Ixworth chickens are domestic chickens, and its name was derived from the place where it originates, namely Ixworth in Suffolk. This breed of chicken is also known for its fast-growing high quality and good laying abilities and production. Reginald Appleyard created this breed of chicken in 1932.
The plumage of this chicken is pure white with a pea-type comb. It has a glowing red face, earlobes, and wattles. The male Ixworth weighs around 9 lbs, while the female Ixworth weighs about 7 lbs. The Ixworth hens lay a good amount of eggs. This variety of chicken is considered to have a top-notch meat and egg producer. To keep healthy and productive, it is best to keep Ixworth chicken in a free-range area.
This article will cover
- Background and History of Ixworth Chicken
- Ixworth Chicken Breed Standard and Appearance
- Personality and Temperament
- Egg Laying of Ixworth Chickens
- Health Issues and Care
- 3 Tips for Raising Ixworth Chickens
Background and History of Ixworth Chicken
Reginald Appleyard created Ixworth chicken in 1932 at his poultry farm in the village of Ixworth in Suffolk. This breed came from white Sussex, white Minorca, white Orpington, Jubilee, Indian Game, and white Indian Game chickens. Ixworth chicken was created for two purposes: fast-growing high-quality meat and good laying egg production. This is a very rare breed of chicken that is usually seen in the United Kingdom.
In the year 1938, the Ixworth bantam was made. Reginald Appleyard thought it better than the standardized size bird. It was created during world war II. However, it is believed that this bantam variety has now died out in the United Kingdom. The Rare Poultry Society covers the breed of Ixworth chicken, and there is no breed club for this variety inside and outside the United Kingdom.
In the 1930’s it was one of the newer breeds of chicken. This single breed of chicken meets the needs of the UK market. For a short period, productivity was maintained that way. The hens lay good eggs, while cocks are good for meat production and are fattened nicely. Reginald hit it well because this chicken provides much white meat on their light-bone carcasses.
The prominence and fame of Ixworth chicken were challenged when the Americans exported another breed that grabbed the attention of small-scale UK farms. The US commercial poultry focused on breeding the chicken for two different purposes. They separate it into two entities for egg-laying to meat production, instead of breeding them with dual-purpose the same as Ixworth chicken.
In the 1970s, there was a decline in the number of Ixworth, leading it to a chance of breed disappearance. Later on, the number gradually increases, leading it to breed recovery. Due to its rare breed, it was listed by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as endangered maintain in the year 2007. In 2008 the Rare Breeds Survival Trust listed the Ixworth chicken as endangered, and by 2014 it was on the list of native poultry breeds at risk.
Ixworth Chicken Breed Standard and Appearance
Ixworth chicken was created in the 1930s, and it was bred from White Indian Game Jubilee, White Minorca, White Orpington, and White Sussex chicken.
Ixworth chicken has white feathers and white skin. This chicken has a pea-like comb. The comb, face, wattles, and earlobes are brilliant red. This chicken has white shanks, beaks, and flesh. Their white feet have a pinkish tinge. The eyes of this chicken have a hue of red or bright orange color. They hold their tails fairly low.
The average weight of an Ixworth rooster is about 3.6-4.1 kilograms, while the Ixworth hen weighs about 2.7- 3.2 kilograms. The hen can lay about 160 – 200 medium-sized eggs per year. The Ixworth chicken also has varieties of bantam.
The rooster bantam weighs about 1.02 kilograms and about .79 kilograms for hen bantams. The Ixworth chicken is deep-bodied, solid, and heavy and ranges from medium to large. Due to excellent meat quality, Ixworth chicken is sold at a high price in the market.
The breed of Ixworth chicken nearly went to extinction in the 1950s when the Americans imported faster-growing hybrid broilers. However, rare breed conservationists revived Ixworth chickens in the 1970s. Currently, there are only four exhibitors with about 20 enthusiastic breeders.
Personality and Temperament
Ixworth chicken is a mild-mannered chicken. They are friendly and can quickly get along with another chicken breed. Both the rooster and the hen have no behavioral problems. Ixworth chicken is sweet, nonaggressive, and particularly lovely.
Ixworth is excellent in a free-range area because of its active and hardy personality. They are fond of foraging in the ground, looking for their natural foods. They like to forage in a wide area where they can freely roam and enjoy. They are not fast-growing breeds compared to other hybrid broilers.
Ixworth is adaptive to the ever-changing weather conditions. They can even adapt to cold weather. They are easy to handle but can be aggressive sometimes. Hens are good at laying eggs and become broodies and good sitters.
This chicken can do well as a pet as long as you provide enough space since they are active foragers. This chicken is easy to tame. You can easily hold them with your hands to tame them. When they are large enough to carry, you can tame them by letting them eat in your hands.
The general characteristics of male and female Ixworth are alert, active, and well-balanced. Bantams are likely to have the same standard as large fowl.
Egg Laying of Ixworth Chickens
The eggs of Ixworth chicken are pale tinted or off-white. This type of chicken is slow in growing. It takes about 9-10 months before it matures, where it can lay eggs. They have medium-sized white-tinted eggs.
The hens are a good layer when they can lay around 270 eggs per year. Though this breed of chicken is good at laying eggs, they are easily burned out. Ixworth hens can lay an average of 0.74 eggs per day with an average weight of 61.0 grams. With proper care, Ixworth chickens are likely to produce more eggs.
Health Issues and Care
Ixworth chickens are unlikely to have health issues. This chicken generally requires less caring and management because they are extreme, adaptive, and active. However, if you manage to add additional care for this chicken, it will grow better for meat production and produce more eggs.
It is recommended to keep on monitoring your chicken regularly. Monitoring the chicken is essential to ensure that the chickens are safe and healthy with no signs of illness or diseases. If you see unusual behaviors in chickens, it is best to take the necessary steps or consult a veterinarian. It is best to do regular vaccination.
In caring for Ixworth chickens, it is essential to keep them safe by providing a good shelter. A good shelter provides safety against predators. You also need to provide good ventilation to ensure that there is a good flow of clean oxygen. Good ventilation also reduces the amount of gas inside the chicken house. It is also essential to provide good food, which is crucial in keeping them healthy. Healthy chicken means good meat production and abundant egg production.
Ixworth chickens are not sickly and are not prone to sickness and diseases. However, it is best to give them good shelter, ventilation, and food to keep them safe.
3 Tips for Raising Ixworth Chickens
In raising Ixworth chicken, it is crucial to consider its quality, shelter, and food. These three factors will help you raise productive Ixworth poultry.
It is essential to ensure the quality of the Ixworth chicken. You need to make sure that the chicken that you will purchase is healthy and disease-free. In raising Ixworth you have two options to choose from. You can choose the chicks, or you can buy matured ones. It depends on your preference. However, in purchasing, you need to consider the availability of the area where you will raise the chicken, and you also need to consider the price.
In starting to raise a chicken, it is recommended that you purchase chicks. Matured chickens are sold at high prices, while the day-old chicks are a lot cheaper. You can buy chicks in your local area, or you can search on local online classified websites.
To provide comfort and security to your chicken, you need to offer them a suitable and comfortable housing system. A good living environment keeps them healthy and safe from predators and bad weather.
The shelter for your chicken can be built at a low cost or high cost, depending on your budget. You can make it using bamboo, straws, woods, etc. If you have more budget, you can build full concrete.
The housing system must have good ventilation to ensure that there is enough clean air for your chicken. Good ventilation also reduces the number of gases inside the chicken house. Good ventilation keeps the chicken healthy.
Good food keeps the chicken healthy and productive. To make the chicken have a good meat quality and good egg production, you must provide Ixworth chicken with healthy and nutritious foods.
You can purchase ready-made feeds or you can prefer their natural food. You can buy ready-made feeds in poultry stores or allow them to forage in a desirable range where they can look for their natural foods.
Reginald Appleyard creates Ixworth chicken with a breed that can supply high-quality meat and good egg production. It was created in Ixworth that is why it is called Ixworth chicken. The prominence of Ixworth chicken was highlighted in World War 1, but in later years, it gradually declined due to the importation of quickly grown broilers brought by the Americans. It nearly became extinct, but poultry enthusiasts helped increase the number of Ixworth chicken, leading to its recovery.
This chicken is a mixed breed and is known for its white plumage, red face, comb, and wattles. They are prominent in size and lay an ample number of medium-sized eggs. They can produce good quality chicken meat and a generous amount of eggs.
These chickens are easy to tame. They are active and friendly and can quickly get along with other breeds of chicken. They are not prone to illness and disease, but it is best to care for them to increase meat quality and improve egg production. It is best to monitor the chicken regularly. If you notice uncommon behaviors, it is best to see a veterinarian. It is also essential to give the chicken timely vaccination.
Make sure that Ixworth chicken has a sound housing system, good quality, and good food in order to raise them properly. These factors are essential if you want to keep your chicken healthy and productive.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch.
1 thought on “Ixworth Chicken: Eggs, Temperament, Size and Raising Tips”
We’ve recently acquired some Ixworth here in Australia and would love to learn more about them and link in with other Aussie breeders of Ixworth chickens. I find the cockerel to have an incredibly sweet nature and enjoys being handled but not the pullets so much, although they are still friendly.
I’m curious about the length of time they lay good quality, fertile eggs during their lifespan?