by Judge W.H. Card
American Poultry Advocate, March 1914
This breed is bred. Nature has been consulted and harmony prevails. Nature says, “All barred birds to have males of the same shade and color compels the male to be henny feathered or to carry hen plumage”. Barred Rock breeding males are degrees lighter than the females, but they are cock plumaged like the males of most breeds. Campine males are hen feathered. It is very apparent to the poultry world that here is a breed that has been carefully bred along nature's lines for many years even though they are comparatively new claimants for personal favor. To the expert Campine breeder there are as many culls among his favorites as among any others, nevertheless, one warrant of their long lineage and careful breeding is the fact that to the ordinary observer they are very much alike with hardly a suggestion of other bloods in their make-up. In fact, no culls as in most so-called new breeds.
As a judge and observer, in general, of all breeds, it appears to me that their worst faults lie in the head adjuncts and shape or type, especially in the males. This may be attributed to the infusion of Braekel blood to increase size of the breed, but it surely was bad error in judgment, as coarseness throughout was the result and it will take years of patient, careful breeding to eliminate the faults thus acquired.
The true Campine is a fowl of grace, gentility and aristocratic appearance with no hint of coarseness or plebeian ancestry; its markings and barrings on both male and female, accurate and fine, giving the impression of many years of scientific and intelligent breeding. Yet many specimens in the show room seemingly contradict with their beefy, coarse misshapen combs, upright near squirrel-tails; coarse, blotchy, uneven barrings; still; there are but the outcroppings of experimenters who perhaps sought to give nature a few lessons of what man's conceit can and will do when he asserts his boasted free will and thought.
“Like only begets like when blood is pure.”
The real Campine is as near pure as any breed in domesticity, no better proof is needed than that they will produce and reproduce their kind with no suggestions of other bloods showing, nevertheless faults are also being reproduced by breeders ignorant of those faults. Even with the very best strains, and the scientific Campine enthusiast should enlighten and instruct breeders everywhere as to those faults and how to avoid them. Cock plumage is a fault, yet males head breeding pens here and there with saddle hangers or male feathers in plumage and sometimes complete furnishings off male plumage is found, especially on Goldens.
Remembering the old joke: that if you want to paint your house green, use green paint, reminds me that if you desire male plumage on Campine males, use males that have it in your breeding yards and you will get it a plenty; it grows and flourishes like wild carrots in a hay field and is about as obnoxious. Another fault not noticed by the average breeder is the mossiness or a tendency of the white to creep into black barring, spoiling the harmony of standard requirements
and doing much harm to the nicety of markings; to breed from birds carrying this fault means its increase in the progeny. Gray flights and tails sometimes come from injury or lack of proper food and environment, although imperfect barring on flights and tails are increased by a lack of attention to those details. One good rule to go by is to eliminate all breeders with faults from the breeding yards so far as possible; one gets enough even from the best without breeding from culls or near culls.
I am perfectly aware that with this breed as with all other breeds, there are breeders who use so-called show culls to breed their best ones from for show purposes; this is akin to double mating which never breeds on or allows the blood to become pure or nearly so as are the wild birds. Nature knows no law called double mating; that's a man-made affair and naturally as imperfect in all its premises as is every other conceit of man when he opposes nature.
“Like begets like only when blood is pure.”
Online Resources on Silver & Golden Campines
Books about Campines (from Amazon.com):
The Campine Fowl by Mrs. J Harvey
The Campine Fowl History by Rev. B.A. Gates
Silver and Golden Campine Chickens by F.L. Platt
The Vigorous Strain of Silver Campine Chickens by C.A. Phipps
The Poultry Industry in Belgium by Edward Brown
Campine Club of Belgium - http://www.campines.be/
Campine Club of Australia - http://www.campines.org/
Campine Chickens in Europe - https://www.facebook.com/groups/campinechicken/
Campine Breeders & Exhibitors - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1703257799906719/
Campines Australia - https://www.facebook.com/groups/200594576781492/
Campines (in Dutch) - https://www.facebook.com/CampinesKempischHoen/
American Campinists - https://www.facebook.com/RarePoultryWarriors/
Golden Campine Chickens - https://www.facebook.com/GoldenCampineChickens
Silver Campine Chickens - https://www.facebook.com/Silver-Campine-Chickens-1952535771552790/
Websites about Campines:
Campines: The Original Everyday Layers - Exceptional site from Belgium (in English) on the history of Campines - http://campines.tumblr.com/
Campine or Brakel? - http://chickenoverload.tripod.com/chooks/id1.html