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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Breeds of Livestock - Sebright Chicken




The Sebright is one of the oldest British bantams. Developed in approximately 1800 by Sir John Sebright, 7th Baronet of Besford, Worcestershire, this breed was designed to be a small bantam with laced plumage. It is believed that this selective breeding process took Sebright twenty years of mixing Nankin and Rosecomb chickens with native bantams and Polish breeds. It is believed the golden colored Sebrights was produced from a buff bantam Nankin hen, and the silver produced from a white Rosecomb cockerel.

They are considered the "true bantam", because there is no standard version of the breed.

The American Poultry Association recognized the Sebright in 1874, in Golden and Silver colors, which are also the most popular colors.


The Sebright is known for both their small size and lace patterned plumage. How small? The males typically weigh in at 22 ounces, and the females 20 ounces.

Sebright hens and cocks look very similar to one another. They have short backs, but full and convex breasts, with large wings that hang downwards. Their tails are full, and they carry them above the horizontal.

The Sebright males have large combs that end in a spike, going straight back, and large, red, rounded wattles. Both these characteristics are also present in the female, but much smaller.

Raising Sebrights

While easily tamed, Sebrights are said to be a poor choice for beginners to chicken raisers, due to their susceptibility to Marek's disease. They're a poor meat breed, and an even poorer egg breed. They lay small and very few white eggs, from 50 to 80 a year, and the hens have poor brooding instincts. With those uses ruled out and their proud appearance so stark, the Sebright is primarily an ornamental breed.

Due to males needing warmth for breeding, the Sebright is ideally bred in April, May, or June.




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Project initiated April, 1994 - Initial web site opened February 22, 1995

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