I don’t keep as many laying hens as I use to. Now that there’s just the two of us,six to eight good hens supply my kitchen with more than enough eggs.
Through the years I’ve owned many different types and breeds of chickens. Thirty years ago when I was a new homesteader Speckled Sussex were one of the chicken breeds I started out with.
The Speckled Sussex is a calm and quiet brown egg layer. They are an older English breed and have been a favorite on American small farms since the early part of the 20th century.
The Speckled Sussex is often described as a “dual purpose” chicken that will tolerate confinement well.
If you don’t already know, a dual purpose chicken is one that is supposedly used for both meat and eggs.
But it’s been my experience that unless the young cockerels are caponized, most males make more bone than meat.They make a tough and bony fryer.
In so far as tolerating confinement, I think the Speckled Sussex is happiest when they have lots of room to roam. They are a people friendly, large bird that cannot fly well. Since they can’t really fly, they put up with whatever arrangements their keeper wants for them.
So if the criteria for tolerating confinement is putting up with any treatment you’re given – then I guess the Speckled Sussex fits the bill.
In the past I’ve had a few Speckled Sussex hens go broody if they are given plenty of space and are allowed to free range.
My Speckled Sussex hens always seemed to have a preference to sit a clutch of eggs in the mid autumn instead of the spring like some other breeds of chickens.
Around here, inevitably the broody hen will go missing for a few weeks and then turned up later with her newly hatched brood in tow.