Ixworth Cockerels head picture

Ixworth

Ixworth Chickens

Ixworths are one of the rarest breeds in the UK but in our opinion one of best. We are very fortunate to have been able to source some excellent breeding stock.

Ixworth Breed Description

The Ixworth was created some time ago by Reginald Appleyard who also designed some other chickens and ducks. Ixworths are pure white with white legs and a pea comb. They also have small wattles in the hen and quite small wattles in the cockerel. They are a solidly built bird with a neat head and beady eye.

The Ixworth breed was created by Reginald Appleyard, starting in 1931 and launched at the 1938 London Dairy Show, and named after the Suffolk village of his birth.

His aim was to produce a top quality, fast maturing table bird that would also lay more and avoid the other utility problems associated with the Indian Game breed.

Breeds used in its make included White Sussex, White Orpington, White Minorca, White Old English Game, Jubilee and Dark Indian Game. 

The breed nearly went extinct in the 1950s as faster growing hybrid broilers arrived.  Rare breed conservationists began to revive Ixworth’s in the 1970s and now there are now about 20 enthusiastic breeders but only four exhibitors.

Appearance

  • The Ixworth is a deep-bodied, medium to large breed. They are solid and heavy.
  • Birds should have white legs with a pinkish tinge, orange eyes, a red pea comb and hold their tail fairly low
  • Ixworth is only in one colour, white.
  • This breed has small wattles in the hen. The comb and wattles on the cockerel are also quite small.

Uses

An Ixworth is a dual purpose chicken. This means it is suitable for egg production or a table bird. It is white fleshed and some say it provides the best quality meat of any pure breed.  However like most pure breeds it is best to prepare for the table at no more than 12-14 months. Depending on the strain the Ixworth hen should produce about 150-180 medium-sized off-white/cream eggs in a year.

Ixworth Breed Temperament

As a breed in general Ixworths are a mild mannered chicken. Both the hens and cockerels are good in a mixed flock with no behavioural problems. The Ixworth hen is a really sweet chicken, because they are not aggressive at all in a flock. Ixworths are quite chatty but I have noticed that their voice and phrasing is different to other chickens. The Ixworth cockerels in particular are lovely. Both males and females are somewhat skittish, but nowhere in the same league as a Leghorn.

An Ixworth hen will go broody during the year, but they are easy to pursuade otherwise. They are capable of covering 30 or more eggs in a nest, surprisingly which is more than I have ever seen from any other chicken. Even our massive Brahmas couldn’t control such a huge number of fertile eggs. Needless to say we removed some so that her workload wasn’t as much.

Breed Size

An Ixworth is a large fowl, heavy in terms of size. They are fast growing.

Eggs

Eggs from an Ixworth are pale tinted (off white)

Further Information

You can read further information on our other chickens here on our chickens for sale page. If you are keen to learn more, we run an online instant access course in Chicken Keeping. Find out more about our Courses Here.

The Ixworth hens are the all white chickens in this video above. Swedish Flower Hens are currently in the same run.

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