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Ixworth - Chicken
UsesProlific egg layer, table bird
ClassLarge Fowl, Heavy
EggsMedium/large, tinted, approximately 240 per year
Weight, cock4.1 kg
Weight, hen3.2 kg
ParentageIndian Game, White Sussex, Orpington, Minorca.
Sitter?A reliable and persistent broody.
Rare Poultry Society
The Ixworth was developed in Suffolk by Reginald Appleyard in 1932. The breed has excellent egg laying abilities due to its Sussex ancestory. It also produces good quantities of breast meat due to its Indian Game parentage. Attractively the Ixworth exudes a proud posture and lively ranging habit. However a great deal of stock exhibits the broad, heavy Indian Game type, possibly due to past back crossing to the Indian Game or perhaps due to the dominance of the type. In any case a large deep bodied and well rounded bird should be sought with close fitting plumage that is not so tight as the Indian Game. The tail in existing Ixworths is also often held too high. A close fitting medium length tail which is held fairly low should be sought.
Unfortunately the Ixworth has become very uncommon and there is a great risk that inbreeding to maintain the breed could create a generation of birds that lack vigour and fertility. Fortunately in recent years the Ixworth has become fashionable again, this is in part due to it's rarity and it's value as an excellent small holding utility bird. Hopefully in time the White Sussex, an equally if not better traditional utility breed may also become fashionable as numbers are dwindling and it's tradional utility value is at threat.
A bantam Ixworth was created in 1938 by Reginald Appleyard with the intention of creating a good bantam table bird. It seems that the focus was on its utility value but unfortunately the bantam could only survive if it was appealing to the exhibitor. Unfortunately, although it made a ‘first class miniature table bird’ it was, ‘plain in shape’ and, ‘all exhibitors like to see a white breed be really white and this as much as anything, prevents it going forward’. These excerpts have been taken from a 1959 issue of Poultry World and show the bantam version was destined to fail as it was not unique or ornamental enough for a dedicated following. The original bantam Ixworth is now believed extinct.