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Speckled Sussex Laying Age...When Will Nelda Give Me That First Egg?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by speckledhen, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    Cyn, I think one of my ss girls laid her first egg yesterday. The oldest pullets I have are 5 1/2 months old. I'm getting ready to re-do my marans breeding pen and put Tommy's ss in there. Should have pure eggs by the first of November.
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Nelda is STILL making me wait! She's 23 weeks old now. I really thought she'd beat out the Ameraucanas, but nope. She is so broad! Can't be too long, can it?
    Gina, did you solve your predator problem? Hope so!
     
  3. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    So far so good. We killed two coons and I fixed any possible entry spots in my pen. I police it regularily and I don't let them out to range unless I am sure to be home to put them up at dusk. I'm pretty sure there are more out there. We'll have to stake them out again one night. I got another pullet egg today.
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    experiential

    Now there is a word you dont hear everyday! I hadda look it up to make sure it wasn't one of those N. Georgia mountain words.

    According to Robinson, ca. 1912, the Sussex were of the same stock as the Dorking - which was generally believed to be the older of the two and dated back to Roman times.

    The Romans recounted their chickens as having 5 toes and the pure Dorking has this feature also. It was supposed that the Sussex was essentially the same type, merely developed in and around the area of Sussex in England.

    On a side note, the Dorking/Sussex lines were originally bred as table birds, egg production being secondary. The Brits have not tradtionally been as egg happy, as we, I gather. I like the Sussex look myself.​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2007
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Now, David, dear friend, I just KNOW you are not making fun of my language, are you? [​IMG] That is a real word. Look up Experiential Marketing, Experiential Education, etc. Glad I could edumacate you some today, LOL.
     
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Washington State
    The Sussex stock you see in England (almost always Light Sussex) are far meatier than those I've seen in the USA where Rocks are more common. There is a proprietary strain of sex linked layers in Ol Blighty which is a RIR on a Sussex hen. I just can't remember what color "comet" it is right now. [​IMG] Also, Indian Game (cornish) on a Sussex is a very common backyard meat bird cross for smallholders.

    I wasn't really aware the Sussex and Dorking were closely related, since the Sussex don't have five toes. I have visited many archaological sites in the North of England (around Hadrians Wall). They're always finding the bones of the meals the soldiers ate. When I see chicken bones, I know it would have been a Dorking. Not that they called it that. But, as far as a percentage goes, they ate a LOT of beef and fish. Pork next. And chickens aren't in a huge prevelance, although eggs are.

    In the Vindolanda Tablets [ http://vindolanda.csad.ox.ac.uk/ ] there is a shopping list from a woman to her husband or servant who was down south. She asked for something like 500 eggs, just an astonishing number. So it seems eggs were vastly eaten.
     
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    I just KNOW you are not making fun of my language, are you?

    Of course I am! That is part of what we are here for - poking fun at each other. BYC is as much social as anything else. One of the good things about you is you aren't hyper sensitive and dont take offense at every little thing. If we got a close up of you, I suspect we'd see your tongue planted pretty firmly in your cheek [​IMG]

    As for when your chicken will commence laying, can I confess to a little confusion and ask for some help in comprehension?
    I have never understood the concern over the exact moment in time when this or that will happen in the chicken yard. Chickens run on their own schedule and such things as timetables are always best viewed as generalities around them. I tend to note their progress by life events (feathering, first crows, first broodiness, etc.) without any attached timetables. I figure they are about as self-regulating as can be. Oh, I know what the 'rules' say and so you should start to see eggs between 5-6 months. But, am I TOO unconcerned as to when a chicken will do this or that??

    Second, what clues would tip me off (or anyone else), as to when your pullet will begin laying, there in your yard? Is there something unique about the Sussex breed that makes them early layers?

    As hard as it may be for some to believe, I am sincerely interested in understanding how you and others look at this. I'm not stirring anything up, so dont "mod" me... this isn't another rant as some might accuse. Is it just that I'm being too logical and unemotional on the whole "WHEN" thing?​
     
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    In the Vindolanda Tablets [ http://vindolanda.csad.ox.ac.uk/ ] there is a shopping list from a woman to her husband or servant who was down south. She asked for something like 500 eggs, just an astonishing number. So it seems eggs were vastly eaten.

    Well now we cannot say that eggs have not been held in high regard - they always have been. Lenten abstinance observations have traditionally barred one from eating them as they were considered opulent in times past.
    But we cannot infer entire demographic patterns from a sinlge written instance.

    The fact that the Roman woman in question was writing anything at all, to a servant or husband at some distance, indicates a person of wealth and standing. She may have had dozens of people in her household to consider when her shopping list was compiled. Maybe the prefect was coming to dinner and she was looking to impress. She was ROMAN, in fact, which tells much. They were known for bringing Rome to the subjugated lands, not the other way round. It's probably due to the Romans that eggs are eaten at all in England!
    The enitre episode suggests, at least, that eggs were not a common thing, or she would not have had to send off for them.

    In more modern times, I wonder if this hasnt carried into the English diet. I distinctly recall Ian Flemings character, James Bond, eating only one egg for breakfast, as more than that would be overindulgent.
    If fiction is a reflection of the culture that creates it, as most literary types suggest, then the 4 Egg Whopper Omelet might not be as prevalent in England as here in the States.

    I recall when I was there some years ago that they made the comment - "Oh yes, you're a Yank. I forgot - so sorry. You'll be wanting 2 or 3 eggs then, with your breakfast, right?" The implication was that someone might have to toddle off to the local kiosk and pack in a few extras, just for me. The English are a polite bunch!

    Most of what I have read and learned about England as a whole puts eggs lower in the scheme of comestibles. Thats why I said what I said. I may be off base, too.​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2007
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    According to Robinson, ca. 1912, the Sussex were of the same stock as the Dorking - which was generally believed to be the older of the two and dated back to Roman times.

    The Romans recounted their chickens as having 5 toes and the pure Dorking has this feature also.

    UPDATE
    I reported this in error - I have it backwards. Very sorry, all you Dorking/Sussex fans!

    It has been a long time since I studied Robinson, so I went back and reviewed his work on the breeds extant in his time. The upshot of this is that it was generally held that the Surrey (as they were orginally called)-Sussex line was the older and the progenitor of the two breeds.

    It was known that the Romans brought their birds with them into England and so the traditional English bird has followed what most would consider "Continental" lines - essentially fleshed out Mediterranean breeds. That changed to a great degree when England became a seafaring people, at which time the Asian/Indian line of Game Bird was introduced.

    The Dorking fowl as we know it is thought to be Surrey/Sussex, infused with what could only be the original Roman stock line at some point, as indicated by the fifth toe. But records only go back as far as the late 18th century, according to Robinson, and there is little else to tell us what really happened in the creation of these breeds.

    He also reiterates the English traditional desire to develop flesh qualities over egg laying abilities, as a whole. He reports the Dorking to be the preeminent English meat bird of his day, ...(sic) "presenting a more highly developed table type when compared to the Sussex. The typical Dorking presents well developed flesh qualities and fine bone. The body is long, deep, wide, well rounded; with prominent breast and short neck and legs...making a a massive, rather low-set bird. Standard weights are colored Cock: 9 lbs, Hen 7 lbs.
    Dorkings are reputed a tender race and indifferent or poor layers. Their good qualities are not duly appreciated in this country because of their large single combs, which make them unsuitable for cold weather, and the fifth toe, which somewhat impedes the feet."


    Remember, Mr. Robinson was writing more than a hundred years ago. What held then has changed to some degree.​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2007
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    LOL, Dave, buddy, I'm not going to MOD you for asking why I want to know when my Sussex will start laying. Geez. Remember, I'm not the sensitive type? You aren't concerned with those types of things and I know that. I want to know because she is another layer I need to contribute to my eating eggs my neighbors are clamouring for. If I wasn't selling eggs for eating and hatching, I'd just be calmly waiting for her first egg. But, David, I NEED THAT EGG! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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