Ixworth

Average User Rating:
3/5,
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb:
    Pea
    Broodiness:
    Seldom
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    High
    Egg Size:
    Medium
    Egg Color:
    Pink
    Breed Temperament:
    Docile
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    White
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl
    The Ixworth is a breed of chicken originating in the village of Ixworth in Suffolk, England. It is a dual-purpose fowl that comes in single, white-feathered variety. Developed in 1932, it was created from crosses of the white types of Sussex, Minorca, Orpington and Indian Game chickens. With the white skin valued in the British market, it is especially suited to meat production. They have pea combs and lay a fair amount of eggs.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Reginald Appleyard began the development of the Ixworth breed in the village of Ixworth in Suffolk and finally finished in 1939 when the breed made its first appearance. He is the same gentleman who developed the Silver Appleyard duck. The idea was to create a breed, which was a quickly maturing table breed, which also produced a good number of eggs. He used the White Old English Game, Jubilee Indian Game, White Sussex, White Orpington and White Minorca to create this new breed and the combination has produced a fine white skinned, broad-breasted bird for the table. It is another very rare breed, which almost disappeared between 1950 and 1970 and now has a much bigger following in the Shropshire area but is still at a critical level. The plumage is always white and the birds possess a pea comb, orange to red eyes, pinky-white legs and beak. They are only slightly behind the Light Sussex in egg production and egg weight. A bantam version appeared in 1938 but has subsequently all but disappeared.
  • 479ad060_IxworthHead.JPEG

Recent User Reviews

  1. ScottyChic
    3/5,
    "Skatty in Scotland"
    Pros - Nice birds to look at. Good for eating.
    Cons - Scatty timid birds, they get spooked at the slightest thing .
    We have 3 of these birds and my Husband just does not like them - infact they are going to be sold next week.
    They 'take off' at a hundred miles per hour for the slightest reason. They fit in ok with our other hens but have never wanted to get close to us.
    I think they look lovely but some do not like the look of their head/comb.
    Overall, an ok bird.
    Overall:
    3

User Comments

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  1. ScottyChic
    My Husband has just given me some other info - perhaps more correct regarding how they came about -
    ~~Reginald Appleyard began the development of the Ixworth breed in the village of Ixworth in Suffolk and finally finished in 1939 when the breed made its first appearance. He is the same gentleman who developed the Silver Appleyard duck. The idea was to create a breed, which was a quickly maturing table breed, which also produced a good number of eggs. He used the White Old English Game, Jubilee Indian Game, White Sussex, White Orpington and White Minorca to create this new breed and the combination has produced a fine white skinned, broad-breasted bird for the table. It is another very rare breed, which almost disappeared between 1950 and 1970 and now has a much bigger following in the Shropshire area but is still at a critical level. The plumage is always white and the birds possess a pea comb, orange to red eyes, pinky-white legs and beak. They are only slightly behind the Light Sussex in egg production and egg weight. A bantam version appeared in 1938 but has subsequently all but disappeared.
  2. ScottyChic
    ~~ They make a useful introduction to growing your own meat, because although they won't fatten up as much or as quickly as some specific table breeds or hybrids, one bird does provide more than enough for two family meals, plus the hens can be used as a laying flock. Possibly fuelled by the various scandals surrounding the food supply chain, that surge of interest has continued this year. One breed in particular is benefiting from a boost: the British Ixworth. There are so many ways to describe the "so near yet so far" history of the Ixworth: in fact in the words of Marlon Brando, the Ixworth "coulda been a contender". The Ixworth was created in the 1930's by Reginald Appleyard (of Appleyard duck fame). It is one of the newer pure breeds of poultry to be recognised, and it was bred with one endgame in mind - the creation of a chicken that would meet all the needs of the UK market in a single breed. For a short period of time it managed just that. The hens laid well and the cocks fattened nicely, providing ample white meat on their light-boned carcasses, and it looked like Reginald had hit on a winner. It wasn't long after it was released out on to the open market that poultry people saw its potential as a utility breed; fast-maturing compared with other functional chicken breeds available at that time, and one which could return a profit to the breeder in eggs and through selling surplus birds to the dressed poultry market. Then came the imports: breeds arriving from America soon began to grab the attention of the small scale UK farms, and the Ixworth's sudden fame and prominence was being challenged. By 1946 its fate was being sealed across the Atlantic in America and "The Chicken of Tomorrow" campaign. US commercial poultry farming had no need of dual-purpose breeds like the Ixworth. It instead focused on the two distinct elements of egg laying and meat production as separate entities. In less than 20 years the focus on poultry meat production through intensive and strictly controlled breeding programmes created a supply chain that could go from egg to dinner table in half the time it would take the Ixworth and its ilk. By the early 1970s the Ixworth had practically dropped of the poultry map and the breed was almost lost forever. Today the breed sits under the banner of "rare" with a small but enthusiastic following of keepers and breeders who can still see its value. It makes appearances on the exhibition scene, but to the casual onlooker, it is perhaps simply just a solid-looking all white bird. It's only when you own a flock, and work with it as a livestock, that you can appreciate its true qualities. Given the renewed interest in all aspects of growing your own - including raising meat birds, it is possible the Ixworth will once again rise in popularity. It's a hardy bird, an excellent forager and one with qualities that are still valid to the UK market today. Who knows, perhaps one day the Ixworth may just get another crack at the title.
  3. NYREDS
    Interesting looking birds. Are they a hybrid or do they breed true? Looks like there must be some oriental in their background.

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