How do you folks tell breeds apart?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by NeilV, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. NeilV

    NeilV In the Brooder

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    I can tell a Delaware from a Barred Rock from a White Leghorn.

    However, when I look at some of the color varieties of some breeds, I have a hard time telling them apart or understanding what makes different looking birds of the same breed still the same breed. For example, when you have a red looking Plymouth Rock, how do you know that it is a Plymouth Rock and not a Rhode Island Red. Also, these birds don't really have papers, do they?

    I can figure out the obvious fact that color and breed are not the same thing, but how do you tell the breeds apart?

    Not trying to be argumentative here, just looking for an explanation of what you guys know that I clearly don't.

    Thanks,

    Neil
     

  2. joe17

    joe17 Songster

    Nov 25, 2009
    Louisiana
    Many people leg or wing band their birds. But to look at the differences in breeds, you look at the comb, the feet color, number of toes, size, feathers, etc
     
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Neil --
    Get a Standard of Perfection. It will have a good description of each recognized breed in it.
    You can try http://www.feathersite.com/ they have a lot of breeds there some true breeds and some not so true...

    For Example --
    The Standard for the Rhode Island Red would look like this.

    Economic Qualities-

    Rhode Island Reds are general purpose fowls bred for the production of meat and eggs. Color of skin, yellow; color of egg shells, brown to dark brown.

    Standard Weight-

    Cock …………8 ½ lbs Hens ………………6 ½
    Cockerel ……7 ½ lbs Pullets …………….5 ½

    Shape Male-

    Comb: Single, moderately large, set firmly on head, straight and upright, with five even and well defined points, those in front and rear smaller than those in the Center: blade smooth inclining slightly downward following contour of the skull.

    Comb: Rose , moderately large, firm on head ; oval, free from hollow center, surface covered with small rounded points, terminating in a spike at the rear, the spike drooping slightly but not conforming too closely to the shape of head.
    Beak: Medium length, slightly curved.
    Face: Clean cut, skin fine and soft in texture, free from wrinkles.
    Eyes: large, full and prominent.
    Wattles: Medium size, uniform, free from folds or wrinkles.
    Ear Lobes: Oblong, well defined, smooth.
    Head: Medium in length, fairly deep, inclined to be flat on the top rather than round.
    Neck: Medium length.
    Hackle: Abundant, flowing over shoulders, not too closely feathered.
    Back: Long, moderately broad its entire length, carried horizontally.
    Saddle: moderately broad, feathers of medium length, moderately abundant, blending into tail.
    Tail: Medium length, well spread carried at an angle of twenty degrees (20*) above horizontal.
    Main Tail: broad and overlapping.
    Main Sickles: medium length, broad, extending slightly beyond mail tail feathers.
    Lesser Sickles and Tail-Coverts: medium length, broad and overlapping
    Wings: Good size, well folded, carried horizontally.
    Primaries and Secondary’s broad and overlapping in natural order when wing is folded.
    Breast: Moderately deep, full, well rounded.
    Body and Fluff: Body long, broad, moderately deep, straight, extending well forward, giving the body an OBLONG appearance feathers, carried close to body.
    Fluff: moderately full.
    Legs and toes: Legs set well apart, straight when viewed from front.
    Lower Thighs: medium length, well feathered, smooth.
    Shanks: medium length, smooth.
    Toes: four on each foot, medium length, and straight, well spread.

    Shape Female-

    Comb: Single; medium in size, set firmly on head, straight and upright with five even and well defined points, those in front and rear smaller than those in center.
    Comb: Rose low free from hollow center, set firmly on head, much smaller than that of the male and in proportion to its length, narrower covered with small points and terminating in a small, short spike at the rear.
    Beak: Medium length slightly curved.
    Face: Clean cut, skin,, fine and soft in texture, free from wrinkles.
    Eyes: large, full, and prominent.
    Wattles: Medium size, regularly curved.
    Ear Lobes: Oblong, well defined, smooth.
    Head: Medium in length, fairly deep, inclined to be flat on top rather round.
    Neck: Medium length, moderately full feathered.
    Back: Long, moderately broad its entire length, carried horizontally, blending into tail.
    Tail: Medium length well spread, carried at an angle of ten degrees (10*) above horizontal.
    Wings: Rather large, well folded.
    Fronts: well covered by breast feathers
    Flights: carried nearly horizontally.
    Primaries and Secondary’s: broad and overlapping in natural order when wing is folded.
    Breast: Moderately, deep, full, well rounded.
    Body and Fluff: Body long, moderately broad, moderately deep, straight, extending well forward, giving the body an OBLONG appearance feathers, carried close to body.
    Fluff: moderately full.
    Legs and toes: Legs set well apart, straight when viewed and front.
    Lower Thighs: medium length, well feathered, smooth. Shanks; medium length, smooth.
    Toes: four on each foot, medium length, and straight, well spread.

    Color Male-

    Comb, face, wattles and ear lobes: Bright red.
    Beak: Redish horn.
    Eyes: Reddish bay.
    Head: Plumage, lustrous rich dark red.
    Neck: Hackle lustrous, rich dark red.
    Front of neck: rich dark red.
    Back and Saddle: lustrous, rich, dark red.
    Tail: Main Tail: black
    Sickles: lustrous, greenish black. Beattler Green.
    Coverts: maily lustrous, greenish black, rich red as they approach the saddle.
    Wings: Fronts, Bows and Coverts lustrous, rich dark red.
    Primaries: upper webs, lustrous , rich dark redl lower webs, black with narrow edging of red.
    Secondary’s: lower webs, lustrous, rich, dark red, the red extending around end of feathers sufficient to secure a red wing bay and lacing the upper portion of the upper web, this color growing wider in shorter secondary’s remainder of each secondary black feathers next to the body being red on surface so that the wing when folded in natural position shall show one harmononious lustrous, rich, dark red color.
    Breast: Lustrous, rich, dark red.
    Body and Fluff: Body lustrous , rich dark red.
    Fluff: Rich dark red.
    Legs and toes: Lower thighs rich, dark red.
    Shanks and toes: Rich yellow tinged with reddish horn. A line of red pigment down the sides of shanks, extending to tips of toes, is desirable.
    Undercolor of all sections: Rich intense Red.
    Plumage: General surface color, lustrous, rich dark red, except where black is specified and free from and shafting or mealiness. No contrast in color between any of the sections, the harmonious blending in all sections desired. The specimen should carry a high sheen in all outer sections so as to give a glossed appearance.

    Color of Female-

    Comb, Face, Wattles and ear lobes: bright Red.
    Beak: Reddish horn.
    Eyes: Reddish bay.
    Head: Plumage lustrous rich dark red.
    Neck; Lustrous, rich dark red with slight ticking of black, confined to tips of lower neck feathers.
    Front of neck: Rich dark red.
    Back: Lustrous, rich dark red.
    Tail: Main tail Black.
    Wings: Fronts, Bows and Coverts lustrous, rich, dark red.
    Primaries: upper webs, lustrous, rich dark red lower webs, black with narrow edging of red.
    Secondaries: lower webs, lustrous, rich, dark red, the red extending around end of feathers sufficient to secure a red wing bay and facing the upper portion of the upper web, this color growing wider in shorter secondaries remainder of each secondary black feathers next to body being red on surface so the wing when folded in natural position shall show on harmonious lustrous, rich dark red color.
    Breast: lustrous, rich dark red.
    Body and Fluff: body lustrous, rich, dark red. Fluff rich dark red.
    Legs and toes: Lower thighs rich dark red. Shanks and toes rich yellow tinged with reddish horn.
    Under color of all sections: Rich intense red.
    Plumage General surface color, lustrous, rich dark red, except where black is specified, even in all sections and free from shafting or mealiness.

    Disqualifications-
    One or more entirely white feathers showing in the outer plumage.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    The shape of the bird makes a huge difference. Go to feathersite and look at modern games, then look at cochins. Then brahmas, then d'uccles. Go back and forth, noticing the differences in size and shape and other characteristics.
     
  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

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    Quote:LOL, I raise "mutts", don't know, don't care, can't tell what breed they are. Started with chickens call Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Barred Rock------their offspring was blended with Austrolops, Easter Eggers, and Jersey Giants. I save the ones I like and cull the rest. I kinda favor the large black feathered iridescent purple/green that lays green eggs and brown, lots of them and tastes good as a meat chicken too. I think the breed should be called: "Darkmatters"
     
  6. NeilV

    NeilV In the Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    Okay, another question: If I were to go out and spend lots of time, effort and money and independently breed a group of chickens to conform to a particular breed's requirements, would that qualify as "breed" of chicken for show purposes.

    For example, if I started out with Production Red chickens and bred them back to a Rhode Island Red form, would they then be considered RIR if they looked right?

    (Not that I'm going to do that, since I don't even have a rooster, just wondering).

    Neil
     
  7. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Study the "CHICKEN PORN MAGAZINES" Cackle, McMurray, Ideal. etc.
     

  8. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Quote:No
     
  9. NeilV

    NeilV In the Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    My wife doesn't want me looking at chicken porn. But I can talk about it. I think. [​IMG]

    Okay, third question. If these birds don't have papers, and if the breed is defined by how it looks, then why would a bird that looks just like a RIR not be considered to be one?

    How would anybody know better?

    Sorry to be pesky,

    Neil

    P.S. If anybody wants to talk about strains of honey bees, I can do that, although there is far less to talk about in the bee context.
     
  10. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Good Question, but I think the bird experts can tell. The color of the legs, waddle size, bird size, & however, I don't know [​IMG]
     

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