Key Characteristics

It is a decent layer and a good table bird for hobbyists who wish to combine utility with a little living history. The breed is hardy and makes a good backyard hen. However the rarity of the breed can cause some difficulties. Hens can be rather untrustworthy as broodies.


  • Developed by Professor Punnett and Mr Pease at Cambridge in the first half of the 20th century as an auto-sexing breed with the characteristics of a Light Sussex, the leading breed at the time.
  • Brown Sussex and Barred Rocks were used initially to create the auto-sexing plumage with utility strains of Light Sussex added to improve productivity.
  • The breed was standardised in 1952.
  • Although popular in the Auto-sexing Breeds Association, Brussbars never caught on commercially and so have remained very rare, only surviving through the 1960s thanks to one breeder near Bedford.


  • The Brussbar is a large well-built bird, similar in size and shape to a Sussex. 
  • The breed originally came in gold and silver but the silver is now extinct.
  • The Brussbar has the distinctive ‘crele’ plumage, a mix of blonde and gold with barring throughout.
  • The breast, upper legs and tail have barred grey plumage. 


The Brussbar is a decent layer. Brussbars can make good table birds although due to their rarity, most are kept for breeding. 

Did you know?

The Brussbar is an auto-sexing breed. Unlike chicks of other breeds which look the same on hatching, the chicks of auto-sexing breeds look very different depending on sex, with male chicks tending to be much lighter than brown female chicks.

Breed Societies

Rare Poultry Society