Advice needed in regards to Red Sussex

Urbanfarmerkc

Songster
9 Years
Apr 10, 2010
621
2
131
Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
I am purchasing a flock of Red Sussex from a breeder and she and I were debating how to get some size put back into this breed. She purchased her birds from a variety of sources including Green Fire Farm and Sandhill Preservation. Her biggest concern for the flock is size and color. I will work color out by hatching as many as I can. I can work that out in a few seasons but size is another issue.

So here is my question: What do you think about breeding with Light Sussex (or even Coronation Sussex) to increase size then breed it out the light over several breeds. I know the Red has had issues for awhile and so before I start, I wanted to know where to head.

I appreciate your suggestions.

Dave
 
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Rock N' Faverolles

Songster
10 Years
Nov 8, 2009
309
1
119
I would try an outcross to a buff sussex first. But I will say watch the weight and size of the sussex. Most of these 'imported' lines are way too big. The Standard calls for the male to only weigh 9 pounds and the hen 7 pounds. And when you breed for type, in my opinion try to go by the APA standard again. (It's up to you, you're the one paying the feed bill) We are in America afterall, and the body type of breeds of chickens vary from Country to Country for the same breed.

David
 

Urbanfarmerkc

Songster
9 Years
Apr 10, 2010
621
2
131
Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the British Standard of Perfection? I think you guys are right. The Sussex tend to be a large breed overall. I read the Farming Ladder written in the 1920s and he talked about the nice size.

I think the Australian lines (like Greenfire Farms) may have had some crosses with the large Cochins. I've just read they are throwing some feathered shanks. I'm not opposed to this but I agree a more standard size is best. I have some really nice female lights though. Not too big but really filled out beautiful and really worth promoting. They are the lines my Coronation hens have been breed through. My Coronation rooster is huge though! He is coming almost directly from Greenfire's lines. I could breed the red roosters with my lights to promote that perfect weight and body and might even try my Coronation roo with the hens of the red. That way I can judge for myself. BTW, does anyone know what the Coronation mixed with red will give me???

Glad I enjoy genetics as I'm thinking this is going to be an indepth project. What do you guys think of the mixes I described?

Dave
 
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Rock N' Faverolles

Songster
10 Years
Nov 8, 2009
309
1
119
And why would you do that? The Red Sussex is in the AMERICAN standard and if you ever hope to show, then you need to go by the AMERICAN standard. But if you were to go by a different standard than that, then go by the English standards, and not the Austrailian ones. Once again, the breeder should do as they want, as they are the ones paying the feed bill. I have been thinking about breeding reds for several years, mostly because of their rarity. This is one of the ways I would try to improve on them, although there are several different methods, I may employ.

David
 

Urbanfarmerkc

Songster
9 Years
Apr 10, 2010
621
2
131
Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
Rock N' Faverolles :

And why would you do that? The Red Sussex is in the AMERICAN standard and if you ever hope to show, then you need to go by the AMERICAN standard. But if you were to go by a different standard than that, then go by the English standards, and not the Austrailian ones. Once again, the breeder should do as they want, as they are the ones paying the feed bill. I have been thinking about breeding reds for several years, mostly because of their rarity. This is one of the ways I would try to improve on them, although there are several different methods, I may employ.

David

I wouldn't breed to the Australian standard just commenting on where I believe their size came from. I thought the Red as well as the other Sussex came from Britain (England). Did the Reds develop in the states? If so, going with the American Standard is the wisest. Probably wisest anyway since like you said, if I want to show, it'll have to be here not England. LOL

I believe the best way to improve a breed is to hatch the heck out of it and cull down to the finest. Do this over and over till you get consistent results. I don't believe there are many breeders of the Red Sussex doing that right now but I do believe it is what needs to happen. But you can't usually breed size in as easily as color and shape. Size USUALLY requires genetic introduction or more generations than I want to contend with.

Thanks​
 

stoneunhenged

Songster
11 Years
Aug 21, 2008
443
121
174
USA
Hi, Greenfire Farms here.

We have raised (and not sold) some the red Sussex currently being produced in America. A few observations: the body size is relatively small, the body shape is often not fully Sussex-like, and leg color is sometimes wrong. The red color is nice, but the variety could use improvement. One approach might be to begin by introducing buff Sussex to the line and breed back to red.

Another approach might be to import some new bloodlines. We are currently working with a European breeder of red Sussex who has won ribbons at some very large shows. We hope to have a few of these birds imported to America in 2011 and will probably release them in 2012. If so, this should significantly boost the bloodlines in this country.

I hope this helps.
 

Rock N' Faverolles

Songster
10 Years
Nov 8, 2009
309
1
119
Quote:
I wouldn't breed to the Australian standard just commenting on where I believe their size came from. I thought the Red as well as the other Sussex came from Britain (England). Did the Reds develop in the states? If so, going with the American Standard is the wisest. Probably wisest anyway since like you said, if I want to show, it'll have to be here not England. LOL

I believe the best way to improve a breed is to hatch the heck out of it and cull down to the finest. Do this over and over till you get consistent results. I don't believe there are many breeders of the Red Sussex doing that right now but I do believe it is what needs to happen. But you can't usually breed size in as easily as color and shape. Size USUALLY requires genetic introduction or more generations than I want to contend with.

Thanks

Ha ha, I wasn't asking you why you would want to do that. I was replying the same time you were and was replying to the poster above you, you just be me to posting it and so you thought I was saying that to you. Reds were not created in America but the Reds in America are different because the only black on them is on the tail and wings. I think (although I'm not sure) that the reds in other countries have black in the hackles, or if they aren't supposed to, I have seen them that way in pictures at least.

David
 

Urbanfarmerkc

Songster
9 Years
Apr 10, 2010
621
2
131
Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
I was hoping you would chime in here. I am going to really hit this breed hard next spring. I'm hoping to get some minor improvement before the year is up. BTW, if do you do import some from England, please keep in touch. If I'm successful, It might be nice to bring the two lines together to promote this breed.

DAve
 

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