Learn about the Speckled Sussex chicken and if it’s right for your hobby farm. A dual purpose chicken, they are a bit larger than other chicken breeds with friendly personalities.
In addition to being good egg layers and an excellent meat source, speckled Sussex chickens have an interesting appearance that makes them very popular among homesteaders. They have speckled white on their feathers which almost looks like snow. This breed has a single comb with five defined pointy ends.
As a chicken that was developed in England, specifically Sussex County, the name is fitting.
Are Sussex Chickens Friendly?
One of the most interesting things about Sussex chickens is that they have a sweet and calm temperament that makes them fun to be around.
Speckled Sussex chickens are friendly, even to new people. This makes them a great addition for a backyard flock or brood.
Though they are often one of the larger chickens in the coop, they are among the friendliest. They may be toward the bottom of the pecking order among several different breeds.
With their lively personalities, they are also curious. This breed is actually known to follow people around, similar to how dogs will follow their owners if they believe that they will get a treat.
Sussex chickens are outgoing and will follow you around the area and watch what you are doing. This is to see if you really have a treat and where you put it.
They will often squawk at you a bit as you walk as a way to communicate. This can sound aggressive but is meant to be a form of communication. It likely comes off as aggressive because they are getting excited about getting a treat.
Speckled Sussex for Meat and Eggs
The speckled Sussex chicken is a great choice for a backyard because they provide both eggs and meat. The hens will lay predictably for three years. They will continue laying after this time but they will lay less frequently.
After that, you can decide to use them as a meat source. Because they are a dual-purpose breed and friendly, many homesteaders enjoy keeping a brood of speckled Sussex, especially if they live in a colder climate.
Are Speckled Sussex Chickens Good Layers?
Not only are these chickens known for their unusual look, but speckled Sussex chickens are very good egg layers.
The female chickens weigh about 7- 8 pounds on average. They are considered medium-to-large in size.
You can expect them to lay about four or five eggs each week. This means that over the course of a year, they will lay hundreds of eggs.
The speckled Sussex chicken will continue to lay eggs in the winter months. Many chicken breeds don’t lay eggs in cold weather.
For this reason, this breed is a popular option for those who want to have an egg-laying chicken in their backyard for fresh eggs year round.
Speckled Sussex chickens lay light brown eggs. The eggs will be larger and sometimes seem to be tinted light pink.
How Many Eggs Do Speckled Sussex Lay a Year?
The average speckled Sussex egg production is between four or five each week. This might not seem like very much if you are assuming that the winter will be lacking.
However, with these chickens still producing throughout the winter months, you will have anywhere between 200 and 300 eggs each year.
The numbers will vary because of several factors, like temperatures, the stress levels among the brood, and the personal temperament of each chicken.
What this means is that you will have plenty throughout the year to eat, cook and bake with, or even sell.
Speckled Sussex are among the best egg-laying chickens. Many homesteaders also raise them for meat.
They lay more than many other chicken breeds, so they are popular for backyard egg production. They also make great pets as they are so friendly.
How Long Do Speckled Sussex Chickens Lay Eggs?
In addition to knowing how many eggs hens of a certain breed lay, it’s important to consider how long they lay eggs. A speckled Sussex chicken will lay for 2 – 3 years on average.
Also, it’s important to note, many chicken breeds don’t lay in cold weather. However, the speckled Sussex does. Therefore, while you may “only” get 4 or 5 eggs per week, that will be most weeks out of the year, not just in warmer months.
So when choosing the best chicken breeds for your backyard, consider if they have a long egg-laying season. You’ll also want to consider your climate.
Some chickens will be able to lay eggs throughout much of the year. This is especially true when they are younger. As chickens age, egg production decreases.
Speckled Sussex Rooster
A speckled Sussex rooster will be very curious. Like the chickens, they will be active and interact with the others. The rooster will always be on alert to protect the flock.
Sussex roosters can weigh 9 pounds. They have a heavier body build and thicker feathers. They are cold-hardy and thrive in mild, not hot, summers.
Role of Speckled Sussex Roosters
Roosters fertilize the eggs so that your chickens will continue to have speckled Sussex chicks that will grow to bring you eggs. Other than that, they protect the coop at the same time.
Roosters are natural protectors and will alert the other chickens of something that could be a potential danger.
If an animal gets into the yard, then the rooster will make noise to tell the others to get away. This is important in keeping the chickens that you have so that they keep producing eggs for you.
If you don’t have one, then your chickens could be in danger and not know it. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to consider if you want to include a speckled Sussex rooster to your flock. If so, learn about roosters to be sure you have enough hens per rooster.
Do Speckled Sussex Roosters Lay Eggs?
Roosters of any kind are the males in the relationship. They do not have the sex organs necessary to lay eggs, so they can’t. Nevertheless, this does not mean that they are not good to have around. They can help protect the hens from predators.
In addition, the males are used for impregnating the hens so that you will have young speckled Sussex chicks that will grow up to lay eggs.
This is an important part of the egg production process, but they are not needed for the actual production of the egg itself.
If you live in an area with cold winters, you may want to consider speckled Sussex hens. They are cold-hardy.
Speckled Sussex chickens are able to lay eggs most of the year, but they do decrease in the winter. This means that you will have fresh eggs even in December, January, and February.
This is one area where the speckled Sussex chickens truly shine. Not many chickens are tough enough to lay eggs in the winter, so this breed is popular for that purpose.
The reason why they can do this is likely due to their bigger builds. The female hens are large for a chicken, and this gives them more insulation and warmth throughout the winter.
The speckled Sussex chicken is among the breeds that do better in the winter than others.
Still, it will be important to provide shelter for them to protect them from drafts. You should also increase their bedding by adding more layers. It’s important to clean out the bedding to remove moisture and to clear away snow.
Sussex chickens like the cold and don’t do as well in the heat because they have heavy feathers. This can make them a little uncomfortable during the summertime. There are things you can do to keep them cool in the summer heat.
What Age Do Speckled Sussex Lay?
Speckled Sussex hens become mature at 20 weeks.
Adding a speckled Sussex chicken to your brood will take some attention and care. This breed will likely be toward the bottom of the pecking order. They have a friendly disposition which often makes them targets for the bully breeds of chickens.
When introducing speckled Sussex chicks, keep them protected from other breeds until they are more mature.
Speckled Sussex Chicken Facts
- Class: English
- Type: Large fowl
- Good for showing: Yes
- Hens: 7 pounds
- Roosters: 9 pounds
- Purpose: Dual purpose, eggs and meat
- Temperament: Friendly, curious, active
- Climate: Moderate; cold-hardy
- Broody: Yes
- Egg stats:
- Appearance: Large eggs, tan color
- Per week: 4 – 6 eggs
- Egg yield (yearly): 200 – 250 eggs
Is Speckled Sussex Noisy?
If you have neighbors nearby, you’ll want to consider if the speckled Sussex is noisy. While they aren’t loud, these chickens are talkative. They will enjoy foraging and being active. They will interact with people as well as other chickens.
Speckled Sussex Chickens: Are They a Good Fit for You?
How do you know if this chicken breed is the right fit for you? They are a good addition to your backyard flock because they are friendly, curious, and adaptable.They are a dual-purpose breed, providing large eggs and eventually, meat, which makes them popular for hobby farms.
Begin with speckled Sussex chicks in the spring to see them grow into their stunning feathers. This is a beautiful breed with speckled feathers. Many people raise them to show them. They are popular with children for 4-H and for FFA. They look similar in appearance to a Swedish Flower Hen due to the spotting.
Whether you’re teaching kids how to care for chickens or just keeping them as pets and for eggs or meat, they are great to have because they are so friendly.
Speckled Sussex chickens are considered to be good layers. The speckled Sussex egg production is high and will provide you with eggs year round, even in cold weather. They are a great addition for a backyard flock. They are a good for backyard egg-laying and to be fattened up for meat.
This breed is fairly adaptable to the cold. They are an excellent choice for this reason.
Featured image credit: Amy Kerkemeyer, Shutterstock