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Sussex -cow- England

(most common name)
(transboundary/brand name)

The Sussex, a British red breed, developed in southeast England from indigenous Red Weald cattle. Now raised primarily for beef, the Sussex was once considered so productive for ploughing the clays on the weald of its native area in Sussex and Kent — that it remained a draught oxen until the end of the 1800s. It wasn’t until 1929 that the last oxen team was disbanded. (The largest Sussex ox recorded had a girth of 280 cm/110 in and weighed 1828 kg/4030 lb.)

1879 - Sussex Herd Book Society formed; Sussex herdbook published
1888 - first annual sale of registered Sussex bulls
1950s onward - Sussex crossed with Red Angus bulls to create a Polled Sussex variety
1979 - polled section added to UK herdbook

By 1988, a breed development program crossing the Sussex with Limousin and Salers brought performance to the same level as several other native breeds, including:
Beef Shorthorn
Welsh Black

However, this breed development program jeopardized the distinctive traits of the Sussex. In response, a section within the breed to conserve the Traditional Sussex bloodlines and type was formed, concentrating on:
• maintaining maternal traits of ease of parturition
• temperament
• milkiness
• efficient adaptation to extensive grazing

Countries the Sussex has been exported to include:
• New Zealand
• South Africa (herdbook 1906; breed society 1920)
• USA (initial breed society 1884; breed society re-formed 1966)
• Zambia

High heat tolerance and resistance to tick-borne disease have made the Sussex valuable in southern Africa and other tropical regions. South Africa now holds the largest population of the Sussex.

The Sussex color is a dark mahogany-red with a white tail switch; its winter coat is often curly in colder climates.

weald - a heavily wooded district or forest

This page was last updated on: 2023-05-20

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® England and read about other English cattle breeds.

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