Sussex Chicken: Everything You Need to Know About This Egg Laying Breed

 The Sussex chicken is one of the most common chicken breeds. An old English breed, it has been successful in its country of origin and its many qualities have earned it a place in numerous chicken coops around the world!

Sussex Chicken: Everything You Need to Know About This Egg Laying Breed
Sussex Chicken: Everything You Need to Know About This Egg Laying Breed

 The Sussex is indeed an excellent layer and a good broody hen and mother. Its meat is universally praised for its taste and quality. It is also very sociable and has a calm temperament. A hardy breed, it requires no special care, and as its origins suggest, it is not afraid of cold or humidity!

Physical Characteristics

 The Sussex can be described as a "heavy" breed, with soft feathers tightly packed together. Whether it is a speckled Sussex or a silver Sussex, you will never be disappointed. The beauty of its plumage even improves with successive molts. Unfortunately, silver, buff, and red varieties are extremely rare today.

  • Egg size: 50/60g. Cream to brown are the available shell colors.
  • Plumage: white, black speckled white, black-tipped buff, red, silver-gray tricolor, cuckoo.
  • Eyes: iris ranging from red to orange depending on the plumage.
  • Beak: small, curved, horn to gray in color depending on the plumage.
  • Comb: single, red.
  • Breast: wide and well-developed.
  • Earlobes: red.
  • Legs: medium, flesh to white in color, with 4 toes.

Behavior and Character

 Sussex chickens are docile but confident and friendly. They are very curious birds that may follow you around the garden to enjoy your company or wait for treats.

 With children, Sussex hens are almost like nannies. They are so gentle that they even tolerate the clumsiest hands. Therefore, you can involve your children in raising these chickens without any problems and create good memories.

 This breed is so non-aggressive that even roosters are gentle. It is therefore not advisable to keep them with overly dominant breeds because they will be at the bottom of the food chain and.


 The Sussex chicken loves to scratch the ground and is very skilled at it. She obtains a large portion of her food from the garden, making her an economical chicken. However, being a large breed, don't drastically reduce the amount of food given.

 As an excellent layer, she is satisfied with a diet consisting of a mix of cereals that are rich in fiber and protein (such as wheat, corn, oats, barley, and protein peas).

 She is a big eater who will pick at any insects that pass under her feet and enjoy vegetable peels or other treats that you may offer her. Don't forget water, which should be available at all times throughout the day. A chicken can drink up to half a liter per day.


 The Sussex is a large breed chicken, so she is fertile quite late (7/8 months). She tends to be a good broody hen and an excellent mother. Her tendency to brood depends on the variety you choose: the White Sussex is rarely broody, although this may depend on her lineage.

 Another attraction of the Sussex chicken is its ability to lay eggs during the winter when most other chickens have stopped production for the year. This is a breed that reproduces (and therefore, starts brooding) during the hottest months.


 The Sussex chicken is a robust bird that is resistant to a wide range of temperatures and conditions. She doesn't really have any notable health problems, except for a tendency towards obesity due to her love of food. In the case of free-range farming, the risk is very low.

 Like most chickens, the Sussex chicken requires little treatment, just good hygiene. Be sure to change the litter at least once a week and clean the coop every month. Another way to prevent parasites is to deworm your chickens and, of course, keep their water clean and clear.

Living Conditions

 These chickens are comfortable in both open spaces, confined areas, or in the presence of humans, although they mate and reproduce better in larger areas.

They are great foragers who spend their days pecking at the ground like a true backyard chicken.

 Sussex is very resilient, especially to the cold. Summer heat is tolerated as long as they have shaded areas to rest and, of course, access to fresh water.

 Ideally, they should have a coop that is somewhat open within a spacious enclosure or with possible access to a fenced garden. Sussex chickens are not good flyers, so there is no need for very high fences, but the perches should be sturdy and close to the ground.

History of the Breed

 A Sussex was first showcased in London in 1845. Under the name of Sussex chicken or Kent chicken. This was the beginning of the breed as such. Although Kent was mentioned, this chicken was actually created in Sussex.

 It was the result of a cross between a local breed and other breeds such as the Cochin, Dorking, and Brahma, to achieve the current appearance of a sturdy and well-proportioned bird. The original plumage colors were speckled black and white, and perhaps even brown and red.

 It appears that its indigenous ancestor was in England at the time of the Roman invasion of 43 AD. Of course, at that time, it did not resemble today's chicken at all.

 The Sussex is one of those breeds created in the Victorian era, when the importation of many types of "exotic" chickens gave poultry enthusiasts many ideas for creating new breeds.

 The counties of Sussex, Surrey, and Kent were the main suppliers of poultry for London markets. It was to satisfy them that the Sussex chicken was created. The Sussex was then considered the best poultry for all its uses.

 It enjoyed great success until the era of mass food production in the 1940s and 1950s. It was replaced by chickens that grew faster, but it never really disappeared, still highly valued by more traditional breeders.

 The Sussex is so representative of England that a variety of this chicken was created for the coronation of King Edward VIII in 1936 (which didn't occur because he abdicated, making his younger brother King George VI instead). The "Coronation Sussex" still exists, recreated and reintroduced by Rob Whittington from a strain of the original.


What kind of habitat does a Sussex chicken need?

 It adapts perfectly to a traditional chicken coop, even a small one. But it is fulfilled when it can enjoy a spacious run (8 sqm per bird) or wander around the garden as it loves to peck and scratch in search of food to nibble on.

 It is not afraid of the cold, but rather the heat, so make sure to offer it a canopy or shade from a tree during the summer as well as freshwater renewed daily. Since it does not fly, a perch and low enclosure boundaries (80 to 100 cm) are sufficient.

What is the character of this chicken breed?

 It is curious, friendly with other poultry in the backyard, and discreet. It can be fearful in unfamiliar situations. The hen and rooster are gentle with children who enjoy listening to their "chatter".

What is its laying period?

All year round, even in winter with a slowdown during the late summer molting period.

How many eggs does it lay at most?

 It is a very good layer with 200 to 250 eggs per year, surpassed by the Rhode Island Red chicken and its 300 annual eggs!

At what age does the Sussex chicken start laying?

From 4-5 months.

Can you eat its eggs?

 Its eggs are large, 55 to 65 g, cream to pale brown. With a tasty yolk (sometimes two or three!) and a fluffy white, the perfect egg for boiling or poaching.

Where and at what price can you buy a Sussex chicken?

 You can find Sussex chickens in garden centers or at the market. To ensure the purity of the breed, especially for less common varieties such as the tricolor, go through a specialized breeder. The price range is from $19 to $60.

تعديل المشاركة

Islam Khennoucha

Islam Khennoucha is an Australian author and chicken farmer who has dedicated his life to the study and care of these fascinating creatures. He was born and raised in Algeria, where he developed a love for nature and animals, especially chickens. After moving to Australia, Islam purchased a farm where he could fulfill his passion for raising chickens.
No comments
Post a Comment

Post a Comment