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Sebright Chickens: Pictures, Facts, Uses, Origins & Characteristics

sebright chickens

Introduction

If you want a spunky, cheerful miniature chicken to add to your flock, we could think of no better candidate than the Sebright chicken. These little Bantams are exceptionally beautiful and extremely friendly.

They integrate very well into existing flocks, and keepers rely on them primarily for exhibition purposes. While that’s the primary perk about this chicken, there’s plenty more to learn about these gorgeous little cuties.

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Quick Facts about Sebright Chickens

Breed Name: Sebright Chicken
Place of Origin: England
Uses: Exhibition
Rooster Size: 22 ounces
Hen Size: 20 ounces
Color: Silver, gold
Lifespan: 4 to 8 years
Climate Tolerance: Heat hardy
Care Level: Difficult
Production: Low
Temperament: Cheerful, active

Sebright Chicken Origins

The Sebright chicken is a small bantam that spawned in Britain. Unlike many other Bantam varieties, the Sebright does not have a larger standard version, so they are truly one of a kind.

The breed was named after their creator–John Saunders Sebright. It is one of the oldest known Bantam breeds dating back to the 19th century. It’s rumored that this specific breed went through a particularly selective breeding process, taking twenty years to develop.

Sebright chickens are the product of combining Nankin and Rosecomb chickens with traditional Polish Bantam breeds. Over the years, the Bantam breed has not changed much, maintaining a stunning aesthetic that charms keepers and spectators alike.

Held to strict standards, Sebrights make delightful show birds today. They are used for exhibition only and serve no practical purpose in production.

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Sebright Chicken Characteristics

The spirited little Sebright is a charming addition to virtually any flock, although they are not the best for beginners. This tender breed is a bit finicky and fragile for people who’ve never raised chickens before.

These chickens tend to be quite independent and prefer free-ranging over all else. They also are decent flyers, and they will roost in trees if given the opportunity. So, it can be difficult at times to coax them back into the coop or convince them to do anything they don’t feel like doing.

What they lack in obedience, they make up for with their fun-loving personalities and vibrant appearance. You might find that they have little chicken syndrome, especially the roosters. Bantam roosters tend to be extremely aggressive and bossy.

But if you are an experienced poultry keeper, you are ready to rise to the challenge of caring for a Sebright chicken. And once you’ve owned one, you’ll be glad you did–welcoming more chicks in the future.

Sebright hen in the grass
Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay

Uses

Raising a Sebright is incredibly difficult as they are very sensitive chicks vulnerable to their environment. Also, they are prone to Marek’s disease, which is a highly contagious infection that causes visual impairment, skin changes, and leg weakness. So, if you can get them past the chick stage into adulthood, you can enjoy them on your farm.

These little birds are for exhibition only. If you’re counting on them for any other purpose, you’re wasting your time. These little chicks only produce up to 52 small, white eggs annually. And since they are so compact and lean, they don’t make good table birds either. They are, however, a marvelous addition to display and take to shows.

Hens do not go broody often, and roosters need specific temperatures to breed successfully, making reproduction a challenge. Artificial incubation for reproduction is almost certainly a guarantee. So, if you have any breeding plans, it’s best to research and prepare for them in advance.

Appearance & Varieties

Unlike many other chicken breeds, the Sebright chicken only comes in a Bantam size variety. They have petite, lean bodies with tight, stiff feathers. Their combs and wattles are rose-colored, despite the feathering color.

Officially, these birds are available in two color variations: gold and silver laced in black. Although, mixed varieties can come in an array of color choices. However, if you want to stick with show-worthy birds, buy standard accepted colors.

Roosters are very similar to hens, sporting the same type of tail feathers and patterns. However, males have larger combs and wattles, helping you distinguish them from the hens. Also, they are roughly a few more ounces heavier than females.

Population

Unfortunately, Sebright chickens are very rare. They are complicated to raise, and they have significant problems with fertility. So, it is tricky for breeders to keep up with Sebright numbers. Though widespread and decently abundant in some areas, their difficulties make them even more attractive to determined keepers.

It’s not that it’s unheard of to see Sebrights for sale, it’s just that they are a little harder to get your hands on. Despite the struggles, the Sebright remains a rare and wonderful chicken with low egg production and a lack of favorable reproduction capabilities.

Distribution

Even though the Sebright Bantam is a rare chicken, it’s a worldwide breed. Contact local hatcheries or those willing to ship to find a Sebright chicken at a breeder near you.

Habitat

Sebrights prefer free-range living, but it’s not always advisable in some situations. You want to be able to accommodate their living requirements. These birds tend to have decent flight capabilities, which means you can find them roosting in branching, brush, rooves, and other high-up places.

While this might sound entertaining, it can get challenging to coax them out of their roosting spots and back in the coop. You might also find that Sebrights who free-range lay eggs in odd places throughout their stomping grounds.

Because of the Sebrights rarity and limited availability, many keepers prefer to keep them in an enclosed coop. We recommend a movable coop for this adventurous and energetic breed, so they still get the luxury of foraging different places without the danger of exposure.

Even if you allow Sebrights to free-range, provide a safe predator-resistant coop to sleep at night with available shelter throughout the day.

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Are Sebright Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?

If you are an experienced poultry owner that would love the challenge of raising the Sebright, we think they could make a charming addition to an existing flock. However, extensive knowledge of this breed and overall chicken-raising experience is a big plus.

Though these chickens are rare, you can find them on nearly all continents. So, suppose you are lucky enough to find a nearby hatchery. In that case, you can enjoy the challenge of raising this beautiful poultry—understanding that it’s all about looks and personality with this breed!


Featured Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay

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