how to breed close-feathering into one's birds: If one wanted closer feathering;
to improve egg laying by 25 eggs a year per bird and the feathers would become closer along the way.
See this thread: Robert Blosi writing:
======================== Sussex as a dual purpose fowl ============================
My personal thoughts gained from research and reading classic poultry lit, conversing with veteran breeders.
Something here for dual-purpose, meat and egg laying fowls:
I believe when a Sussex fowl is bred to produce both eggs and meat in the proper ratios for the breed..., it more
closely adheres to the breed Standard. In Sussex,
I would much rather have a properly productive bird that needs a little tweaking for the show pen....than a bird which had been bred for extremes for the show pen and not had the proper production foundation laid before hand. I guess what I am saying is that I believe that breeding for proper production ratios in Sussex will take the bird at least 80 % of the way to the show pen by setting proper type for body/head structure and general breed characteristics. .The rest is just minor show points tweaking ( comb, plumage perfection. etc. The icing on the cake.) For instance;
1. Head structure is intimately aligned with laying ability.
2. Body structure is intimately aligned with capacity for egg production.
3. Texture of flesh is intimately aligned with egg production.
4. Closeness of feather is intimately aligned with laying abiliity.
5. Structure of pelvis, which helps determine the body stance of the bird, is intimately aligned with egg production.
6. Keel length and length of back are intimately aligned to meat production and the stance of the bird (proper breed silhouette).
7. Proper length and thickness of shanks is intimately aligned with meat production.
8. Proper width between the legs is intimately aligned with egg and meat production.
9. Color is eye candy. However, making sure color is based on the proper eWh allele helps eliminate the possibility
of foreign blood which could impact the proper capability and capacity ratios for the Sussex breed.
10. Weight of hen is closely aligned to egg production. The best layers in Sussex are at 7 lbs.
Over 7 lbs. , according to classic author Whitehead, egg production starts to decrease.
Edited by 3riverschick - 8/20/12 at 1:05pm