The Sussex is an old breed of chicken originating in what is now the county of Sussex in South East England. Some say they have existed since the time of the Roman invasion while other reports have them being developed in the 1800s. Sussex hens are respectable egg layers and bring a calm, complacent manner to the backyard. At the same time, many Sussex owners have described these birds as the most active, alert, and intelligent of their chickens.

If you have space to free range your birds, this breed is a great bet. They are excellent foragers and can find most of what they need to eat, cutting down on your cost of supplementary feed. While they are not champion egg layers, they score a strong B+ for egg production.

Sussex chickens have blocky, rectangular bodies. They come in many different colors, including White, Buff, Brown, Red, and Silver. Most popular is the Speckled Sussex, which has dark brown and black feathers with contrasting white or light gray spots on its feather tips. Over time, speckled Sussex birds actually become more speckled as they molt and grow new feathers. Here is a picture of one.

Sussex Chickens Breed

Sussex Chickens Breed Facts


Hens are large, averaging around seven pounds.


White, Buff, Brown, Red, and Silver and other colors exist. Speckled Sussex variety has white feather tips over dark brown or black plumage.


Sussex hens lay large, light brown tinted eggs at a reliable rate of about 4 per week.


Gentle, calm, alert.


Speckled Sussex hens have a great camouflage against daytime predators, such as hawks, who may attack chicks and young pullets in the yard.