The Sebright is a breed of true bantam chicken that was developed by Sir John Saunders Sebright in the United Kingdom. He wanted to develop a laced bantam chicken that would be similar to the Polish chicken. It is thought that he used a base of rosecomb chickens to breed with British chickens, Polish chickens, Hamburgh chickens, and Nankin chickens. The breed was established in 1801, after which time the first association for a chicken breed was formed, known as the The Sebright Bantam Club, and it has been in the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association since its first issue in 1874.
The Sebright varies slightly in weight depending upon the sex, with males reaching an average weight of 1.3 pounds and hens reaching a weight of 1.2 pounds. This breed has a short back and large breast, and coupled with its downward facing wings, gives it an upright appearance. The feathers of this breed are either gold or white-silver in color and are laced with black along the edges. Males do not hold the typical curved feathers on the tail, saddle, and neck that roosters of other breeds have, which is a trait that some consider to cause fertility issues. Because of this, many breeders use males that do not carry the hen feathering trait, despite their automatic disqualification from shows. Males have a rose comb and a spike that sweeps back, known as a leader, on the top of the head.
Although the Sebright is kind in nature, roosters can be flighty and a bit aggressive. Because of this, it is recommended that the breed be kept in fenced areas. Hens only lay between sixty and eighty eggs per season, so they are not used in the egg industry, and the breed is not known for producing good meat, so it is most often used for poultry shows. Because males are sometimes born infertile and chicks have a high mortality rate, breeding and maintenance of this chicken can be difficult.
Image Caption: A golden Sebright rooster. Credit: Latropox/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)