The Buckeye Thread

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Happy Chooks, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. HappyBuckeye

    HappyBuckeye Out Of The Brooder

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    Exactly! Draft horses are bred for work. I get what you're saying there. They might be dirty and muddy in the field or pulling timber from forests, but clean them up and pick the finest specimen from the best breeding and they could be selected for the show. Look at the Clydesdales for the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser hitch. These are fine workhorses who are also magnificent show specimens. Just take a look at the specification required to even qualify for that elite team. They have very specific coloring and trait requirements beyond just being a draft horse to even qualify for the Budweiser hitch and that is what makes all the difference when you see them working together. In my mind, for the horse comparisons, that is what most closely resembles the Buckeye. I know how to breed them as a "work horse" or barnyard chicken. The question is, without compromising the type of chicken that they are (large bodied American Class like the Jersey Giants, Hollands, Rocks, and RIRs), how do you perfect the other 40% of the traits Bluface mentioned to make them show quality as well?
    We're not aiming for a show quality race horse, though, so we need to be careful not select Buckeyes that more closely resemble a Cochin in fluffiness or a Leghorn in raciness as what a show quality Buckeye should be. If they are draft horses, show them as the finest specimen of a draft horse. If we could just agree on that, maybe all the other traits will fall into place.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2013
  2. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    nevermind
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
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  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    This. The best answer to the false and artificially constructed question asked of our other American Class breeds as well. "Do you breed to the SOP, for show, or for thrift and utility?" I always answer the same way. Yes.
     
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  4. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Can each of the teams please describe the point system regarding both "type" and "color" as well as describe the specific steps you take when selecting show quality birds?

    I won't speak for a "team" but I can speak for myself...
    In selecting for breeding or showing, I first look to the SOP. I believe that following the breed description will produce birds that could serve in both capacities.
    I must admit, I go to color first, BUT I also hatch a LOT of chicks. In the cockerels especially, the light colors go to make someone's tummy happy. The dark ones get picked up and handled and the type is then the most important. I have a couple of lighter colored pullets and hens I have yet to make the final cut with, and I might allow a couple of them in my breeding pen, but it is because I know I have males who will bring the dark mahogany and extend the undercolor if needed, but those lighter hens and pullets will have type that will save them from the dinner pot this season.
    My Bucks must be robust, they must have balance, they must have depth, feather quality and width, they must have the appropriate color on top, underneath, on the beak, eye, wattles, comb, legs, tail. That is the goal. Will every bird come out that way? No, I guarantee it won't (sorry for the earlier wording, because I would never guarantee a perfect bird). Will I have more of them coming close to meeting the SOP perfection. I believe so.
    I do not show much, in fact, I have just started this fall at showing the birds myself. I am not as worried about myself, but I sell to kids who take their birds in 4-H. Some go to State Fair. I want the birds I breed to be the best example of what the Buckeye should be for whoever sees them so that I can make people aware that these wonderful birds exist and are here for the taking.
    All that being said, if they also don't lay for poop, then what they heck would I want to keep them for? Yes, they need to serve their function in both eggs and meat. Would I sacrifice one for the other? Not if I can help it.
    I do not speak for anyone else, as I said. I know some will want to breed for a heftier bird for meat use. Some will want to breed a more thrifty bird for egg laying, and that is fine by me.
    But if a person is planning to slap them up on the table for review and critique, then bring the best you can produce that meets the SOP.

    The SOP weighs Type/Shape 63 points and Color 37 points. Of that 37, 28 points are giving to feather color. How can a breeder of Buckeyes ignore over 1/4 of what the breed is supposed to look like? Yes, type is more important, but is it so much more important that you just throw out color? Not to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
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  5. Ivagrove

    Ivagrove Out Of The Brooder

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    Chris and Fred, you are absolutely right. There is only one description of the breed, and it applies to all of the uses that the bird can be used for. When people are told to " read the SOP", it means read the whole thing. The individual breed description is not enough.
     
  6. HappyBuckeye

    HappyBuckeye Out Of The Brooder

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    Did someone ask that question? "Do you breed to the SOP, for show, or for thrift and utility?" I think we are all saying the same thing here and yes, the answer would be "Yes".

    The question is- If you only have "show quality" chickens walking around on your farm how do you determine which ones to send to the shows? Do you just load them all up? Surely there is some way to distinguish which ones are of higher caliber and worthy of the show pen?
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm...while I agree with what you say in theory, those who show may have a bit different of an opinion. Why? Because even if we DO have an SOP that was written "back in the day" when breeding for utility was quit possibly (and likely) the main descriptor for a breed, the fact is that birds, over time, do evolve, so to speak, in response to how the judges have placed them. Anyone exhibiting Plymouth Rocks can attest to that, by way of the "White Rocks" being shown today.

    Not trying to cause an argument, just providing a different viewpoint. So, if you're breeding for exhibition, you may be looking for qualities that are just a bit different. Again, just my opinion - I do not claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  8. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    nevermind
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
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  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Wynette, I know exactly what you're saying and that element will always be there whenever humans are involved in judging.
    The breeder has to decide whether he/she wants to play to that or not.
     
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  10. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    One item I see pop up often in discussions about our beloved Buckeyes is hearth girth.
    Some who are new to poultry might be trying to figure out what this is exactly.
    The word girth is defined as follows:
    girth |gərθ|
    noun
    1 the measurement around the middle of something, esp. a person's waist.
    • a person's middle or stomach, esp. when large.
    2 a band attached to a saddle, used to secure it on a horse by being fastened around its belly.
    verb [ trans. ] archaic
    surround; encircle : the four seas that girth Britain.

    In the book Chicken Encyclopedia by Gail Demerow, pg 175 (viewable online) shows a diagram of a Cornish type bird with the marking across the breast that shows where one would follow across and around to feel or measure heart girth.
    Why is this important? Girth in any livestock is important because it is directly responsible for capacity internally, which in turn will allow or disallow an animal to have an adequate intake of food. Food consumption along with its ability to process it determines how the animal converts the food to either meat, milk, eggs, etc..
    The deeper heart girth, then translates to more capacity internally, which then gives the bird more foraging/food capacity, which in turn equals the ability to produce food (meat or eggs).
    In the case of the Buckeye, we want them to have the ability to do both, so that heart girth is very important.
    Heart girth should not be confused with the width between the legs, which is a measure far below the heart girth. That is not to say that the width between the legs is not important, a bird's leg placement should be such that is is able to adequately support the weight and provide balance. This should be neither grossly narrow or exaggeratedly wide.
    I have recently seen some videos that are marketed as educational on this topic which clearly the presenter did not do their homework. I cannot stress enough to people new to poultry, regardless of the breed, to research multiple sources to find the answers or information you need to select and breed the best birds you can. This in not limited to the SOP, and there are thousands of resources available online, many of them FREE, that will give you the answers you need to be a good breeder and competitive show breeder if you so choose.

    I should make mention that there are birds out there, such as the Cornish Rock Crosses and Broadbreasted varieties of turkeys that this whole concept is thrown off somewhat due to the breeding that goes into them that makes them somewhat freakish in how they consume and process food into the mass that they do.
     

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