means that hens tend to sit on their eggs and wait for them to hatch. They also make for great mothers. The chicks, however, take long to mature.
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The Speckled Sussex is known for their even temperament. They are docile, friendly, and calm. They can follow you around your yard thinking that you have treats with you. They are also very curious. Though they tolerate confinement well, it would be good to have them free range at times. They excel at that. This breed is also cold hardy.
Since the Speckled Sussex has an easygoing disposition, they rank low in the pecking order. Aggressive breeds may try to pick on them so do watch out for that.
Should I Get a Speckled Sussex?
If you are looking for a chicken breed that lays a lot of eggs, then the Speckled Sussex is one of your best options. The chicken also provides good chicken meat that will serve up some delicious, juicy dish on the table.
The Speckled Sussex is also ideal for families with children. Kids can easily play around with these birds. The chickens won’t do harm to them. They can pick the birds up and put them on their laps.
Overall, the Speckled Sussex is an outstanding chicken breed, which is why it is considered to be one of the top 20 chicken breeds. You have been given the most important things that you need to know about the Speckled Sussex – including how the breed originated, its appearance, temperament, size and color, and egg laying capabilities. The choice is up to you now to decide whether to get one for you coop or backyard. Whatever your decision may be, we wish you good luck in your chicken breeding journey!