Sussex chickens are one of the best backyard chicken breeds for laying eggs. The numbers vary a little depending on the variety, but generally speaking, you can expect around 200-250 large brown eggs per year.
Are Sussex Chickens Good layers?
The Sussex breed is an exceptional egg-laying chicken. Not only is 200-250 eggs a year a huge number – and this puts them among the top layers – but they are also one of the best breeds for laying through winter.
Almost all chickens slow down laying in the winter months, and most breeds stop altogether.
This is due to a lot of chicken’s resources being used to keep them warm. As well as the shorter days a fewer hours of quality sunlight being a factor.
To lay at their best, chickens require; at least 12 hours of sunlight a day, good quality nutrition, and stress-free conditions.
Sussex hens are known to handle the cold better than most breeds. Probably because they are native to Great Britain, where the winters are cold and there are more than a few rainy, overcast days.
How Many Eggs Do Sussex Chickens Lay?
On average, you can expect 200-250 eggs per year from a Sussex. That works out at about 4-5 per week!
If you have a few of these in your flock, you and your neighbors are not going to run out of eggs, that’s for sure.
This is why they’re a popular choice on homesteads, people living off-grid, those looking to sell eggs, and so on.
How Long Do Sussex Chickens Lay Eggs?
They typically start laying at around 18-20 weeks’ of age. You can expect them to lay consistently for around 3-4 years, before tapering off as they start to get older.
Their life expectancy is 5-8 years. This is pretty normal for a backyard chicken that’s a good layer.
Just think, you’re probably going to get more than 1,000 during their lifetime. That’s a lot of eggs!
What Color Eggs Sussex Chickens Lay?
The color varies slightly depending on the variety. The most popular varieties; the Light and Speckled Sussex both lay brown eggs.
Some of the other varieties look more of a dark creme to light-brown color.
How Many Varieties of Sussex Are There?
In the U.S the American Poultry Association recognizes three varieties. In the UK, where the Sussex originates, they recognize eight varieties. These are:
Which Variety of Sussex Lays the Most Eggs?
Anticipating someone asking this question, I asked my local farmer which variety lays the most eggs.
In their opinion, they said they always recommend the Light Sussex as the best layer. But said there isn’t a lot of difference across the varieties.
Providing them all the conditions they need to lay at their peak is more important. This means providing a quality commercial layers feed, some additional nutrient-rich foods, excellent living conditions, plenty of sunlight, etc.
Related – A closer look at the Light Sussex Chicken.
How Many Eggs Do Speckled Sussex Chickens Lay?
They have a few Speckled Sussex’s at the farm just down the road from me. I asked the owner how many eggs they lay, and he said he, “always expects 4 a week, and 5 isn’t uncommon”.
As I mentioned above, the speckled and the Light varieties are probably the two most common breeds and are the most prolific layers.
Are Sussex Chickens a Good Backyard Breed?
Yes, the Sussex breed is one of the best backyard breeds. There are a number of reasons for this, most notably because they’re:
Easy to raise – They are one of the easiest breeds to raise. This is due to their docile temperament, they are weather hardy and good foragers.
Friendly and social – One of the most fun parts of raising chickens is interacting with them. Social and friendly breeds like the Sussex makes this so much more rewarding and fun.
Weather tolerant – As I mentioned, Sussex are one of the best breeds for laying through the winter. This is because they are tolerant of cold temperatures, it’s the hot weather that’s more likely to bother them.
Lots of eggs! – As I’ve explained in this article, they are one of the best egg-laying breeds. Not only do they lay a lot, but you also get “classic” looking large brown eggs. Delicious.
You can keep them in any setting suitable for chickens. They do fair better with space to roam around though.
They love to forage and find bugs and insects to eat. This is a bonus for you as it’s a nice supplement to their diet and means fewer bugs in your yard.
The Sussex is the perfect dual-purpose breed to get started with or to introduce into an existing flock.
If you’re not yet convinced, to summarize:
- They lay around 200-250 eggs per year.
- There are several varieties ranging in colors from dark brown to white.
- They lay large brown eggs.
- They are fun, personable, curious, and social chickens.
- They are also hardy, weather tolerant, and easy to look after.
Interested to learn more about this breed? Check out these interesting facts about Sussex chickens.
Image credits – Header photo by Sven Hornburg on Unsplash