The Ixworth is a dual-purpose English breed created during the 1930s by Reginald Appleyard. The goal was to produce a high-quality, fast-growing table bird with reasonable egg-laying skills. The final breed met all requirements, including the fine white fur necessary for the demanding English market.
Today the breed stands under the banner of “rare” with a small but enthusiastic group of breeders who can still see its historical value.
Ixworth chicken characteristics
At first glance the Ixworths don’t look that big but don’t be fooled by appearances, they are much heavier and more solid than they appear. On average, Ixworth hens weigh around 2.7-3.2 kg, while roosters can reach the weight of 3.6 to 4.1 kg. Ixworth chickens are priced high in the market for their excellent meat quality.
Ixworth chicken breed varieties
The plumage of the Ixworth is pure white. It has a pea-like crest and its earlobes are bright red. The eyes are bright orange or red. The beak, feet, skin, and meat are white.
Ixworth breed temperament
The Ixworth is a medium to large-sized chicken breed with a calm temperament. They are hardy and active birds that are better adapted to the open field than to confinement. They will forage most of their food if they are given access to roam freely in your garden or in the field. They are very cold-hardy due to their pea crest and almost non-existent beards.
Ixworth egg production
The Ixworth is prized in the English market for the high quality of its meat, but its regular egg production makes it an excellent dual-purpose bird. Chickens produce approximately 150 to 180 medium-sized eggs per year.
The Ixworth was developed by Reginald Appleyard during the 1930s. It is named after Ixworth, a town in Suffolk, England. It was created from the crossing of dual-purpose poultry such as the Sussex, Menorca, Orpington and Indian Game.
The breed’s first appearance was in 1939 at a poultry show in London. Shortly after its launch on the British market, poultry farmers saw its potential as a dual-purpose breed, for which the breed enjoyed some popularity for a long time.
Some time later, better-performing American chicken breeds were imported into Europe and soon began to attract the attention of small UK farms, and the sudden fame and prominence of the Ixworth began to wane.
Ixworth chicken recovery
The Ixworth was on the brink of extinction during the 1950-1970 period. It has gradually recovered with the help of fans of the breed. However, it is still classified as an endangered native breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. According to this conservation charity, there are only 20 breeders of the Ixwort breed.
In 2008, it was listed as “in danger.” This breed is mostly bred in the United Kingdom, there are few breeders outside their homeland. However, efforts are underway to help rekindle interest in this important breed.
Reginald Appleyard also made a bantam (miniature) version in 1950, but it is currently believed to be extinct. The legs are white with a pink tint, the eyes are orange, and its pea crest is red. The Ixworth is a single color, white.
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