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Would Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks be a good choice for someone's first SOP breeding project?

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard o' started by QueenMisha, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Hello! I'm seeking advice regarding Silver Penciled Rocks. I'm currently seeking a breed to work with and breed to the Standard of Perfection - I have several other projects but none are SOP, they're more oriented towards the pet market - sex link Silkies, Olive Eggers, a project color variety of Booted Bantams, and such. And as much as I'm enjoying those projects, I'd like something that already has a long history and concrete foundation to work with. I've been considering several breeds - others among them are White Rocks, Barred Rocks, Buckeyes, Rhode Island Reds, and Light Brahmas - but a variety I've been really enamored with has been the Silver Penciled Rock. I've had them for several years, all stock from Dick Horstman. I truly enjoy their personality, their wonderful broodiness, their vigor, and of course their beauty. However, I recognize that there are likely certain varieties which would be more ideal for beginners to start with (White and Black are probably the "easiest"). Would those of you with experience breeding Standardbred fowl consider the Silver Penciled variety a bit much for a beginner to work with? Would I be better off going with a solid color variety like a White Rock? Would there be any other breeds or varieties you would recommend or advice you have for someone with a strong interest in working with and breeding Standardbred birds?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    No. That would be one of the last varieties a beginner should start with. The reasons are that the variety overall is in very poor shape with quality numbers at horrific lows. The Wyandottes in Silver Penciled in in better shape but still, nothing for a beginner to mess with.

    The best advice is to learn the million things you need to learn about type, breeding, care, conditioning and exhibiting through starting with a breed and or variety that actually is in good shape. After a few years, moving on to another challenge? Just fine. Make sure you have good mentoring.

    I recommend you begin with a white or black bird and learn the ropes. This is one of THE most challenging hobbies you'll be involved in learning.

    Best of luck to you.

    Love the breed you choose. Passion and enjoyment are paramount.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Thank you so much for your honesty. I appreciate it. In that case I will retain my SPPR as layers and broodies only. I'll look into getting some good White Rock stock in that case - I truly do like the look of Rocks and if the personality of the Whites is anything like that of the Silver Pencileds and the one Barred I have then I am sure I will enjoy them. I saw some White Rocks at the big Modesto show last year and liked the look of them a lot (I think one of them did get Best in Show, though, so perhaps my view of them was biased by that).
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Check out those beauties in Fred's avatar! Breeder quality standard bred Rhode Island Reds are a striking bird and better layer than standard bred Rocks. Matt1616 here has some fine New Hampshire and stunning White Rock too.

    As you know I have the Silver Penciled. It took persistence and luck to get the best possible stock. They still need work and I'm in it for the long haul, it's the only variety we keep. To get hatching eggs of current line took time and energy to obtain. The temperment of this variety is incredible and the other factor for not wanting to have another variety or breed. The best behaved cock birds I've ever had and that's important with young children. The biggest problem with this variety is they brood and they brood and after you've broken every hen twice since spring and think you'll finally get some eggs a few try and brood again late fall. Not your best choice if eggs are important to you. They can produce good egg numbers but year totals are shot as they don't lay for a few weeks after breaking brood. I hope the line acquired this spring isn't as broody as the first. It's by far better type and years ahead of working with our original line.

    If you decide you really want this variety look me up next spring. Of all that hatched of the new to me line (Robert Murphy) two pullets will be in a breeding pen. I may be able to spare a few eggs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I thought about this a lot last night.....

    I'm 100% behind Fred. This would be a bad variety for a beginner. Probably just detrimental to the breed.

    However, I don't think you classify as a beginner. True, you've not bred SOP birds before. But, from what I see of your posts here, you have a wonderful foundation. I think the most important thing is an eye for quality and shape, and you seem to have that. If you were on here with pics of your hard feathered, 7lb, vertical tailed lavender "Orpington" roo and couldn't understand why he wasn't the bestest, most blue-ribbon deserving bird ever just because he is sooo sweet and you love him.....I'd say no way [​IMG]

    I think you may be just what this variety needs. You're young, and as you put it, enamored with the breed. That passion will go a long ways, which will be good as you'll be in for a long haul [​IMG].

    You could start with a more common breed, but what I see from your post is you'll come back to the penciled birds.

    If you've got the space, etc....maybe go with two projects. Whites and Silver Penciled. The Whites would move faster for you, getting to where you want to go. The penciled birds could be kind of a background project, as they'll take longer. You can start small and take your time.

    And find a good mentor, as Fred said.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Being in California also presents it's own unique challenges. It's almost a different country, poultry wise speaking. You'll have to attend the Biggest Baddest show out there, which, BTW the APA national was last held in Modesto so I sure how you attended.

    Without an extra ordinary start from someone who will entrust you with great breeder stock? Your climb will be discouraging. One reason, among a dozen good reasons, to start with a black or white bird you really like is that you have earn your way into respectability, no one hands it to you. You've got to prove yourself and show up with birds your've bred, raised and conditioned and catch the "eye" of your fellow poultry women and me.. Folks just don't have enough good starter stock, stock worthy of breeding to push these venerable, rare old Large Fowl forward. Are they going to entrust what few there are to beginners? I know this sounds so snooty but it really is not. Because for every person that helps the breed/variety there are a dozen who either ruin them through ignorance or are here to day, gone tomorrow. Experienced breeders want to see what you're made of. Trust has to be built and honestly, that just takes time and relationships need to be nurtured.

    This is also a huge part of what a good mentor can help you navigate.

    I want to encourage as I do encourage all sincere, dedicated young folk to become breeders of these vanishing Large Fowl in all there various glory and varieties. We need you onboard, but we need you to succeed, not succumb to discouragement. Best wishes and here's to hoping it works out well for you.

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  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the eye candy Fred. All beautiful birds but can't stop drooling at that White's form. For fun I'm going to run out and see if I can get a candid of one of the two that I'll be breeding.

    [​IMG]

    It's cold and windy today so is the best pose I could wait for. Not too bad for SPPR.

    I take no credit for this bird. She's pure Murphy. All I did was stalk him for awhile online, show interest and some knowledge, have a lot of persistence then drove two states away to pick up eggs direct from him and incubate. That's nothing compared to the decades Robert put into his birds. Side note is while there he showed me his pet project Pyle Plymouth's. Simply stunning as it's entirely new variety and they are definitely Rock type. Like all long time breeders a joy to talk with and see his birds in person.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Nice Rocks, Egghead. Nice indeed. Keep at it.
     
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    That's the first photo taken of her. Everything came together with her right down to yellow legs. Got VERY lucky. Her hatch mates have dusty black legs, drooping tails or poor penciling. Lucky indeed. The other pullet breeder has good form, only lacking in penciling area but as you say we can paint the barn later.

    Almost want to house her inside for fear of predator strike by breeding season. Shuddering at the thought of it. Don't you know how it goes, if you loose one it always seems to be your best.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm so NOT a SOP breeder, and for the most part I don't like white birds. But....

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    Just box her up and ship her to me, wouldja? That is one pretty bird. Usually it's the barred ones that catch my eye, but this lady is just nice.

    Seriously, thanks Fred for coming at this from a show/breeder perspective. I'd not thought about a new breeder needing to establish "street cred", for lack of a better term. That makes sense, then to start with the Whites since those are another variety she's interested in, and work on getting experience, etc.
     

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