If you want quality Speckled Sussex, do not go to the hatcheries. Just not there. If you like their stunning beauty and great temperament, buy from a breeder. Esp. in the Speckled variety, It is the toughest color to breed in Sussex, being a tricolor. Takes decades to get the gene pool stable enough to get a nice pattern to replicate regularly from generation to generation. The three top strains of the Speckled large fowl here in the USA are ( In no particular order) Walt Reichert, Gary Overton ( Mr. Sussex) and Tony Albrittion. You want to either buy from them or someone who very recently bought from them and/or has not crossed the strain into another strain. In Speckled, esp, do not cross strains to found your flock! That's very important. It will mess up the stability of the gene pool and take years to straighten out the color, unless you are a Master Breeder.
I have contact info for all of the, just a sec, while I look it up. ( sent you a private message)
Here's more on starting in Speckled Sussex:
You are looking for foundation trio? What color? Make sure to tell the breeder you are seeking a "foundation" trio. Birds from their strain that are loosely enough related that they can be breed to each other for a linebreeding program. It des make a difference. Try looking at the breeder directory of the American Sussex Association website. Also try the BYC State thread for your State here at BYC. It is always good to start with the very best quality you can. , esp. in poultry where there are so many sex linked genes. And even more, in a tricolored variety like Speckled Sussex.
If you have the top quality, Inbreed the Speckled Sussex, . If not, then line breed the birds AND WHEN YOU GET FOUNDATION QUALITY, THEN INBREED. they have plenty of biodiversity already. in fact they have too much diversity. 3 flocks? someone didn't understand this variety. it s the most difficult color to breed, being a tricolor. Historically the breed experts advise choosing a top quality vintage line bred strain and line breed it. One strain and line breed on it. In this color, unless you are very talented, one does not cross strains to found a flock. It takes many years to get the gene pool of flock stable enough to reliably reproduce a superior pattern in multiple generations. That said, you need to get with a Speckled Sussex specialist. Tony Albritton in Idaho or Gary Overton ( Mr. Sussex) Ohio. Walt Reichert KY. send them pics of your birds. side, top, front, and head study of each bird in a natural standing position. Have the breeder help you pick out birds for an inbreeding project. Then carefully listen to their counsel for the next 3 generations at least.
Here's an example of doing it the right way. Skytop speckled Sussex bantams wanted to create a new strain. So they went to Gary Overton's top show quality strain dn crossed it to Edgar Mongold's top quality show quality strain. Then carefully winnowed the best from each strain to make their own. Now they are APA Master Breeders of bantam Speckled Sussex.
http://www.reocities.com/skytopbantams/sussex.html "Lily" is a super example of the Overton strain of bantam Speckled Sussex.
buy a trio (1 male, 2 females) or quad (2 males, 2 females) from them as started birds or adults. Don't start out in Sussex with eggs or chicks.
this 9 page thesis is one of the best I have ever read ad is applicable to all varieties of Sussex. Written by a famous poultry man who later went on to be President of the British Poultry Club. It defines the breed , not just an era in breeding. an excellent read is the 8 page 1921 timeless essay on the Light Sussex by veteran breder and poultry judge William White Broomhead. He later became President of th British Poultry Association. It can be read online at: http://tinyurl.com/afbq753
Edited by 3riverschick - 3/15/16 at 7:31pm