show quality speckled sussex ??

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by math ace, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay - I haven't been following for a month or so, but I did promise you I'd post some pictures of my SSs when they were old enough.

    I had ordered 6 hatching eggs from Gabbard Farms, 3 of which hatched, 2 cockerels & 1 pullet. I sold one cockerel and have just the two left. So, while I am saying that this guy is from Gabbard Farms, I do want to be clear that he was not chosen as the best of some reasonable number of cockerels. He is just one bird.

    Here is the cockerel, now 22 weeks old. He was a bit of a runt as a chick, so that is an automatic strike against him, but he has been a great, laid-back fellow who is light on the crowing, crows at a lower pitch, and has proper respect for man, so he's a keeper. That, and my husband loves him and has made me promise to keep him.

    I didn't get a good wing shot, but he does have some white flight feathers, less now after his j.v. molt.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Critique away! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:NEGATIVES:
    That is the craziest sickle feather I have seen. I would be tempted to pull it out and see if it grew back the same way!
    He is looking on the light side for 22 weeks. He needs to be pushing 6 lbs to meet the standard for weight.
    It could be just the picture. .. . but he looks a little narrow underneath / between the legs.


    PLUSES:
    The chest looks to have a nice distribution of white speckles - - -No CLUMPS.
    Nice wing set.
    Nice size wattles.
     
  3. Howhardcanitbe

    Howhardcanitbe Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:NEGATIVES:
    That is the craziest sickle feather I have seen. I would be tempted to pull it out and see if it grew back the same way!
    He is looking on the light side for 22 weeks. He needs to be pushing 6 lbs to meet the standard for weight.
    It could be just the picture. .. . but he looks a little narrow underneath / between the legs.


    PLUSES:
    The chest looks to have a nice distribution of white speckles - - -No CLUMPS.
    Nice wing set.
    Nice size wattles.

    I love the sickles! Really makes a statement. But then I'm not an official poultry judge. More seriously, I just love the comb on this fellow; pretty, white shanks and loves dogs. On the downside, it appears he carries his tail high, he looks a little narrow in the rear end, and perhaps his hackles aren't as long as they should be (is that something that will continue to grow out as he continues to mature?) Overall, he's not a bad looking fellow.

    Glad to have you back.
     
  4. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am glad he has some plusses! I wasn't sure. He used to have two of those crazy white sickle feathers. I wonder what he'd do if I tried pulling it out. He is certainly light and was a small chick, so I think he will be a bit behind, but he's huge compared to the cockerels of other breeds which hatched with him (sold now). I should figure out some way to weigh him. I have some crazy scale which is too smart for its own good, so I don't think I can weigh something so light.

    I agree that his chest coloring is pretty consistent, but his back isn't very speckled. What should his back look like, and is it the right shape?
     
  5. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:You can use a regular scale... Hold him and get on the scale with him... THEN put him down and get on the scale without him.
    Subtract the two and you will have the bird's weight. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  6. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Virginia
    Quote:[​IMG]

    I was wondering about his comb. I thought it looked good, but I wasn't sure how many points it should have or if it is bad that the little ones towards the front seem to run together.

    His tail is really funny. When there were other cockerels his age, his tail was nearly always down. Now that he's the "top dog," it seems to be really high. And he's recently grown two really long feathers over the top, but then seems a bit hollow underneath. [​IMG] I figure he has a funny tail.

    I also agree that his legs are too close together. He's probably generally undersized, either because he was a bit of a runt or because that seems to be the hardest thing to find - size. The hackles are a good question. He was late to crow and attempt to tread compared to my other guys, who again were other breeds, so maybe he has a low level of testosterone and isn't going to grow very manly hackles.

    I'll try to get some shots of my pullet, but I can tell you right now she is way too white.
     
  7. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,165
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    Feb 26, 2011
    Western Virginia
    Quote:You can use a regular scale... Hold him and get on the scale with him... THEN put him down and het on the scale without him.
    Subtract the two and you will have the bird's weight. [​IMG]

    My scale uses some crazy electronic thing to figure out the density of your bones and if you are dehydrated and so on... I tried that same method with my dog and the difference in weight was almost twice what she could conceivably weigh, so I think it can only weigh one "body" at a time or it confuses itself.

    I have a kitchen scale. Maybe I can see what that goes up to...
     
  8. Howhardcanitbe

    Howhardcanitbe Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Don't write him off for size just yet. My birds all packed on the weight and size in the time between week 20 and week 27. It could be that SS in general just take a while to flesh out, or maybe it's my (and possibly your) particular strain of SS that takes so long. So there's a question for experienced breeders of SS. - How long do these birds take to grow to market weight and to fully mature, really? And while I'm at it, what rate of lay do you get? I've seen everything from 200 to 260 a year.

    I went through my flock over the past few days, weighing and measuring again. And again, my pullets leave me hopeful and my cockerels have me worried. I mean today I watched one of my keeper roos mount a couple of hens. Maybe it's the all dampness in the air. Maybe he's just incompetent. He went through all the motions up until it was time to tuck his tail under the pullet's. . . a lot of huffing and puffing and then he just slid off before he finished the job. Reminded me of a story I read recently about a fellow who had shelled out big dollars for a bull that scored top points seven ways to Sunday. This perfect bull turned out to be a perfect idiot, mounting the wrong end of the cows every single time.
     
  9. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Quote:I know NOTHING about bantams.... so, I am going to have to defer to Don or one of the more experience breeders on this forum.
    I will say that I am curious as to why her topling isn't smooth all the way to the tip of her tail. In every picture there is a hump on the top near the back....

    =============
    My glory! What lovely breed type. the 5th pic from the top, that lovely bottle-shaped body.
    What strain is this bantam? Yeah, there's a cushion there, but that can be dealt with.
    The body type is just very comely! Type is everythign in Sussex. If it doesn't phenotypically
    "look" like a Sussex, it's not a Sussex, regardless of what color or production qualities it has.
    Karen in PA.
     
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    And while I'm at it, what rate of lay do you get? I've seen everything from 200 to 260 a year.
    -------------------------------------------
    Hi,
    One doesn't want too high of egg production. But enough to make the bird profitable. In Sussex, breed type is everything. Rate of lay affects breed type, as one can see by reading "Call of the Hen". Meat birds are wider and deeper in body. Egg birds are more narrow and shallow in body. Sussex are a dual purpose fowl, being a classic combination of the 2 types.
    Sussex are long-bodied with full breasts and wider bodies. This lets them carry the flesh necessary for a meat bird. At the same time they are good layers of quality eggs. The Sussex breed has been through "the clash of the body types" several times in it's history since 1900. If one breeds just for egg production, the bodies get more narrow and streamlined (loss of type). If one breeds just for meat production, the hens lose their ability to produce eggs at a profitbale rate. So a balance needs to be struck and adhered too. From the historical record I have read, written by Outram, Falkenstein, Sharpe ... , the proper approach seems to be to breed to the correct "dual purpose" body type. Whatever number of eggs are produced within that body structure are what's appropriate for the breed. I "think" about 180 to 200 eggs a year, but not more than 220. (someone correct me if I am too low).
    There seems to be some leeway for increasing egg production by selection within the proper dual purpose body type before the bird's structure changes to accomodate increased egg production.
    One will notice at the shows, the equisitely detailed heads of the winning hens. Yes, they look lovely on the bird. But there may be more to it than just beauty. I have a small booklet by a gentleman named H.H. Steup. Fascinating man. He developed a system (which the egg-renowned Leghorn folk used) called "Breed and Culling By Head Points". Steup declared it was possible to discover one's best layer by analyzing the physical characteristics of the hen's head. The idea here, for Sussex folk, is not to go out and start culling all hens by head points. It is a technique useful to egg laying breeds. It is a consideration we can take into account in our dual purpose breeds when we are breeding for balance in breed type. So we can breed for proper breed type, considering that points of a good laying hen described in "The Call of the Hen" and "Breeding and Culling By Head Points" show us indications of good laying ability within the proper body structure of proper Sussex breed type.
    Best Regards,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011

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