Question about poultry standards book--

Terri O

10 Years
Jan 2, 2010
WI~chickening for 30 years!
So, I go to the library and request a poultry standards book...she cant find anything. Then I say for show chickens and she says "I found one but I have to order it from another library." I get a call that my book is to the library--OMG! What does she give me? A 1935 copy of the American Standards Of Poultry!

So my question is: How much have the standards of poultry changed? I just want to try to identify some of the various chickens in my flock...not to show so much right now but just to see "what I have." I know that dogs and horses have changed a whole bunch in what we are looking for...what about chickens? Thankd! Terri O
I agree that online (this site) is probably your best bet. You can get a black and white SOP for about $15 or a new color version is supposedly coming out in a few months (will probably I think be about $70). I think the last standard was in 2001? Yes, several birds have been added since the 30's. I am not sure the SOP is your best bet for identification purposes though. Probably just posting pictures on this site is.
The new standard is supposed to be coming out very soon, but I think that's been being said for awhile. Look for a used copy, or borrow one and copy or write down the pertinent info for your breed.

Unfortunately, feathersite and picture books cannot take the place of the detailed descriptions of an SOP if you are trying to show or breed to standard.
I totally agree with Ultasol. I should clarify that I recommended what others had said about looking online because the OP said this was to identify the breeds they have. Anything beyond that, I would *highly* suggest having an SOP. There is no substitute. I think anyone that wants to really breed poultry needs to have one.
Unfortunatly the black and white verison of the SOP is sold out and not to be republished.

Since OP is looking to ID hatchery stock color pictures are best bet and SOP might not help since most hatchery birds do not conform to SOP. There are many threads here on BYC of pictures of hatchery stock breeds. There is a whole breed section that people have posted ID and desciption as well as pictures of their bords.
Be aware that this book is not the Standard of Perfection. The Standard are available only from the APA &/or the ABA. The newest edition of the APA Standard is due to be released this fall.
Someone else suggested as a resource. The site does have quite a collection of pictures of different breeds/varieties but many of the birds pictured aren't great examples of their respective breeds.
Thanks for all the responses and information! I have been busy reading the 1935 edition of the SOP and am finding it fascinating! One question still remains the standards for poultry change with the times like say, the standards for dogs do? My friend that breeds show dogs says that the conformation standard for her breed has changed quite a lot since the introduction of the breed. I am just wondering how accurate the information about chickens would be in a book this old?
Thanks! Terri O

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