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True Breeds

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by trooper, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Staunton,Va
    [​IMG] I have had chickens for about 3 years now and I love them I love looking at the various breeds.I have a Wynadotte Rooster,Buff Orpington's.Astrolorps,Speckled Sussex's and a few other Breeds.I get carried away with the chickens,chicken house and most everything about them. I hear about the breeders taking one thing out of a breed by breeding one way and adding something when breeding another way.So far I Love what I have gotten.The question I have is what am I suppose to be looking for when I'm Checking out Breeds.Some Breeds have taken the broodiness of some breeds,and so on.
    Is the older breeds better than the newer breed or the newer breeds better than the older.Are, for the most part are the chickens that you get from hatcheries a true breed.I'm a little confused on exactly looking for or what to expect.[​IMG]Am I looking at this wrong?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I'm one of the handful of BYCers old enough to have raised chickens in the late 1950's. I'm not sharing what I've read about, but mostly just sharing my personal experiences.

    In the 1960's two important things happened in the chicken world. The CX type meat bird took over the broiler industry. You'll virtually never see a traditional bird, on plastic, at a grocery store or in a bucket from a chicken drive in. Those days disappeared. The other thing happened quickly on the heels of this development. The super brown egg layers (think Bovan, ISA, Lohman, etc) as well as the super light weight, super laying strains spun off the Leghorn for the white egg industry. The modern Leghorn is nothing like a Leghorn was just 50 years ago.

    The interest in the traditional birds, what are commonly called dual purpose birds, dropped out of sight. The New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island White and other breeds virtually went extinct. The number of true bred, full bred birds of dozens of common breeds dipped to less than 1000 birds in existence.

    The advent of the back to the earth, the homesteading movement, and finally the backyard movement has brought back the interest in these older, now popular breeds, BUT.... the hatcheries who have sold thousands of these birds, have also changed the game. The birds sold are not up to true type. They just are not. They are often a pound or two lighter than what the APA standard is for the breed, lay 50-80 eggs more per year than what their breed typically laid 75 years ago and often are washed out versions of what their body shape, feathering and coloring is called for in the standard written for each breed.

    Broodiness has suffered as broodiness isn't a trait that is desired for hatchery breeding stocks. The average hatchery bird is said to "represent" the breed.

    The fact is that hatcheries have provided an admirable service. They've produced healthy, cheap chicks and they deliver them to the consumer or to feed stores to re-sell in amazing numbers and for most of the year. They're selling a product. Does that product measure up to what the breed "should" be, according to the standard written and accepted? Umm.. not so much. It is what it is. A modern, 200,000 square foot Super WalMart isn't exactly like the tiny little, old corner market of 75 years ago either. Times change. Some call it progress.
     
  3. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Staunton,Va
    [​IMG][​IMG] I thank you so much much for your explanation. I have a small flock of about 30 give or take and I am wanting to learn as much about them as I can.I have a lot to learn.I should have none that progress would take something away. Is there any true breeds that are known today.I want to see the true brood's , The true moms taking care of their young,and the true breeds themselves.I have bought various hens and they do good for the most part when it comes to laying.I'm still learning the different changes that their bodies go through.I bought some this past spring that were suppose to be good brooder's,but I haven't seen any yet. I've had some for over a year and still no results. Thank you again for your Information.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We have a wonderful thread here on BYC. It is called the Heritage Large Fowl thread.

    While this thread is two years old and has a thousand posts, it is well, well worth paging through and reading. (skipping things that don't interest you). Over the course of those pages, you'll see excellent, outstanding photos and descriptions of dozens of different breeds, true bred to their standard. Take some time to enjoy this thread. It is truly an educational thread.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/400344/heritage-large-fowl-thread
     
  5. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Staunton,Va
    [​IMG]Thank You again.I checked the thread briefly and from what I saw I think more people should be aware of this thread.I read a few messages and checked a few pictures and so far it is awesome.[​IMG]
     

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