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#116670 - 06/16/17 12:40 PM Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating?
6Happiness Offline

Registered: 02/25/11
Posts: 21
Loc: IL, USA
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...


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?
Alan ~ Far West Chicago Suburbs

#116686 - 06/22/17 01:44 AM Re: Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating? [Re: 6Happiness]
Hen-Gen Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 1166
Loc: Island of Fetlar, Shetland
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!
If you have nothing............
......... give it away!

#116687 - 06/22/17 11:16 AM Re: Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating? [Re: Hen-Gen]
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
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.

Edited by CJR (06/22/17 11:18 AM)

#116692 - 06/25/17 09:43 AM Re: Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating? [Re: CJR]
Robbie Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 258
Loc: Ontario Canada
Would bantam Anconas be useful in this breeding program? At the very least, they are mottled!

#116904 - 11/06/17 10:54 PM Re: Bantam speckled sussex - salvaging / recreating? [Re: Robbie]
6Happiness Offline

Registered: 02/25/11
Posts: 21
Loc: IL, USA
I have found some bantam RIRs, and Spangled OEG bantams. I don't know how the egg production will be on the RIR banties, but i expect better than the OEG bantams. I also got a Mille Fleur DUccle, but that was before I found these other two; at the time I thought i'd be stuck with that as my only option until I found the others.

I also got some bantam barred rocks, which I also hope have better egg production. Besides wanting to recreate a sussex like bantam, I want to re-create a mini-version the autosexing cross I'm doing in LF which among other things, uses cuckoo marans and speckled sussex.


- Should I even bother with the dUccle, or will that be too many unwanted traits to have to breed out.
- To get a proper Sussex body type, should I look for any other bantam breeds (which?) or use a LF outcross.
- I know some bantam breeds don't produce many egggs; are there bantams that DO produce lots of eggs? Which? If there aren't really, is this something that can be improved with just selection, or is it a reason to do a LF cross? (This is more for my bantam version of autosexing cross (using cuckoo marans for LF version, with bantam barred rocks as 2nd best for bantam version), so sussex body type isn't a concern).
- speaking of which, are there any good dark brown bantam layers easily obtainable, or another reason for an LF cross?

Edited by 6Happiness (11/07/17 07:55 AM)
Alan ~ Far West Chicago Suburbs


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