Orphingtons, Barred Rock, or Speckled Sussex?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Audderpops, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Audderpops

    Audderpops In the Brooder

    Jan 5, 2015
    Hi all,

    In February I'll be getting my first hens and I have a choice between the three listed in the title. I want to bring home 3. What breed(s) would be best for consistent egg laying and good with children? I live in the rainy northwest. (Black Australorps will be available in April and I'll be getting 2 of those to add to the flock, as well)
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    I've had all four of those breeds at one time or another over the years (still have Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps, and have seriously conisdered getting some more Sussex) and there isn't a lot to separate them. The three listed in the title all have approximately the same lay rate at 3-4 eggs per hen per week (Australorps are better at 5, occasionally 6 eggs per hen per week). All three of them have approximately the same hardiness (all are very cold hardy, Australorps as well and they are more heat hardy than the other three breeds). Which of the three listed in your title is the most beautiful is a subjective matter (I personally think the BOs are the prettiest), and only you can decide which is your preference in the beauty department. That leaves temperament, and how good they are with children. While all three breeds are generally docile, in my experience Orpingtons and Sussex have a slight advantage here over Barred Rocks. I have on infrequent occasions had an aggressive Barred Rock that I had to cull from the flock (this is definitely the exception and not the rule). Orpingtons and Sussex are both very friendly, calm, and gentle (I've never had an aggressive bird of either breed), and my children made lap pets of both breeds. I personally think you've made the very best decision with the Black Australorps, but either Orpingtons or Sussex would be an excellent choice as well. Because everything else (lay rate, temperament) is so equal between the Orpingtons and Sussex, I would suggest getting the breed that you think is the nicest looking. Whichever breed you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    P.S. You might want to PM Mountain Peeps and ask her which she likes best, Buff Orpingtons or Speckled Sussex, and why she likes one over the other (if she has a preference) as she raises both breeds.
  4. Adorkable

    Adorkable Songster

    Sep 23, 2010
    Hi there. I'm going to have to completely agree with Michael on this. I have kept all of the breeds you are considering and have had to cull several Barred (and partridge) Rocks because they've been to aggressive with the rest of my flock. I still keep Buff Orpingtons, Speckled Sussex, and a couple of Australorps. Of them all the Speckled Sussex and Orpington have been very easy to handle... they pretty much let me walk up to them and pet them and pick them up. They don't really cause too much chicken drama at all which makes them a pleasure to raise as opposed to some of the other breeds (barred rocks for example lol) which seem to squabble and bully some of the more docile breeds especially when they go into moult in the fall. I believe you or anyone that raises either Orpingtons or Speckled Sussex will very much enjoy them. As Michael mentioned mine lay about 4 eggs a week. My Australorps lay about 5 eggs a week and are very nice to look at... I think they're just gorgeous and they've been almost (but not quite) as friendly as the Orps and Sussex. I hope you enjoy whatever you decide on [​IMG]
  5. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

    Mar 1, 2015
    Hi, Audderpops! How are you enjoying chicken-raising? Which breeds did you eventually get?
    I have Buff Orpingtons and Speckled Sussex. The Orpingtons aren't as friendly as the Sussex, but that's due to the fact that I held the Sussex more. My Sussex are extreme wanderers, tho, which brought one of them to it's death. [​IMG]
    The Sussex roo is slightly aggressive occasionally, (i.e. he tries to jump at/in my food bucket) which is more annoying than scary, and I think he does it because I handled him A LOT as a chick.
    I've never had Australorps, so how are those working for you?

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