The Ixworth chicken breed is a large, rare bird hailing from the UK. They are a solid dual-purpose breed used for both egg and meat production. They are gaining popularity with small-scale chicken producers and homesteaders.
Ixworth hens will lay a good amount of medium-sized, tinted eggs, and males can be used for meat production. However, these birds are slow-growing as a heritage breed and often take more than 16 weeks to reach market weight.
Ixworth Chicken Breed Quick Info
Ixworth Chicken Description
|Ixworth Ease of Raising/Keeping:||Easy|
|Ixworth Special Care Needs:||No|
|Is the Ixworth breed a common, rare, or protected breed of chicken?||Rare, “risk” status|
|Ixworth Temperament:||Friendly, active|
|Ixworth Ability/Likelihood to Free Range:||Yes|
Ixworth Egg Production
|Estimated Number of Eggs Per Year||160-200|
|Likeliness to Brood Eggs/Raise Chicks||Medium|
Ixworth Meat Production
|Dressed Weight Male||7 ¾ lbs.|
|Dressed Weight Female||6 lbs.|
Ixworth Climate Tolerance
Ixworth Age to Maturity
|Number of Months to Reach Full Size||6 Months|
|Number of Months to Start Egg Laying||6 Months|
|Number of Weeks/Months to Reach Meat Harvest Size||16+ Weeks|
Ixworth Size at Maturity
Origins of the Ixworth Chicken
This heritage breed originated in Ixworth in Suffolk, England, a town which they are named after. A man by the name of Reginald Appleyard is credited with creating this breed in 1932.
He crossed the White Orpington, White Minorca, White Sussex, and various Indian Game birds in an attempt to create a white-skinned bird that was ideal for meat production. Just a few years later, by 1939, the breed was standardized in the UK.
In the 1970s, they nearly went extinct due to the rise of the Cornish Cross. Today, they remain a rare breed and are very difficult to find outside of the UK.
Some Things to Know About the Ixworth Chicken
The Ixworth chicken has bright white plumage. They have a pea comb and barely-noticeable wattles. The original English version has white skin, but some breeders also offer yellow-skinned Ixworths to cater to the North American market.
The Ixworth boasts a bright red face, wattles, and earlobes. Their legs and beak match their white skin. When it comes to their frame, they are fairly large, deep-bodied, and heavy, and their tail is held lower to the ground than other breeds.
How Easy is it to Keep Ixworth Chickens?
The Ixworth chicken breed is easy to care for, hardy, and not prone to any health issues. These birds are alert and active. They are ideal for colder climates, as they are very cold hardy due to their small comb and wattles.
They are ideal free-range birds and are excellent foragers. This has contributed to their growing popularity among homesteaders and small-scale chicken farmers.
The Ixworth chicken breed’s temperament is mild and friendly. Both hens and roosters are known to be non-aggressive and get along well with other chickens.
Special Care and Considerations for Ixworth Chickens
Because of their sweet, gentle nature, Ixworth chickens do best in a flock with other non-aggressive chickens, like the Polish or Cochin.