Sussex or Orpington? Starting off with backyard chickens


In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
Hi all,

I am getting two wyandotte pullets next week and I want one more chicken. I have limited space so I am restricting myself to three.

I like both the looks of the light sussex/coronation sussex and the blue or splash orp so I am trying to decide between the two.

I am after a pet more than a good egg layer although eggs are appreciated. I have kids and other pets so they have to be pretty calm, good natured and not mind being picked up occasionally. It doesn't get very cold here but it can be wet and windy (of course they will have warm dry shelter at all times). It needs to be non-flighty so it doesn't visit the neighbours. Ideally want a chicken that will run up to me for a treat when I go outside and enjoy being around people. Also will need to get along with the wyandottes who already know each other but will not know the third pullet.

Anyone have any advice to offer to recommend one over the other, or will it come down to which ever I can get hold of more easily? Any breeds fit the bill better than the sussex or orpington?

I think either of those is a very good choice. I'd definitely go by how they act, if you will be able to choose her by how they act toward you. There are definitely more friendly and less friendly birds within the same breed.
Both are usually nice calm, mellow, easygoing breeds. I love my Sussex because the breed is so incredibly friendly! Your hens will learn to come running for treats to eat from your hand eventually, and from the ground at first. As for being happy to be picked up, unlike parrots, chickens don't socially touch each other, so they in general usually don't like to be petted or picked up and held. Happily, there are exceptions to this, such as chicks raised and handled regularly, and of course some bantam or "pet" breeds are just so calm and friendly that they can usually be brought around to being happily cuddled. Examples might be silkies, bantam cochins, D'uccles and the sweet and tame D'anvers.
My Golden Comet basicly says "OH, my God, you're picking me up!! Oh.... okay.....*sigh*.... you picked me up...."
One other neat thing about the Sussex is, the chattyness! My Speckled Sussex, Mildred, follows me around bawk-singing to me the whole time. The gorgeous cream-colored (tinted) eggs are so darling!
Thank you both :) I'm considering going to a breeder's and just picking the one that seems the nicest at the time as she has both breed available, though not quite in the colours I am after.

I think my wyans are going to be older though - is there a problem putting pullets who might be 8-10 weeks apart together if the youngest is about 10-12 weeks? They would all be arriving at my place on the same day so neither would have settled in their house yet.


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