The Sussex is one of the oldest and most popular breeds of chicken, yet how much do you really know about them, right?
Well, after you read through these interesting facts about Sussex chickens you’re going to be an expert!
Whether you’re considering raising some yourself, or you just want to learn more about this breed, I hope you find the following nuggets of information useful:
15 Interesting and Fun Facts About Sussex Chickens
- As their name suggests, the Sussex chicken was first bred in Sussex, UK, and is one of the oldest chicken breeds.
- They are known as “dual-purpose” chickens because they are reared for both their meat and eggs.
- They are great layers, producing around 180-200 large eggs/year. Some strains can produce up to 250 eggs/year.
- A Sussex typically starts laying at around 16-20 weeks of age.
- The color of their eggs ranges from cream to light brown.
- The American Poultry Association recognizes certain colors of the Sussex breed, as does the Poultry Club of Great Britain which recognizes eight color varieties.
- Sussex’s have a single red comb and red earlobes (which indicates they lay brown eggs).
- The Light Sussex has a white body with a black tail and some black markings on their neck feathers.
- A Buff Sussex is orange with black and green markings around their necks.
- The hens typically weigh around 7 lbs, and the roosters are around 9 lbs. Making them a medium-sized bird.
- Their temperament is best described as “docile” and “alert”. It sounds like a bit of a contradiction, it really just means they are friendly and attentive birds.
- Their life expectancy is 7-8 years.
- They are a “cold hardy” breed, meaning they can tolerate the cold weather just fine.
- Sussex are great at scratching and foraging, if you let them roam free-range they’ll find food if it’s out there.
- If adults are too big for you, check out a bantam Sussex. They’re about ⅓ to ½ the size with all the same characteristics.
Are Sussex Chickens a Good Backyard Chicken Breed?
Sussex chickens are a great backyard chicken breed! They wouldn’t be one of the most popular breeds found on homesteads, in backyards, and urban settings otherwise.
Being from England, it’ll come as no surprise to hear that they’re cold-weather hardy. They are busy foragers too, so you can expect to see them out scratching around whatever the weather.
They are decent layers, producing around 200 eggs a year as I mentioned above. That’s 3-4 eggs a week, so with a few of these in your yard, you’ll have enough fresh eggs to keep all your friends and family happy.
Don’t forget they are a good table bird too. It’s not hard to fatten up these birds if you’re raising them for meat.
Are Sussex Chickens Friendly?
Yes, if you’re thinking about raising Sussex chickens and have kids, other pets, or other chickens, they should join the family and get along with everyone just fine.
They are a curious and friendly breed. If they are handled from a young age, they grow up to be one of the friendliest and social backyard breeds.
As long as you take all the necessary steps to integrate them properly into your existing flock, issues are rare due to how calm and docile they are.
Are They Right for You?
There are few breeds that are better backyard birds. They’re awesome for beginners because they are easy to care for, friendly, and great layers.
Sussex are also just good birds for anyone who wants to find large eggs in their nesting boxes on a regular basis.
If you’re interested in checking out some facts for other popular breeds of backyard chickens, check out: