Speckled Sussex Husbandry?


10 Years
Jan 31, 2009
Corning OH
I am reposting this from Management.

OK, I have a question. I have read some on husbandry for buckeye's (which I don't have at this time) but I image it is similar to all breeds. Here is my question. I have Speckled sussexs, 9 cockerels and I only need one. The first one I had picked looks a little knocked knee'd so he is out. There are two that crow, a sign of dominance, and they both look very nice, decent size, large dk red comb and waddles (yes size makes a difference). But the one I really like is huge, his comb isn't huge, actually about half the size of the dominant two, it isn't that red. His waddles are the same way smaller not dark red. The were hatched the middle of May so they are roughly 14 wks old. I will not butcher the extra's until they are 18-20.

Here is my question... could the one I really like just be a late bloomer and turn out to be an awesome rooster or should I go with what I have read that says go with the smaller, dominant, crowing cockerels? According to my reading the lack of development of the secondary sex organs could indicate low reproduction or even sterility. Does anyone have some actual experience that backs this up or that has sussex and know how they develop?

P.S. The dominant is very aggressive and I think that he will be a handful (Meaner than a snake handful).
Disposition usually is a genetic trait. The enviroment does play a roll in shaping individuals but I would put my money on genetics. If you keep an aggressive bird, not only will it be unpleasant to have around, you likely will be passing along that aggressive behavior to other offsprings. If you are interested in following the SOP, pick the best type for the breed. Sometimes you can see early on which one is going to be the best choice. But it takes a keen eye. Smaller ones or runts usually don't develop out as well as the top of the class. Generally you just have to wait and see how they develop out and decide. The bottom line is pick the one you're happiest with.

I found this which may be of help. http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/ALBCchicken_assessment-1.pdf
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It is one thing if he is aggressive/dominant towards the other roosters, the other if he's that way to you. My current Speckled Sussex rooster spent his days chasing all the other boys and keeping them in fear of him, and now that he's the only one, he's mellow, a good boy, lets me pet him and pick him up. However, if he's super aggressive to your other roosters, he might be in breeding the hens , causing them injury. My rooster is less aggressive with my hens now that he's the only one. I say you process the meanest ones if you want a backyard flock that's meant to interact with people and/or children if you are going to breed them. No one wants to hatch a chick, fall in love with it, and have it turn into a monster that they have to cull or cook later.
I have always keep the more aggressive rooster, because he was the dominant and I thought that's the one you were supposed to keep. That would explain my rooster problems. The one I really like is not aggressive he just had a smaller comb and waddles, and they were as red as the more aggressive one. I took another look at him last night and his comb is developing and starting to redden up a bit. According to albc I should wait and judge at 16 wks which gives him another 2 weeks to man up a bit. Size wise... he is king. He is just more like Ferdanan the Bull, really laid back.

Thanks, this has helped a lot. I think I may keep him and ax the cocky ones. It would be nice to not have to take a stick in the chicken run to feed and water. My family may actually like my chickens too. I really like my chickens but all of my rooster get unbelievably aggressive by 24-28 wks. I will pick better from now on.

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