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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sandiklaws, Feb 9, 2012.
Beautiful birds and interesting project, I'll be following with interest.
the problem i would foresee is with getting the femakes color back right. the females are salmon(ie)wheaton. crossing to dorking will give you stippling in the females backs and silver females. the muff and feathered leggs will not be hard to get back. the male color wont be affected much. other problems will be leg length.
The Dorkings I am using for my project have been bred for utility not show, this was one of the reasons I went with Yellow House for my Dorking source. These Dorkings are a bit longer in leg, and have some straight comb and colored (similar to the faverolles color) behind them. It will definitely be a long road ahead but I think it will improve the birds in the long run. Here is a description of the pattern on a colored male Dorking:
Males: Head: Plumage, very light gray.
Neck: Light straw color, with a wide, black stripe extending down middle of each feather and terminating in a point near its lower extremity. Front, black.
Back and Saddle: Back, black, laced around end with straw. Cape, black. Saddle, straw with a wide black stripe extending down middle each feather.
Tail: Main tail, black. Sickles, greenish black. Coverts, lustrous black.
Wings: Front, black. Bows, light straw. Coverts, lustrous greenish black, forming a wide bar across wing.
Breast: Lustrous black.
Body and Fluff: Black.
As you can see there are many similarities to the Faverolles, here is the hen description:
Females: Head: Plumage, black.
Neck: Black with a narrow edging of straw color. Shafts, straw color. Front, dark salmon.
Back: Lustrous black; shafting of feathers, straw color.
Tail: Main tail, dark brown penciled with gray on surface, and black on inside.
Wings: Fronts, Bows and Coverts, black, a slight admixture of dark, brownish gray in center of feather; shafts, straw. Primaries, slate brown. Secondaries, upper webs, black; lower webs, black with an admixture of dark gray.
Breast: Dark salmon, feathers marked on lower edges with black; shafting of feathers, light bay.
Body and Fluff: Body, black, slightly mixed with gray. Fluff, dull black edged with gray.
Here is a link to the Dorking clubs colored Dorking page... I am an on line member, so I am not sure it will work for everyone, but the photos show how similar the two breeds are color wise. I know I will probably deal with some black creeping into the girls, and smuttiness and I will definitely have to cull hard regarding wattle size at some point. In Dicks line, I have birds that are much more toward the "blond" end of the spectrum, some being almost too light, I am hoping that I can use the birds that carry this very light coloring to eventually temper the color to a non smudged level. Regardless of the project, I will be retaining pure birds, both male and female, from both Dick and Peter's line- my project would not be possible if I was not able to build off of the many years of hard work those great breeders have done for the breed, if you are following the thread guys I cannot thank you enough for all of you hard work!
I thought it might be a good idea to let everyone know why I decided to take on this obviously decades long project. I had a banty fav years ago that I bought at an auction, I had no idea what he was at the time (we are going back to pre-internet here), and he was one of the nicest birds I have ever had the pleasure of owning- would ride my shoulder like a parrot (insisted actually) while I did all of my farm chores, very sweet, quiet and loveable bird. It broke my heart when he was accidentally killed by the man who delivered our hay. I searched high and low for another bird like him and could not find them, after a couple of years of searching the New England area I gave up. I had not yet begun to attend any shows beyond the county fair level- indeed I had no idea there were things like national poultry clubs.
My life changed and I was unable to keep poultry from 1997-2009, more than 10 years of other things in my life but I never forgot my special banty boy, "Mr. Moochick" (his name came from a kids show). When I again was going to be able to keep poultry I began to research breeds, I dug out old catalogs that I had kept all of those years without birds, and soon I again had new chick catalogs arriving to brighten my winter days. I also began to explore the internet at the library, and it wasn't long before I was drooling over the gorgeous English LF Faverolles. I decided I had to have these incredible sounding dual purpose birds and made a commitment to myself to find the best possible stock I could to get my start. Further searching led me to the old, dead, Faverolles Club site where I stumbled upon Dicks email address- he was very surprised that I had found him as he had not been showing for quite a few years, and was not active in the internet Fav community- in fact his name was a bit of a legend. I bought some hatching eggs from him and hatched out 9 chicks under a cochin broody I had bought just for hatching that first year. She did a good job, and I was thrilled when I wound up with 7 girls and 2 boys. I wanted to cull them to 5 girls and 1 boy- so hard to do! But winter lent me a hand causing me to lose 2 girls for no apparent reason and my spare roo to a fox, so the choices were really made by mother nature, not me. I was quite frustrated by how weak the breed seemed, but I am nothing if not stubborn, and I decided i was in it for the long haul.
I also ordered 50 Faverolles from MPC in 2 batches to diversify the genetics, took them forever to get here! they were back ordered 3 separate times! Sizes, color, toes, beards were all over the place with those birds and several were downright nervous nellys. I selected out 3 nicely uniform girls, Honey, Ginger, and Peaches and 1 boy, Fred, out of those 50 and crossed the lines up hatching as many as I could... not nearly enough it seemed but I did get several birds with nice size and type. I have 6 of those cross-bred birds in my flock still, and they are much more vigorous and feisty (not mean just spunky) than either of the straight show lines. They are darker in color as well. I was sad to do it, but the 4 birds that started my MPC genes were sold in fall the same year I used them for the first time- I wanted to burn my bridges with the hatchery genes so I would not be tempted to cross back to them. I retained birds that were bred from both directions; Black Jack, my Boulanger roo, on Honey, Ginger and Peaches, and Fred on the Boulanger girls, Clumsy, Blondie, Gretchen, and the 2 that were never named. All of these F1 birds wound up much bigger than the pure MPC stock so I knew I was on the right track. The next breeding season took these crosses back to the Boulanger line. I also began to number and record all of my stock that year using numbered leg bands... names get tough after a while LOL
Despite all of the genetic diversity I had to work with there was an important factor still missing from my flock- you would be hard pressed to get a decent meal out of any of the Favs because although they had great frames they lacked sufficient flesh and muscling to make a decent table bird. I felt this was a fatal flaw in a breed that had once been renown for their excellent table qualities. I searched far and wide for birds that were pure fav that had what I wanted genetically, but all fell far short. I began to look at the possibility of bringing in another breed to fix the problem. I considered and rejected Cornish, Brahma, Cochin and a few others, they would just muck up Dick's hard work too much. Incidentally, I had talked about my desire to fix the issue by out crossing to another breed with Dick many times... just in case any of you are wondering.
By the late summer of 2011 I had made up my mind to use Dorkings and had begun to search for the perfect birds to use. They had to be 3 things: super hardy, meaty, and have longish legs with good feet. I found all of that and more, in January of 2012, at Yellow House Farm in Barrington NH. That brings you up to date, I will be moving forward with my planned breedings this year, and will try to keep this thread going as much as life lets me
I also should tell everyone that I post under 2 names here; Cape Cod Chicky and Sandiklaws. I lost my password and got very impatient and now have 2 user names , since my computer remembers them both I will be posting under whichever one it feels like having me be at a given time but it will still be me LOL
Honored to have you along for the ride =D
Just for fun, here is the ^ character I named my original fav banty roo after
never mind it didn't work... here is the link where the image came from:
I just have to say that I love the fact that you are working so hard to get the Faverolles back to the basics of what they were originally bred for. I'm not all too familiar with Dorkings, how are they for layers?
They are true dual purpose birds,I have seen the egg average per year vary widely on different web sources. The least I have seen is 100 per year and the max I have seen is 200 per year, I figure they are probably somewhere between those numbers.This line has been culled to a standard of large well shaped eggs- important because they can have issues with egg shape and size. The Dorking breed is also in trouble and the line that produced my birds, which were culled from the Yellow House Farm breeding program and slated for the freezer, have been bred by a very passionate and knowledgeable breeder. The flock has been culled hard for size, hardiness, meat qualities and general farm qualities including egg production and size. Joseph Marquette has really done a wonderful job working toward restoring his flock back to what the Dorkings are supposed to be- again I will be starting using the work by another great breeder. I hope to borrow from Joseph's birds the traits I feel the modern favs are missing. I will post some information about the Dorking breed for anyone interested.