You are so right, I really wish there were more breeders! They give up quickly for some reason, I have noticed those that do have them want to get rid of them by the time they are 4 months old. They do not know what they are missing. I think I have become obsessed with the breed. Right now all I have been breeding are the Marsh Daisy crossed with cermani for a friend of mine with predator problems. The goal it to give them a better chance at night for survival, as solid black birds, and as flighty as they are they would do well in wooded and marsh areas, which i have plenty around here for them to strive in. If the egg production remains the same, they will do great along the coastline of Cameron, LA. which is now over ran with coyotes and white owls. With most of the people gone now due to the Hurricane Rita and Katrina, the wildlife are taking over. Anyway.... With my new rooster that arrived today, no more crossing. I am still a novice and leaning something new ever day about them. Now with the new rooster addition I can actively start breeding them again to see what they can produce. So far their egg production has far exceeded my expectations. They are keeping up with my leghorns and are the only two breeds still producing eggs even with such short day light hours. I have found they are not instinctive mothers. They are not broody, and would rather let another hen hatch their clutch. I still have to look at pictures constantly to compare mine to..I am getting a litter better everyday, but far from being perfect.
This is the most encouraging thing I have heard for the Marsh Daisy. Glad to see that your are able to take advantage of their reputation as being able to thrive in free range and mash lands, and that they are proving to be a useful breed that is worth making them your only breed (and have a new cockerel to work with). This is exactly what breed needs. People that like them for what they are and that are willing to keep them around for there utilities.
I am also glad to hear they are keeping up with the leghorns in production. That should go a long way in validating them as a useful breed. Lots of people get rare breeds thinking that they are valuable and they can sell from the flock and make money. In the end they give up because people say I like my Rocks better because they had a better disposition, or I like my Reds better because they grew better, or I like my Leghorns better because they laid better, etc. What makes a breed valuable is it utilities. The more uniform a flock is the higher the quality because those sought after utilities are in every bird, not just one or two stand outs in the flock. Working towards utilities should be the first goal for the Marsh Daisy and then uniformity to the breed standard. No, a comb with non-inverted points doesn't make the bird any better a layer or any better forager than one with the defected inverted points, but working to get the whole birds correct is what makes it valuable. A breeder that is attentive enough to their birds to notice a minor color defect or the correct tail angle, etc. is not going to miss early indications of vigor, or minor points that could indicate a more efficient body type, etc. The result of breeding to a standard is that the whole bird improves.
I often cringe when people say they want productive birds, but they don't care if they meet the breed standard, because if they don't meet the standard they probably aren't going to perform as the breed was intended to perform either. Form and function go hand in hand. The body shapes, weights, etc in the breed standard are not only what make the breed look uniform but also the ideal body type for the utilities the breed is know for.
Edited by GaryDean26 - 12/10/15 at 8:37pm