Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Sussex

Synonym(s): British red breed

Contributor(s): CABI, Vetstream Ltd, Sue Kennedy

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Introduction

  • The Sussex belongs to the group of British red breeds, together with the Devon and Hereford, all of which were effective draught oxen.
  • Draught oxen required strong forequarters, but less deveoped hindquarters.
  • Their work resulted in them developing a robust constituition, but their conformation did not enhance their value as meat animals at the time.
  • The Sussex was considered so valuable as a draught animal, for ploughing the clays on the Weald, of it's native areas in Sussex and Kent that it remained primarily a draught oxen until the end of the 19th Century.
  • The last team was not disbanded until 1929 and only then was selection focused on selection for other uses.
  • The modern Sussex has developed into a much more valuable meat animal.
  • They are known to thrive and fatten on less than perfect pasture. The ability of the cows to over-winter on low quality forage and then calve in the spring, with plenty of milk, make the Sussex cow a very good choice for any beef system.

Biological Data

Normal

Weight

  • Cows 650 to 750kg.
  • Bulls average 950kg.

Height

  • Cows: 135cm at the withers.
  • Bulls: 145cm at the withers.

Colors and distinguishing features

  • Dark mahogany-red coat and white tail switch.
  • In colder climates, the winter coat is often curly.
  • The winter coat grows rapidly, providing good winter insulation for the animal.

Breed History and Information

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Societies

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Further Reading

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