Speckled Sussex - Questions


8 Years
Apr 29, 2011
I am not sure if this is the correct area to place these questions.

I recently purchased 5 speckeled sussex hens. I was told they were 1 year old and laying one egg per day. I purchased them and moved them into a new pen. I have had these 5 hens for 2 months now. I get 2 eggs per day maybe. Recently I have not received any.
Is this normal for this bread? or was I sold of bunch of old hens on the decline?

I feed Tractor supply layer crubles. Provide TSC scratch grain. I also supllement with Manapro pellets about 2 tablespoon per can of food. I provide oyster shells as free choice. Veggies from the garden daily. They were wormed before I received them.

I notice they are picking the roosters tail feathers out and eating them? not sure what thats about.

6 chickens (5 hens and 1 rooster) in a 8x8 barn and 14 x 12 run.

Any support on learning more I would appreciate it.
In some cases, chickens will peck their own or fellow chickens' feathers off. They do this due to a deficiency or total lack of protein in their diet, so to avoid this, make sure that your chicken have enough protein.
Ok thanks. I thought I had the protein covered with feeding the manapro (24%protein). The layer crumble is 16% is this ok or no.
What does the protein balance to after the manapro? Is it hot in your area now? That can curb laying. I caught one of my astralorps eating feathers off of the ground, she has been stuffing herself with bugs and grass. I have not seen her do this since.
They are on dirt run floor and have a grit pan and oyster shell pan.
Currently no light on the barn.
Temps go up and down. Sunday the low was 43 and high 70. Today the low was 69 high is over 90.
Protein with manapro added, I dont know. I would assume higher than 16% from the feed. I switched feed this weekend to purina. It had higher protein 18% so we will see.

Any other suggestions? I just dont understand how a chicken can go from laying 1 egg a day to nothing. I never saw the 1 egg a day but was told by previous owner. Out of 5 hens I get maybe 2 eggs if i am lucky a day. While my older girls over 3 years old (orphington, australorp and delaware) 6 in total lay 4 egss a day.

I dont know.... Can anyone give a suggestion on good egg layers that are decent with kids and will work into a flock well? Im thinking about getting some australorp chicks this spring but open to suggestions.
Yes they can, the sunlight has decreased a lot.

Have you looked them over for parasites??
What do you do to monitor internal parasites?

DO you give them toys to play with?

HOw about some fermented feed to boost their GI and immunity system??
Sorry I am just getting back to the thread. The hens were wormed prior to me picking them up about 3 months ago by the previous owner. I am not sure what they used but he did say it was a universal wormer. I do not see anything on the hens but to be honest do not really look that hard. They have all their feathers except the rooster who lost his tail. I since powdered his backside with a general poultry powder.

What toys do you give a chicken?
They get scratch grain mixed with layer crumble and manapro.

what is fermented feed? Is that something like Vet RX mixed with the layer?

The most frustraiting part of this is my 3 year old orpington and australorps are laying 3 times better than these sussex have ever done. I get 4 eggs a day from these 6 birds comapared to 2 eggs a week from the 6 Sussex.
Is this just the bread? what should i expect from a Sussex bird ?

Fermented feed = pail with 1 qt pellets, covered with gal of water and a cup of un pastureized apple cider vinegar. Let sit for a day or rwo and stir 2-3 times a day. My birds love it. THis add good bacteria and such to the gut for optimal health. ( I take a probiotic too.Some people drink ACV in water with honey) Heinz brand is at Wlamart; Braggs is another brand. I personally use both, but IMO Braggs has more colony forming abilities so worth the extra price.

Toys can be anything that is safe: log to jump on, ball to poke at, head of lettuce just above their heads so they jump . . . . .

We spend time with the hens giving them all kinds of left overs. When weeding a few come over to "help" -- they eat the worms. lol . My compost area is a popular stop every day. If you don't free range, consider building a ramp, or adding a barrel, adding a plant they can eat up. . .

Some breeds of chickens are better layers at different times of the year. Sussex are noted as winter layers. You might give them a chance and see if they increase their production by Feb-Mar.

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