Speckled Sussex Chickens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by PA-mamahen, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. PA-mamahen

    PA-mamahen New Egg

    Jan 11, 2009
    Hi Everyone. This is my first post although I have been a mamber for some time now.
    I wonder if my Speckled Sussex hens are normal/pure bred. Is it normal for them to become increasingly white as they get older or are the plain white primary feathers and increased amounts of white an indication that they are not pure bred? Most of my girls came from the same hatchery. The few that aren't seem closer to "standard" in a chestnut colour with feathers tipped in black/green at the end, after a small strip of white inbetween the chestnut feather and black tip. The only hen from the suspect hatchery group that is coloured normally has a physical problem of eye to beak coordination-I believe she doesn't see well altogether and is thus the lowesst ranking of all my hens but a good layer indicating good phyical health. The rooster, also from the suspect group, is nicely coloured. This is just curiosity on my part except that I plan to hatch so chicks someday.
  2. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    Hatcherys arent as prone to breed to standard of perfection.

    My millie fleur D Uccle hens, which are similarly colored, turn fairly white by the time they are 3 years old. And they are from show stock. The rooster is more normal colored. Some speckled breeds do molt out each year with more and more white, while others will molt out the opposite way, as in mottleds turning darker with age.
  3. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    Do you have photos? They will generally get more white speckling as they get older, but plain white feathers don't sound right. Where did you get them? My SS are colored just fine, but I am somewhat disappointed in their egg size.
  4. PA-mamahen

    PA-mamahen New Egg

    Jan 11, 2009
    Thanks to both responses. I have to figure out how to upload a picture. Am I allowed to say which hatchery they came from without getting in trouble with anyone?
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sure, you can say what hatchery they come from. My one SS hen, Nelda, is from a breeder. She did molt in with more white, which I'm told is quite normal. Nelda is an entertaining girl.She'll do anything for a food fix, including jumping in cars with open doors or windows when people come here, LOL.
  6. gapeachy

    gapeachy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2008
    Rome Ga
    I cant wait to grow my ss up...they came from hatcheries except 8 i got from locopollo......them 8 I put in with some welsummers I got from JamesA and some half ss half EE.....I cannot tell any apart except the EE ones has that little fluffed out head that the EE's have....that is so cute I think....
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Show worthy or not, SS are some of the prettiest birds![​IMG]
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:White or nearly-all-white primaries and tail feathers (not all of them, I mean, but having *some* white ones) does not seem to be especially unusual -- some of my sussexes are like that (mind you they are from a small hatchery and not going to win shows) and if you look at the pix on feathersite you will see some like that. I mean, it's not desirable AFAIK but it seems to occur a whole lot in birds that have not been outcrossed at all.

    They do weird things with molting in more or less white. I find it very confusing to try to keep track of who's who when they change how they look [​IMG]

    So, from your description without seeing pictures, I would say it is quite likely they are of fairly pure but just not very *good* [​IMG] sussex parentage.

    Just a guess,

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  9. PA-mamahen

    PA-mamahen New Egg

    Jan 11, 2009
    Thanks to everyone. Yes, SS are beautiful no matter what and I am not concerned with showing them, only their general health and a fact that patandchickens pegged perfectly...telling who's who is difficult after they moult out. If someone doesn't have another distinct physical feature, like Trudy's eye to beak coordination problem, or Agnes' crooked toes, or a particular behavior pattern, I can't tell the other girls apart. I have always enjoyed that I knew all by name and gave individual attention. I have 14 SS and can identify 3 maybe 4. I love them all and I know they are not like parrots and do not require individual attention but it made me proud to tell who was who. So, just a little broken pride here. Chickens Rule! Thanks again!
  10. 6chicks&aduck

    6chicks&aduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2009
    S E North Dakota
    i love my ss girls !! just wondering ..... i have 3 ameraucanas in w them which are quite flighty and seem to make them nervous when in the coop ,but outside they are friendly . should i seperate the ameraucana's ??????

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