The Sussex originated in England in the county of Sussex. They were prized table birds more than 100 years ago. The original colours were brown, red and speckled. The Sussex today is still a very popular breed to keep. Bred to be a dual purpose bird, it is one of the most productive breeds we have today. The hen will lay around 260 large eggs that are cream to light brown in colour. The Sussex is one of the oldest breeds that are still in existence today.
The Sussex chicken is an alert but docile breed that can adapt to any surrounding easily. They are good foragers. Whilst they are quite happy to be free range, they will also be fine if kept in a confined space. They can occasionally but not very often go broody. The speckled is the most likely of the breed to do this.
The colours found in Sussex chickens are brown buff, light red, speckled, silver and white. The Sussex chicken whatever its colour should be graceful. The eyes are red in the darker varieties but are orange in the lighter ones. They have a medium sized single comb. The earlobes are red and the legs and skin are white in every variety. The brown and red varieties are rare now with the other colours being quite common.
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This chicken originates from The Port of Leghorn in Italy and arrived in Ireland in the late 1800s in the white form followed by the brown. They have white earlobes and yellow legs and the eye is red in all colours. The females have a double folded comb, a deep abdomen and a whipped tail. The eyes are prominent and the beak is short and stout. Earlobes are well defined and the wattles are long, thin and fine in texture. Their legs are long and featherless with four toes on the feet with a long straight back toe and the feathers on the body are soft and silky. The Leghorns were one of the breeds used to create the modern battery hybrid layer as they are very productive birds and are able to adapt to all conditions.
Leghorns are prolific layers that rarely go broody and are non-sitters unless left undisturbed. Eggs are white and of good size and are laid throughout the year. Chicks are easy to rear. They feather up quickly, are fast growers and mature quickly. The comb is large so care needs to be taken in cold, frosty weather to avoid frostbite. They can be left to roam freely but are just as happy in a run. They are sprightly, alert birds and can be tamed but not enough to allow handling and prefer to remain rather aloof. They can be rather noisy and will roost in trees given the chance. They are not good as table birds as they aren't very meaty.
They come in many varietie including, Black, blue (not laced), brown, buff, cuckoo, golden duckwing, silver duckwing, exchequer, mottled, partridge, pyle and white.
The Black Rock is a modern hybrid and is the result of a Rhode Island Red crossed with a Maran and a Plymouth Rock. They are superb egg layers and have a thick rich plumage which protects them from the elements. They are attractive birds with a small red semi-erect comb which is mottled with black. The beak is black and the legs are unfeathered and slate grey. They have four toes. The face is smooth and they have small smooth red wattles and earlobes.
The Black Rock is a prolific layer of large to extra large brown eggs. They are docile birds and easy to handle so make wonderful pets. They are ideal for free ranging but can be just as happy kept in a run. They are also very hardy birds and can cope with most weather conditions and are disease resistant.
Only available as a female, they have black feathers which have an attractive green sheen towards the back and tail. They have red and gold feathers with black tips on the chest and some gold feathering in the hackle. The eyes are deep bay and the legs are slate grey.
The Golden Commet is a Rhode Island Red crossed with a Light Sussex. They have a deep breast, neatly tucked wings and an upward pointing tail. The legs are featherless and are pale yellow. They have 4 toes. The comb is a medium size and the face is smooth and red with medium wattles and earlobes.
The Golden Commet is a prolific egg layer and lays large brown eggs. They are placid, friendly and inquisitive. They are also exceptionally easy to tame and will follow you around when you are in the garden. They are hardy birds who are very happy free ranging and love to forage. They make excellent pets for children due to their gentle nature and friendliness.
The plumage of the Gingernut Ranger is rich red with either black or white tail feathers