Iowa Blue Chickens - Understanding The Traditional Type

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by IowaBlueCurt, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. ottbjumper06

    ottbjumper06 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2013
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    Curt,
    I dont have any more decent pictures of my gals but I can work on that.
    Planning on going to see Denny on the 6th, anybody want me to pick something up?
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Do ya'll have A list of early Iowa Blue breeders? I am asking because often the family of the early breeder is proud of his/her efforts and you may find a treasure trove of info in old photo albums and maybe even a collection of old articles or an unpublished manuscript. It hasn't been that long. We are talking about the grandparents and great grandparents of present day folk. I am never surprised by the generosity of families who find new generations are interested in their ancestor's efforts. If you have a Club for Iowa Blues, perhaps you could establish a Club Archives where you could put this information online on a locked website where folk can study it, but not copy it. With the donators permission of course.
    If they have it, they may donate the whole genetic history of a breeder to a national Club.
    Best,
    Karen
    in western PA, USA
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  3. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

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    I would love to take you up on that, but won't be back to Iowa until Thanksgiving. :p Harrumph.
     
  4. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

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    That guy shows some extreme towards the opposite end, that tail angle, size, and depth of chest is certainly a desirable cross. [​IMG]
     
  5. IowaBlueCurt

    IowaBlueCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Connie, here's a couple pics for you. These are the of the dark headed off-type pullets. They aren't super close up, but you can see the extra melanizers! (If you look in the backround you will see some Ameraucanas! hahaha There seems to be a connection between Iowa Blue breeders and their Amaraucanas! hahahahahahahaha) You have some, Kari has some, Denny's got them, as does Emily, we use to have them...... That's a lot of people with very similar tastes in poultry! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  6. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

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    Very interesting result, adding in those melanisers.

    :)

    And yes, love ameraucanas, cute puffy faces, pretty blue eggs. Funny how the combo seems to go together for breeders.
     
  7. IowaBlueCurt

    IowaBlueCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, what's interesting to me is not only do the melanizers create this excessive "blackening" but the breast feathers end up being real white with a singular black lacing........Here we have birds that are (at best guess) Silver birds, but the melanziers really distort the underlying coloration and we end up with birds like the ones posted above. It has been a real confusing and frustrating task at times to understand what was found in the original population and what exactly was added later.

    Originally we had birds that looked Silver or Dark Silver (I think the club is suggesting that Dark Silver be changed to Charcoal, either way describes them well), Glenn ended up adding in the following off type traits; dark heads, extra melanization, campine colored birds, birchen colored birds, silver grey colored birds, autosomal red, and lighter eyes. While these traits were "off type" the birds themselves that exhibited these traits were in fact purebred in every sense of the word (due to his breeding protocols). This only added to the confusion. Morgan Fox from Ideal Hatchery then added in the following off types; extremely melanized birchen birds, gold leakage, light colored eyes, combs that lop to one side or "wave" on the hens, squirrel tail, green sheen, smaller size, smaller and whiter eggs.

    So, from what the club has really gathered over this past year is that at least 17 off types or deviations from the original "type" have been produced and have been purpetuated via Sandhill and Ideal. And other breeders now doubt could add to this long laundry list!! While I personally find this to be frustrating, there is a huge silver lining! The club has been active to solve the "Iowa Blue Riddle" and I believe we will soon see many flocks of Iowa Blues exhibiting the traits they were known to possess before these off types were introduced.

    We have a fantastic club with fantastic people, and that is where the Iowa Blue will benefit the most.
     
  8. IowaBlueCurt

    IowaBlueCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, we've covered a lot of ground already when it comes to understanding Iowa Blue type. Another area for us to look into is the overall "ground color" of the Iowa Blue hen. All of our historical accounts list the Iowa Blue hen as having an "overall blue-grey" or "overall soft grey" coloration. It is this coloration of the hen that contributed to the breed's name. So, to better understand what this soft grey color looks like, I've taken some pictures to give a comparision.

    The pics posted below are of two pullets. Both were hatched out BROWN MOTTLED and both of the pullets are SILVER pullets. They ARE NOT a Silver and Dark Silver/Charcoal!!! Currently we have much variation in our Silver birds as we're still dealing with extra melanization that was introduced to the breed via Sandhill and Ideal. In each situation, I will post the soft grey colored pullet on top and the darker grey colored pullet on the bottom.

    Here are pics of the side fluff.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here are pics of the abdomonal and rear fluff -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here are pics of the back of each bird (sorry these aren't the same angle) -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here are pics of the top view of the birds -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And finally some front pics of the breast -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As you can see from these pics, there is quite some variance yet in the Silver Iowa Blues! If one is wanting to breed their flock to the historical accounts, than selecting for birds like the top pullet in each comparision pic is the direction you'd want to go. Also, an observation to note, is that the soft grey pullets have the whitest heads and hackles. This stands to reason as they have less melanization over the body.

    Right now, our gene pool is somewhat limited so the darker pullet posted above will still be used in the breeding pens (and bred to a light cockerel), however, as time goes on this darker hen should be bred away from as the lighter "soft grey" hen is more aligned with the "proper" look of the original Iowa Blue as based upon the accounts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  9. IowaBlueCurt

    IowaBlueCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We do have a small list and each of those individuals were contacted and interviews conducted. None currently have stock unfortuenately. We do have all found information on our club website www.iowabluechickenclub.com under our historical archives section. Past hatcheries that used to sell the Iowa Blue (both current and past owners) were contacted. Unfortunately when these hatcheries were bought out, the new owners chose not to continue offering the Iowa Blue. Two of the originator's grandchildren were contacted and their interviews are in our archive section as well. Acrticles were found in both local and regional papers documenting the breed and those can be found in our archive section as well. I contacted the Decorah Historical Society, but not much resulted there, although there were able to find a couple of local newspaper articles about the breed.
    So, that's kind of where we are at right now....but still digging around where ever a lead presents itself! :)

    Thanks for the advice Karen! Do you have any Iowa Blues yet? [​IMG]
     
  10. IowaBlueCurt

    IowaBlueCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    EDITED-

    Just read through the bullet points from the club meeting at the Mason City show that Connie sent out. What a fantastic meeting and show at Mason City a couple of weeks ago! Anyone interested in learning more about the direction of the club and the breed should reach out to those individuals who were present at the meeting; Kari, Connie, Eric, Trish, Mandy, and Emily. Increadible work and a huge thank you to the judges and everyone who was present at the meeting!

    As I told Kari.....I'm still feeling the "pains" of not being able to make it to the meeting! hahaha
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013

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