Who doesn’t love a gorgeously feathered egg laying breed like Speckled Sussex chickens?
Speckled Sussex chickens are so much fun to own! They have wonderful, inquisitive, and “big” personalities, not to mention the beautiful “speckles” on their feathers!
Ours will willingly sit on our laps or take treats from our hands – they’re the perfect “pet” chicken!
If you’ve been considering adding a Speckled Sussex hen or two to your coop, then read on to learn all about this wonderful breed!
Speckled Sussex Breed Characteristics
Sussex chickens have historically been raised as a dual purpose breed (for both eggs and meat), although many people today raise them as beautiful pets. There’s a standard-sized chicken and a bantam variety (can you imagine how adorable the bantam variety is???)
This breed of chickens, as it exists today, has been around since the mid-1800s, and originated in the county of Sussex, England, hence the name of the breed.
While each color variety has its own individual influences, the Sussex chicken is largely influenced by Brahmas, Cochin, Dorking, among other breeds.
Roosters can weigh up to 8 pounds while hens weigh about 6 pounds.
Have a hen that loves herbs? (Who doesn’t?!)
While there are three different color varieties of the Sussex chicken that are recognized by the American Poultry Association, the speckled coloring is the oldest.
Speckled Sussex hens have reddish brown feathers (which is referred to as mahogany) with black and white “speckling” which gives the breed its name. Each feather has a white tip, and the amount of speckles varies from chicken to chicken.
The roosters can have green in their feathers as well!
In Britain, 8 color varieties are recognized, including the Coronation Sussex, which was developed to celebrate the coronation of Edward VIII (who abdicated the British throne, and so the coronation never took place).
Eggs laid per year and color
Speckled Sussex hens lay about 260 light brown eggs per year, and are consistent layers. The size of the egg depends on the hen; ours lay medium-sized eggs.
You can also add herbs to her nesting box to help her feel comfortable laying.
What its like owning a Speckled Sussex
Speckled Sussex chickens are wonderful to own! They have “big” personalities, and ours are at the top of the flock. They’re curious, the first to check out new situations, love environmental enrichment, and are intelligent pets.
Speckled Sussex chickens love attention, and love being at the center of action. If you add one to your flock, you’re sure to have hours of fun watching her interact with other chickens and beg you for treats!
To ensure you have a pet chicken who enjoys human company, it’s important to handle them frequently when they’re chicks and spend a lot of time feeding them treats if you want lap chickens.
They don’t require special feed, are docile, and the hens don’t get very aggressive during brooding. The roosters are equally a joy to be around!
Where you can buy Speckled Sussex chickens
If you do go to a breeder, be sure to print out this article and take it with you so you can be sure the chicken you’re looking at is a Speckled Sussex!
Have a hen that love herbs? (Who doesn’t?!)
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.