Quality chicken questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kschaff1, May 19, 2019.

  1. kschaff1

    kschaff1 Chirping

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    Hi guys, I’m new so please forgive me if this is the wrong place for this question. I’m curious about learning to recognize quality birds because while I’m new to them now and have no plans, someday I would love to have a great quality flock I could breed. Most of my current birds were sold to me as pet or cull quality which is perfectly fine for me at the moment, I would like to learn as much as I can before I delve into that world! So please, share your resources, your links, and your personal experience!

    Also side question, a somewhat local breeder has some silver Phoenix pullets for sale that she describes as being “rooster feathered” and says they would not be show quality themselves but any roosters they produce would be better than average. Has anyone run into this before and know if it’s legit and if it’s a good thing? They’re nice looking birds but I don’t know enough yet to know if I’m being duped.
     
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  2. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    You can go to poultry shows and fairs, and talk to the breeders who are showing their birds. That's a good way to learn. You can find these events by googling.
     
  3. kschaff1

    kschaff1 Chirping

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    That sounds doable!
     
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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    X2. To me this is the best way to get started on show quality birds.

    I'm not familiar with Phoenix so I don't know if that is valid or not. Some show quality breeders keep one flock to breed roosters and a different flock to breed hens. That's where experts could help you out.
     
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  5. kschaff1

    kschaff1 Chirping

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    Oh interesting! I’m not really sure if I want breed for roosters specifically. I don’t know anything about showing chickens in general so I don’t have plans to do that at the moment. They are lovely birds though so I may get them just as pets anyways.
     
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  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    There are so many aspects to this hobby. When you find the breed you want, or even a couple breeds that you might go with, study their SOP's. Quality animals are beauty to behold. It takes a discerning eye, to realize what is correct, and that takes practice, and handling your birds. Learn how judges measure birds, what they look for in feathers, and body confirmation.

    Good luck,
    MRs K
     
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  7. kschaff1

    kschaff1 Chirping

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    Thank you for the advice, I certainly have a lot to learn! I’m excited to delve in but I want to be responsible about it!
     
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  8. ConnieA

    ConnieA Songster

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    There are two American standards for poultry, one published by the American Poultry Association (APA) which describes general characteristics and breed-specific features for standard-sized chickens, true bantam chickens that are only bantam (that is, there are no standard sized versions), all geese, all ducks, and all guineas that have been admitted to the standard; and one published by the American Bantam Association (ABA), which describes general characteristics and breed-specific features of bantams, which includes both true bantams and bantams that are smaller versions of standard sized birds. The standards are published in book form every few years. Many libraries have them. If you are interested in a particular breed, or want to look up whether a bird is truly a good specimen, these books can be very helpful, if the breed is already recognized and documented in the standard. However, new poultry breeds are always being added.
    Going to shows is a really good idea, as SueT and Mrs. K suggested. Most shows are sanctioned by the APA and the ABA, and the judges are basing their awards on how close each bird is to the standards in these books. If you start to work toward showing, these standards books are excellent references.
    To find your local shows, you can look at www.poultryshowcentral.com, which lists shows by state and by month.

    Another great reference is www.feathersite.com. This site has pictures of chickens breed by breed, including chicks, and lists resources like poultry clubs that focus on a particular breed or set of breeds.

    If you are interested in heritage or endangered breeds, check out the recently-updated list of rare poultry breeds at www.livestockconservancy.com. There are descriptions of the rare, threatened, and recovering poultry breeds. Some breeds are not (yet) recognized by the APA or ABA.

    Hope this helps get you started. There's a lot to learn, but I found it interesting every step of the way.
     
  9. kschaff1

    kschaff1 Chirping

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    Thank you, this seems like a great starting place!
     
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  10. Santa Claus

    Santa Claus Chirping

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    New to this as well but my understanding is more complete with bovine. I would spring for the APA standards of perfection book and then start going to shows. Find a person who shows and that you like their personality to help with your understanding of the book. The question about the breeding qualities of birds is true to a certain extent. Some of the plainest birds will produce amazing results. It comes down to knowing the genetics of their parents and their parents. There is a lady in New Zealand that posted a series on breeding a white laced buff Wyandotte and one of her hens was a white laced white Wyandotte which was quite plain but provided the genetics needed to produce the super clean white and buff she was trying for.
     
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