Topic Options
#51371 - 10/31/05 12:23 PM Sussex from hatcheries?
Mini Tree Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 95
Loc: Maine
Anyone have experience ordering Speckeled Sussex chicks from McMurray, cackle, or other hatcheries?

I am still in planning mode for next spring and am now thinking about Sussexes. Thanks!

Top
#51372 - 10/31/05 03:30 PM Re: Sussex from hatcheries?
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Hello Minitree

Ordered 10 speckled sussex from Canadian hatchery, Rochester ,in Alberta, received them this past April. Came unsexed, got 6 roos, 4 hens. Cost (Canadian) $5.50 a chick. Took quite a while for my untrained eye to figure out who was a him and who was a her, took the roos to local auction when the crowing got out of hand. They were about 5 months old. Bought them for $5.50 a piece, fed them for 5 months, sold them for $5 each at auction...bad investment. Could have butchered, but at 5 months the roosters were still building frame and not much meat. Not like a meat bird does. To feed them another two monhs to get them ready to butcher would, to my way of thinking, cost way too much per pound and then they'd be 7 or 8 month old roosters. No thanks.

The hens are now 7 months old and only just starting to lay. They are pretty hefty ladies, so I suppose you could call them dual purpose, as the hatchery calls them. But seven months to get an edible weight? Too long, too costly at local feed prices.

I got mine for eggs and barnyard crossing. They are very decorative birds, mine are quite 'chatty' and have distinct voices. Too soon to tell how they are going to be as layers, but it's sure taken them a long time to get around to it. If you are interested in eating birds, I think a meat bird is a more economical converter of feed to poundage in a much shorter time. But that's a matter of opinion. Hope I've been helpful. smile

Top
#51373 - 10/31/05 04:55 PM Re: Sussex from hatcheries?
Boobear7 Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 370
Loc: North Carolina
I got 3 Sussex hens from ideal poultry out of Cameron, TX.
They are 17 weeks right now. Beautiful coloring and they haven't filled out completely yet. They have a very pleasant attitude and, yes, are pretty chatty.
I too got mine for eggs and cross-breeding...rumor had it they were good mothers.
I feel that mine are growing at a pretty good rate. I got 15 total birds at the same time, and they are all keeping up with eachother size wise.
Hope this was a teeny bit helpful!!

Jessica

Top
#51374 - 11/01/05 10:28 AM Re: Sussex from hatcheries?
Mini Tree Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 95
Loc: Maine
Thanks for both responses. Uno, your experience with the cockerels - where they were crowing like roosters before they were big enough to process - is a situation I would like to avoid. So I won't order anything straight run.

Jessica - I appreciate your feedback that Ideal's Sussexes are pleasant & chatty. If I think I can handle a minimum order, I will likely go with Ideal pullets, maybe some Sussexes and some other types.

Top
#51375 - 11/01/05 11:16 AM Re: Sussex from hatcheries?
Kara Bitry Offline
Bantam

Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 61
Loc: Arizona
I have seen the differenct between Cackles Sussex, and ones that Ordered from McMurray. I personally liked the McMurray ones better. I am not sure on preference of standard as I never showed mine, just had them for eggs. But the Cackle ones tend to me much darker with smaller speckles, compared to McMurrays who had many more speckles and larger. I thought they were very much more attractive. JMO

Anthony

Top
#51376 - 11/01/05 01:08 PM Re: Sussex from hatcheries?
Mini Tree Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 95
Loc: Maine
Anthony - thanks for the comparison of Cackle & McMurray Sussexes. Apart from appearance, how would you compare their personality and friendliness?

Top
#51377 - 11/06/05 07:38 PM Re: Sussex from hatcheries?
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Hi Minitree:

Sorry it took so long to get back to you, I have not checked this post for quite a while.

To answer your question, yes, they did start to crow BEFORE I would consider them big enough to eat. I am used to eating meat birds, hefty and compact. It wasn't that the speckled sussex didn't weigh anything, but I felt they were all bone, rangey and lean. It would have been like eating a basketball player. All shin and elbows.
For the work of killing, plucking and cleaning I want a lot of carcass and didn't feel these were beefy enough. I could have kept them, but the noise (crowing) was off the scale. No one was sleeping. They had to go. Too bad, they were gorgeous!

If I had the option of ordering all girls, I would have. But the Rochester hatchery does not offer them sexed. You get what you get. Now the girls are quite hefty, very colourful and attractive, but still not laying at full steam, and they are 8 months old. Sorry about not getting back sooner.

Top
#51378 - 11/06/05 08:07 PM Re: Sussex from hatcheries?
Kara Bitry Offline
Bantam

Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 61
Loc: Arizona
Ummm... I think that they are pretty comparable in temperment. They were not any different than a say like a buff orp. Pretty mellow.

Anthony

Top


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Wieslaw