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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Happy Chooks, Jul 10, 2013.
Good night all. Long day nice convo
Just figured if you knew what the black breasted red game were; that you would have realized that there is no way they could have contributed the overall feather type needed to make a tighter feathered bird with a Cochin in the gene pool mix. Not to mention the muscular density. Thought you understood that. Just adding to the conversation
I don't know about any of you but I see a huge similarity between the front end of a buckeye and a Cornish based on the pics buffalo posted side by side!
I see a major similarity. I'd say it was a base breed for the bucks.
I also see a huge similarity in the two. I thank all of you for your insight, both informational from some, and aloof from others at times. This has been quite an educational thread lately.
Before I started raising chickens, I had my sights set on Dark Cornish. I had looked at many pictures and read up on the history of the breed enough to know, they are a breed worth keeping for the value of them as meat birds. I also love the look of them. My first flock was 8 pullets that my neighbor got as a mistake from Welp that were supposed to be Red Production and turned out to be Dark Cornish. They were pretty birds, and they laid well too. However, in doing more research, I found they were not what we see from breeders who are breeding and showing Cornish. Our dogs killed those birds, unfortunately, but it opened my world to more chickens, more breeds, doing more research and looking closer at the breed itself.
That winter, as I poured over breed after breed, I found Buckeyes. I hatched some Bucks the next Spring and bought some from a hatchery too. I loved them, and the more I learned about them, the more I loved them. Now, Buckeyes are my most favorite breed. Now, I have breeder quality and can appreciate them even more than when I started with them.
Okay, there is a moral to this little story. One of the things that attracts me to the Buckeyes is the same thing that attracted me to the Dark Cornish (or Cornish in general), that they have that same characteristic look on their face, that they both are birds of substance and strength. These are breeds that are masculine, muscular and bold. Then to read and find that Buckeyes carry Cornish blood made perfect sense! In fact, in her writings, Nettie even stated: "Many names for my breed suggested themselves, and year after year they bred truer to the type I had in mind, which was a modified Cornish shape,...."
Additionally she stated, "The shape should resemble the Cornish Game, but the Buckeye is not so hard in feather and has more fluffiness of plumage, but not so much as the Rhode Island Red." The additional fluffiness also makes perfect sense as she was developing a breed that would be cold-hardy.
It is true, a Buckeye doesn't look exactly like a Cornish, it is not as tight feathered and doesn't have that split on the breast of feathers to show their muscular chest, BUT when a Buck follows the standard "Broad, deep, well-rounded, carried somewhat elevated above the horizontal." it DOES compare quite well with the Cornish which is to be "Very broad and deep, prominent and well-rounded..." I don't think that Nettie was actually looking for a carbon copy of the Cornish, why would she? She wanted a dual purpose bird that would lay a decent number of eggs. From someone who owns some good quality Cornish, they are a far cry from being even a fair layer, in fact are poor layers. They are a meat bird. But the other thing that the Cornish did for the Buckeye is the same as why they were used to make the meat freak CRXs, because they are much faster growing than other standard breeds.
Perhaps to someone who doesn't and hasn't raised Cornish (and I mean other than the meat freaks that are in a class by themselves), the obvious shared traits of the two breeds wouldn't be as noticeable. To someone who does raise both, I see it every day. I admire it. I see it in the way the head is shaped, the eye is set, the upward stance and carriage of the breast, the wide girth that holds them firm and steady. I love the link that these two breeds share.
Some breeds have gotten to a point of certain features being exaggerated. Cornish are one of those breeds, no doubt. I see photos all over the 'net' of birds with brows so heavy that you can barely see their eyes. Some lines of Cochins have gotten this same way. Some have such short legs and are so thick they cannot mate naturally. I don't get that desire to go extreme, but I get that it is the extreme and not the mainstream. I don't see the Cornish of 100-years ago being what they are today. I believe all breeds have evolved a bit over the last 100-years. We know more about genetics, feed and nutrition and health. That has been incorporated with traits that have advanced through exhibition. Looking back at birds from 100-years ago and comparing them to those of today is a wonderful way to see how these advances have enabled us to make those breeds even better, to make them fit the vision of what they should be. So, it is no surprise to me either that we have seen refinement in the Buckeyes today over those of 100-years ago. However, I have seen some extremities with the Buckeyes in some lines I have bought in an attempt to spruce up the blood diversity in my own. Some of those birds have their legs so far apart as to look more like some toy I remember playing with as a kid- it was a comical looking toy, and those are comical looking birds, or were before I removed them from my flock. I am not sure why anyone would want to go with an extreme like that, but I suppose it was part of how they interpretted the SOP, or maybe they just thought that was what gave them more heart girth but just made them look goofy to me.
Some breeders, I guess, believe they always need to make their breed like the Bionic Man, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster...", instead of just trying to follow what is already in the Standard. Some even try to get the Standard changed because it is "too hard" to achieve.
Thank you. I'm across the state line (PA side) and then some. SE PA to be more exact. Current have Silkies, Columbian Rocks, and Swedish Flower Hens. Looking to add 2 or 3 more breeds (Buckeyes, Goldlaced Orpingtons, and perhaps 1 more).
Welcome!! Sounds like you have a nice flock. Buckeyes would round it out nicely.
As long as you're not a steelers fan; I'll help you out welcome to the thread and I'm sure we can find you what you're looking for !
Hi Buffalogal, I woke up to an email of your response about the puffy Buckeyes, but I can't seem to find it to quote. I would not say the Buckeyes I saw at the Columbus show were "jacked up", but they were just kind of puffy, especially in the legs. Makes them look kind of funny, a little less powerful or majestic. (Not sure if that is the right word, but that's how I think of the Buckeyes.) I think you are right about the fad though. To me, the Buckeyes should be strong and full looking, not puffy and soft like a silky or something. But then again, I like the Buckeyes because they are for meat and eggs, and are very friendly, but still hold their own in the yard. (My roo will run the dog off if he gets too close to the hens.) A big puffy bird is not practical for my farm and that's why I picked the Buckeye.
Maybe some of the breeders are getting carried away with the puffiness or getting confused with how puffy many of the other breeds of chickens in the show pens are. Like I said I'm kind of new to the show world. We mostly raise chickens for meat and eggs, you don't really pay attention to stuff like that until you start thinking about showing them. I sure did see people doing some weird stuff to chickens at the show. People brought whole tool boxes of beauty supplies like it's a beauty pageant or something. I guess that's something I will need to learn about too. Right now, mine are just chickens. I can see where you would want to clean then up a bit so they look their best though.
There really is so much to learn, I search the internet trying to find the old articles and pictures of the Buckeyes, so I appreciate you posting the articles and pictures if you have them. I found this old article from Dr. L.B. Pitcher. It seems to be talking about the same things as this conversation thread. Looks like the debate over the shape and coloring of the Buckeyes has been going on for a long time. I was glad to see the confirmation of the Cornish/game influence in the make up of the Buckeye. I was wondering what you all were talking about, but now this makes sense I can see the big breast and eyebrows the Buckeyes have, well at least mine do. I also see where some of the Buckeyes may be getting a little too puffy from the Cochin, I'm surprised we don't have Buckeyes with feathered feet, but maybe that's what Nettie Metcalf bred out when she was making all the crosses to get the Buckeye. Just a little Cochin influence, but not so much that they are light colored or puffy.
Here's the link if you want to read it. It's in the old style print, so it's a little hard to read. I just wish I could see the pictures Dr. Pitcher referenced from that time period.
http://books.google.com/books?id=xM...page&q=the buckeye the ideal red fowl&f=false