Iowa Blues Chicken Club (IBCC) - Breed Standard Discussion / Club Discussion

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Hurley, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

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    Mar 17, 2010
    Palmyra, WI
    My Coop
  2. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

    1,954
    151
    211
    Mar 17, 2010
    Palmyra, WI
    My Coop
    (Last Updated 01/25/2012)




    Iowa Blue Standard



    The Iowa Blue was developed in the early 1900’s near Decorah, Iowa. Little is known about its origins, but a folk legend tells the story of a white leghorn hen emerging from under a building with a clutch of chicks colored solid chestnut to striped. Old-timers would tell the tale that the chicks were sired by a pheasant. The breed was carried by several Iowa hatcheries through the 1960s, but were nearly lost when the hatcheries went out of business. The breed was rescued by Ken Whealy of from a few remaining flocks and has been bred preserved through the efforts of a few breeders since the late 1980s. The Iowa Blue grew in popularity in the 2011 and was preserved in the two recognized colors we observe today.

    With its plucky attitude and proud, upright carriage, the Iowa Blue is a dual-purpose homesteader chicken, known to be an excellent forager. Hens will go broody, exhibiting good maternal characteristics. Males are noted to be excellent flock guardians, are reported to be talented hawk fighters. They are vigorous breeders and are early to mature. Though very aware of their surroundings in a free-range situation, the breed is fairly docile and not particularly flighty.

    The Iowa Blue is not currently recognized by the Standards of Perfection and is classified as Conservation Status: Study.

    ECONOMIC QUALITIES

    A dual purpose fowl and active forager. Color of skin, white; color of egg shells, lightly tinted brown.

    STANDARD WEIGHTS

    Cock – 7 to 7 ½ Pounds Hen – 6 to 6 ½ Pounds
    Cockerel – 6 ½ Pounds Pullet – 5 Pounds

    DISQUALIFICATIONS

    (See General Disqualifications and Cutting for Defects)

    Shape – Male

    COMB: Single; bright red, medium to large, tight to the head, thick at base,
    with six well defined, evenly spaced points, those in the front and rear slightly shorter than those in the middle,
    blade not conforming too closely to the shape of the head.

    BEAK: Dark horn shading to yellow at point, moderate in length, slightly curved

    FACE: Bright red, clean-cut, skin fine and soft in texture, clean face around eyes and cheeks

    EYES: Large, round, and prominent; dark brown

    WATTLES: Bright red, medium to moderately large.

    EAR LOBES: Bright red, medium.

    HEAD: Moderately small, strong, medium length.

    NECK: Moderately long, mild arch, forward and erect carriage
    Hackle – Abundant, flowing well over shoulders

    BACK: Medium length, sloping 15 degrees straight to tail, strong, flat

    TAIL: Medium length, full, well-spread, feathers of good width, carried at an angle of seventy degrees (70˚) above horizontal.
    Main Tail – broad and overlapping, well-spread
    Sickles – moderate in length
    Lesser Sickles and Coverts – moderate, abundant, extending onto main tail

    WINGS: Medium in length, folded loosely with primaries overlapped but visible,
    carried close to the body under the saddle, held parallel to the back line.

    BREAST: Full, rounded, strong.

    BODY AND FLUFF: Body – full, rectangular in shape, moderately deep.
    Fluff – moderately full.

    LEGS AND TOES: Legs set well apart, straight when viewed from the front.
    Lower Thighs – large, medium length, well feathered, smooth.
    Shanks –medium in length, smooth.
    Toes – four on each foot, medium length, straight, well-spread.

    Shape – Female

    COMB: Single; bright red, medium to large, tight to the head, thick at base,
    with six well defined, evenly spaced points, those in the front and rear slightly shorter than those in the middle,
    blade not conforming too closely to the shape of the head.

    BEAK: Dark horn shading to yellow at point, moderate in length, slightly curved

    FACE: Bright red, clean-cut, skin fine and soft in texture, clean face around eyes and cheeks

    EYES: Large, round, and prominent; dark brown

    WATTLES: Bright red, medium.

    EAR LOBES: Bright red, medium.

    HEAD: Moderately small, strong, medium length.

    NECK: Moderately long, mild arch, forward and erect carriage, blending well into shoulder

    BACK: Medium length, sloping 15 degrees straight to tail, strong, flat

    TAIL: Well spread, dense, broad.

    WINGS: Medium in length, folded loosely with primaries overlapped but visible,
    carried close to the body, held parallel to the back line.

    BREAST: Full, rounded, strong.

    BODY AND FLUFF: Body – full, rectangular in shape, moderately deep.
    Fluff – moderately full.

    LEGS AND TOES: Legs set well apart, straight when viewed from the front.
    Lower Thighs – large, medium length, well feathered, smooth.
    Shanks –medium in length, smooth.
    Toes – four on each foot, medium length, straight, well-spread.


    SILVER PENCILED IOWA BLUES

    COLOR – MALE

    HEAD: Silvery White.

    NECK: Hackle – web of feather, lustrous, greenish black with narrow lacing of silvery white; shafts black.
    Front of neck – black.

    BACK: Back including Saddle – web of feather, lustrous, greenish black with narrow lacing of silvery white, a slight shafting of silvery white permissible.
    Silvery white predominating on surface of upper back; saddle matching with hackle in color.

    TAIL: Main Tail – web, black.
    Main and Lesser Sickles – lustrous, greenish black.
    Coverts: lustrous, greenish black with narrow lacing of white.

    WINGS: Fronts – black Bows – silvery white.
    Coverts: lustrous, greenish black, forming a distinct wing bar of this color across entire wing when folded.
    Primaries – black with narrow edging of white on lower edge of lower webs.
    Secondaries – lower webs, black with lower half white to a point near end of feathers, terminating abruptly leaving ends of feathers black;
    upper webs, black; the secondaries when folded forming a triangular white wing bay between the wing bar and tips of secondary feathers.

    BREAST: Lustrous, greenish black.

    BODY AND FLUFF: Body – black.
    Fluff – black, slight tinge of gray permissible.

    LEGS AND TOES: Lower thighs – black.
    Shanks and Toes – black.

    UNDERCOLOR OF ALL SECTIONS: Slate shading lighter towards base of feathers.


    COLOR – FEMALE

    Note – Pencilings in all Silver Varieties should be distinct in sharp contrast to the ground color, be regular in shape, uniform in width and conform to the contour of the feather.
    Each feather in the back, breast, body wing bows and thighs should have three or more pencilings.

    HEAD: Silvery gray.

    NECK: Hackle – black, slightly penciled with steel gray, and laced with silvery white.
    Front of neck – penciled same as breast.

    BACK: Steel gray, with distinct black pencilings.

    TAIL: Main Tail – black, except two top feathers which have – lower web, black; upper web, gray penciled with black.
    Coverts – steel gray with distinct black pencilings.

    WINGS: Fronts, Bows, and Coverts – steel gray with distinct black pencilings.
    Primaries – black with narrow steel gray diagonal penciling on lower webs.
    Secondaries – lower webs, steel gray with black penciling, extending well around tips of feathers; balance of upper webs, black.

    BREAST: Steel gray, with distinct black pencilings.

    BODY AND FLUFF: Body – steel gray, with distinct black penciling.
    Fluff – steel gray, penciled with dull black.

    LEGS AND TOES: Lower thighs – steel gray, with distinct black penciling.
    Shanks and Toes – black.

    UNDERCOLOR OF ALL SECTIONS: Medium slate.


    BIRCHEN IOWA BLUES

    COLOR – MALE

    HEAD: White.

    NECK: Hackle – white, with narrow, dark stripes through middle of each feather, terminating in a point near its lower extremity.
    Front of neck – black with very narrow lacing of white.

    BACK: White.
    Saddle – white with narrow, black stripe through middle of each feather.

    TAIL: Main Tail – web, black.
    Main, Lesser Sickles, and Coverts – lustrous, greenish black.

    WINGS: Shoulders – black Fronts – black Bows – white.
    Coverts – glossy black.
    Primaries and Seconaries – black.

    BREAST: Upper breast – black with very narrow lacing of white.
    Lower breast – black.

    BODY AND FLUFF: Body – black.
    Fluff – black, slight tinge of gray permissible.

    LEGS AND TOES: Lower thighs – black.
    Shanks and Toes – black.

    UNDERCOLOR OF ALL SECTIONS: Slate.


    COLOR – FEMALE

    HEAD: White.

    NECK: White, with narrow, dark stripe through middle of each feather, terminating in a point near its extremity.
    Front of Neck – black with very narrow lacing of white.

    BACK: Black.

    TAIL: Black.

    WINGS: Black.

    BREAST: Upper breast – black with very narrow lacing of white.
    Lower breast – black.

    BODY AND FLUFF: Body – black.
    Fluff – black, slight tinge of gray permissible.

    LEGS AND TOES: Lower thighs – black.
    Shanks and Toes – black.

    UNDERCOLOR OF ALL SECTIONS: Slate.
     
  3. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of the things I've noticed on my birds is they tend toward a game bird type tail. Some show up as squirrel tail exceeding the vertical. Does anyone have one that qualifies at 70 degrees? I'd say most of my "keepers" are closer to 80. I do like the look of a perky tail [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

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    Mar 17, 2010
    Palmyra, WI
    My Coop
    Actually was pondering on this yesterday, watching the birds. When alert, those tails are 90 degrees, certainly at least 80. When they're at rest, they were more 70.



    Shall we discuss the tail section first? :D

    In regards to the working standard in the second post, which will be updated as we go along, at this point it is not anything official. I wrote it based on what I could find for descriptions of Iowa Blues, what I saw in photos, and what I have seen in my birds. I then pulled birchen and silver penciled descriptions from the SOP 2010, to get us started.

    I propose that we discuss the standard here in sections. Once a consensus is reached on each section, I will change the color of the section above to show that that portion has been finalized. One we get a complete "finalized" version, propose that all members of the IBCC vote to pass it as the official standard, with a majority of a quorum required for it to pass. (The membership signup is open on the site and functional. Basically it collects the information into a spreadsheet for me, so that a list can be generated, manipulated, alphabetized, etc.) With each member signing up, I send an email asking if they would like to be listed on the breeder list and will make a PDF file breeder list much like the Ameraucana Breeders Club has. That can help us find/contact each other. :)

    First order of business, TAILS.
    Excerpts from the working standard above regarding tails:

    SHAPE STANDARD

    Male
    TAIL: Medium length, full, well-spread, feathers of good width, carried at an angle of seventy degrees (70˚) above horizontal.
    Main Tail – broad and overlapping, well-spread
    Sickles – moderate in length
    Lesser Sickles and Coverts – moderate, abundant, extending onto main tail

    Female
    TAIL: Well spread, dense, broad.

    BIRCHEN COLOR STANDARD

    Male - TAIL: Main Tail – web, black.
    Main, Lesser Sickles, and Coverts – lustrous, greenish black

    Female - TAIL: Black.

    SILVER PENCILED COLOR STANDARD

    Male - TAIL: Main Tail – web, black.
    Main and Lesser Sickles – lustrous, greenish black.
    Coverts: lustrous, greenish black with narrow lacing of white.

    Female - TAIL: Main Tail – black, except two top feathers which have – lower web, black; upper web, gray penciled with black.
    Coverts – steel gray with distinct black pencilings.

    I agree, I think we need to up the angle listed.

    Thinking the tail angle should be listed as 80 or 90 (or 90 for cocks, 80 for hens). My mail definitely hits 90 degrees when he's on alert. The 70 was completely arbitrary, measured off of a photo and I think not representative of an alert Iowa Blue. Agreed, they are more game bird in appearance. Think we need to convey this in the standard. Problem is, not sure how that carries over in shows as far as how they carry themselves. Most show photos I've seen show birds relaxed, not on alert. Our birds' tails vary dramatically depending on their mood.

    Should squirrel tails be acceptable? Do we want to go that far? Squirrel tail will certainly get a percentage of the birds disqualified/docked in shows if it's not addressed as acceptable, so an important point to address.

    The above color designations are taken straight from the standard across breeds, so would think we'd want to keep them as written. In fact, I think unless we see something dramatically different across the breed regarding color, that we should accept the color standards as written as that will likely be a bone of contention getting them into the standard if we differ from the accepted standard for those color patterns.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  5. mrheinz77

    mrheinz77 New Beginnings Poultry

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    I'll need to look at mine but I was alarmed when I saw the 70% and looked at my IB and saw near 90% angles. I'm thinking mine are in the 80-90 degree range.
     
  6. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eastern IA
    I have never shown chickens before, but am familiar with showing horses aganst the ideal standard. I guess I need to read up on what all the terms are though. For example what does "well spread" mean? Is that viewed from the side or from the rear? Does anyone have a good written reference on "how to show chickens"? [​IMG]

    I'm OK with allowing squirrel tail as acceptable. I've been selecting against it so far but a lot of them seem to have it. Is this a cosmetic preference or does it affect the performance of the bird as a layer/free ranger? Form to function and all that.
     
  7. dfr1973

    dfr1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 20, 2011
    rural central FL
    Subscribed to this thread (as well as the original one on IBs), even signed up for new club ... still cooling my heels until I get land to put chickens on. I'm quite interested to see what I should be watching for when that day gets here.
     
  8. mrheinz77

    mrheinz77 New Beginnings Poultry

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    SE Wisconsin
    If you look at the Show Quality Speckled Sussex thread, there are a lot of descriptions to these terms. An open tail is looking at it from behind. I know that Snowbird, the guy who was helping us, wanted pictures from the front, the top of the head, wing extended, over the back, from the side, and from behind. I tried to post as many of these as possible when I posted my pictures on the other thread.
     
  9. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

    1,954
    151
    211
    Mar 17, 2010
    Palmyra, WI
    My Coop
    The IBs definitely seem to have an open tail, if viewed from behind. I believe well-spread is based on view from the side. My guys seem to have tails that are dense with broad feathers so there are no gaps between the feathers and tails that fan out widely. The primaries are typically straight and blunt ended..

    Will have to check into that thread.
     
  10. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,464
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    Apr 7, 2010
    Eastern IA
    I'll have to take a peek at that thread for sure - I have Hot2Pot Speckled Sussex in the bator for the Valentines Day hatch [​IMG] Don't know if they'll be SQ or not, but I know nothing about them.
     

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