Uses: Exhibition / Ornamental.
Origin: England. Eggs: 50 – 80 white.
Weight: Cock: 620 g. Hen: 510 g.
Colours: Gold, Silver. (Standardised UK).
Useful to Know: A true Bantam, one of the oldest British varieties. Difficult to raise and are highly susceptible to Marek’s disease. Some strains suffer with low fertility. All feathers are required to have black lacing, look out for black peppering on the central background colour.
The Sebright bantam is one of a few breeds that are ‘true bantams’ (it has no larger equivalent). It was created in the early 19th Century by Sir John Sebright, the 7th Baronet of Besford, Worcestershire and possibly a few others by using ‘henny game’ but the details of the exact birds used are still unknown but to make the Gold Sebright, he possibly used a buff bantam Nankin hen with his ‘henny game’. It is thought that it took him around 20 years of selection and in-breeding to achieve the patterns he wanted and to fix the type. To make the Silver Sebright it is thought he started by using a white rose comb cockerel.
All feathers are required to have black lacing and there are a number of very good birds around (in the UK) but watch out for peppering in the centre of the feathers. Check underneath tail feathers since this is a common area for this to occur. The background colour of the Gold Sebright varies from country to country and even between different breeders’ strains. It is more important to achieve an even shade of gold, rather than an exact shade, but very dark or very light shades should be avoided. Lack of lacing on the feathers under the wattles is called bishop throating and is a common problem. Rose combs on male birds are often faulty. This should be square fronted, low and compact, not hollow fronted with a dent or side sprigs. Most birds on show do not have the dark purple comb, most these days having a pinker than ideal comb. Never breed from birds with a light eye, the iris needs to be as dark as possible.