Speckled Sussex chicks are a classic that has stood the test of time. They are an attractive variation of the hardy Sussex chicken.
After the advent of high-production industrial breeds like ISA Browns, the speckled Sussex chicks went the way of many other older heritage breeds and into obscurity.
However, in recent years there has been a renaissance in their popularity as people rediscover the many advantages of keeping this beautiful heritage hen in their backyards.
Are you interested in finding out more about this stunning speckled hen? Yes? Well, keep on reading…
This breed is large, with broad shoulders and a squarish appearance. Their tail is held at an angle of 45 degrees to their body, and they have a lengthy, deep body.
You’ll observe that in addition to wattles and ear lobes, they sport a single, five-pointed comb. You need to make sure that all three of them are a gorgeous shade of red.
Their horn-colored beaks and eyes are distinctive features. At this point, their skin should be slightly pink and their shanks should be white.
One with yellowish shanks is not true speckled Sussex chicks, so exercise caution.
The Sussex, it has been established, is a sizable bird. To put it another way, roosters will weigh in at around 8 pounds, while hens will be closer to 7 or 8 pounds. There are also smaller bantam varieties, coming in at 30 ounces (hen) and 36 ounces (rooster) (hen).
Although the Sussex can be found in a number of different shades, Speckled Sussex chicks are particularly stunning due to their deep mahogany hue.
Each of their feathers is tipped with a white or buff color, and the rest of the feather is barred with a deep green near the tips. These feathers, too, have a lovely iridescence when exposed to light.
What is is like to own Speckled Sussex chicks
When you ask, “What’s it like to own a Speckled Sussex chicken?” they’re asking for your honest opinion.
The Speckled Sussex loves to spend time in the great outdoors. They’re much healthier when allowed to roam freely, as the extra exercise helps them avoid becoming overweight (which they can be prone to).
If you must confine them, provide stimulating environments such as perches and tree stumps.
This breed is also known for consistently producing large quantities of eggs. As a whole, this is a lovely family chicken that responds well to positive human interaction.
The Speckled Sussex is a very sociable and calm bird. She would do well in a household with children because, with the exception of roosters, they are generally gentle and patient.
Hens are known for their steady and dependable demeanor, as they are not prone to exhibiting behaviors like panic or flight.
They’d love nothing more than to cuddle up and chat with you. If you’re carrying treats, they’ll follow you all over the garden.
For these reasons, these hens are an excellent option for an urban backyard, where you’ll want to be mindful of your neighbors’ feelings when choosing a flock.
The Speckled Sussex is a member of the Sussex breed, so its offspring should make excellent layers. A typical hen will lay four to five eggs per week, for a total of about 250 eggs per year (depending on the exact strain).
In most cases, a hen will begin laying eggs around the 20-week mark, and those eggs will be a tinted or light brown hue.
However, she does have a tendency toward broodiness, so the exact number of eggs your hens lay will depend on how broody they are. The only time a Sussex stops laying eggs is when she molts, but other than that, she is a consistent layer.
Layer hens can be fed a standard layer feed that contains 16% protein. Furthermore, they will require oyster shell calcium.
There should be a 20% increase in the protein content of their feed when she begins to molt. This will help them bulk up without using up their protein supply too quickly.
In addition, chicken grit should be added to their diet if they are confined to a pen. Unless the ground is frozen during the winter, chickens that are allowed to roam free need no additional grit.
Conventional Coop Construction
At least four square feet of coop space is required for each of your Speckled Sussex chickens. They are not typically quarrelsome, but the long, cold winters can lead to mischief when boredom sets in.
Having sufficient indoor space is an effective means of minimizing this type of conduct. Make sure they have 8-10 inches of perch space.
Make sure there are separate perches for them to use if they have to roost with more extroverted birds.
Last but not least, a standard 12×12 inch box is adequate for nesting purposes (any larger and they will share nests).
The recommended ratio is one nesting box for every three hens. However, there is bound to be one particular container that everyone is vying for.