Sussex chickens are among the oldest chicken breeds and they are still very popular among homesteaders and farmers today. They are a great dual-purpose breed, capable of consistent egg production even in cold weather and their heavy statue makes them suitable for meat.
Sussex chickens are nearly 2000 years old! The first Sussex chickens were probably bred in England beginning as early as the Roman invasion of the area in 43 AD. Prized for their eggs and meat as well as their great personalities, these birds are believed to be the ancestor to the modern-day boiler chicken.
Sussex chickens are large, weighing up to eight pounds, and have single combs, and four toes. The speckled variety (brown feathers with black and white spots) of the Sussex breed is the most common. Not only are the speckles beautiful but speckled Sussex chickens will also develop more speckles after each molting cycle and the spots provide camouflage against predators. Although less common, Sussex hens can also be red, light, brown, buff, silver, white, lavender, gold, and Coronation. The Coronation Sussex is extremely rare, has light feathers with grey-blue markings, and was bred in the 1940s specifically to celebrate King George’s coronation.
Sussex chickens are great egg layers, producing about four large, light brown eggs each week, even in very cold temperatures. Homesteaders who are waste-cautious will appreciate that Sussex chickens are economical eaters and enjoy foraging for food on their own.
Best of all, Sussex chickens are fun to raise! Their docile and mellow personality allows them to tolerate confinement easily. They are also curious and friendly, making them a great choice for homesteaders who have small children.