Buff Orpingtons vs. Speckled Sussex

Buff Orpingtons vs. Speckled Sussex : A Battle for Your Backyard



—> Last Updated:

Now I know the age-old question: fluffy Buff Orpingtons or speckly Sussex chickens?

Which docile backyard beauties will rule the roost at your place?

I still remember the day I brought home my first chicks.

I was so excited to raise those fuzzy little nuggets, I couldn’t sleep a wink! But which breed to choose? I ended up getting 3 of each after talking to my poultry provider pal Bill.

When Bill asked why I couldn’t pick just one, I told him…

“Well Bill, how can I choose between such sweet-tempered, egg-laying machines? Might as well take ’em all!”

And oh boy, was that a fun flock! But you may not have the means to go as chicken crazy as yours truly.

So let Tanner break down the Buff vs Speckled sitch to help you decide.

Egg Production

Ladies first! When it comes to laying eggs, neither hen disappoints.

Buff Orpingtons vs. Speckled Sussex

The Buff Orpington and Speckled Sussex clock in at 4-5 brown eggs per week once they hit their peak at around 6 months old. That’s almost an egg a day from each lovely lady!

Now let’s get more specific. My Buff Orpington gal Buffy was cranking out 5 huge eggs a week like clockwork once she reached lay time.

I’m talking almost double the size of store-bought large brown eggs – those things were dinosaurs! But unfortunately, her sister Betty only ever squeezed out 3 or 4. Always on the smaller side too.

Meanwhile, my lead Speckled Sussex chick Sherry was no slouch either. A tiny thing that grew into a very dependable layer of 4 eggs weekly for years. Medium sized, light brown beauties.

Her sister Sue took a little longer getting up to speed at almost 8 months old, but eventually got settled into an easy 4 egg routine herself.

So all in all, pretty even match-up with good consistency across both breeds. With individual hen variation factored in of course! Outliers exist in every flock.

If you want to maximize eggs, just get 6 hens instead of 3! More ladies = more daily eggs year-round!


Both Buff Orpingtons and Speckled Sussex make wonderful backyard pets thanks to their famously friendly personalities.

As far as chicken breeds go, these docile sweeties are happy to be handled and give back affection.

Buff Orpingtons vs. Speckled Sussex

My Buff girls will plop down in my lap for pets and cuddles whenever I sit in the yard. They love being brushed too – that fluffy feathered does get unruly! And they gently peck crumbs from my hand, sans any painful injuries.

The Sussex crew is decidedly more active and mischievous. Always underfoot wanting treats or poking around looking for adventure.

Their little chicken games of chase and hide-and-seek are darling too! Whenever I call their names, the whole squad comes running from wherever they are. Such devotion from those speckly angels!

Young kids and friendly pets integrate well with both too. The resident golden retriever gets greeted every morning by the chickens waiting by the back door for playtime. Such a wholesome sight!

So while Buffys may snuggle up closer thanks to their mellow energy, Speckled Sussex hens win points for entertainment value!


This category is definitely not close.

We have the iconic plump and fluffy Buff Orpington in one corner – regal beauties blessed with lovely feathered booties. That rich golden tone is so lustrous it glows in the sunlight!

See also  Buff Orpington vs Golden Comet: A Chicken Showdown

Buff Orpingtons vs. Speckled Sussex

Up against the Speckled Sussex with their basic black and white polka dot look. Less heft and fluff too, with small combs and orange eyes. Pleasant enough ladies but nowhere near the glam factor a Buff Orp provides.

Folks stop to admire my Buffy girls whenever they catch a glimpse. Such a radiant golden glow! Those hefty hens just give off the aura of class and breed distinction. Exactly what you picture as the perfect backyard chicken.

Meanwhile the Speckled Sussex blends into the landscape without much fanfare. No hate – they can’t help their boring genes! If personality rules the roost for you then no big deal. But Buffys for the win if looks matter too!

Climate Tolerance

When it comes to dealing with tough weather, Buff Orpingtons flaunt their fluffy assets. That thick plumage provides cold weather insulation that Speckled Sussex just can’t compete with thanks to their tight feathers.

I live on a farm in Michigan where frigid winter temps dip well below zero regularly. My poor Sussex ladies had frosted combs after venturing out some days despite having an enclosed run! But the Buff girls laughed it off without issue before snuggling together to keep warm.

The same goes for heat tolerance too – all that insulation works against Buffys in hot humid weather. My birds panted like dogs on a few 95 degree summer days until I set up a cooling misting system in their run. Meanwhile the streamlined Sussex crew barely broke a sweat.

So if you live in a extreme climate, that feather factor makes a difference! Siberian-level cold calls for ultra-fluffy Buffs. But down South may be too steamy for those poofy gals. Just something to consider before picking your breed!

There you have it my chicken-keeping friends! The comprehensive low-down on Buff Orpington vs Speckled Sussex for your backyard flock. Whether you value eggs, personality or looks most, you can’t go wrong with either of these fabulous breeds.

But if you just can’t choose one like me, take some of both! Maybe I’ll see you down at Bill’s place picking up your own set of chicks soon!


Now folks, owning chickens isn’t cheap! Between feed, accessories, vet bills, etc your wallet may feel the peck. And purchasing the birds themselves as baby chicks or pullets varies too.

Hatchery prices for Buff Orpington chicks run about $5-8 each. For the speckled ladies you’ll pay $3.50-5 per Sussex chick typically. So advantage to the lower priced Sussex gals upfront!

But Buffys often retain higher resale value for their offspring. As a heritage breed, breeding Buff Orpington roosters with hens yields costly chicks to the tune of $25+ apiece! Compared to only $10-15 for crossbred Sussex mutts since they aren’t pedigree stock.

Feed-wise the skinnier Sussex crew eats noticeably less than my gluttonous Buffy hens. I go through 50 lb bags of feed far slower with just the Speckled Sussex trio in their own run. The difference is about half! And you know what they say – happy wife, happy life! So keeping feed costs down makes my better half satisfied indeed lol.

Then healthcare and medication needs can’t be ignored. My Speckled Sussex Winifred came down with a nasty case of bumblefoot one year – ouch! Treating that nasty foot infection got spendy fast. But the mellow Buff Orps have stayed pretty healthy with just standard flock immunizations.

So tallying up all the chicken keeping expenses, Buff Orpingtons carry a higher overall cost in my experience. But some folks consider the extra price justified for such fabulous birds!

See also  Barred Rock vs Plymouth Rock: Which Chicken is Right for You?


Uh oh, Houston we have a broody hen situation! Nothing wrong with a gal wanting to raise a family of course. But the extreme dedication of a broody mama-to-be can put a dent in consistent egg production.

In my experience, Buff Orpington hens are far less likely to go broody compared to Speckled Sussex. My girl Buffy for example hasn’t shown interest in motherhood despite being exposed to chicks often.

But nearly all my Sussex ladies have plopped down for extended broody spells come springtime. We’re talking weeks of dedicated brooding while starving themselves by forgoing food and water! No eggs getting laid either during those periods obviously.

If I need dependable daily eggs, interrupting broodiness quickly is key. Some tricks include blocking nest box access so they can’t hunker down. Or popping frozen water bottles gently underneath to annoy them off the nest. It works but dang, scaring a dedicated mama off the job makes me feel guilty!

Luckily once the season passes my Speckled Sussex crew gets back into the egg game like champs. It’s annoying while happening for sure though! So if you prize steady eggers, lean towards less maternal Buff gals over potentially intermittent Sussex broodies.

Predator Awareness

From raccoons to hawks, chickens face threats from brazen predators far and wide. And their reaction to scary critters differs between placid Buff Orpingtons and flightier Speckled Sussex.

My Buff hens are pretty oblivious and mellow overall. I’ve seen them casually stroll by hunting hawks in the yard while my heart pounds out of my chest! And loose neighborhood dogs elicit barely a glance from those brave fluffy ladies.

But alert Speckled Sussex chickens spook easily when threatened thanks to their nervous tendencies. At the slightest out-of-place sound they erupt in chaos! Wings flapping as they run circles making panicked buck buck buck noises.

It’s comical at first but quite problematic once they start squeezing through fences or getting stuck places. Or doing so much frantic flapping they actually lift off briefly to the neighbors yard! Talk about chicken drama…

So when faced by predators, Speckled Sussex hens are more reactive vs the chilled-out Buff Orps. Makes sense for this active breed. But factor that in if you need to depend on secure fencing holding flighty birds!

Roaming Range

Free-spirited backyard chickens love their daily adventures roaming and foraging. But the territory covered varies by energetic breed!

My plump Buff gals prefer hanging near their favorite shady dirt bathing spot or patio sunny beam all day. Occasionally they waddle slowly about pecking at grass and bugs in between naps.

But Speckled Sussex hens have wanderlust in their veins! Any little hole spotted in the fence or open gate sets them off on extensive roaming adventures. I’m talking hitting up the neighbors yards daily in search of treats and fun much to their annoyance lol!

It’s awesome free pest control for us all but frustrating when they sneak tomatoes off garden vines before ripening fully. And my heart stops whenever traffic passes because those silly geese will chase cars and bikes sometimes out of curiosity!

Needless to day, Speckled Sussex require very secure runs and fences if you aren’t keen on rounding up roamers all the time. That active forging nature can’t easily be contained!

Noise Level

from crows to egg songs, backyard chickens make quite the ruckus naturally. But some breeds cluck up more chaos and vocalizations than others for sure!

See also  Eggstraordinary Battle: Buff Orpington vs Isa Brown

My Buff Orpingtons coo gently with pleasant mumurs and quit occasional egg songs. Rarely bothering neighbors or households since their volume remains polite and low.

If Buffy hens have a complaint, its mediate through quiet disgruntled mumbling as they wander off. All that fluff must muffle their sqwaks!

But Speckled Sussex genetics come equipped with big beaks perfect for projecting loud obnoxious noises it seems! My ladies holler egg songs that echo down the whole block rattling windows daily.

And anytime something minorly alarming occurs like a falling leaf or surprise sprinkle of rain, pandemonium ensues! Shrill urgent alarmed clucking rings out rattling brain cells with the sheer volume and intensity.

So if you have close neighbors, the tranquil tones of a Buff Orpingtons may fit in better than a Speckled Sussex hen Black Eyed Peas remix at dawn…

Cold Weather Feather Care

Brrr its getting chilly out! Beastly below zero winter weather brings extra feather care duties for chicken owners.

My petite Speckled Sussex ladies had to come inside the heated garage a few nights when temperatures dropped dangerously frigid. Their exposed legs and combs are vulnerable to frostbite and needed warming up with my hairdryer too poor things!

But my bountifully feathered Buff gals barely noticed the polar vortex conditions. Their fluffy butt insulation kept them cozy comfy out in the elements without issue. A few foot massages to stimulate circulation and preventing bumblefoot was all the treatment needed.

Come springtime its easier to notice broken or damaged feathers too. In my experience Speckled Sussex are more prone to messing up their feathers through all that rambunctious play!

Whereas my mellow Buff Orpington birds keep their plumage neatly preened day in and out without damage. Perks of being a calm, casual chicken I suppose!

So when it comes to cold temps and overall feather upkeep, low maintenance Buffys better tolerate the hassle compared to high strung Sussex gals.

Battle of the Brits: Buff Orpingtons & Speckled Sussex Chart

Buff Orpington Speckled Sussex
Egg Laying Very prolific, 200+ large brown eggs per year Reliable layer, 170-200 large brown eggs annually
Cold Hardiness Thick plumage for winter. Tolerates cold and snow. Fluffy feathers resist cold. Good for northern climates.
Heat Tolerance Plumage can cause heat stress Moderately heat tolerant
Weight Heavy breed, hens 8-10 lbs, roosters 10-12 lbs Large fowl, hens 6-8 lbs, roosters 8-10 lbs
Disposition Extremely calm, docile. Great with children. Very friendly and docile. Tolerant of children.
Broodiness Hens can be prone to broodiness Hens may try to go broody
Rooster Temperament Non-aggressive towards humans Can show aggression towards humans
Plumage Color Warm buff feathers Mahogany red with white speckles
Egg Size Very large brown eggs. Over 2.5 oz. Extra large brown eggs. Around 2.5 oz.
Dual Purpose Attributes Good egg production and meat yield Efficient egg layer and good meat bird
Price as Chicks $3-5 per chick, straight run $4-6 per chick, straight run


how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

Dream of a waddling flock of feathered friends in your own backyard?

Then stop dreaming and start hatching a plan, people!

This ain’t no chicken game. After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

I’m talking building a palace of a coop guaranteed to impress the neighbors, concocting feed for peak egg production, collecting eggs so perfect you’ll weep tears of joy – plus hilarious stories and accidental mishaps along the way.

So get cluckin’ and grab the key to creating your own morning egg paradise before I sell out!