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The Ixworth chicken breed is a rare dual-purpose breed known for its excellent meat and egg production. Originating in England, it is a heavy breed with a large body and white plumage, making it an attractive addition to any backyard flock.

With its friendly temperament and good foraging abilities, the Ixworth chicken is a popular choice for small-scale farming and self-sufficiency enthusiasts. Its meat is renowned for its exceptional flavor and tenderness, while its eggs are large and have a good shell quality.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced chicken keeper, the Ixworth breed is worth considering for its versatility and high productivity.


The Ixworth chicken breed has an interesting history that dates back to the early 20th century. Developed by Reginald Appleyard in the 1930s, this breed was specifically bred to meet the demand for a heavy, dual-purpose bird that excelled in both meat and egg production.

Here are the key points about the history of the Ixworth chicken breed:

  • Reginald Appleyard: He was a renowned poultry breeder in the United Kingdom who sought to create a versatile breed suitable for commercial farming and backyard enthusiasts alike.
  • Development: Appleyard started his breeding program by crossing White Sussex, White Orpington, and White Plymouth Rock chickens. Through selective breeding and careful selection, he eventually created the Ixworth chicken breed.
  • Named After a Village: The breed takes its name from the village of Ixworth in Suffolk, England, where Reginald Appleyard lived and carried out his breeding experiments.
  • Recognition: The Ixworth chicken breed was officially recognized by the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1939. However, its popularity declined after World War II due to the introduction of commercial hybrid breeds.
  • Rare Breed: Today, the Ixworth chicken breed is considered a rare breed, with conservational efforts aiming to preserve its genetic integrity and revive its popularity among poultry enthusiasts.
  • Characteristics: The Ixworth chicken breed is known for its large size, well-rounded body, and white feathering. It has a robust constitution, making it suitable for free-range environments and capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions. It is also an active forager and an excellent layer of cream-colored eggs.
  • Relevance Today: Despite being a rare breed, the Ixworth chicken’s superior meat and egg-producing abilities, coupled with its unique history, attract a growing number of enthusiasts who appreciate its heritage and sustainable qualities.

The Ixworth chicken breed’s rich history serves as a testament to the careful selection and breeding efforts of Reginald Appleyard. Its rarity and exceptional characteristics make it a fascinating choice for those seeking a dual-purpose chicken breed that embodies both practicality and heritage.

Kolforn (Wikimedia), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

General Characteristics

The Ixworth chicken breed is known for its general characteristics, including its robust stature, good foraging abilities, and dual-purpose qualities for meat and eggs.

Ixworth chickens are a distinctive breed known for their unique traits and appearances. Here are some key general characteristics of the Ixworth breed:

  • Appearance: The Ixworth chickens have a medium to large size with a broad chest and a compact body. They have a single comb and a yellow beak, which adds to their aesthetic appeal.
  • Feather color: The Ixworth chickens boast beautiful white feathers that are dense and have a slight gloss, giving them a sophisticated look.
  • Weight: These chickens are relatively heavy, with mature hens reaching an average weight of 8-10 pounds and roosters weighing around 10-12 pounds.
  • Egg production: Ixworth hens are prolific layers, capable of producing approximately 180-200 medium-sized cream-colored eggs per year. Their consistent egg production makes them popular among backyard flock owners.
  • Meat quality: Apart from their egg-laying ability, Ixworth chickens are also valued for their high-quality meat. The meat is renowned for being succulent and flavorful, making it a versatile choice for culinary purposes.
  • Dual-purpose breed: Ixworth chickens are considered a dual-purpose breed, as they excel in both egg production and meat quality. This makes them desirable for small-scale poultry farmers who prefer having a multi-purpose chicken breed in their flock.

Ixworth chickens possess unique features that set them apart from other breeds. With their stunning appearance, friendly temperament, good egg production, and high-quality meat, they make an excellent choice for both small-scale farmers and backyard poultry enthusiasts.


The temperament of the Ixworth chicken breed is an important aspect to consider when deciding whether it’s the right fit for your flock. Here, we will explore the key characteristics that make the Ixworth chicken breed stand out in terms of temperament.

Friendly And Docile

  • Ixworth chickens are known for their friendly nature, making them a great choice for families with children or those who value social interaction with their flock.
  • They are docile birds that are generally calm and easy-going, which can make them easier to handle and less likely to cause issues with aggression or flightiness.

Gentle And Tolerant

  • Ixworth chickens tend to be gentle towards other flock members and are known for their tolerance of other chicken breeds.
  • Their peaceful nature makes them an excellent addition to a mixed-breed flock or a community coop.

Curious And Intelligent

  • They are naturally curious birds, always exploring their surroundings and investigating anything new or interesting in their environment.
  • Despite their gentle nature, Ixworth chickens are also intelligent, which can make them easier to train and interact with.

Active And Foraging

  • Ixworth chickens are active foragers, enjoying the opportunity to scratch and peck at the ground in search of insects and vegetation.
  • Providing plenty of space for them to roam and access to outdoor areas with ample foraging opportunities will contribute to their overall well-being.

Vocal And Alert

  • These chickens have a moderate level of vocalization, often using their voice to communicate with each other or to alert their owner of any potential threats or disturbances.
  • This characteristic can be appealing to those who desire a flock that can act as a natural alarm system.

The Ixworth chicken breed showcases a friendly and docile temperament, making it an excellent choice for chicken keepers seeking a gentle and sociable flock. Their curious and intelligent nature, combined with their active foraging behavior, adds to their appeal. Moreover, their vocal and alert tendencies can be an asset in terms of flock communication and security.

Comb Types

The Ixworth chicken breed is known for its unique comb types. Combs play a vital role in determining the breed’s appearance and functionality. The case of the Ixworth chicken breed showcases two distinctive comb types: single comb and rose comb.

Let’s delve into each type’s characteristics and understand their significance:

Single Comb

  • Single comb is the prominent comb type seen in most chicken breeds.
  • It is a long, slender, and upright comb that starts at the base of the beak and extends along the top of the chicken’s head.
  • A single comb consists of multiple well-defined points, known as serrations, which create an elegant and regal appearance.
  • This type of comb is highly susceptible to frostbite in cold climates due to its exposed nature.
  • The single comb in Ixworth chickens contributes to their overall aesthetic appeal, enhancing their presence in the flock.

Rose Comb

  • Rose comb is a unique comb type characterized by its low and broad structure.
  • It is believed to have originated from a crossbreed of the single comb and pea comb.
  • The rose comb displays a smooth, curvy shape with a gentle rise in the middle, resembling a rose blossom.
  • This comb type is particularly advantageous in colder climates as it provides better protection against frostbite.
  • The rose comb in Ixworth chickens ensures their adaptability to various weather conditions, making them ideal for diverse geographical regions.

The Ixworth chicken breed exhibits two distinct comb types: the single comb and the rose comb. While the single comb adds elegance to their appearance, the rose comb offers practical advantages in colder climates. These comb types not only enhance the breed’s aesthetic appeal but also contribute to its ability to thrive in different environments.


The Ixworth chicken breed is truly a remarkable choice for both novice and experienced backyard chicken keepers. With its unique and attractive appearance, excellent foraging abilities, and calm disposition, the Ixworth chicken breed stands out in the world of poultry.

These birds are not only beautiful but also highly productive, laying a good number of large eggs throughout the year. Their robust nature and resistance to diseases make them low-maintenance, making them a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts. Whether you are looking to establish a sustainable food source or simply enjoy the company of these delightful feathered companions, the Ixworth chicken breed is an excellent option.

By choosing the Ixworth breed, you are not only adding an aesthetically pleasing addition to your flock, but also a hardy and productive one. So why wait? Start your journey with the Ixworth breed today and experience the joy of raising these exceptional chickens firsthand.

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