Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating?

Posted by: 6Happiness

Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating? - 06/16/17 12:40 PM

Is there any sort of breed group for bantam sussex? I'd like to learn more about the history of the creation of the bantam speckled sussex specifically.

I could only track down a couple breeders and the expensive eggs I had shipped had a zero hatch rate (something I've never seen since I've been hatching my own eggs or shipped ones since the 90's/00's).

Elsewhere I've been told the few flocks existing are all related anyhow, so the inbreeding has to be dangerously high. And the owner of one of these flocks told me they just had a bottleneck due to many of their birds being killed, so I wouldn't expect any better from replacement.

So, I'm thinking it might be better to just recreate them from scratch. I have large speckled sussex, but currently my only bantams are buff brahmas and silkies, but I could always buy others. There don't seem to be many speckled type bantams with the right body type, so I'm thinking putting a large speckled sussex over bantams of another breed...

So...

1. Is there any history on the bantam speckled sussex available / out there?
2. What do you think would be the best breed(s) to use to recreate them?
Posted by: Hen-Gen

Re: Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating? - 06/22/17 01:44 AM

I was waiting to read some interesting and varied answers but none have been posted. I do have a book on the history of Sussex and Orpington fowl but it has scant information on what you are asking.
With regard to your breeding programme, there are potentially various possibilities. It is a pity you could not hatch a single SS bantam chick because a single outcross, to say a bantam Rhode Island Red, would reduce the coefficient of inbreeding to zero. Or perhaps to a Light Sussex bantam (specifically SS Male x LS Female) to give gold pullets.
I would be hesitant to recommend using a large fowl and then downsizing because despite the sex linkage of some of the bantam genes it can be a long process.

By an extraordinary coincidence I bought 18 LF Speckled Sussex eggs this Spring and, for the first time ever, had a zero hatch rate. Despite my earlier comments re downsizing I had intended to breed a three way split with my Spangled Russian Orloff and then subsequently to Tolbunt Polish. Best laid plans of mice and men, huh!
Posted by: CJR

Re: Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating? - 06/22/17 11:16 AM

For nearly 15 years, I have raised Mille Fleur Dutch Bantams. Bought some hatchery Speckled Sussex chicks for my daughter--truly lovely hens! Now, I am no longer hatching Dutch and would love to have Bantam Speckled Sussex hens, just for eggs. No, I have no plans to "make" Bantam Speckled Sussex and have no Dutch to offer for a cross, there are not many in the US. It is just a suggestion, if a search is needed for a trial breed of Bantam to work with.........
Am not able to post pictures, but can email.
Posted by: Robbie

Re: Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating? - 06/25/17 09:43 AM

Would bantam Anconas be useful in this breeding program? At the very least, they are mottled!