This is a breed that I am unfamiliar with, but Cheryl Cohen has some and has sold some in this area, so I have seen them. I believe hers are from GFF. If this is a utility breed it should be bred to retain that utility. I have never seen a breed that could not win in a show and still produce as it was meant to produce. I am not saying that people don't concentrate on one or the other, but when these breeds originated they did the job they were designed to do. What happens is that along the way the breeders select for either utility or show and that is where they make the mistake. The Marans had that problem but it is turning around. There are show birds now that lay dark eggs.
Write a history, write a Standard (in the format that the APA already uses) and coordinate breeders to raise birds for the qualifying meet. I can give you suggestions or direction along the way. Generally the biggest hurdle is everyone agreeing on the breed description.
This is such good information. Breeding the marans and Wheaten ameraucanas for egg color drastically reduced the production. I am pretty sure that was in part due to line breeding for egg colour.
It is interesting that both "production" and "show" lines were imported from the UK by GFF.
As a group maybe we need to decide if we want 2 lines as well, or as we are starting with essentially a clean sheet we can be very careful not to select characteristics that trend to low production. The eggs are one of the main amazing traits of these birds. Lets make sure we do not sabotage ourselves at an early stage.
It does concern me a bit that ALREADY so many people on here have got chicks and eggs from just a few of the people in the US who have these birds from GFF. These people are wonderful and have great birds so people want to deal with them but I find this already alarming as the gene pool is already small.
BTW I sold my first pair of CCL from the GFF show line (line B I believe) . They were beautiful and the cockeral had an amazing comb and color, but the eggs were small, very blue and no way were they as productive as they are said to be. I would have kept the roo but he had personality issues. It was hard to do but they were not what I need to work with. I now have mostly line "A" imported birds growing out.
We need to know what is it that reduces the production. I suspect it is no single characteristic (maybe egg color) and rather just inbreeding. No brainer. It is tempting to use an amazing rooster to father 1000's of chicks but it just is not a good idea.
BTW I am from the UK and will try to get the low-down on the different strains and what really has been going on in the UK.
Edited by Phage - 10/3/12 at 8:21am