Orpington vs Sussex

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lfreem2, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. lfreem2

    lfreem2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello everyone.

    In February I'll be getting a dozen chicks to raise and breed, but I'm struggling deciding between Sussex and Orpingtons (neither of which I have seen in person).

    My goals are to have a relatively quiet, decent laying, very friendly bird (as I have three young children). I would like to concentrate on a single breed, as I'd like to also sell purebred chicks as we get 'em and do a little to help a heritage breed. We will be getting our chicks from a breeder here at BYC, and not a hatchery to ensure good stock.

    Everything that I keep hearing about Orpingtons is that they are HUGE birds, and this concerns me a bit. I don't know exactly how tall they are, but folks make 'em out to sound like they are a three foot tall monster.

    In my mind I *think* sussex are a tad smaller--so I hope someone can correct my imagination. I've been searching out information on how tall sussex and orpingtons are (in inches), but can't seem to dig up any info on that. I was hoping to stick with standard sized birds instead of having to go bantam. But I may consider bantams if the eggs aren't too small. I'd be perfectly happy with an equivalent graded medium sized standard egg if either of these bantams could produce anything relatively close to that size. We do have hawks in the area, so I figured I'd be better off with standards rather than bantams. I just don't know how big bantam sussex or orpingtons are. I see lots of references to them being 1/3 or 1/4 the size, but since i have no real understanding of what the large bird size is, the comparison is kinda useless. I wish we had a local breeder so I could see them, but we don't.

    Can you guys help me decide. Which would you choose--Sussex or Orpington if you could have only one of these breeds.
     
  2. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    Buff Orpington: males- 10lbs
    females- 8lbs

    Speckled Sussex: males- 9lbs
    females- 7lbs

    The Orpingtons are a bit bigger, not by much though. I have Buff Orpingtons, but no Sussex. The Buffs are very pretty birds, friendly and curious. They are very docile and non-aggressive, even the roosters. I would pick the Orpingtons.
     
  3. ck_dunham

    ck_dunham Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I also have the Orpingtons and the only reason they look or seem larger to the other birds here is due to the Feathers our Buff Orpingtons are a knowen better winter breed so they seem to have a larger coat of Feathers.
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I have Orpingtons and have had Speckled Sussex in the past. My SS were probably the most friendly hens I've ever had....they were constantly underfoot. My Orps are very friendly too. The SS were smaller than the orps...but they also laid a smaller egg.....most of the time vs large or jumbo.
     
  5. 6chicks&aduck

    6chicks&aduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a Light Sussex hen , freidly ,curious, relatively calm and quiet , good layer . My Orpingtons were very docile and good pets .
     
  6. lfreem2

    lfreem2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I keep reading these weights, but they don't help me visualize overall size of bird, which is why I'm querying on height of the birds.

    Both these birds sound like fantastic options which is what has me so torn.
     
  7. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    Quote:I keep reading these weights, but they don't help me visualize overall size of bird, which is why I'm querying on height of the birds.

    Both these birds sound like fantastic options which is what has me so torn.

    Buff Orpingtons are big birds and they have a lot of feathers which make them look even bigger, the Sussex are smaller
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I have orpingtons and had a speckled sussex. The SS was the friendliest, calmest, quietest bird I've ever had. The orpingtons....well, I wouldn't get them again. They're nice enough birds in that they are gentle and non-aggressive with the rest of their flock (the head of my flock is an orpington and she somehow rules through respect instead of aggressiveness. I've never seen her peck at another hen, and yet they all seem to respect her as the head hen). They are also cold hardy which is a good thing in my climate. However they can be noisy. I have one who starts making a racket as soon as she wants to use the nest box and someone else is in it. She doesn't quit until its free (no sharing for her) and it can go on for hours. There were days this past summer I thought about putting her in the stew pot just so I didn't have to deal with the noise any more. She's in molt now so has been quiet the past few weeks - what a blessing that has been. My other orpington (the head hen) is not nearly as noisy and I've only ever had the two so maybe I just got unlucky but it has been enough to put me off trying another in the future I'm afraid.
     
  9. WhySayWhat

    WhySayWhat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    According to a quick google search, which took me to answer.com... A Buff Orpington is around 16 inches tall. As stated by whomever answered the question there. [​IMG]

    I am as of now still chicken-less while I get structures built, but I agree. I have no real idea of how big a chicken really is, save for the awful rooster an Aunt had when I was young that used to terrorize me (that one was 10 feet tall [​IMG] ). The poundages don't help me much either, as I have a 20 pound cat that is the same height as the 8 pound cat we had. The link for "How tall is a chicken" said chickens range on average from 8 to 18 inches tall, though there are breeds that are shorter as well as taller than that as well.
     
  10. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We started with EEs. I thought they were a good sized chicken until we went to butcher the roos. Remember, if you are going to breed and improve etc, you will have to cull and deal with the roos.
    We are now going to marans and orps. Both are nice size larger chickens with the orps being slightly larger than the marans. The marans size seems similar to your sussex. EEs are definitely smaller than either of them.
    Another thing you may want to consider is the maturity rate. I don't know anything about the sussex, but the orps are much slower than the marans to mature and lay, plus we are finding it hard to sex them until 4-5 months. I have 6 month old marans laying, but nothing yet from the orps! Find out how the maturity and sexing are with your sussex to compare.
     

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