We Feed Our Chickens Steroids
Several weeks back, we had a pickup broke down and we had a mechanic out here working on it. My big 'ole Sussex chickens were foraging around the ranch like they do every day, and the mechanic saw them prancing around the barnyard and asked us if we fed them steroids? He said he'd never seen chickens so big in his life!
I suppose since I'm around them all day long, I don't really notice their size as much as others do, who don't raise birds.
Here is what GreenFireFarms (they were the first people to import the Sussex into America) have to say about them:
The breed became standardized in 1903. Sussex hens lay upwards of 250 large, cream-colored eggs each year. With their pearlescent legs, these huge birds have a striking and regal appearance in the barnyard. Their behavior, too, is remarkable. More than most chicken breeds, Sussex exude a quiet confidence and an open curiosity about humans.
They are a dual-purpose bird, which means they can be used for either meat or eggs.
The first time I saw them, several years ago, I just fell in love and had to have some! In the past I've had over 20+ Sussex in my flock, but culled way down to just the very best birds, that are the closest to the breed standard in shape and appearance.
Cheepers is one of the friendliest Sussex. Every morning, after I let everyone out, she follows me (and brings along the rest of the gang) to the back porch where she knows she'll get her daily treat of scratch (think candy for chickens).
Winston (short for Winston Churchill) takes excellent care of his harem. He finds them the best dust-bathing spots, the best treats, and even helps them choose the best spot to lay an egg. Yep, Winston is a keeper.
Big Momma likes scratch too. She eagerly gobbles up more than her fair share before the others have a chance to do the same.
Cheepers is a fine lookin' lady, and I believe she knows it too! ; )
Can you spot William (short for William The Conqueror) in the background? He is Winston's son, and believe it or not is almost twice his daddy's size! And let me tell ya, Winston ain't no puny boy neither!
I call them my Gentle Giants. They are very big, not to mention fluffy, and have the sweetest personalities, to match.
I've never had an aggressive Sussex, which is a very good thing, because if they decided to get after you, they could really do some damage.
~ The Gentle Giant Keeper