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Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Robert Blosl, Oct 7, 2010.
I ve come to the conclusion that many people seem to not want to show their chickens but they say they want to be more of a preservationist. That's nice.
However, in time are they going to just populate more of the same mediocore type birds. Anyone can raise chickens and grow them up but can they improve year in and year out or will they slowing go back wards and loose what they once had.
Some people tell me they don't want a popular breed but a very very very rare breed that not to many people have.
Then when they get the birds and you look at them they are maybe a notch or two above hatchery stock.
That is I guess why only a hand full ever stick with it in this hobby of ten years and give them up.
In regards to all the strains of large fowl reds out there 90 percent of the new people would be happy with just a nice dark red chicken. They are not interested in the type or if they are a top strain or not.
If that is the case getting a bunch of eggs or chicks don't make much difference in my view. In some cases if that is there goal they don't even need a standard of perfection as they are not going to follow or obey it.
When these strains of chickens are shown at major shows and judged by the top judges then you can see who has the top line and if it is worth getting just a nice red chicken from anyone.
Some want to be breeder, some say they want to be preservationist, but most end up being what the old timers called chicken collector's. Do your home work unless you don't care where you birds come from.
I am going to get some Black Australorp hatching eggs from a person that lives near me. She said that she has been breeding them to SOP for 30 years. She does not shoe them
I will let you know what they are like.
These are my RIR chicks from Dick Horstman and I am wondering what the difference is with these feathers? I have about 3 of the ones that are more even and the rest have the longer ones...I'm wondering if this might be a way to sex them? maybe just wishful thinking lol...
You can see in the first picture how one of the chicks feathers sticks out more and are longer and then the other sits kind of flatter against its body.
Ideas on the difference? or is there any?
And looks like I'm holding them by there necks but I assure you I'm NOT.
I for one ,am interested in showing,Egg production,and the life long study in genetics. I am finding it difficult to find research on any of the a fore mentioned.
When we started our individual breed clubs we encouraged people who kept meticulous records to share their data with others it is only in the later days that people have switched to their self serving bragging about their antics in the show ring and antics it has become. Winning with a dog or chicken and paying for that win just to further your own prestige is NOT what showing is about . Showing is a comparison of the dog or bird with others of its kind in order to raise our own awareness of the physical traits that are ,good or bad, but being repeated in our own and others breeding programs so we might select and aim for a better genetic pool for our own dogs or birds in our breeding programs. When showing becomes a commodity to increase our own prestige instead of gaining a superior specimen of the breed in all aspects and ceases to be a united effort on the part of breeders then we have abandoned the true benefits of the tool that showing offers!
Self has become the object of our breeding program and dedication to a breed has flown out the window. Production and promotion of ones self destroys initiative to achieve better dogs or birds and this takes selfless dedication to that goal alone. We must become better informed about the means of collecting and recording results of breeding programs so that our programs may become Truly successful by producing the best examples of the breed we can produce and seek others success when it is beneficial to the breed. This may mean promoting another's dogs or birds above our own ever pushing for that Ideal of our standard .
Maybe there's room for both...or maybe people can be both. Is it possible to want to preserve heritage birds, try to raise them to be as close as possible to the essence of the standard, but not be interested in showing them...or not have the time to show? I think its great that people are beginning to value heritage birds, even if they don't have all the skills and insights of more "seasoned" veterans. It seems to me like that's the way of the world. There is always a small but committed few "professionals" that give the rest of the world something to revere or aim for, even if we never get there. Just a thought.
I am interested in the heritage red, as a effort to preserve them. However, being a foster parent to traumatized children, and a parent to 7 biological children, we do not have time to show birds. But I am willing to let someone choose a bird from my flock to show it and tell the world about the need to preserve them !! Our chickens are a part of the therapy for the foster children. They all love the peeps, and will spend hrs. petting, feeding and hugging a full grown chicken. Our St. Bernards are for the same purpose. They are BIG dogs, but full of love for anything that will love it ! We had a heritage red roo for awhile, and he was the love of our family. One night he suddenly died - life hasn't been the same since ! That's why I am searching for someone close to me, where I can buy peeps or eggs !
Bob's right & I'll state it even more directly. If you don't show I don't think you can do anything to improve or preserve a breed. Oh sure, you can reproduce what you have but that's it. Without the opportunity to see your birds next to those from another breeder & to have them evaluated by an objective eye [the judge] barn blindness will almost surely follow. Barn blindness is when you can't see the flaws in your birds because they're the only birds you ever see. You'll gradually start to overlook defects & start keeping birds for breeding that should be culled. Sooner than you'd think those well bred birds you started with devolve into "just chickens".
Are there exceptions to this? Probably. There may be someone out there who's kept a flock of quality birds going without showing but the odds are against it.
How do you get into showing? I've never been to a show and feel there wouldn't even be any locally for me, I don't want to drive 3+hours to shows if I were going to show. I would love to attend one though just to get the "feel" of them and would be lovely to see all the different chicken breeds, especially those who are bred true to type.
Whether we show or not we should understand the importance of the SOP and the importance of breeding to that standard. Reds were developed by farmers on farms to fill specific needs, eggs and meat. The development of certain traits in the Reds were done so to meet those specific needs and breeding to the standard is what is going to insure that the Reds continue to meet those original requirements.
The long wide body was developed for egg production. The large keel was developed to provide more meat for the table. Even things like the feathering were developed to fill specific needs, close feathers so birds could not only survive the coldest winters but be so well insulated they would continue laying eggs when other breeds had stopped due to the cold. Even the color was developed with a specific purpose in mind, air predators have a much harder time seeing a red bird on the ground then a white chicken.
So while the SOP is important for showing, those standards were set down to adhere to specific requirements of the original utility Reds required by farmers on the farm. We should all understand the importance of the standard when breeding our Reds whether it be for food, for fun, or for competition.