Speckled is one of the eight colours of the Sussex breed of chicken. The Sussex breed is a dual purpose breed of chicken that originated in England around the time of the Roman conquest of Britain and is now a popular garden chicken in many countries.
The Sussex chicken, whatever colour, should be graceful with a long, broad, flat back and a rectangular build, the tail should be at a 45 degree angle from the body. The eyes should be red in the darker varieties but orange in the lighter one and they sport a medium sized, single, erect comb. The earlobes are red and the legs and skin white in every variety. Cocks should weigh approximately 4.1 kg and hens about 3.2 kg.
The feathers of the Speckled variety all have a mix of mahogany and black with white tips. Sometimes the amount of white increases as the bird moults each year.
The Sussex chicken is an alert, docile breed that can adapt to any surroundings. They are comfortable in both free range or confined spaces and in the presence of humans, although they will mate and breed better in larger spaces. They are good foragers and are generally vigorous and hardy as a garden fowl.
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 colour. A person owning a hen of this breed should expect approximately 240 to 260 eggs a year.
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 heavy breed but the speckled is slowest to mature. Cockerels that are harvested at around six months of age will be meaty with a firmer flesh than the younger broiler chicken of today.