Originally Posted by sbankvet
I am from Australia and have been breeding Silver Sussex for about 10years. I have just read through all the posts on this topic and have had a good laugh at all the negative comments from people who have never bred the birds.
Firstly, Silver is the name of the colour standard in this breed, dont confuse it with the Silver gene or mutation. Silver might be a silly name for this bird but it will not change so accept it.
Mating Silver Sussex X Light Sussex does not produce a crossbreed because they are both the same breed! Only non standard colours.
Thirdly, read your standard there in the USA. In Australia the standard calls for all body feathers to have a fine white edge and white shaft. This is not the description of a pure Birchen bird. No high quality Silver Sussex in Australia is pure Birchen. They all carry other genes to improve the colour towards the standard.
Birchen is dominant, so mating to Light Sussex (wheaten) will produce all Birchen offspring but with more white pencilling on feathers, which might go too far. Find out what your US standard calls for and select to that, dont stress out if they might have Columbian or Wheaten or other genes in them. If you have these genes in your birds, they will throw very pretty non standard colours in subsequent generations but in the long run those are the birds that the general public find more attractive, just dont place them in shows.
Contrary to the last person who posted, the very black bird is not a good bird for further breeding as it carries melanisers and will continue to produce excessively black offspring. The very black bird would have been culled at hatch in my yard. The back yard chook owner doesn't want these birds either, they might as well buy a pure black breed.
Thank you so much for your comments!!!! I have been searching for some time for someone outside of the US that actually has any idea what the Silver is supposed to be!
I agree, most of the posters have no real clue in what they are doing with these birds.
Unfortunately, the numbers of Silver Sussex imported into America, I believe directly from Australia, were very small. Crossing with the Light was the only way the original importer could increase the numbers and improve genetic viability. That was done on the advice of the original breeder/exporter. Knowing that Australia has worked with closed chicken flocks for several decades, I'm sure you dedicated chook breeders know a lot of ways to preserve and improve the breeds you have!!
We have no "standard" for the Silver in America.............the variety has not been here very long, and it takes a great deal of work to get a new variety/breed accepted by the American Poultry Association into the Standard of Perfection. Without enough breeders dedicated to the variety, that will be a very long and painful process, if it ever occurs.
I am working with a number of the Silvers. On the advice of a British breeder I've made some progress improving what I have..............and indeed, using a very dark roo does not produce what is needed to look like a Silver. That said, I do have one dark roo that has given me a good number of very nicely laced over most of the body, and the generation after that has been even more of an improvement with a more correct roo over them.
Question: can you point those of us interested in the direction of some ACCURATE photographs of the Silver Sussex in your country? I have come across many decent British photos, but most of the time it is of the hens, not the cocks.
Again, I appreciate your input and guidance. People look at me like I am nuts when I try to explain what a Silver is SUPPOSED to look like!!!!