Sussex vs Plymouth Rocks

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CorgiHouse, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. CorgiHouse

    CorgiHouse Chirping

    Dec 4, 2010
    Boring, OR
    I'm hoping I can get some input here to help me make a decision. I am looking to build a small flock of a good dual purpose breed. I don't need an extremely rare breed or color, but of course would like something that is 'eye candy' for me and also something that people would typically want to purchase as chicks or pullets. [​IMG]

    My criteria for the breed of choice is as follows:

    -Good layers. Don't have to be excellent, but want a decent amount of eggs.
    -Fairly quick growing so that roos are ready to butcher by 16 weeks.
    -Temperament good - friendly, docile, calm.
    -Good free rangers in all kinds of weather - I live in the PNW where it is rainy and wet.
    -Good potential for hens to go broody and be good mothers.

    So, the two breeds that I have narrowed it down to are: Sussex and Plymouth Rocks.

    I like the Speckled Sussex a lot, but have discovered that it's hard to fiind good quality (non-hatchery, large birds) so I would probably primarily get Lights or Buffs, and have a few Speckled just cuz I like them so much.

    I also LOVE blue birds, so I am definitely planning on getting some Blue Rocks. So I'm thinking I should also get some other color PR's since the Blue's are not quite as big (I believe). questions are:
    1) Which of these 2 breeds do you recommend for me with my criteria and why? Or do you strongly recommend some other breed altogether?

    2) If I get several varieties (colors) of one of these breeds, but only have one area, so only one roo - will it matter that much to cross-breed the colors together if I'm primarily breeding them for the freezer and for local people to buy for layers?

    3) Or crazy idea - what if I have some of both breeds of hens, but only one breed of roo? Same questions as #2?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions, opinions, advice, etc. I know everyone has their favorite breeds and will recommend those, but I would like to be convinced on why one is better than the other for me.

  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    I can't really "recommend" one over the other except to say that my LIMITED experience with rocks hasn't been good, and two of my 4Hers have speckled sussex that are super sweet and really beautiful. ALSO, just wanted to tell you that there is an AWESOME breeder of speckled sussex right here in Canby. His name is Dennis Brandt. Seems like his birds are always on champion row at the Pac NW Poultry Assn shows....
  3. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Rareroo and Bargain on BYC sell nice quality SS hatching eggs. I have two hens (hatchery quality) and they are the sweetest, calmest, prettiest birds. Lay a nice, medium sized egg most days.
  4. blaundee

    blaundee Songster

    Aug 3, 2009
    I must say... I myself prefer Australorps! I like them for their appearance, temperament and egg production. I don't know how quickly the roosters get big enough to butcher, I don't butcher so haven't paid any attention to that at all.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    You have two good choices there.

    The eggs of the Rocks will be larger, and 20-30 more eggs per year, if that is important to you. Growth speed of the roos is similar, but I'd give a slight advantage to the White Rock. The Sussex has white skin, while the White Rock has yellow, if that matters. I've had them both. Both are a bit shy, but very quiet birds. You couldn't do wrong with either. Cannot speak to the other Rock strains, as I haven't raised them.

    I must say that I have gotten very nice Specks from hatcheries. I wouldn't let them deter me, just ask around for the better source.
  6. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    I have both but I haven't had any roos as I have them only for pleasure and eggs. Personality has been really great on both with the Rock being much more gregarious and an "in your face pay attention to me" kind of gal. The SS is friendly and sweet. Both are laying really well (PR lays bigger eggs) so far but the Rock started at a younger age. I have heard the SS is a really good meat bird too. My BLRW I have is now laying really well too but started only a month ago so the jury is still out. [​IMG]
  7. NeilV

    NeilV In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    I also really like my Australorps. They have excellent personalities, are excellent layers and are pretty. They are prettier in the flesh than in photos, IMO.

  8. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Songster

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    I currently have Barred Rocks and they are very good egg layers. Mine are also pretty good sized, probably coming in at 5-6 #'s. The Rocks are very well behaved and I have never had any behavior issues w/ them. I had some speckled sussex that grew to 10 weeks old before they were killed by dogs [​IMG]. They were more docile but absolutely the best mannered birds I've had. Never had any other color/pattern of rock or sussex for comparison though. I personally want the speckled sussex again and (to the consternation of my DW [​IMG]) will get some this summer!!

    I don't think you can go wrong with either, but my vote is the SS [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  9. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    I agree with catdaddy that you probably can't go wrong with either.
    My Rocks are very nice birds very freindly and big. I highly recommend them
  10. Cranman

    Cranman In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2010
    Sanford NC
    I have 2 black PR's, 2 Blue PR's and 2 splash. None of them have been broody yet but they are only about 9 months old. All lay as far as I know but the BCM hen is way ahead of them, so I wouldn't say they lay alot yet. As for temperament, the blues and blacks are the friendliest but the splashes are real scardey cats. The BCM is very flighty too but she is so pretty and lays big brown eggs. The blue PR's are the prettiest of my PR's.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by