Brussbar Chicken Breed
- Country of origin: British
- Primary uses: For eggs and meat production
- Egg production: Good
- Egg color: Brown
- Cock: 4.1 kg
- Hen: 3.2 kg
- Colors: Gold and silver
- Useful to know: All the silver variety disappears and there is only a small number of gold Brussbar available. They are both great meat chickens and egg layers.
Many professional chicken breeders are interested in bringing many endangered but highly beneficial breeds like the Brussbar back to their large population.
However, if you are still confused about which type of breed you should take for meat and egg production, this article would be helpful to give you more information about the Brussbar chicken.
Background and history of the Brussbar chicken breed
Actually, Brussbar chicken is a crossbreed created by Professor Punnett and Mr. Pease at Cambridge in the 20th century. At that time, Light Sussex was the most common breed with many outstanding features. Thus they wanted to have a new autosexing breed that has similar characteristics to the one mentioned.
In the beginning, they used Brown Sussex and Barred Rocks to make the autosexing plumage. Finally, the Brussbar was released to the public in 1952 as a result of crosses between Light Sussex and Brown Sussex.
Initially, the Brussbar had two color varieties including gold and silver. Unfortunately, until now, silver Brussbars chickens are extinct while the gold variety becomes very rare to find in the market.
As a Sussex, Brussbar chickens have a large and heavy body. They have a broad back as well as a full and well-rounded breast. Their wings have medium lengths.
Besides, their tails are not too long and hold at an angle of 45 degrees. Compared to other parts, the beak is short but strong and deep with white or horn color.
All of their comb, wattles, and earlobes are medium-sized and red. Their medium legs are white and well apart. Two varieties have not too many differences except for their plumage color.
Additionally, as an autosexing breed, it is easier to identify the sex of their chicks via their appearance when they hatch their eggs. Specifically, the male chickens always look much brighter than the female counterparts.
These Brussbar chickens are friendly and get in good contact with humans. They do not have difficulties in getting along well with each other as well. And Brussbar roosters do not tend to be aggressive and noisy. So they are considered to be good pets for your backyard.
In addition, they would like to stay outdoors and enjoy the open air instead of being cooped up as other free-rangers. They might feel better if you can allow them to forage their food and roam around all day.
Brussbar hens are less likely to get broody. It is not often to see many hens of this breed sitting on their eggs and waiting for their hatching.
However, among non-broody chickens, Brussbar birds still seem to be great mothers of their chicks. They have the ability to take care of their eggs and chicks to keep the survival rate as high as possible.
In case you are looking for an excellent brooder, you should find other breeds rather than the Brussbar chicken.
Further reading: 21 Best Chicken Keeping eBooks
The Brussbar chicken productivity
Is the Brussbar chicken good for eggs?
Originating from the Light Sussex, Brussbar chickens would inherit their good egg production. They are able to lay a large number of eggs per annum. With the hardy nature, it is not hard for them to start their laying period throughout the year, even in the wintertime.
This outstanding feature makes the Brussbar much more attractive in the view of many chicken raisers. They would like to have these chickens for breeding to keep them out of extinction.
Is the Brussbar chicken good for meat?
In addition to egg production, Brussbar chickens are also good meat birds. This British breed is plentifully fleshed with their heavy body. It does mean that they can offer you a large amount of meat enough for family uses.
Another impressive thing about their meat is that it tastes very decent and flavorful relative to many similar breeds. However, due to their rarity, it is uncommon to make use of any Brussbar for meat production.
Common issues of the Brussbar chicken
Unlike other breeds, Brussbar chickens receive many good features from their predecessors including a strong health. However, it is still possible for them to get sick with many common poultry diseases.
Here’s the list of some chicken issues and the way to deal with them:
- Parasitic Diseases: such as mites, lice, ticks, or worms. You should clean their coop and bedding routinely. An additional coop is useful to keep sick chickens away from their flock. Besides, you can spray insecticides into their coop or offer them any antiparasitic medication.
- Viral diseases: including infectious bronchitis, Marek’s disease, avian flu, fowl pox, and Newcastle disease. Normally, you can solve these diseases by vaccinating all the chickens regularly.
- Bacterial diseases: including colibacillosis, salmonellosis, and chronic respiratory diseases. Once there is any symptom arising, you should separate ill chickens from their flock to avoid quick spread.
- Fungal Diseases: It is very effective if you can keep their litter fresh and dry, clean all containers used for feed and drink, or wipe down coop walls with any safe cleaner.
Brussbar chickens are very hardy birds. They are able to live in many different areas. Their physical characteristics would help them to adapt to any climate condition as well as any type of soil.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to give them much more care when the temperatures become excessive. So you can keep them healthy and safe over the hard period.
There should be some shady spots in the garden so as to protect them from any heat stroke in the hot summer months. Meanwhile, they need to have a warm and fully-covered coop so that they can overcome the frigid and freezing weather with the best condition.
Benefits and drawbacks of raising the Brussbar chicken
- Excellent egg layers: Laying a large number of eggs is the most impressive characteristic of this chicken breed. They have the ability to produce eggs all year regardless of weather conditions. Even though Brussbar hens do not often go broody, they can still look after their eggs and raise their chicks very well.
- Hardy breed: These chickens are adaptable to any area as well as any climate change. So it does not take much time to create a suitable living environment for them in your backyard.
- Good-quality meat: The Brussbars are known as great meat chicken. They are so fleshed with a lot of meat. Their meat also tastes impressive compared to other similar breeds.
- Active and friendly: Both female and male Brussbars are calm and gentle. They would have good communication with their owners as well as other chickens. So they are suitable to be adorable pets for any family.
Challenges or drawbacks
- Being in the rare status: Only the gold Brussbar chickens are still available with a small population over the world. So it is extremely hard for any small breeders to buy them. Even if you can have them, they ought to be used for breeding instead of meat production.
- Not resistant to many poultry issues: In spite of their hardy nature, this might be difficult for them to stay away from all common issues of chickens. Therefore, you need to have many methods to protect these chickens.
Is the Brussbar chicken right for you?
The Brussbar chicken breed will be the best option for you if:
- You are living in an area with intensive weather: These chickens do not have many problems coping with any sudden climate change.
- Excited about breeding a rare breed: The Brussbar chickens are not pure but an auto-sexing breed. They get many outstanding features from other good breeds, thus it is valuable to save them from extinction.
- Looking for a breed with high egg and meat production: The Brussbars are able to make high-quality outputs relative to other breeds. So you can benefit a lot from both their eggs and meat all the time.
- Easy-to-handle breed: All Brussbar chickens are well-behaved and can fit with your backyard quickly. Besides, they do not require much care about feed or living space.
How to raise the Brussbar chicken?
All Brussbar chickens are not picky and have the ability to eat almost everything. You can give the layer feed when they reach their laying age. The layer feed contains much more protein than other normal food and can help to improve their egg quality.
Additionally, you should feed them with many other healthy and delicious foods as treats. So they can obtain different types of nutrients which would protect them from many illnesses.
With their large bodies, it is better for you to offer them a spacious place to stay inside during the harsh conditions. You ought to prepare many feed and water containers inside their coop. Especially, their coop needs to be cleaned regularly in various ways to avoid any potential threat.
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These chickens are not prone to fly over the fences because they are quite heavy. However, a suitable fence is necessary to protect them from many dangerous predators.
Having all the chickens vaccinated routinely seems to be the most suitable method to keep them healthy in the long term. You should contact a reliable poultry vet to ask for their advice before taking any vaccination for chickens.
Some questions related to the Brussbar chicken breed
What vaccines should you apply to your chickens?
There are some common vaccines for your chickens as belows:
- Marek’s disease
- Mycoplasma gallisepticum infections
- Infectious Bursal Disease
- Infectious Bronchitis or Newcastle disease
How to prepare daily feed for your chickens in the right way?
- Give them a moderate amount and clean all the food left to keep it away from being mouldy and spoiled
- Cook beans and seeds and add them to other recipes
- Soak all beans in the cold water before sprouting
- Do not offer them toxic foods such as chocolate, green potatoes or tomatoes, avocado pits, etc.
So, is the Brussbar chicken right for you? If you are looking for a unique breed with many great features, Brussbar chicken would be your priority.
These chickens are excellent at producing eggs and meat. Their hens have the ability to lay lots of eggs each year with good quality. Besides, their meat is very tasty compared to other similar breeds.
They are also suitable pets for your family with many good personalities such as friendly, calm and docile. And it is easy for a hardy breed like them to overcome many different living conditions.
However, the Brussbars have many disadvantages. The number of these chickens are decreasing significantly. Therefore, you might have many difficulties in buying and raising them for any small farm.
Hopefully, this article can sum up some necessary and key information which can be useful and contributes to your right decision.
- Ian H. Allonby, Philippe B. Wilson, British Poultry Standards, 2018
- Sophie McCallum, Rare British Breeds: Endangered Species in the UK, 2020
Links to useful resources:
- Brussbar, RBST
- Breeds of Chickens, Starmilling
- Autosexing: Brussbar, The Poultry Club of GREAT BRITAIN