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Poultrymad Sebright

The first distinctive British bantam, the Sebright, did not emerge until around 1800. Among others, Sir John Sebright a Hertfordshire MP and landowner was involved with developing this breed.

Silver Sebright Trio Poultrymad©

In the past, it was assumed that he was the sole originator but he never laid claim to this fact. However he was undoubtedly associated with them and established a club to foster the improvement of the breed, hence the name 'Sebright'.

'The Poultry Chronicle' (London, UK) of 1855 stated

"The Sebright Bantam Club was formed some forty years ago by the late Sir John S. Sebright and several other fanciers who endeavoured, if possible, to obtain the beautiful plumage of the Laced Polish fowl on as small specimens as could be. They (the late Sir John Sebright, the late Mr. Stevens, the late Mr. Hollingworth, Mr. Garle, and others) began their labours by selecting the best kinds for their purpose of the Polish, and by judiciously crossing them with bantams, gradually obtained their end".

By 1874 the breeds were divided into the Golden Laced and Silver Laced Sebrights and the following year the names were changed to Golden and Silver Sebrights. By 1899 The Sebright became one breed with two varieties, Golden and Silver with the shape and colour defined separately and the standard for weights became as follows:-

  •  Cocks 0.74 Kgs (26 ounces)
  •  Hens 0.63 Kgs (22 ounces)
  •  cockerels 0.63 Kgs (22 ounces)
  •  pullets 0.57 Kgs (20 ounces)

Through the early 1900's the breed was continually developed with refinements to the shape, size and colour, until by 1952 the breed became established into the standard that is recognised today

In 1965 The American Bantam Association Standard published details of the breed. This was the first time that a complete description was ever made of the Sebright Bantam in both varieties, both as to shape and colour pattern. All of the sections of the nomenclature are separately set forth for the first time. Several sections of the nomenclature had never been before delineated in any standard, including the American Poultry Association, English, Dutch, German and French standards. A complete terminology had been established for all other breeds and varieties of bantams, it was considered important that no exception should be made for the Sebright Bantam.

There are now two recognised varieties, Golden and Silver. The golden colour is often described as rich and deep, while the silver is actually white. The Sebright is famous for the quality of the lacing in its feathers. Each feather is edged with black, making the ground colour appear brighter and more striking. It is a true bantam having no larger counterpart in poultry breeds.

The enthusiasm and influence of Sir John Sebright stimulated considerable interest in bantams and miniature versions of poultry breeds. The popularity of Bantam exhibition poultry, characterised the latter half of the nineteenth century and during this period many of the large breeds of fowl were miniaturised by the repeated selection of the smaller individuals of the particular breed and also by intercrossing with existing bantam breeds.

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