If you want to add the Sebright chicken breed to your backyard flock, you have come to the right place.
We will discuss everything you need to know about the Sebright chickens. Keep reading to learn more.
The Sebright chicken is a spunky and dynamic small-sized chicken with distinctive plumage. Its plumage has made it an excellent addition to personal flocks.
Although they have a diminutive stature, they boast an appealing and affectionate personality.
History And Background Of Sebright Chickens
This ornamental and attractive chicken breed was first bred in 1800. It is considered one of the oldest varieties of British bantam.
Sir John Sebright wanted to create a small bird with distinct lace plumage. The exact cross-breedings used to create the Sebright chicken are not known.
However, several experts believe they were created by breeding Rosecomb, Polish, Hamburg, and Nankin breeds.
The Sebright was accepted into the American Poultry Association (APA) in 1874. Since then, the breed has been a steady fixture in poultry world showmanship.
However, their popularity has not gone beyond that of ornamental uses or of poultry associations.
This is because they are not large enough for meat production nor abundant egg layers.
The popularity of these birds has risen because the number of backyard keepers and urban poultry lovers has increased.
Most first-time and new chicken keepers are now going for them because of their small size, beautiful plumage, spunky demeanor, and active nature.
However, the fate of these adorable birds rests squarely in the hands of poultry experts and professional breeders because they are difficult for beginning chicken breeders to produce.
Breed Standard And Appearance
The Sebright is one of the smallest bantam chicken breeds. Hens weigh around 20 ounces, while roosters weigh around 22 ounces.
The American Poultry Association accepts two color variations; Gold Laced and Silver Laced. They also occur in a Buff Laced variation.
All Sebright chickens have laced plumage edged in a contrasting black.
Since roosters do not have distinctive or identifying in the hackle, tail, and saddle, Sebright chickens are to be the only hen-feathered chicken.
This makes hens and roosters indistinguishable by coloration.
Sebrights have tight and short feathers and should not be pointed. They have a rose comb with a “leader” slightly pointing upwards.
Their combs are mulberry and can also be deep red in color. Also, their ear lobes, face, and wattles are mulberry and deep red.
They have large, black eyes. Their beaks are dark horn color. The Silver Laced chickens may have dark blue beaks.
Their bodies are compact and short, with a prominent chest similar to that of a pigeon. These birds also have short backs with square tails around 70 degrees.
This gives them an upright appearance. The Sebright chicken was admitted to the American Poultry Association and the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1874.
Over the years, the standard has been modified in different ways. The Australian Poultry Society classifies the Sebright as a soft feathered light chicken breed.
Personality And Temperament
Sebrights are easygoing, active, and friendly birds. They are simple to tame and will do well in any backyard flock.
Unlike roosters of other breeds, Sebright roosters are calm and non-aggressive. However, both roosters and hens tend to be somewhat skittish.
Once they overcome their initial shyness, they are found to be responsive and personable.
Many owners have said these birds can become great pets with good training and interaction with their handlers.
Their engaging and feisty personality makes them excellent birds for shows and competitions.
If they are trained well, they will respond well to the strains of showmanship and typically handle the noise of the competition floor.
While they are affectionate chickens, their active nature can sometimes lead them into trouble. Since they have large wings, they are reasonably strong fliers.
They can fly when spooked or stressed, which can lead them into harm’s way and away from their owners.
Sebright chickens can be loud if they are put into situations that they do not like or if they are left unattended.
Therefore, you will need to keep a close eye on them. They will also need proper interaction.
Sebright Chicken Egg Laying
Sebrights were created to be ornamental and show chickens. They are not considered prolific egg layers. They lay small white eggs and depend upon ideal conditions to produce eggs.
If you are looking for a bird that will ensure you have a constant supply of eggs throughout the year, this should not be one of the options.
Roosters usually require warmer climates to breed. Therefore, they mostly breed successfully between April and June.
Their hens are known not to be very broody, which leads to a low hatching rate. It also results in a high mortality rate for the hatch chicks.
Under good care and proper nutrition, a Sebright hen can lay around 60 to 90 eggs a year. The production rate will depend on temperature, age, diet, and other living conditions.
Simply put, these chickens are not the right birds for egg production.
Health Issues And Care
Sebrights are hardy and active birds. Therefore, they do not require a lot of specialized care. They can do well in backyard flock alongside other breeds if you provide enough space.
They are also good foragers that will do well if allowed to free-range. Since their large wings and small bodies make them adept fliers, you must keep an eye on them if you allow them to forage.
Their flight capabilities require confinement. Therefore, you should keep them in a coop or a cage to ensure they don’t fly out of range.
Since they are social birds, they will do well in confinement.
Like any other chicken breed, these birds are susceptible to various diseases. In particular, they are highly susceptible to Marek’s disease.
This contagious disease infects the organs and nerves through the lymphatic system.
The disease can lead to eye color change and blindness, lesions, crop dilation, difficulties breathing, paralysis, depression, and death.
You can prevent Marek’s disease by ensuring your entire flock is vaccinated. This viral disease spreads rapidly and can infect and decimate your entire flock in a few days.
In addition to the disease, your birds can also be susceptible to various parasites, such as lice and mites. Therefore, you must check them regularly and offer appropriate treatment.
Your birds will also need a well-balanced diet to live longer. You will also need to ensure they have a constant clean water supply.
Tips For Raising Sebright Chickens
Here are a few tips to successfully raise your Sebright chickens.
Interaction Is Key
While Sebrights are active, non-aggressive, and spunky chickens, socialization and interaction are key if you truly want to experience their affectionate personality.
They are normally skittish and shy when exposed to new people or surroundings.
Therefore, if you want a sociable and friendly Sebright chicken, you will have to interact with it more often.
This should start as soon as you acquire your bird. Treats, affection, and positive attention go a long way in taming the Sebrights.
Do Not Expect Eggs
As stated earlier, Sebrights are not prolific egg layers. They are bantam chickens bred for their adorable looks. They usually lay eggs only in ideal conditions.
Their eggs are limited in quantity and small.
If you want a chicken that will supply eggs to your family throughout the year, the Sebrights are not the right birds for the job.
Therefore, you should not expect a lot of eggs when raising these birds.
While some birds may be easy to find at the end of the end if allowed to free-range, Sebrights may not be.
Their large and small wings allow them to fly and roost in higher branches than other chicken breeds.
You should use a coop or cage to keep your birds safe from harm.
But since they love to forage, you should allow them to roam around your yard under supervision.
Enjoy the Show
These chickens were created to be ornamental birds. Therefore, their main purpose is to be entertaining and attractive.
If you raise them, you will enjoy their diminutive size, large personalities, and distinctive plumage.
Sebrights are attractive and charming birds that can be a good addition to any backyard flock.
Although they are not good meat and egg producers, they are friendly and easy to tame. This makes them perfect pets. They are also great ornamental birds.