Light Sussex is one of the most beautiful chicken and is also popular in the Philippines. Not known to many though, not all Light Sussex in the Philippines are the same and in this article, we are going to explain everything so you can decide which one to buy.
History and Origin of Sussex Chicken
The Sussex is a British chicken breed and originates in the historic county of Sussex, in south-east England. It is among the oldest of British chicken breeds birds described as “Old Sussex or Kent Fowl” were shown at the first poultry show at London Zoo in 1845. The Sussex was not included in the first poultry standard, the Standard of Excellence in Exhibition Poultry of William Bernhardt Tegetmeier, in 1865. The breed standard for the Sussex was drawn up in 1902, with three color varieties, the light, the red, and the speckled. Of these, the speckled was the oldest. The development of the light variety was probably influenced by Oriental breeds such as the Brahma and Cochin, and also by the silver-grey Dorking. The red was originally black-breasted; it and the brown may have been influenced by Indian Game. The buff variety appeared in the 1920s and was followed by the white, a sport from the light. The most recent variation is silver.
In the early part of the twentieth century, until the advent of commercial hybrid strains at about the time of the Second World War, the Sussex and the Rhode Island Red were the two principal meat breeds in the United Kingdom. Utility strains of the Sussex developed, with better productive capabilities but smaller and less well-marked than was expected for exhibition purposes.
The Sussex chicken is graceful with a long, broad, flat back; a long and straight breastbone; wide shoulders; and a rectangular build. The tail is held at a 45-degree angle from the body. The eyes are red in the darker varieties but orange in the lighter ones. The comb is single. The earlobes are red and the legs and skin white in every variety. Cocks weigh approximately 4.1 kg and hens about 3.2 kg.
Eight color varieties are recognized by the Poultry Club of Great Britain: brown, buff, coronation, light, red, silver, speckled and white. The light Sussex has a white body with a black tail and black in the flight feathers and wing coverts; the neck hackles are white with black striping.
The American Poultry Association recognizes three colors: light, red, and speckled. The red and speckled were added to the Standard of Perfection in 1914, and the light in 1929.
Male: minimum 4.1 kg
Bantam: maximum 1.5 kg
Female: minimum 3.2 kg
Bantam: maximum 1.1 kg
Skin color: White
Egg color: Tinted
Comb type: Single
Use of Light Sussex
The Sussex was bred to be a dual purpose bird and is one of the most productive breeds of poultry. They lay large eggs that are cream to light brown in color. A person owning a hen of this breed should expect approximately 240 to 260 eggs a year (from 180 to 320 eggs), although the light and white varieties are the best choices for layers. Recently there has been an olive green colored egg introduced to some Light Sussex breeds, although these green egg layers are very rare. In some cases, exhibition lines that have been selected for exhibition qualities rather than egg-laying over many generations may produce lower egg numbers, although there are plenty of good laying lines still available.
It is a good producer of meat and all of the varieties are a good choice to have for this purpose. The chicks mature quickly for the heavy breed but the speckled is slowest to mature. The carcass is a larger leggier shape than the commercial broiler chicken but is closer to the heritage meat produced in the past. Cockerels that are harvested at around six months of age will be meaty with a firmer flesh than the younger broiler chicken of today.
Light Sussex in the Philippines
There are a number of free-range breeders in the Philippines that sell Light Sussex but not all of them are of high quality. There are two types of Light Sussex in the Philippines.
1. Pure breed and high-quality Light Sussex
If you are looking to breed a beautiful Light Sussex, you should go with the pure breed. The physical appearance of pure breed Light Sussex is must obvious compared to the other one which is the Dominant Sussex. Pure breed Light Sussex have darn shoulder and collar plumage and dark tail with neat feather organization. They also look bigger and broad.
2. Dominant Sussex
Dominant Sussex is developed by Dominant CZ company. They look to have the same color as the pure breed Sussex but they have untidy feathers and have light black collar plumage and tails. The problem with most Filipino breeders is that they offer their Dominant Sussex as just “Sussex” so other people who have no idea think the bird is a pure breed. See the photo below and you can tell the difference.
There is nothing wrong though in raising a Dominant Sussex. They are developed for optimum egg production and if you want eggs, raise Dominant Sussex, but if you want to sell quality and beautiful Light Sussex, go with the pure breed.
Where to buy Light Sussex in the Philippines
Aside from our lists of free-range farms around the country, you can search Facebook for individual breeders and join Facebook Groups as well. Although selling live animals on Facebook is prohibited, there are always available chickens offered by other members.
The cost of Light Sussex depends on the quality of the chicken and the seller. For pure breed, a day-old chick can be around P150 to P250 while Dominant Sussex can be bought between P150 and P180. You can check our chicken price guide here.
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