Buckeye vs. Delaware, Dorking vs. Sussex

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    In our county 4-H poultry show, there are separate classes for "All Wyandottes" and "All Orpingtons", as some breeds are so popular here that there are enough to make up a decent sized lot.


    "Any Other American" would include both Buckeyes and Delawares.

    "Any Other English" would include both Dorkings and Sussex

    Ideally we would only keep one breed in each of these lots, as an individual exhibitor cannot have more than one bird in a lot.


    Would anyone care to make a case for one of these breeds over the other?

    What I know so far:

    Delawares - white feathers, might dress out cleaner
    supposed to be better layers of larger eggs than Buckeyes, we have a few birds already, meaty early, hard to get the all the traits needed to show

    Buckeyes - Woman-originated, red (Son likes red chickens), mousers, friendly

    Dorkings - broody, 5th toe, ancient, short-legged, Son likes the name

    Sussex - Victorian table fowl, hard to get the feathering right for show, the hatchery stock we have have been friendly and fun (also pretty, even if they are not going to win any ribbons)

    I am talking Large/Standard fowl, not bantams.

    Thanks in advance for your input. We'll be off to a show this month to look and learn some more.
  2. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Crowing

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    From a showing standpoint, I would think Buckeyes would be somewhat easier to show, as Delawares really have to be double mated to get the coloring correct.

    (From "Standard-bred poultry, Volume 116") Double mating - The mating of one pair of fowl for the purpose of producing male offspring, and another pair for the production of female offspring is called double mating. This is practiced to a great extent in the production of Barred Plymouth Rocks, Brown Leghorns, partridge-colored fowls of all breeds, and to some extent in producing fowls that have penciling or lacing in their plumage.

    With Delawares, the males have to have barring in their tails, the females must have a black tail with lacing around the edge. So flock mating doesn't work all that well for them, if one intends to breed to the Standard as well as show them.

    Buckeyes, on the other hand, (rah rah), [​IMG], can be easily flock bred (ideally, spiral bred, but that's a topic for another message.) So if I were to pick a bird that I wanted to show but that still had characteristics typical of heritage dual-purpose birds, I'd pick the Buckeye (which is, in fact, exactly what I've done, as we show as well as eat meat/eggs from our birds.)

    And fwiw, the Buckeye cockerels dress out very well, nice meaty breasts. The birds are inordinately friendly, including the cocks (a plus for kids.) And they lay about 150 to 200 eggs per year, according to the study the ALBC did on them recently, which to me is pretty good egg production indeed for a dual purpose bird.

    So I'd choose Buckeyes, hands down.
  3. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    I'd say dorking over sussex- stir it up a little. [​IMG]
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've never had Dorkings, but my Speckled Sussex are very friendly, easily handled birds.
  5. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Maybe the eldest boy can do the Buckeyes and I can do the Delawares. Or talk the younger boy into Delawares, as it seem like it will be a longer running project...

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