Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

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Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby sleepinghorse » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:58 am

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I have 2 distinct colouring with my Speckled Sussex chicks. 3 are a lighter brown with less white speckles (at this stage anyway) and 2 have darker brown feathers but more white speckles. It could be gender related since the 2 darker ones with the speckles have hardly any tail and the 3 lighter brown had tails very early on. I thought from that I had 3 boys and 2 girls but on reading up on sexing Speckled Sussex chicks, I now think I have 3 girls and 2 boys as boys are meant to develop tails later and they have more white on their chest. My 2 "boys" also have more white on their chests and my "girls" with big tails have no white on their chest.
Anyway, I know it is early days and these are meant to be the hardest chicks to sex (so they say) but if anyone has any ideas, they would be appreciated. Here is a picture of the fronts of a "boy" and "girl" and the others have the same fronts.
Image
Last edited by sleepinghorse on Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 2 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby ChickyMum » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:15 am

When I hatched my Speckled Sussex a year or so back... I found that my boys were darker coloured and had more white on their heads and chests, the girls were less Speckled.
Good luck with your chicks
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby Marina » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:48 am

Too early to tell. Colouring has nothing to do with gender so early on. It's a very difficult colour to breed correctly and only a small proportion of chicks hatched will colour up as desired. This is partially due to the colour being quite new and people out-crossing to increase the gene pool. My hunch is that the darker ones will be proper Speckled Sussex, the lighter coloured ones won't have the most exciting markings - but this is only a guess.
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby sleepinghorse » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:59 pm

Ah, very interesting about the colour not being gender related. Thanks for that. I thought if it was as simple as that, then people wouldn't be saying they are a difficult breed to pick the gender. I did wonder why the 3 lighter ones didn't look like proper Speckled colouring.
ChickyMum, I like your answer. Let's see how it turns out. :D
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby Kracka » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:46 pm

the colouring reminds me of Spangle Pekin bantams - darker or lighter doesn't relate to gender with them either
great to see a new colour in the Sussex!
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby sleepinghorse » Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:41 am

So if I want to breed from tthese, I would breed from the darker ones to keep the colours closer to the Speckled Sussex breed? Sorry, probably a really dumb question but I am very new to this breed and breeding.
I may have to find some good Speckled Sussex information online. Does anyone know if we have SS breed guidelines in NZ?
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby Marina » Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:47 am

There is a standard for the Speckled Sussex.

Some of your chicks will have had darker stripes at hatching - these will probably be the ones with the darker markings now.

A lot changes during their moults and you really have to wait until they have their adult plumage before you can decide which ones to breed from.

I'd breed from the ones with the nicest markings, provided they have white (not yellow) legs and good shape and size and generally look like a good Sussex. But if you don't have a well marked bird on the female side (which could very well happen looking at your chicks...) I'd breed the available females to your best male and keep well marked offspring.
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby Kracka » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:15 pm

sorry harping back to Spangle Pekins, along with Mottle Pekins (black with white spots) it can take up to 6 months to tell whether the spotting is going to be there
and then as they get older, the spotting becomes heavier (the white dots seem to get bigger) - so what looks brilliant as a pullet/cockerel (under a year old) will look over spotted at a couple of years old
I prefer to opt for even, overall spotting, but try to make sure they don't look like they're in a snow storm - those ones just seem to get whiter & whiter till they're nearly unrecognisable
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby sleepinghorse » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:44 am

Thanks Marina and Kracka for the great advice.
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby wolga » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:21 am

How are your chicks looking now sleepinghorse ? They must be quite big now.
Any pics ? :)
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby sleepinghorse » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:40 am

They are very big. :roll:
I'll get some photos loaded over the weekend. Unfortunately they have lost quite a lot of the white splotches but they are very friendly and cute.
I ended up with 3 girls and 2 boys (same as my only other hatch a couple of years ago). One of the boys had bent toes when he hatched, which I taped but it didn't work. A number of his toes are like they have no knuckle joint. It never used to bother him much but now that he is bigger and his body is heavier, he is not as stable as he was. At least it makes it easier to decide which rooster to keep.
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Re: Speckled Sussex chicks 3 ½ weeks - boys or girls

Postby wolga » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:29 pm

Yes that happens with incubator hatches. Good that only one got the problem.
Would be great to see what they look like now.
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