In Spring 2015 I ordered two shipments of fertile Speckled Sussex (SS) hatching eggs off of ebay from bestcoopsnet and briaboes. I was completely new to the breed, and was mostly interested in adding a few to my flock. After my early spring hatches, and with a plan to keep only a few chicks, I put the extras online. They sold extremely fast, so I figured I would order a large group from my local feed store to sell as well. Thus I ordered another 20 SS pullets. Total, I had around 30 chicks.
Next, I did some research to discover the breed's SOP. If I was going to keep the breed, I wanted to keep the best chicks I had. I kept three hens and one rooster that had a good base color and no white wing or tail feathers .
As my four SS started to mature, I fell in love with their unique feather patterns, thick build, and mild temperament. I knew that this was a breed I wanted to focus on and improve. Here in northern Utah, the breed is rare, and I am unfamiliar with anyone who focuses on breeding to the SOP. I would be honored to be a breeder to revive the SS in my area. I am new to the breed, however, and am still trying to get an idea of what makes a perfect SS. Slowly I am getting a better idea through the forums on this website and other breed related sites.
Now, I am on an adventure to help improve the Speckled Sussex breed in the northern Utah area.
My SS are now 9 months old (11/2015). Here are some pictures of my current SS. (Unfortunatly, my best looking hen was killed by a raccoon two months ago.)
Here are some pictures of SSROOSP15. I am extremely happy with the rooster I kept. He is not as broad and heavy as I would like, but I really like his base color. He does have one white wing feather that developed after three weeks or so. :
Next, here is SS1HENSP15. I believe she has a great base color, and has a good speckled ratio. She has zero white wing or tail feathers, which was one of the main things I was hoping for. She has some evident flaws on her comb. Her tail angle is also high for SOP.
Finally, here is SS2HENSP15. I also really like the coloring on this hen. Her speckling is even, and she also has a rich mahogany base color. Her tail is also a little tall for the breed, and she could also be beefed up a little bit.
In early spring 2016, I will be purchasing hens or eggs from a well-known breeder from northern Idaho. The breeder is in the APA Hall of Fame, so he has great experience in breeding and showing hens. Next year, I hope to have a strong breeding program that will increase the number of healthy SS in the area and awareness for this lovely breed.