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WAY DOWN YONDER ON THE
What's It All About? Tell It Like It Is!
As a Founding Member of HPBAA and the Secretary/Treasurer/Site Builder, I see a lot of submitted News articles for our Newsletter from our Members. It excites me to tell you that the past few submissions, including our last Newsletter, has been about showing those birds. I recently got back into the show ring this year and am attending more shows. I am doing it for the fun of it. It also does not hurt to win or beat out your opponent in a fun way. There are a few things unfortunately that has come to my attention at these shows. Thank goodness none of which has involved our Members.
One would be the fact that despite the A.P.A.'s
Standard of Perfection Manual, the judges pick what they like.
This is not right, but it is done.
The second is that individual show representatives have been allowing anything and everything into the shows regardless of it's appearance or overall health. Disturbing to say the least. If a bird is missing feathers, then how do the we know what it actually looks like? If it is sick, do we want our healthy birds that we worked so hard on around it? What does this sick representation say about the show representatives, much less the breeder? Enough with the questions and please allow me to make my point. I want to sincerely thank the representatives of the Newnan, GA Poultry Show for their backbone in this matter. Sick birds were tossed out and healthy birds were put in despite the fact that a mistake happened in registering the birds. The show was amazing and fun despite the cold. The whole staff worked hard to get one of our Founding Members into the show despite their extremely full capacity. I am going to take the time to thank just a few of these individuals. I am sure I am leaving someone out, of which is no intention.
Mr. Bryan Massengale/President
Mrs. Beth Smith/Does Everything
Mr. Allen Haygood/Website
Here is a link to these wonderful folk. We will be back next year! We loved the show and the hospitality!
Chattahoochee Valley Poultry Association
Without further delay, please allow us to share one of our Member's articles regarding the interpretation of the Standard of Perfection Manual from the American Poultry Association.
Standard of Perfection
By Ms. Suzette Ellington
The breed descriptions listed in the APA Standard of Perfection, although outlined in great detail, often make for lengthy discussions. It is discussed on how these descriptions should be interepreted. When evaluating our birds, we may see several that fit the description, yet they do not look like the bird in the Stand Illustration. I often wonder how my perception of various breeds would be different if I'd never seen the illustrations in the Standard. I'm sure many of you will agree that the Schilling Illustrations of the male and female Dominique (Suzette's Breed of Choice) are the epitome of what the "old style" speciman would be. I'm not discounting the current illustrations in the Standard; I simply prefer the schilling prints. As you know, those illustrations are based on real life winning birds from Mr. A. Q. Carter, that were beautifully retouched by Mr. Schilling.
If we could go back, forget the illustrations (old or current), and draw the birds based on the description in the Stand alone, how would they look? There is a great deal of room for interpretation, when dealing with outward appearance (shape or color). I must confess that I've developed a preference for an old photo of a cockeral that is my ideal, and the bird that I would like to have in my yard. Each breeder's birds are going to be unique, and that is a good thing. I feel that this hobby would be no fun if we were not able to apply our own preferences. A nicely balanced bird full of vigor is fundamental, and from there we can add our subtle "signatures".
It is possilbe to select for what appeals to your eye, while adhering to the Standard.
The photo below is of the W.H. Davenport Dominique Cockeral that I fancy. This photo is taken from Principals and Practical Poultry Culture by John H. Robinson. It was published in 1912.
The next photo below if of the Schilling Illustration of which is the illustration I prefer.
The two illustrations are certainly different!
One can say that the Robinson Illustration certainly adheres to the Standard nicely and is a fine example of a Dominique male.
I'm curious! What photo out there have you found that you find yourself gravitating toward? If you were going to draw a Dominique using the Standard description alone, what would he look like?
Considering Ecocnomic Qualities
Even though our birds may be different in general appearance, one thing that they must have in common can be found in the very first section of the Standard description.
That is the Economic Qualities.
The Standard was developed and written in a way that the description would yeild a bird whose physical structure (conformation or type) allows for economic (utility) qualities, primarily that of egg and meat production. If the bird is lacking in these areas, that bird does not meet the Standard. Sometimes there is a misconception that a breeder involved in showing their birds simply breeds for "show". This is not the case, since the birds are judged by the Standard.
Standard breeds should adhere to ALL sections of the Standard!
Certainly it helps if a bird "shows" itself well, and that is something to look for. However, this is only parts of the Standard that has been met. At shows, when birds are felt in hand, it will be obvious to the handler birds that are vigourous and of good flesh and which hens are productive layers. If this were not the case, judges could save a great deal of time by not removing each bird from it's cage.
Since most of our comparisons these days are done across the miles, through photos, it is hard to accurately gauge if a bird in a photo meets the Standard of Economic Qualities. Since we can't feel the birds, we find ourselves sizing up the bird from what we can see. Added to that, sometimes photos can be decieving.
There are two photos below of one of my cockerals. In the first photo, he appears appealing, nice stance, fully furnished tail, and good color.
In the second photo below you can see that he is really narrow.
He is "skin and bones". He does not meet
The Standard of Economic Qualities.
This bird was a cull, yet gave the illusion in the first photo that he may have been a quality bird.
Keep this in mind when judging photos of birds, and remember that feedback on birds is not always in the line with interpretation.
There are many factors that cannot be determined from a photo alone.
HPBAA say's thank you Suzette for your knowledgeable input. One statement that Suzette made was,
"Sometimes there is a misconception that a breeder involved in showing their birds simply breeds for "show". This is not the case, since the birds are judged by the Standard."
We certainly do not want to take away anything that Suzette has said when we make this statement. A person who simply breeds the birds for "show" will most likely have birds that do not meet the Economic Qualities. These birds will most likely be gorgeous to look at but usually infertile or rarely even lay an egg. Unfortunately, there are still a few that breed this way. Fortunately, it is but a few and folks are getting away from it.
Thank you again Suzette! You are an asset to our organization.
We do not have a show winner to show off this month! If you are a Member and have one to share, send it in! We want to see your winning birds!