Do you want a perfect chicken breed? One that lays tons of eggs, great temperament, and fairs well in all weather? Then you should take a look at Sussex chickens. These chickens might be the answer to all your prayers. Now we know what you are thinking. That’s impossible. So if you don’t believe us, take a look at the Sussex chickens: pros and cons. You are going to like what you see.
Sussex Chicken Origination
The Sussex are some of the oldest chicken breeds in Britain. That’s right; these chickens originated from the town Sussex as a dual-purpose breed. They soon captivated the world and even showed in zoos. But their breeding is what makes them unique. These chickens have great personalities, fun to watch, and even come in different colors. Keep reading more about the Sussex chickens: pros and cons.
Pros Of Owning Sussex Chickens
We will jump right in and tell you about all the reasons you should get a Sussex chicken. This is the easy part.
So Many Eggs
The Sussex chickens lay on average 180-200 eggs a year. Your Sussex chicken hen might even lay as many as 250 eggs a year. That means you can get five eggs a week, and hot layers will lay an egg a day. You will have so many eggs that you could sell and make a small profit.
So, when can you expect all of these delicious eggs around 20 weeks old. So these hens earn their keep at a young age. And they continue to lay eggs diligently for 3-4 years.
Egg Colors And Size
Sussex chicken eggs are typically light tan eggs, but that isn’t always the case. Sussex chicken eggs are a beautiful cream color. And other color varieties might lay brown eggs, and that’s not even the best part. Your Sussex chickens will give you medium to large eggs almost daily.
Let’s not forget that some people raise their chickens for fresh meat. Sussex roosters can get as large as 9 pounds and hens 7. That right there is a recipe for an excellent dual-purpose bird. If fed a broiler diet, your Sussex chicken meat can be ready as early as four months old. Or as late as eight months if you want to grow them into a large table bird.
People love Sussex chickens because they are great cold-hardy poultry. They don’t mind fridged temperatures or even a little snow. Just as long as you winterize your coop, and keep an eye out for frostbite. Most Sussex chickens even continue to lay eggs throughout the wintertime.
Color variations like the Light and Speckled go broody more often than others. But these hens make the most wonderful mothers. If you breed, you won’t have to worry about keeping an incubator ready. Your Sussex chickens will sit on any eggs you give them. And once they hatch, she will look after her chicks without a problem.
Chickens who forage well save you money. Sussex chickens will find most of their food by foraging around the yard. They will eat all the insects and slugs and even any grains they find. So if your hens are getting full in the pastures, you are spending less money on feed. And as a bonus, foraging hens give you that lovely dark orange egg yolk rich in nutrients.
Sussex chickens have the uncanny ability to get away from hawks. Owners swear that these chickens are more aware of what’s going on around them. They have the uncanny ability to get away from predators before it’s too late. Some of this you could attribute to their flying skills and some to their excellent camouflage.
Sussex Chicken Colors
The Speckled Sussex is probably the most well-known color variety for this breed. But did you know there are nine different colors? These include the light, coronation, white, brown, buff, red, silver, and Golden Sussex chicken. Each one is beautiful and can make your flock look amazing. And every color has a unique purpose, like broodiness or larger broilers. You will want a collection of them all.
Last but not least, we come to the Sussex chicken breed temperament. The Sussex chickens are a funny bird to watch. They are active and smart and seem always to find the most amusing things to get into. You will love watching your new chicken TV with a few Sussex in the flock. But what’s more, is that this breed is also one of the friendliest and docile hens you’ll ever meet. Even your kids will enjoy having Sussex chickens as pets.
Cons Of Owing Sussex Chickens
Now we know that not all chickens are a perfect fit for you. It all depends on what you are looking for and the flock you already have. So that is why we have the Sussex chickens: pros and cons. Because we know it’s essential to know about the downside of any chicken. That way, you have better success with your flock.
Sussex chickens can get rather large, and you might think that they wouldn’t fly well. But you should think again. Your Sussex chicken will fly out of the run and even over the fence. So keeping them in your yard might be a challenge without a covered run.
We love all of the tasty eggs this hen gives, but some owners have one small complaint about the eggs’ shape. Some hens lay medium-sized eggs that look a little disproportioned. These eggs are wider at the bottom and stretched at the top. But this is more of a cosmetic complaint more than anything.
In fact, some owners easily look past this because the yolk to white ratio is perfect. You see, these elongated eggs have fewer whites and more yolk. That gives the Sussex chicken eggs a richer flavor than other breeds.
If you are a beginner chicken owner, having broody hens can be a problem. Broody hens don’t lay as many eggs, leading to health problems if not broken. If you don’t want to breed your hens, we recommend staying away from the Light and Speckled Sussex chicken hens. These are the most broody out of all the Sussex breeds.
The Sussex chicken is an incredibly healthy breed. They don’t suffer from medical problems or genetic deformations often. But they do often become obese, which leads to other health problems. Keep your Sussex chickens on a strict diet, and don’t let them free feed grains.
Instead, you should measure out their layer feeds and let them roam and forage the rest of the day. Foraging is a great way to boost protein in your chicken’s diet. Not to mention all of the energy they burn while roaming helps keep them fit.
Chatty And Loud
For some, the Sussex chickens are known to be loud and talkative. They don’t necessarily fight and cause a ruckus. But they are a chatty bunch that likes to be heard. So if you live in neighborhoods or the coop is close to the house, they might not be right for you.
Sussex chickens are fun to watch. They are a curious bunch that loves to explore and get into trouble. And while they are highly entertaining, some owners say that their Sussex are too independent. These hens don’t seem to need their owners and think they can do fine on their own. If they only knew, right?
If your Sussex chickens are on the independent side, they won’t make the best pets. It can also make it hard to round them up or catch them. But this isn’t every Sussex hen. Some of them seem to have no problems showing affection or pet-like behaviors.
Sussex roosters are beautiful to have in a flock. And they can be beneficial to your girls for many reasons like protection and breaking up fights. But there is a word of caution when it comes to the rooster. They take their jobs seriously and can come off as aggressive.
As long as you treat them with respect and understand their roles, they still make extraordinary chickens. Plus, they could give you a few generations of Sussex to raise. However, they might not be the best options to have around children.
And now for our last con, how rare the Sussex is. When most people think about the Sussex chicken, they usually think about the Speckled variations. But Sussex chicken breeders are becoming increasingly rare across the USA. If you find a breeder, you have to be very cautious because there are plenty of bad breeders out there. If you don’t do your homework well, you could end up with many chicks with genetic problems.
Now You Know Everything
When looking at the Sussex chickens: pros and cons, it’s easy to see how amazing these birds are. They have everything you can imagine: good looks, fun personalities, delicious eggs, and easy to care for. Now you see why these chickens are considered the perfect breed.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!