A Heritage of Perfection: Standard-bred Large Fowl

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Yellow House Farm, May 3, 2014.

  1. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    I figured that is where we were. but I wanted to see the actual bird. I looked at some pictures of the poster's birds and wondered if they were what was being referred to. I figured a picture would help us be sure that we were on the same page.
     
  2. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Karen, if I am understanding correctly, it is not a simple recessive or dominant trait. A lot of these traits concerning type are a compilation of genes. It seams to me that is a matter of selecting by degree. Of course identifying who can help etc. Avoiding who might hurt. It is a point to put pressure on, with no simple do this or that. Not that I have come to understand.

    In other words it isn't just breast muscle, but also the breast bone, etc. Frame and fleshing.

    Many breeds tend towards this fault. Cut off birds are common. I had been working on this with NHs. They tend to be cut off, and lack depth of keel. The hens being better than the cocks. This is my experience with my birds. Apparently it is challenge for many, because I see a lot of cut off birds.

    This is important to all breeds, and appears to have been added to the standard to include all breeds. I do not think there is a breed that does not benefit from a well rounded breast. Even in the lightest egg laying breeds.
     
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  3. Kinmera

    Kinmera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not want to derail the current conversation because I am finding it fascinating.

    I am however hoping there is someone who can walk me through the differences between English and American orpingtons and which ones are preferred at competitions. I see English ones all over the place, but struggle to find American ones. I've tried monitoring the Orpington fanciers forum, but it seems dead.
     
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    As I said, there does not appear to be a lack of breast muscle here but rather some overmuscling.
     
  5. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Greetings! I realize I may have caused a confusion. I was not likening split breast to a shallow breast; rather, I was pointing out how neither answer the call for a well rounded breast.

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  6. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Briefly put, the Orpington is a composite breed that was developed in the late 1800's. It was originally a black, rose combed bird; eventually the single combed varieties were introduced, as well as the buff and then the white. The creator of the breed was very active in promoting this new breed and did so on that and this side of the pond. The Orpington grew in popularity very quickly.

    Now, when it comes down to it, he was spreading these birds about pretty early in their career. A composite breed takes a long time to stabilize; thus the breed was being distributed before it had attained any true level of "perfection", which means those taking it there are going to have different takes. Ultimately what you have is the English take and the American take. Very generally speaking, if one considers British poultry versus American poultry, the Brits are enamored of accentuated physical traits. Americans have always strongly underlined production capacity in the Standard. Now, these are gross generalizations, but I would say that our birds are very much about an overall balance and symmetry, as opposed to traits. Compare UK Leghorns to US Leghorns, UK Minorcas to US Minorcas, UK Langshans to US Langshans, UK Orpingtons to US Orpingtons; they are fundamentally different in tone.

    Now, to your question specifically and, in truth, I've never sat one of each down an truly picked the differences apart. I'm sure that when Dragonlady is free to do so she'll expound upon this much more thoroughly. However, US Orpingtons are distinctly longer of back with a different top line, and they are tighter in their fluff with a different underline. The UK birds appear lower on their shanks to the quick glance, but I'm not sure whether that's due to fluff or actual shank length. In general, they look smaller and more compact as opposed to the massive depth, breadth, and reach of a well-bred US Orpington.

    At competitions, it's not a matter of preference. The US birds fit the bill, and the UK birds do not. I was clerking at the Congress this last winter, and we did the Orpingtons. Some folks has some UK birds in, and they were instantly differentiated. They're not the same shape; so their not the same breed. Their inclusion in a show just makes the Orpington class look sloppy. They break up the nice flow of uniformity that should underline a display of a breed.

    As far as discovering where to be for seeing US Orps, Dragonlady will point you in the right direction.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  7. desertmarcy

    desertmarcy Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. Matt1616

    Matt1616 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good job of explaining the US vs. UK Orpingtons ordeal. That whole situation is a mess.... There is so much misinformation out there, it is alarming!

    Matt
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  9. desertmarcy

    desertmarcy Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. Kinmera

    Kinmera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm printing this off for the taking of notes.
    I am very interested in breeding a quality Orpington the meets the SOP. I now have a much better idea of what I would be getting into, but still want to do it. The only breeders I can find have buffs. I am interested in black, blue, and white. If anyone knows of any breeders especially east of the Mississippi please let me know. I do have a starter flock of about 25 birds that I received from sand hill, but I doubt the will be of the quality I really desire.
     

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