Improving Royal Palms - To do, or not To do?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by PalmRoyal, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. PalmRoyal

    PalmRoyal Chirping

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    I have been thinking for a while, and tossing it around other breeders and family members about the ethics of doing it, about improving the Royal Palm breed. By improving, I mean mixing in another breed to improve the coloration and meat of the breed. From what I understand, is that there is supposed to be two lines of metallic black on the tail of the Royal Palm. I've talked to a few judges and many of them say that many Royal Palms that they see are also very light in the markings area and lack a lot on meat quality.
    Ethically, is this OK? I look at it as improving the Royal Palm breed and many other breeders (mostly chicken breeders) agree that it is improving the breed if it can be achieved. However, other breeders take a grudge against breeders who try to improve the breed by mixing in other breeds.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Here is a good link of what I mean about the coloration: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/405435/royal-palm-and-the-standard-of-perfection
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Yes, by all means, in fact it could potentially be unethical to allow a breed to fall from its desired standards, especially if the standards include general vigor etc --- unless you're talking about some incredibly rare or threatened breed where one may have to tread more carefully.

    I don't know that much about turkey breeds so don't know what the situation with Royal Palms is, least of all in America.

    I really don't understand why anyone would be against improving the breed... But is the whole breed so degraded and inbred that you need to introduce another breed to lift its average? Isn't anyone producing great stock? Also, depending on what the genetics are behind the traits you want to improve, you may be able to do this without introducing other breeds. However with some knowledge on breeding you should be able to achieve your stated aim without hurting anyone, lol...

    Personally I believe most turkey breeders around me won't improve type or meat qualities while they're culling all males under a year old... How can you make repeat breedings from superior stock when you can't identify them or cull them before you even know if they're superior?

    Best wishes with your project.
     
  3. PalmRoyal

    PalmRoyal Chirping

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    Royal Palms are not entirely rare. They are one of the easier t find turkey breeds, in my opinion. But, it is hard to find ones that are good, show quality stock. Doing a google search and you find the same problems on every single picture and website listed. They all are missing that second band over their tails and are lightly colored. The ones that are heavier colored are very smutty in the whites of their feathers.

    Quote: I've looked around and contacted a few breeders. The last Royal Palms I got that improved meat quality have a large array of color issues and health problems. Those were bought from Georgia and brought to Ohio for me. The tom has sinusitis and foot problems while both females have brown in their wing feathers (which is a very clear disqualification) and one has a beard. So, of course they were not being used for breeding. I look at others who call their herds "show quality" now a little bit more closely. I contacted someone yesterday who was selling pure white (except one patchy band on the tail and on the primary flight feathers) as "show quality" Royal Palms. I'm not sure if I am just having a hard time finding good breeders, or if this is a common problem. There is only one breeder I trust locally, but he breeds Narragansetts for exhibition. Very honest man and sold me my first pair of Royal Palms that he took in for a friend.

    I agree about the turkey breeders where I live too. However, all but the above listed man breeds for exhibition. People around here just get birds to breed them and sell them for $10 a chick or will just get the BBW for meat to sell. Whether they are purebred or show quality or not. Exhibition and improvement is not a huge priority on most turkey farmer's lists. I agree about watching them grow as well. I think watching certain birds grow and develop, you can see what each bird develops better and use that in your herd to better it.

    Maybe I'll try to contact a few poultry genetic people again about the second tail line. Thank-you again for your reply!
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    I've never seen a Royal Palm in Australia, but have heard of them, I will have to do some looking up on them. Anyway, best wishes with the endeavor.
     
  5. PalmRoyal

    PalmRoyal Chirping

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    Thank-you!
     

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