Your Chicken Questions Answered by a Veterinarian. Honest and Practical Advice

The Light Sussex: A Complete Guide

The Light Sussex or White Sussex is a hardy, tough, bird. Ideal for keeping at home and generally has moderate egg production. They are friendly, docile and rarely exhibit aggressive traits

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YEARS LIFE EXPECTANCY
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EGGS LAID PER YEAR
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PRODUCTIVE YEARS

our comprehensive overview of the sussex

There is a lot to say about the Light Sussex but we know not everyone has time to read a detailed article, so we’ve broken it down into four fundamental pieces

BREED VARIATIONS

OVERVIEW

The colours recognised by the Poultry Club of great Britian are: Light Red and Speckled, Buff, Brown, White, Silver, and Coronation.

COMMON ISSUES

OVERVIEW

Sussex hens, generally speaking, are hardy birds and they aren’t particularly susceptible to health issues, but be sure to watch out for common problems such as internal and external parasites.

LAYING CAPABILITY

OVERVIEW

While they aren’t prolific layers, Sussex hens produce decent amount of eggs.  White Sussex’s managed around 3-4 per week (200-250 per year).

DISPOSITION

OVERVIEW

There’s really nothing to worry about the temperament of  Sussex hens, they are gentle and docile which is why they are great pets.

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SQUARE-FOOT OF COOP SPACE
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COLOUR VARIETIES RECOGNISED
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LBS IN WEIGHT

WHITE SUSSEX DETAILS

OVERVIEW

Eggs per year: 200-250

Weight: 7-9lbs

Size: Medium-Large

Price: £12 Approximately (16 weeks old)

Eggs Size: Large

Egg Colour: Brown

Lifespan: 8+Years

Colour: White, Light, Red & Speckled, Buff, Brown, Silver, and Coronation

Heritage: English

Temperament: Friendly & Inquisitive

Ideal coop space: 4 Square-foot per chicken

EGG PRODUCTION

The Sussex is good solid layer  producing a respectable 200-250 eggs per year which is line with other breeds such as Orpington and Plymouth Rock.  Commercial breeds typically lay 300+ eggs per year to put it in perspective. 

Commerical breeds such as the Brown Shaver tend to be pretty cheap to purchase and if you are only interested in egg production they are a good choice. 

However, in the big scheme of things if egg production is really that important to you and you are sold on a Sussex, then just get a few more birds to make up the difference in egg production.  

APPEARANCE

The White Sussexs’ stunning colouration and large elegant stature with a thick plumage of white feathers makes it one of the prettiest hens which is why the Sussex is one of the best hens to keep as a pet, not only does it provide a consistent supply of eggs, its also very tough, friendly, and they have inquisitive and quirky personalities. 

Sussex hens are often the most friendly birds in the flock by a country mile!   However be careful with mixing them with more aggressive breeds as they tend to fall to the bottom of the pecking order quickly.

Sure they aren’t quite as extravagant or cute as a something like a Silkie but they are much tougher and produce a decent amount of eggs, hence the Sussex is the epitome of “the best of the both worlds” in regards to chickens.

ORIGIN

The Sussex is thought to have originated from Roman England in 43AD and their orginal colour was thought to be brown and speckled. However, the refinement of the breed really started in the Victorian era when hen breeding and more exciting chickens became a trend. This resulting in poultry enthusiasts creating new variants and refining the Sussex breed by breeding them with Cochins, Dorkings and Brahma until the Sussex resembled the modern, robust bird we have today. 

The counties of Sussex, Surrey, and Kent were most suited to raise eggs and produce poultry for London and at the time the Sussex was considered to be the best of both worlds hence why its often labeled a dual-purpose chicken. The Sussex during this time was more Speckled and Red but over the last 50 years where more chickens were bred for exhibition the Light/Sussex became much more popular.

FAQs

Here are some quick answers to the most common questions we get about the Sussex breed. 

Are Sussex hens friendly?

Yes! Very, Sussex hens are often the most friendly breeds in flocks. They are great with children and make awesome pets.

Do Sussex hens get ill?

Not usually, Sussex hens tend to be very tough but of course, they are still susceptible to all the regular issues like internal and external parasites.

Will they get broody?

Sussex hens have a slight reputation of getting broody, but that does make them good mothers.

Are they good for eating

The Sussex was bred to be a dual-purpose bird so you can fatten one for the table if desired.

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