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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 7:33 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Hi all

My light sussex is almost six weeks old. I have always thought its a he (due to size and big legs, and feathering was slower than buff) but would like some opinions from people that know sussex better than I do (this is my first of the breed but the comb and wattle development is a lot slower than my other breeds and is making me second guess my original thoughts). I also hatched a buff sussex at the same time and she is obviously female (delicate legs, feathered quicker, no comb or wattles, pullet stance). Do the buff and light mature at the same rate? The LS just isn't 'one of the boys' but I guess this could be explained due to a gentle temperament etc).

I also note the LS has yellow legs so may not be 'pure' or is it possible/common problem for LS to have yellow legs?

And finally, the LS has a defined breast in two sections - see pic 3. None of my other chicks have this. Is this ok (health wise I mean) ? My chooks are all pets with benefits. :wink:

Light and Buff Sussex - same age - Light is bigger, feathered slower and I would say has rooster legs
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Light Sussex with male and female langshans (same age)
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With Barnevelder (same age) who I believe is a rooster - note definition in sussex breast
Image

Thanks for your help :)
Michelle

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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Yellow legs.... definately something crossed in somewhere. Maybe wyandotte.. I would say pullet but have had them change my mind every couple of weeks at this age.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 7:11 am 
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Swan
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i am thinking Pullet as well.

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:26 am 
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I also think the LS is a pullet. There are strains of light sussex that carry a recessive yellow legged gene, I've been told. I wouldn't assume it's not pure because of that - yet. Yellow legs are a disqualification for showing, but there are circumstances under which I wouldn't discard a yellow legged bird in the breeding pen. I have two lines here, and one of the lines will produce a yellow legged chick about once in every 100 chicks. So far I've got rid of them, but type is more important than the yellow legs and I would keep one if it had outstanding type.

Although it's too early to tell, I would watch the black colour in your young LS. I usually see a little more colour in the tail at this age, although she's very young and will probably colour up in later moults.

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Last edited by Chicken07 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:51 am 
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Dapper Duck
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I find that the hackles of the light sussex are easy to see and should be able to help - pointed for boys, rounded for girls.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:07 am 
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Champion Bird
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she looks like a pullet to me.
but i have had sussex that i was sure were pullets but then turn out to be roosters, they are slow to mature.

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:22 am 
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Superior Bird
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I agree, at this stage, both light and buff are pullets. The barnie is a cockerel though!


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 7:58 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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yer it looks like a pullet, i also agree chicken07 sussex can have yellow legs and be pure breed.

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:33 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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That chest indentation is, if I recall correctly, called a "split chest" and can be a fault or an indication of muscle development, depending on breed. It doesn't seem to cause health issues, either way.

I only say that because I've got an Araucana/Barnevelder rooster and a pullet of the same breed (and line, I think) with the same issue, and both are hale and hearty. There's a thread discussing it here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=7966971

I think it removes the chook from the showpen, but has no effect on their general health otherwise.


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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:40 pm 
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There seems to be a lack of concern re the yellow legs. With legs that strongly yellow I suggest that she is not pure-bred sussex. A standard sussex must have white legs.

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Showy Hen
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I too would be a fair bit concerned about yellow legs in Sussex as I assume that leg colour is a component of type. I do get some yellow legs in buff bantams but that comes from another breed that was used in the development of my line.

I am also intrigued by the comments I have heard and seen here about the feather shape being a useful guide to determining sex of sussex chickens. Quite a lot of my sussex bantam females have what I would call pointed hackle feathers very similar in shape to the male's hackles.

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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 6:23 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Thanks to everyone that replied - very interesting reading re the split chest.

I guess time will tell re the sex - I hope you are all right as I'd really love her to be a pullet.

Will update this post with more pics as 'she' grows.

Cheers
Michelle

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:49 am 
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Proud Rooster
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With Sussex I find it very hard to tell at this stage and have been proven wrong many times. In the pictures you have shown I can't tell but would lean towards a pullet but only 60/40.

The yellow legs indicate some other blood in there, was the buff from the same hatching? It would be a very handy bird for those breeders looking to go down a different line but if you want to show light Sussex you need to cull.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:41 am 
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Proud Rooster
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chooks rule wrote:
With Sussex I find it very hard to tell at this stage and have been proven wrong many times. In the pictures you have shown I can't tell but would lean towards a pullet but only 60/40.

The yellow legs indicate some other blood in there, was the buff from the same hatching? It would be a very handy bird for those breeders looking to go down a different line but if you want to show light Sussex you need to cull.



Thanks Chooks rule. Yes the BS is the same hatching but is a lot smaller than the LS. The BS also feathered up much quicker and has a smaller comb and wattles so these 3 things initially led me to think the LS was a cockerel. My chooks are all pets so will only be culling if too many roosters.

Here are some pics I took yesterday (now 8 weeks old). I must say the Sussex have won me over as a great breed with a friendly nature. I think the BS is probably the sweetest natured chook I have come across but the LS is definitely a favourite of mine as 'she' is super friendly and her food focus means she is easily trained. Heaven help me with the food bills though!


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:45 am 
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Champion Bird
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i think its a pullet, and she is beautiful.
sussex are one of my favourite breeds they have such character.

i think she looks good with yellow legs haha

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