The Heritage Rhode Island Red Site

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Robert Blosl, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. noahsmom

    noahsmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I dont know if I had ever told you but LOVE your avatar, sorry if this is a repeat. I LOVE Lucille Ball and still watch her shows, she was one of the best actresses.

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    I'm excited I found a poultry show with in 52minutes of me :) All the others are 3-4hours away!
    We will be going May 25th possibly the 26th as well in Ohio. Excited!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  2. bayocum

    bayocum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well said Penny. How often do we miss the forest for the trees...or the orchard...right Penny [​IMG]. Having grown up around farming and ranching, and managing a working farm today, I would suggest that there is a foundational purpose for our animals...production. As Penny says, the SOP is eminently important in this pursuit lest we go down the path of losing the wonderful characteristics of these heritage breeds simply for more eggs and meat. That said, a beautiful animal that doesn't produce would be of little use to the men and women that established these breeds. The show was a way of getting publicity for the quality of your stock, not just for mere conformation. Beauty without productivity is a pet. There is room in the world for pets too. To say that the show is the ultimate goal may be true for some, but not why these birds were created. It reminds me of the hundreds of beautiful hunting dogs I've seen in the fields over they years. Their owners have paid thousands of dollars to top breeders, only to spend the entire day chasing their dog around the field. Other dogs, usually from reputable lines too, are not always the prettiest, but they can hunt. Their owners know what their dogs are for, put them in the right environment, and work very hard with them...tirelessly hard. So are their dogs worth less because they don't show them? Should they stop raising dogs because they aren't getting recognition in the ring?
    In his 1923 book on RIR's, George Scott points out: "Turning an unseeing eye to every other point, the poultry breeders of the Rhode Island had definitely and persistently in view of the production of a first rate utility fowl for the supply of eggs and table poultry for the local markets...In plain truth the Rhode Island Red was make by the utility poultry-keeper for utility purposes. And herein lies the secret of its astounding success; the key to its unquestioned supremacy."
    Showing has its place and is a worthy pursuit...I'm just suggesting its not the only end in itself.
     
  3. Robert Blosl

    Robert Blosl Rest in Peace -2013

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    When it comes to Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks there are a few sources on how to breed them for color. Shape is pretty simple you build the barn and then you paint it. A book or article is not going to teach you to much about breeding for type. Except one. Color on the other hand is tricky. You hope you can get a few ideas from the super stars alive or dead to help you and then you just roll up your sleeves and try to do it.

    One problem that has happen over the last 50 years is the loss of the books and knowledge from old news letters passed down to the future sectaries of breed clubs where stolen or lost after they died so folks like you come along can locate it. I twenty years ago had to hurry and get and find the stuff for R I Reds before it burned up or went to the dump. I read every thing I could on the subject I located about 100 old poultry books and read them many you can get on library loan today to your local library. You can make a road trip to a Vet Library like Cornell in New York, Ames in Iowa or Knoxville in Tenn and find rows of Poultry stuff to read and look at. It would take you a week in some cases to research the books and magazines on the shelves. What we need is young people who can get into their computer and get to these libraries and help us get a data base of what is there. If we could find the list that they have and the names of the authors of the books then some one like me could see the list and tell you if its a book worth getting.

    However, there are information out there you just got to go looking for it. Just let me say the wilder, the rarer the harder the least popular breeds you guys go after the harder it will be to locate the information you want. Many of these old breeds just where not popular back then. You may think the picture in the chicken catalog is pretty but its still now and even then to difficult to afford to breed such a bird. Remember my little thing that may offend someone but its KISS. I see the same mistakes being made today as two years ago by beginners. Thanks for the positive post. Thats the kind of sprit we need in this hobby.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I have attended the Ohio Nationals in Columbus early November of each year. That's how I became interested in better quality chickens than my egglaying hatchery gals. Lucasville, Ohio which is south of Columbus has several shows a year. If you read some of the poultry magazines there will be monthly listings for regional shows.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  5. jaman4

    jaman4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey Noahsmom,
    I get the impression you are talking about making the Lucasville show.It is a good one.I think you will be blown away if it's your first show.
     
  6. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with NYREDS on this one. To really improve a breed, showing is needed. I see and hear people all the time saying about their silkies, "I dont show, but these are from "this person" and he wins with them. . When I look at 90% of people who say that, i see birds penned up and bred totally wrong in my opinion. Chicks have less or few toes than standard, split wing, single combs, and many other defects. Even if they had quality stock, they failed to preserve the quality and started "propagating" just to make money.

    I know this is an RIR thread, but i just used silkies as and example.
     
  7. noahsmom

    noahsmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, I don't know much about breeding chickens at all but I do know dogs. You see so often these puppies advertised as having Champion grand parents, or 20 chanpions in pedigree etc,.. That doesn't mean squat to when it comes down to the puppy it self and it's conformation. However they know they can jack the price up by the hundreds just saying these puppies are from these or that lines, sad when new comers get pulled into this scam and run there pups to a show and figure out differently really quick.
    I know many people really do have good intentions and it's great to want to try your best to breed to the standard but my not attending shows with your chickens or dogs or whatever you are not getting an outside view. As my father always says in essence we would become a horse with blinders on, We can only see what we have in front of us and will be more lenient on faults or defects than a judge or expert would on the outside or just not notice them. I hope I'm not offending anyone, I can certainly see just wanting to have nice chickens in your backyard which is why I chose horstman poultry RIR's they are nice looking reds and I wasn't interested in the hatchery birds.
    Showing is peaking my interest a little and this is why I am going to attend one for myself, to see if it is for me and will fit my lifestyle. If not I am perfectly content with my RIR's as layers which is what they were and are originally intended for.
     
  8. black75betty

    black75betty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This statement is disappointing to those of us that, because of geography, can't show. I completely understand the value of shows- for just the reasons that you stated. But I object to the negative/pessimistic tone- that pretty much negates the idea of my even trying to breed quality birds. I spent alot of time researching breeds, finding a source for what I felt were excellent genetics/birds, and am really looking forward to receiving my RC chicks in the next few weeks. I'm new to breeding to the SOP- but I am certainly going to try very hard, to do the best that I can, and use as many resources as I can- for outside input on my birds. I certainly hope that someday this very Thread on BYC might be one of those resources.
     
  9. bayocum

    bayocum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think its pretty hard to say that what cjschickens is doing with her birds is not important. Showing is a great pursuit, one that my family has pursued with other livestock, and intends to pursue with chickens. That said, the "show" was made for chickens, not the chicken for the show. The chicken was made for the farm. Many, many people who show chickens don't live on a farm. That doesn't make what they do any less important or valuable. However, this very breed was created as a farm producer...the ultimate producer. For those that are raising them purely for their heritage and the production qualities, well thats exactly why we have heritage RIR's, period. Each person plays his or her own part, whether it be pet, production, or show. Working toward the SOP can be done by anyone, anywhere. Showing makes it easier, because you see what others are doing, get valuable objective feedback, and meet an array of wonderful and interesting people. Showing, in most cases, helps keep the breed grounded to its roots, but even then some trends in the show ring aren't always beneficial. If you wanted to get down to brass tacks, it would be more historically correct to say that RIR's should only be raised on farms for their dual-purpose qualities and any other pursuit is merely a "fancy." As Penny clearly pointed out... the SOP was a means to an end, not the other way around. There's room in the heritage RIR world for everyone black75betty, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I think we can all agree though, that breeding toward the SOP is the best way to add value to the RIR community.

    Bob,
    I have found some really great resources at this website, including reprints from Cornell's library. If you search "rhode island red chicken" you will get some fantastic results, many from the 20's, 30's, and 40's. The affordable ones are all reprints, but as long as the information is there, I'm happy. You have to skip past the children's books on the "Adventures of Rhode Island Red," unless of course you have children or grand children to share it with [​IMG].
    -Brice
     
  10. Robert Blosl

    Robert Blosl Rest in Peace -2013

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    This tread has been one of the top two or three threads on this site to get people involved and to help them get started correctly, you just have to understand history of this breed and those who have tried to own them and breed them. Some times it takes some one like me to just tell the truth to some of the beginners. If you could just get 30 years of poultry presses, and Rhode Island Red Chronicles, then the club membership lists sit down for six months to a year and read each and every one of them write down the names of the top people per year winning ten add all this data up after a ten year run you will see who has come and who has gone.

    I have two people coming back who are now in their mid 60s like me who are trying it all over again. Hopefully, they have learned from their mistakes and or will listen. If they don't they don't have many years to have success as they will be to old and unable to care for there birds or will be pushing up dizzies

    Anytime I write something like this on this site someone will take it the wrong way and be offended. We all can not win or be successful at something we try. Heck I have seen people try five to ten different breeds in ten years and then they find what seems to work for them and they are very good at it.

    Some people just have the old fashion PASSION the number one trait as a owner, breeder or what ever you want to call us and they will not refuse to fail. They just keep pushing.\

    In Rhode Island Reds we are lucky to have three to five people who have very good strains and they now have five to ten who are what I call sub strain beginners with all hopes to be like the folks they got their start from. If they will use these people as advisers or mentors they then in time will be successful.

    There are some types such as Rose Comb which are few but there are still ok. Just remember the Rose Combs have always taken a back seat to the single combs. It just the way it has always been. WHY I think to much crossing of single combs back into the Rose Comb line. It will take at least ten years to get a nice comb on a strain and if you plow away at it you will get it.

    Now I feel your pain for not having shows in Alaska. However, I can not get in my boat and drive ten miles to my river and fish for King and Silver Salmon or Steelhead where I live. I can think about it in my mind. I wish I lived up where you live. I would be fishing my self to death.

    I also, do not live near a lot of shows. Got to travel two to four hundred miles to attend a show. Now we have one that is 45 min from my home in Dec and March.

    You don't have to attend shows to be a good breeder but some times you need a judge to hit you between the eyes with your Buff Brahmas like your under color is to light or you don't have enough width of skull or you lack good feathering on the birds feet. You think you got it but then when you go to a show you will learn you may not have it.

    Do not worry right now. Just get started and learn there are plenty of articles on the web for you to read on how to do it or breed for color.

    Most important thing is to have patients and faith in you who carry the feed bucket.
     
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