Sebright Chicken Characteristics, Temperament & Origin

Sebright chicken is a beautiful ornamental breed originating in the United Kingdom. It is one of the true bantam chicken breeds. That means it is not a miniaturized version of large birds, or there is no standard or large version of the breed.

It was developed by Sir John Saunders Sebright early in the 1800s. And it has the distinction of being the only breed of chicken named for an individual.

Sir John Saunders Sebright created the Sebright chicken breed having the intent of developing an exhibition bird with striking plumage. The breed is one of the oldest British true bantam chicken breed. The details of the exact birds used for creating this breed are still unknown.

But Hamburg, Nankin, Polish and Rosecomb chickens are thought to play very important part in the development of the Sebright chicken breed. Today the breed is kept mainly as an ornamental breed. It was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in the year of 1874.

According to the American Bantam Association, currently it is one of the ten most popular bantam chicken breeds. Now the Sebright chicken breed is listed in the Watch category of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List.

Sebright Chicken Characteristics

Sebright chicken is very popular among the poultry enthusiasts for their sweet nature and beautiful plumage. It has the unique distinction of being the only chicken that is hen-feathered. This means that the male, unlike other chickens have no pointed or distinctive feathers in the hackle, saddle or tail.

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There are two color varieties of this chicken breed; Golden and Silver. The Silver Sebrights are silver-white and the Goldens are golden bay with both varieties having each feather laced in black.

Sebright bantams have a distinct breast and a short back. Their tail is widely spread and held at a slightly upward angle. Their wings are large and downward sloping. They have red rose comb and end in a straight, horizontal spike. The hens have a similar but smaller comb.

Their earlobes are either purplish-red or turquoise. Their legs are of slate-blue color. Their wattles are bright red in color and rounded and are smaller in the hens. The face is purplish-red in roosters and gypsy-colored in the hens. Sebright roosters weight about 0.62 kg and hens about 0.57 kg. Photo from Wikipedia.


Sebright chicken is friendly, active and social bird. Roosters are not aggressive. But like most other small chicken breeds, Sebright chickens are somewhat skittish birds. They have good flying ability mainly for their small size and relatively large wings. They are great foragers.

But due their flying ability, most of the people prefer keeping them in confinement rather than allowing them to free range. If there are trees around them they do like to roost in the trees. They do well in confinement.

Sebright chicken is neither an outstanding meat bird, nor prolific eggs layer. They are suitable mainly for ornamental purpose. Hens rarely go broody and chicks usually have high mortality rates.

Adult Sebright chickens are generally hardy and active birds, but are especially susceptible to Marek’s disease. It is very easy to tame the breed and also good as pets. Review full breed profile of Sebright chicken below.

Breed NameSebright
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeOrnamental
Breed TemperamentFriendly, Easily Handled, Shy, Flighty, Bears Confinement Well
Breed SizeBantam
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ColorWhite
Egg SizeSmall
Egg ProductivityLow
Feathered LegsNo
VarietiesGolden Laced and Silver Laced are recognized by the American Poultry Association. Buff Laced version is also available.
Country of OriginUnited Kingdom

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