The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Light Sussex chickens

Light Sussex ChickensI can't quite make up my mind whether I like our Light Sussex or not.  They're very different chickens from any we've had before.

Although they do roost on the perches sometimes, it took them months to even consider getting up off the ground.  And they still seem to think it's just fine to bed down out in the woods if it's a clear night.

They're friendly as can be --- almost too friendly.  When the other flock, led by the Australorp rooster, came up into the garden, I chased them away with much hollering and Lucy action, and after a repeat performance they didn't come back.  Trying to chase the Sussex out of the garden didn't go nearly as well --- they weren't really afraid of me even when I ran straight at them.

The Sussex do seem to be pretty good foragers, though.  As with our problematic winter-layers, I'm taking a wait and see approach --- this time next year, I should be better able to report on how well Light Sussex, Black Australorps, and Cuckoo Marans match my homesteading criteria.  I'm also interested to see whether hybrids that we raise in the spring will show hybrid vigor --- lots of fun breeding experiments ahead!

Our chicken waterer keeps all of our chickens healthy with copious clean water winter and summer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Well, As Iv said before, I don't like them............Light Sussex, the darker ones have done better for me but........ Sorry, anyway...

I'm not entirely sure what your looking for, or willing to do, but if your looking for pure breeds, Have you looked at Turkens? The newest breed Iv started with. High marks from me. They grow just as fast as the other standard breeds. Just as many eggs too. Hens get a bit larger then most of the other breeds Iv noticed. They don't mind the cold either....

If you do the purposeful crosses, I always like to start with a Rock base, and insert your other breed. I just haven't come across a breed that lends so much, for meat or eggs...... Obviously I'm not the first to notice that, I like to dabble with other breeds, though I still cant beat them. Right now I have W. Rock X Turken and W. Rock X Cornish(Turken) growing up, its interesting.... I would tend to point someone, of course other than your casual couple eggs person, to make their own crosses. Darn chickens, don't like to come as a perfect package.... Just remember! Dual purpose = chickens that are to lazy to lay, and too slow to make dinner! You know, not specialized in meat or eggs, slow in making both.

Ok, Just trowing stuff out there.............:)

Comment by T Tue Jan 3 02:13:28 2012

I totally agree with you about dual purpose breeds --- the Barred Rocks we had were pretty much worthless. Our primary goal is a chicken that forages for as much of its food as possible. After that, the goals are eggs and meat, but we don't mind at all eating skinny laying type chickens.

We did have a turken this year, entirely by accident. He was very ugly, but did bulk up pretty quickly as a meat bird.

I don't think I'd want to start with a Rock base --- that's the path to go if you want meat birds. Perhaps your strain laid better than mine? So far, the Australorps have been my favorites, except for this new stopping laying in winter thing....

Thanks so much for throwing in your two cents worth! I'm always glad to meet someone who wants to think beyond buying chicks from the hatchery.

Comment by anna Tue Jan 3 09:41:03 2012

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