CSU's Welsummer SOP

Dr Bjorn Netland

Songster
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
168
31
137
Happy Chooks, In my opinion (but I am no APA judge), your birds are much better balanced than most, and I like the back lines seen in these pictures. The cockerel is indeed nice, I think. Judging from these photos, your birds also show a nicer/higher tail set and excellent wing carriage than most others I have seen. Your pullets in the photos have some (severe) comb issues, though. The cockerel's comb looks nice even though he lacks a point, but it does not appear to be overgrown down the beak and doesn't show folds, twist, or thumb marks as far as I can tell. He would definitely be a keeper for a breeding program in my flocks. On a final note: The peppering (stippling) on the pullets may be a bit too coarse, bordering on lacing. I can't really tell from the pictures.
Best regards,
Bjorn
 

LisaBeth

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 25, 2012
41
0
22
Leander, Texas
Thank you for the critiques! The light is different in some of the pictures so that is possibly what you saw with a "green" eye...although eye color is a problem with all of my girls - the one that does still have a green eye is the youngest pullet and has her head turned away from the camera...the older girls eyes are a rustier color and seem to be darkening somewhat recently so I'm hoping that will continue on to something closer to the correct color and perhaps that will happen to the younger pullet as well. Question - my girls tails seemed "fuller" a month or so ago...and I have noticed a feather or two...but nothing really heavy...would they molt that way - a feather here and there and primarily from the tail area? Although...their "cushions" have seemed to pick UP feathers...sigh...
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,414
3,506
596
Northern CA
My Coop
Thanks for the critique Bjorn. I'm happy with the improvements in this years offspring. I'm watching the stippling, one pullet I think will have too much (and she happens to be broody right now so she won't be a breeder), but the other 2 are good. They continue to be a work in progress.
 
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EweSheep

Flock Mistress
13 Years
Jan 12, 2007
21,908
132
418
Land of Lincoln
Bumping this up so we can get more feedback for people wanting to know more about the SOP!

I know that Welsummers should not ever look like the "brick" stature similar to the Rhode Island Reds. Nor should it be too LONG of a back or "U" or one with squirrel tails. I believe too high of a squirrel tail also affect egg production. Back/ribs should be wide, well sprung, not narrow as you are looking down at the top of the bird.
 

EweSheep

Flock Mistress
13 Years
Jan 12, 2007
21,908
132
418
Land of Lincoln
Yes, I agree with you Bjorn. He did have two primary flight feathers but the other wing did not. Strange, isn't it? He had a medium gray tail fluff, not white. He was only somewhere between six to seven? months old before I got rid of him.

Not sure of his heritage but it is British, for sure, in one of the lines and possibly Barber way back. He was one chunky boy, all gangly but the white in feathers and oversized combs and wattles, was the final decision for me to cull him out. Later on, someone showed him along with a pair of hens with him in the Open Class, the trio won. The judge told us he was the best Welsummer he has seen in a good while but his comb and wattles need work. He had good depth at maturity. He also mentioned about the two white primary feathers which he advised them not to use him because it will pass down to his offsprings HOWEVER, if no other roo can be found to replace him, cull HARD for chicks that has white feathers and then go on down the line, eliminating other faults. In the following year, he produce no offsprings....was killed by a coon.
 

Dr Bjorn Netland

Songster
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
168
31
137
Yes, I agree with you Bjorn. He did have two primary flight feathers but the other wing did not. Strange, isn't it? He had a medium gray tail fluff, not white. He was only somewhere between six to seven? months old before I got rid of him.

Not sure of his heritage but it is British, for sure, in one of the lines and possibly Barber way back. He was one chunky boy, all gangly but the white in feathers and oversized combs and wattles, was the final decision for me to cull him out. Later on, someone showed him along with a pair of hens with him in the Open Class, the trio won. The judge told us he was the best Welsummer he has seen in a good while but his comb and wattles need work. He had good depth at maturity. He also mentioned about the two white primary feathers which he advised them not to use him because it will pass down to his offsprings HOWEVER, if no other roo can be found to replace him, cull HARD for chicks that has white feathers and then go on down the line, eliminating other faults. In the following year, he produce no offsprings....was killed by a coon.
The birds that Lowell and I originally had all tended to produce off spring with white problems, along with stubs and oversize, twisted combs. The two cockerels that I acquired from the fellow in Oregon (his birds were also of British origin, and that fellow had an absolutely STUNNING setup for his birds, mostly large fowl pit game and then a flock of Welsummers for the egg needs of his family...and because he admired the breed), and he said he had no issues with white or stubs in his flock, and the eggshell color and egg size were astounding (I got to see the eggs he collected). I kept one of those beautiful cockerels and shipped the other one (the better one, actually to Lowell); they both had solid color, beautiful butter-yellow legs, nice tails and body shapes, and a much smaller comb than what we had in the original strains. Lowell bred his bird to his original flock and said he got some beautiful chicks, but that was only about two years before his passing. In a horrific dog kill followed by a couple of raccoon raids I lost not only the cockbird that I kept for myself but also all the offspring except one pullet that I had put in with the layer flock, and she was sort of a cull although she laid beautifully colored large eggs.
In my experience (others may have a different view, which is OK), pullets showing ANY kind of white anywhere in their plumage should not be used in the breeding runs for exhibition Welsummers. The male offspring will show a LOT more, as if the influence of the dam has a dominant impact. The same goes for stubs; any pullet with stubs will produce male offspring with stubs. Checking between the toes and on the upper area of the shanks should identify birds with that defect, which is a disqualification. I had the same experience with Wyandottes.
In critiquing the cockbird in the photo, I neglected to mention, perhaps, one very positive trait: his very nice backline, showing only minimal sloping toward the tail (despite the fact that I thought the back was too long). Most of the Welsummers I have seen have a back that slopes too much, almost like a Minorca or a Houdan, and I certainly keep fighting that in my own flock. In my opinion, judges have to look at the overall profile of the Welsummers in judging them and punish those that don't conform to the standard. I think the standard illustration in the APA SOP is a good guideline in that respect even though there was a standard revision the year following that illustration that lowered the tail angle somewhat.
Eye color, back/tail, and comb issues are probably what we need to focus on, and judges might help a great deal if they pay attention to those oft-seen faults. Then again, of course, many judges are still not very familiar with the breed and have not taken the time to study them or the finer points outlined in the SOP, which is a bit of a challenge. It is difficult, I think, to appreciate a breed without having seen superior representatives alongside the more mediocre ones, no matter how much experience a judge may have in general. A couple-three-four years ago, Royce showed a pullet that I think surpassed anything I personally had ever seen, but then I am talking about conformation excellence only, and I only saw the photos and not the actual pullet.
I recently put together a breeding trio that includes a two-year-old hen with an oversize comb and a tail that's a bit too high. The one-year-old cockbird has a nice, almost horizontal backline but a tail that's a bit too low, super-yellow legs, absolutely no white (even what came in after his second adult molt) or stubs, and a mid-size comb. I was told once (don't recall by whom, it's years ago) to hold off on using males until after their second adult molt if white was a problem. Now, the reason I am using this hen is her great laying record (quantity and quality), nice color, and calm temperament. In fact, I think we all should include some of those marginal show birds in our program if they have demonstrated superior productive qualities lest their utility value totally disappears over time in our pursuit of exhibition excellence.
It's fall, the world is a mess, so let's all keep the peace in our fascinating hobby, agreeing to disagree in an agreeable manner in our common pursuit of an ever more perfect union of form and function in our birds.
Bjorn
 

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