About our Light Sussex Chickens
Origin Country: England.
County: Kent, Sussex, Surrey.
Class: Heavy, soft feather, Large Fowl.
Comb: Upright of medium size, single evenly serrated and erect.
Uses: Utility - Dual Purpose, Exhibition.
Eggs: 170 - 220 cream / tinted.
Weight: Cock: 4.1Kg min. Hen: 3.2 Kg min.
Bantam Cock: 1530 g max. Hen: 1133 g max.
Colours: Brown, Buff, Coronation, Light, Red, Speckled, Silver, White.
Breed Club: One of the oldest in the country. Formed in 1903
Useful to Know: Hardy, very friendly, good for beginners, rarely goes broody.
The Sussex chicken is a dual-purpose utility breed and relatively easy to keep. They come in eight colours - Brown, Buff, Coronation, Light, Red, Speckled, Silver, White They are also available in bantam versions.
Sussex chickens are upright, alert, and usually docile. This English heavy breed has been around since the turn of the century but the roots of the breed go back to Roman civilisations in England, as domesticated poultry crossed the continents from Indo-China. They are good foragers. They are a popular white-fleshed chicken used for producing meat. The chicks of all of the varieties are fast to mature, with the exception of the speckled that takes a little longer.
About The Light Sussex on our Farm:
The light Sussex has a white body with a black tail and black wing tips. Its neck is white, striped with black and has a very striking appearance. They conform to breed standard and have a long back with the tail of moderate size being held at 45’ in males and 35’ in females. The feathers around the neck are called hackle feathers and each one is black with a fine white lace around the edge. Both hens and cocks are large, well built and very friendly. Our breeding stock originates directly from the retirement sale of Nick Smith’s flock
(Nick Smith, from Herefordshire is a legendary breeder of the light Sussex).
Juvenile Light Sussex often have black feathering showing through the white all over the body which makes the bird look unfinished. By maturity this moults out leaving a bird with black neck hackle edged with white and a black tail and black within the primary wing feathers. The feathering over the remainder of the body should be pure white throughout. There should not be any black markings or smuttiness on the back. The black neck hackles should not extend far on to the back as this makes the back look shorter and is generally seen as undesirable.
Light Sussex is often used to create hybrids and rarely go broody. So we tend to use bantams as surrogate mothers for breeding purposes.
Unlike commercial farms we keep all the cockerels until mature and select the very best for our own breeding programme and either sell the surplus or use for table birds. The breed makes an exceptional table bird and can be of usable size by 25 weeks.The slower growth than todays hybrids (commonly 9 to 12 weeks) means that the meat has time to properly mature. This is definitely chicken as it used to taste 100 years ago.