Blue Eggers! Green Eggers!
Boy! do I love these little birds!
My Collection of Notes, Observations, Questions and Opinions
Several of my hatchery birds have these wisps of feathers that flare back from the sides of the neck to the nape. I noticed that some of the hens occasionally will flare them ever so slightly. Besides the hatchery hens having them, I have one Meredith Wheaten Cockeral that had them with his first set of baby feathers. I first noticed them on this one cockeral and I thought them to be very interesting. Then, when I got my hatchery hens, I noticed that a number of the (adult) hens had them as well.
Apparently, Several flocks in South America have them. They are called "tusonas." See post #64 in the Easter Eggers Braggers Thread. Thank you kano
"Okay", says I in my thoughts, "these feathers are like an added adornment to the birds 'appearance'."
So, out of curiosity, I did a search on the Ameraucana Breeder's Club forum to see if others had this characteristic in their flock. Sure enough, there was a discussion on it.
So based on that conversation, some other terms that folks use to describe these feathers are "Horns" ("Like on a Horned owl"); "Angel Feathers"; "Secondary Muffs".
The discussion indicates that these feathers are undesirable and should be bred out. Why, Ameraucana Breeders, would you want to breed out something so lovely and unique to these birds? I don't understand the reasoning behind removing a feature so, so extra ordinary.
What exactly is it about these feathers that make them undesirable? Why is it a fault? Am I missing something here? Do they impact negatively egg laying? egg color? Thrift? Hardiness or Survivability? Constitution or Personality? Beauty?
In the conversation, Mr. Gilbert cautioned against extremes. This, I can appreciate. I have some lovely, well balanced birds that are the result of Ramey's hard work. (No--my Wheatens originating from his line do *not* have them.) But if I happen to have a bird that is on all counts an Ameraucana who happens to have tusonas why should it count as fault? These wisps, at least the ones on my birds, are just that--wisps and certainly not extreme and I for one, love them.
Blue and Green