The Ixworth was created in 1932 by Reginald Appleyard, who also created the Silver Appleyard Duck, at his poultry farm in the village of Ixworth in Suffolk. It was bred from white Sussex, white Minorca, white Orpington, Jubilee, Indian Game and white Indian Game chickens, with the intention of creating a dual purpose breed, a fast-growing high-quality meat bird with reasonable egg-laying ability.
An Ixworth Bantam was created in 1938; Appleyard thought it better than the standard-sized bird. The Bantam has all but died out now.
We find that they lay very well. They are slower growing than most of today’s table birds. They mature at about 32 weeks and make excellent table birds up to about 40 weeks. The Ixworth is our favourite table bird that we produce. Well worth the wait!
In the 1970s the Ixworth almost disappeared; it has since gradually recovered. It is a rare breed: in 2008 it was listed as “Category 2: endangered” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, and in 2014 was on the Trust’s list of native poultry breeds at risk.
The Ixworth is well suited to free ranging. The male weighs around 9lbs and the female 7lbs. Hens do tend towards broodiness.
We find that they need quite a lot of space to live in otherwise they can tend to get a bit aggressive with each other