Heritage Breeders vs Show Breeders

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Black Feather, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    At what point has a chicken deviated so far from what is considered it’s breed standard that it’s not considered that breed anymore?

    This is something I’ve been thinking about on and off for a while.

    I’ve noticed that there seems to be a surge of interest in heritage breed chickens these days....the whole back to the land movement and buy local. The issue I see with this is that a lot of ‘heritage’ breeders don’t really know a whole lot about the birds they are raising. A red chicken is a Rhode Island Red and a white one if a Leghorn and they pass this ‘knowledge’ along to everyone else who wants to be a heritage breeder.

    As someone who shows birds I look at some of these heritage birds and think ‘no way is that a (fill in the breed)’. The issue is when you try to gently tell heritage breeders that the pretty flock of buff colored birds that they ordered from the hatchery are not Rhode Island Reds, they get a bit offended. They don’t understand that the ‘look’ of the birds is a part of what make it a certain breed. Type makes the breed, color the variety.

    Or, am I just too picky as someone who shows birds?

    Urban Coyote
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I dont show birds, but I still want them to be close to the standard. And I want to preserve endangered breeds, to what extent I can do that. It's why I have my Delawares now, not from hatchery stock, but good breeder lines.
  3. joerogrz

    joerogrz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2008
    Loretto, TN
    I agree with you entirely. When I ordered my Australorps, I was expecting something that looked more like the pic they were showing in the catalog. Well, the hatchery messed up the order and sent me about half sex links (black variety) and if it wasn't for the brown coloration and the color of the bottom of the feet, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The skin color is also telling on them.

    My chicks aren't but about 5 wks old right now, but from the way they are filling out, they don't look like they'll fit the standards for Australorps.
  4. Bebop

    Bebop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Research, Research, Research!
    That's all I have to say about this!
  5. JanieMarie

    JanieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Georgetown, Minnesota
    What a great opportunity for BYC! Educate! I've been deciding on which breeds I want to zero in on and have been doing alot of research as to which breeders I want to buy my stock from. I go from site to site on the internet, get lost, search for standards, look at pics etc etc. Why couldnt BYC expand the breeds page or start a new page with standards for various breeds so that the back yard chickener knows what to look for and is aware of what their birds are supposed to look like? Just a thought with the number of members here and obviously interested and caring people who genuinely want to learn I think this information is needed!
  6. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    with standards for various breeds

    APA has such a book. It runs hundreds of pages but is only $14 for the b&w version and is well worth the investment. That's the only place I am aware of that has all the information in one place. It is available online at their website.

  7. Msbear

    Msbear Fancy Banties

    May 8, 2008
    Sharpsburg, MD.
    Byc is updating the breeds section of the website and this is exactly why I and others have suggested adding some details from the breed standard to help everyone maintain their stock as well as know what makes that breed...that breed!!

    Hey Coyote, I uploaded pics of the cockeral Im keeping and my hen, which molted into quite a nice little girl...[​IMG] Check them out on my post further down in the breeds section "Rosecomb breeders..."
  8. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    I highly recommend getting the Standard of Perfection from the APA. There is a tremendous amount of information in there.
  9. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    Great replies....but the original question hasn't been touched on a whole lot.

    When does a bird cross the line from being a breed, to a mutt?

    Urban Coyote
  10. JanieMarie

    JanieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Georgetown, Minnesota
    When it no longer conforms to the standards? Number of standards it doesn't conform to? Thats a really good question. I wonder if there is really an answer?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by