Originally Posted by ChicKat
I think it was chicken pickin - and I think that she really did give a good 'plan'. :O)
My experience is that the Rees line males (also some other CL males) carry their wings very low. Im sure if over time you selected a male each generation that has a slightly higher wing carriage and also paired him with females with good wing carriage or high wing that eventually you will end up with males with the proper wing carriage. Its all about selection and culling.
She has outstanding CLs BTW. -- From me I would say that you may have a general idea of what to improve --and your flock and your choices are what count.... a really clear vision of your desired end product. - You cannot however work on everything at one time IMO -- there is too much complexity in the CL. -- It is also detrimental to a breed IMO to focus on only one trait generation after generation. I'm an advocate that Cream isn't like 'white' -- and that the bird's color is worth 20% or maybe 30% of the total value of the bird-in-the-show. --- IT seems sometimes that all that ever gets discussed is the color. Perhaps that is one reason GaryDean26 was emphasizing the importance of vigor. Of course you want and need a healthy flock! The most - number 1 important thing is the "Type" -- this is the look of the bird, the shape if you will.....or if it were a horse you would look for good 'confirmation'. --
we beginners can easily see the colors - but the type is the real decider. If you go to the CL Club's website, you can see superb examples of type -- one cockerel and a pullet and a hen. These were selected by an APA judge, Paul Gilroy - who judged the facebook online show. -- They are pictured under "show winners".
In short -- long back with a slope to a tail - tail at a lower angle - (I've found that as they age my cockerels lower their tails...my hens and pullets still have high tails - so I'm working on that aspect next)--- I was lucky to have straight combs so I worked on straight combs in the first year...and have a pretty good result with my stock now--- Longer backs -- we found with our cattle that length adds weight -- surprisingly.
Select the important traits that you wish to breed for -- if it is color to you -- then the advice from chicken pickin' is perfect. -- Use what you have and cull hard.
Old timers give the advice 'build the barn before you paint it' -- indicating that coloration can also be obtained down the road when you have the other traits you wish in your flock.
All in all -- keep good records, only select the ones for breeding that show the traits you want in your flock.....and enjoy your CLs.
This is such a good point, ChicKat. I've had a few conversations in other threads about egg production in CLs. My pullets have laid 6-7 good medium to large eggs per week each since they started a month or two ago (not counting one pullet who is ill), and I've been delighted (and maybe a bit overwhelmed/surprised) at their production capacity. They are hatchery, so I'm not sure of their line other than "mixed lines" and pre-Rees, and they are not perfect feather color-wise, but they are lovely, take good care of themselves, have excellent hawk camouflage, and I would not trade them for anything. The eggs continue to grow in size (as would be indicated by data shared by... I think it was GaryDean?) - I weigh each egg, I'm a geek like that. A number of folks on BYC (other threads) have either made the assumption out of hand that CLs are poor producers of eggs, or have direct experience of them having poor production, and I have shared my own contrary experience. I believe we have talked about some line-specific differences in this here on this thread (unless I'm mixing my threads).
I feel like I must be getting SO annoying when I keep saying this (if so, just move on to the next post ), but some of the original goals for the Cream Legbars were egg production related: Good, efficient and dependable producer of eggs (leghorn component?), blue (or greenish) eggs (not sure how "production" this would be considered back when Punnett was working, or what his motivation was on this, but blue eggs are certainly a bonus nowadays), and auto sexing (knowing which are pullets right up front, important in a breed kept for egg laying).
What I dearly hope is that all us good folks will continue to work with MULTIPLE lines of the CL, in order to both increase diversity and also not risk losing characteristics altogether that may have been selected against in certain lines. I'm pleased that there will apparently be different categories of coloring - they may help keep the breed from bottlenecking or losing diversity in the US.
I can't wait to begin hatching babies next spring! I'll just have to remind myself to put my money where my mouth is when I'm faced with my own birds, with regard to selection and culling.
- Ant Farm
Edited by Fire Ant Farm - 12/15/15 at 4:29pm