The Sussex have everything: they are great layers of tinted or light brown eggs--and they lay right through the coldest weather. They are dual purpose birds, though: fat-bodied and not prone to flying when mature, so they are easily fenced. In England, they used to be THE standard table bird, before the modern Cornish Crosses came along. They forage well and are economical eaters that are friendly and easily handled. Their curious nature means they will often follow you around the yard if they think they can beg a treat from you. The "speckled" variety has plumage that gives them some camouflage from predators, too. Many tend to get more speckles after each successive molt, so they just get prettier with age. Seriously, what more could you ask for in a chicken?

Speckled Sussex Hen


Class: English
Type: Large Fowl & Bantam
Size: Heavy (7-8 lbs)
Rarity: Common
Purpose: Dual
Recognized Varieties: Speckled, Red, Light

Egg Facts:

Egg Laying: Very Good (4/wk)
Egg Color: Light Brown
Egg Size: Large

Fancy Features:

Comb Type: Single Comb
Crested: No
Feathered Legs: No
Number of Toes: 4

Suitability to Backyard Life:

Hardy In Winter: Yes
Bears Confinement: Bears confinement well
Especially Docile: Yes
Setter/Broody: Yes
Personality: Confident, curious and mellow

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