Pros: Friendly, calm, Great mamas
The hatchery birds are not the best, but are the easiest to acquire. I have acquired some Coronations from imported stock, but my Speckled are from a hatchery. It has been hard for me to find good quality Speckled, because most people have hatchery birds. The hatchery birds seem a great bit smaller than the imported lines or versions. I have had some fertility issues with my hatchery birds. A very cold hardy breed, and does well in the heat as well. The eggs range in size, frequency, and shades of brown. Most of my hens have laid medium to large eggs. The frequency of egg lay varies from 4-6 per week. The shades have been from a medium brown to cream (light tinted) color. I find the feather coloration of the Speckled very stunning and they tend to be the show stoppers on the yard. I am very fond of the Coronations color as well, but their size is just phenomenal. The rooster I have, I have not weighed yet but plan too, feels to be close to 12lbs and the hen looks close behind at what feels to be around 10lbs. I would consider them to be a excellent duel purpose breed. Their feathering is not very compact, giving them a more 'fluffy' appearance. They can be difficult to determine the sex at early ages, typically easier around 4-5months. Even though they are not going to be a favorite for everyone, I have found my breed. I would rate them somewhere along the lines of for intermediate chicken keeper. I think that a beginner would do well with the breed, but may be disappointed with the possible rate of lay, how often they can become broody, or the possible size of the eggs. They do have a very calm and friendly nature to still keep them in the running for beginners. I plan to make the Sussex my primary duel purpose breed.