About Ixworth Chickens
chickens were developed by Reginald Appleyard in 1932 in the East Anglian
county of Suffolk, England, in the village of Ixworth. Mr. Appleyard (the
inventor of the Appleyard Duck) was looking to create the ideal dual-purpose
chicken. His aim was to create a fast-growing table chicken, with respectable
laying ability. Development involved white Sussex, white Minorca, white
Orpington, Jubilee, and Indian Game.
was a hit in the British poultry markets in the mid 1930’s-1940’s. In its
heyday, Ixworth chickens fetched a top price for their premium meat. However
its popularity flared quickly, and within a decade, the demand for them drastically
At about same
time that the American poultry industry was conducting its “Chicken of
Tomorrow” experiment. Soon, the world came to know the cornish-cross, with its
incredible ability to put on table weight in a fraction of the time. As a
result, there no longer was as much need for dual-purpose breeds like the
Ixworth and the Delaware. Soon, heritage table birds everywhere would slide on
a steady decline toward obscurity.
They are Light-boned,
with a covering of pure white feathers. Hens lay eggs only slightly smaller than
the white Sussex, usually around 64g (US extra-large), and weighed over 7lbs at
maturity. The roosters fatten nicely as well, and they are proficient forager. They
have a bright red pea comb and waddles and are well-suited for cold.
Ixworth remains on the UK’s watch list of the Rare Breed Survival Trust. In
2008, they were listed as endangered. Few people outside of England have ever
seen Ixworth chickens. However, efforts are underway to help reignite interest
They remain an
excellent breed for the small, premium poultry farm. Importantly, they are designed
to do what has become popular again: keep a family in good-supply of eggs,
while delivering a delicious dinner.