The Speckled Sussex is one of the ancient chicken breeds in the world as it was developed in England more than 1000 years ago.
This Speckled Sussex heritage breed was well-known in England as a table bird. These birds are characterized by pinkish white skin as well as a long, deep body that is perfect for fattening. The Speckled Sussex is considered a medium-sized bird in the heavy breed category. Created as a dual-purpose chicken breed, it is ideal for both eggs and meat.
Its rich mahogany plumage base color is amusing with individual feathers that end in a white tip divided from the rest of the feathers by a black bar. While these Sussex birds almost went to extinction when other industrial breeds were created. Currently, they are increasing in popularity.
If you are looking for a peculiar, talkative, friendly, and enjoys human companionship, a chicken breed that is kind and gentle making it an excellent choice for kids, the Speckled Sussex is ideal.
Continue reading this article to know more about the Speckled Sussex breed.
Table of Contents
Speckled Sussex Chicks
Speckled Sussex chicks vary significantly in color from a creamy buff to dark chestnut. Other baby chicks also have substitute dark and light stripes sideways on the back.
When they are young, these chicks have dark chestnut-colored patterns, especially around the eyes. Some chicks, however, will be lighter in color than others. As they grow, Speckled Sussex chicken starts to show adult markings and feathers develop a cute mahogany color. Some birds, however, are tipped in white and others divide up in black.
This chicken breed variety blends splendor with utility and is a wonderful fowl to raise for show contests.
Speckled Sussex Chicken Breed History
These adorable fowls derive their name from Sussex, where they were first bred, as well as the cute, speckled feathers. First accepted as an individual chicken breed in 1914, the Speckled Sussex has a history that dates back more than a century.
The Speckled Sussex chicken breed was developed for both production of eggs and a table bird with very delicious meat. Raising these birds is considered economical as compared to other breeds which makes a great addition to many people’s backyard flock.
Although the Speckled chicken breed is one of the birds that was used to develop the Speckled Sussex, not much is known about the others. According to the Oklahoma State University, the Sussex breed was kept long before the 1845 first poultry show held at the London Zoo. The Sussex breed is said to have existed in the Roman era when it was used for meat purposes.
To date, the Speckled Sussex chicken breed is a favorite backyard bird for most people.
A table for the Speckled Sussex Chicken Breed
|Good for Beginners?||Yes|
|Weight||Hen (6 to 7 lbs.), Rooster (8 lbs.)|
|Temperament||Calm and Friendly|
|Egg Production||4 to 5 weekly|
|Egg Color||Light Brown|
|Good with kids||Yes|
|Are they Broody?||Yes|
|Price||$50 per chick|
What does a Speckled Sussex look like?
These birds are hard to mistake for another chicken breed as their feathering as they are defined by a broad and long back. You will also notice a tail that rests on the body at an acute angle (45°). The Speckled Sussex has white shanks and toes with clean legs. Unlike the other chicken chickens like the Brahma breed that grows feathers on their legs, Speckled Sussex’s legs are bare.
Speckled Sussex chickens have a single comb that has five distinct pointy ends. The earlobes are medium-sized as well as small to medium-sized rounded wattles and are all red in color. Here in the US and the UK, the Speckled Sussex variety is recognized for both large and bantams.
How can you tell a male from a female Speckled Sussex?
You can’t tell the sex of your baby chicks so, differentiating a pullet from a cockerel will not be easy until the chicks are 5 to 6 weeks.
It is worth noting that both sexes of the Speckled Sussex chickens feature a slate, red, and white under-color.
So, let us see what roosters and hens look like individually.
Speckled Sussex Hens
What does a Speckled Sussex hen look like?
Speckled Sussex hens have a dark mahogany base color on their heads, necks, and bodies. At the tip of almost every feather in these adorable females is decked with a white spot. You will also notice a black bar that divides this white part from the rest of the feather. Expect their tails to have a brown and black color with white on the tips. The Speckled Sussex beaks are brownish-pink in color.
Speckled Sussex Roosters
What does a Speckled Sussex rooster look like?
A Speckled Sussex rooster is described as a dark mahogany head, neck, and saddle. At the tip of nearly every feather is a white color with a black bar that lies between the white tip and the rest of the feather. The upper part of the wing is dotted while the other wing feathers have a white, black, and brown color. Expect Speckled Sussex rooster tail feathers to be mostly black and white in color.
Speckled Sussex Bantams
Are there Bantam Speckled Sussex?
Yes, there are bantam speckled Sussex chickens. However, they are not easy to find as there are very few breeders. As such, some ancestries have had hereditary issues. The feather markings of the speckled Sussex are quite striking. They have a rich and dark mahogany base color.
Size & Weight
How big do Speckled Sussex get?
The Speckled Sussex chicken is considered to be a large bird in size. Typically, Speckled Sussex roosters weigh approx. 8 lbs. while the hens weigh between 6 and 7 lbs.
As for the Speckled Sussex Bantams variety, roosters are 36 ounces while hens are 30 ounces in weight.
The Speckled Sussex Breed Standard
The Poultry Club of Great Britain describes the Speckled Sussex chicken breed as a heavy bird with soft feathers. According to the American Poultry Association, the Speckled Sussex is recognized as an English class bird.
Let us talk about the colors below.
Speckled Sussex Breed Colors
The Sussex chicken breed comes in a variety of colors. The Speckled Sussex, however, has a rich mahogany base that gives these cute birds a deep red plumage. Every feather from their head to their tail has a white tip that is separated by dark mahogany and a varicolored black bar.
Speckled Sussex Growth Rate
When it comes to reaching maturity, the Sussex variety tends to mature quickly, especially for a heritage fowl. They mature in roughly 20 weeks.
The Speckled Sussex, however, takes a little longer to reach maturity compared to other breeds that mature much earlier at approx. 16 weeks.
What is it like owning a Speckled Sussex Chicken Breed?
The Speckled Sussex chicken breed is an adorable bird that you will love to watch roaming in the backyard. And since this breed is prone to obesity, allowing them to range freely and exercise helps prevent this severe health issue.
Due to their large size, this means they are best suited for people with big yards where they can build a coop for birds of their size and ample space to range freely.
If you need a calm and gentle chicken breed that will keep you happy with its sweet disposition, the Speckled Sussex is an ideal choice.
Do Speckled Sussex make good pets?
These birds get along with kids just fine, particularly the hens. These girls wear an even nature and love being held and stroked which makes them outstanding pets. It is not a surprise that this hen will follow you around, especially if they think you will throw them a treat.
When it comes to roosters, however, they are not the best for a family setting, especially ones with small children.
Speckled Sussex Egg Production
The Speckled Sussex chicken breed begins to lay eggs when they are about 20 weeks old. Being of the Sussex line, the Speckled Sussex tends to be an excellent layer that will give you approx. 4 to 5 eggs weekly. This means you can expect about 250 eggs per year for each hen.
|Eggs per week||4 to 5 eggs|
Expect these birds to stop laying when they are molting.
Are Speckled Sussex broody?
According to many owners, the Speckled Sussex hen tends to be broody, especially in spring and summer. However, the number of eggs depends on their broodiness.
Speckled Sussex Eggs
Speckled Sussex egg color is light brown or tinted in color.
What is the Meat Quality of Speckled Sussex Chickens?
The Speckled Sussex is considered a relatively large and heavy bird that offers sufficient table meals. The breed is known for tender meat that is pink to white in color.
If you are looking for a chicken breed that will be suitable for your urban living, the Speckled Sussex is a great addition to your backyard.
Well, these birds are chatty but not loud. Hens will only sing after laying an egg and when they spot a predator close.
Facts about the Speckled Sussex Chicken Breed
Here are a few facts about the Speckled Sussex chicken breed:
- Like their name, the breed was bred in Sussex, England.
- Speckled Sussex chickens were used as table birds during WW2.
- The Speckled is considered the oldest color type of the Sussex chicken breed.
- Their friendly and outgoing nature makes them a great addition to all families, even those with small kids.
Speckled Sussex Chicken Breed Care Guide
To take care of your Speckled Sussex, you must understand their dietary needs as well as health issues.
The Speckled Sussex is one of the healthiest chicken breeds that you can have in your flock. Apart from the common internal and external parasites such as lice, mites, and worms, these birds are hearty and strong.
Bear in mind, however, that the Speckled Sussex has a single comb. This means that it is more susceptible to frostbite. As such, it is crucial that you keep them safe and very warm, especially during the winter months.
When your Speckled Sussex is a chick, it should consume a diet that is rich in protein (20%) and this should be the case when they are molting, even as adults.
As they mature and start laying eggs, make sure their diet consists of 16% high-quality feed. In addition, these birds should be fed oysters in a different bowl to provide calcium. Grit should also be fed as it promotes digestion, especially during winter when they can’t range freely outside.
Coop Setup and Roaming
Speckled Sussex is considered a large bird which means they need ample space both inside the coop and outside where they range free.
Inside the Coop
Each Speckled Sussex chicken needs no less than 4 square feet of space where they can move freely when confined during cold seasons. While this gives them freedom and comfort, a big space also reduces the chances of these birds developing pecking behavior.
These birds also need perches to rest on and they should be strong enough to hold their weight and spacious. As such, ensure each Speckled Sussex has 8 to 10 inches of space. Nesting boxes should have the standard s12 by 12 inches size.
Different perches are recommended particularly if your Speckled Sussex is living in the same pen with pushy chicken breeds like the Rhode Island Red.
Speckled Sussex is a breed that enjoys spending most of its time outside running and roaming in search of bugs, ticks, and other goodies. Thanks to their spotted color, these birds can hide easily from possible predators.
If you prefer to keep your Speckled Sussex in a run, make sure each has 8 square feet of space. They can tolerate confinement well.
Speckled Sussex Price
The Speckled Sussex may not be the most expensive bird, but it is not the cheapest. As such, expect to spend $25 for a chick while pullets and adult Speckled Sussex will cost about $50.
Speckled Sussex for Sale
If you are considering keeping the Speckled Sussex chicken in your backyard, you can find a reputable breeder or hatchery in your country or state.
As a rule of the thumb, avoid buying your Speckled Sussex online from websites.
Should you keep this breed?
The Speckled Sussex is a good chicken breed for people that want a reliable egg layer and a bird with a calm and quiet temperament for a pet. If you live in a region that has cold climates, these birds will survive.
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