The early history and breeding of the Sussex is unclear, but it was definitely an established breed in England by 1845 and some believe that the Romans had brought the breed to England two thousand years ago. It is also thought that this breed and Dorkings were of the same breed at one time, with the five-toed offspring being Dorkings and the four-toed being Sussex. The Sussex is a graceful bird with a long broad back giving way to the tail that sits at a 45-degree angle from the body. The Sussex is only found in a single combed variety. It is adaptable to either confinement or free range and as a calm and curious bird dose well in backyards. The hens are excellent layers despite be classified as a heavy breed. Along with the Rhode Island Red the Sussex and particularly the Light Sussex has been a favourite amongst both farmers and backyard poultry keepers in the UK for many years. Other colours include speckled, buff, white, red, silver, brown and coronation (similar to the light but a rich pigeon-blue colour replaces the black). All of these are much rarer than the light, and untill recently the white was listed as ‘critical’ on The Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Poultry Watchlist.