I have a champion Embden goose!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by greyfields, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Our fairgrounds were flooded last winter and it took a FEMA project to get them back up on their feet. They fair managers were pressing adults very hard this year to enter every animal we had, since it helps increase attendance and the Fair gets paid primarily based on the number of exhibitors. So, having never done any of this in my life, my wife and I entered 3 lambs, 2 goats, 5 geese, 3 ducks and 9 chickens! It's always humbling to have 12 year olds tell you how to groom and clean your animals so they look best. On the other hands, it's very easy to bribe 12 year olds to get them to show your lambs for you!

    The poultry judge absolutely savaged my Speckled Sussex, Barred Rock and Dark Cornish trios. But, he took the time to point out every single flaw in the birds we had, plus all the good points, and told us exactly what color, size and type of rooster to look for to imporve our breeds. In the end, one of my Speckled Sussex pullets was the champion chicken and one of the cornish reserve champion. The Sussex roo would have won best of show, however the rabbit hutch they put them in was too small and just trashed his tail feathers and cut his comb in several places. And just one note, never enter a Barred Rock. All Barred Rocks available in the US are actually "Cuckoo" and not "Barred", so don't bother.

    The big story is the waterfowl portion. I entered an Embdem goose trio (born 4/4/07), an Embden goose pair (born 5/14/07) and a trio of Silver Appleyards (also born 5/14/07). The male in my Embdem goose trio actually won Best of Show and was the overall poultry champion!! One of the female ducks was reserve champion! He really said we were breeding quality waterfowl and gave me some contact people for getting new blood and improving our breeding. The Embden goose pair were starting to molt, so only got a red ribbon. But he said in one month, they easily would be larger and would have been champions.

    So my point is, even middle aged adults can try something new. Clean your birds (really scrub them) and put yourself out there. You may even win something! Plus the time the judge spends with you is invaluable. It will certainly help you in choosing which of your flock to breed, versus those headed for the freezer. And eventually, you may even become one of those savage exhibitors with 20 year blood feud, passive agressive rivalries with other breeders! I believe a novel could be written based entirely on what you learn about people at the Fair.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. DoctorGoose

    DoctorGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow-- Congrats! Where did you get your geese from?? A hatchery?
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    How exciting! I assume you entered in open class? And that one is tough! Not sure how big the far was you went to though. Congrats!
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Our Fair is about this |...| big. 4,000 people in Wahkiakum County and no traffic signals. [​IMG]

    My really quality breeding stock geese and ducks came from Holderread in Corvalis.

    http://www.holderreadfarm.com/

    Unfortunately, the higher quality Embdems were just starting to molt. He said they'd easily overtake the older Embdems in another month. He said their carriage will be much taller and their legs were set further apart, meaning they had awesome growth potential.

    The Goose which one came from Metzer Farms in California. I expected that anything you'd find online would be production quality, which they probably are. I just got lucky.

    One thing the judge did tell me about ordering waterfowl, which is good advice for everyone. Before you point and click, phone them and ask to know where their hatching eggs come from. The large hatcheries buy hatching eggs from smaller farmers and breeders then resell them. He said several online hatcheries, including Murray McMurray, all buy their waterfowl eggs from one guy in Minnesota. So if you're looking for new bloodlines, you have to watch out for that.

    We bought a Sportsman 1502 incubator, so I can't wait for winter to start setting eggs. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator~~~ BYC Store Support Staff Member

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    Awesome! Congrats!
     
  7. DoctorGoose

    DoctorGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Goosie picture! Wow!

    Here's a question for you: So the judge said that all barred rocks here are cuckoo? I honestly think my chick barred rocks are quite cuckoo ([​IMG]) but my hen who just died wasn't--and everyone who saw her said she was show quality (I got her from a feedstore 7 years ago, don't remember which). Does she look like your BRs?

    [​IMG]

    I ask because I keep thinking about showing my chickens. I've shown horses for ten years, but I know absolutely nothing about breed standards for chickens! [​IMG] Oh well. Thanks for your help!
     
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    That's Cuckoo on your barred rock. He said to go to the next poultry show (October in Chehalis) and look at all the barred classes in bantams. They are truly barred; whereas all large breeds are not (or extremely rarely). His advice was to give up on Barred Rocks and if you must breed them, go with White Rocks.
     
  9. DoctorGoose

    DoctorGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah ha! I think I truly understand the difference (from vast Google searches) between cuckoo and barred---the barred have lines that connect one feather to the other, giving them a uniform, regular, pattern? And cuckoo is a un-uniform barring? For some reason I thought cuckoo just meant that they had less distinguished white on their feather, although I guess this would lead to a less uniform look too...hm...

    *sighs* [​IMG] So why this disparity between bantams and standards? And.....why does he say to give up showing on barred rocks if it is nearly impossible to have a truly barred standard chicken? [​IMG] *sigh* I guess my last hope is my wyandottes....or I could just go and buy more chickens....*diabolical grin*
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    On the individual feather itself, the bands of white & black should have distinct, straight boundaries. Do you see how the bars on the tail feather forms a "v" or a Chevron, instead of a bar? That's Cuckoo.
     

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