Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicken Whisperer

This morning I'll be talking about Cochins with Andy Schneider and Pat Foreman. This painting wasa done in 1898. The Buff color was especially popular. It caught the eye of the poultry fancy and was bred into many other breeds during the second half of the 19th century.

Also, use the Search function to locate more posts on Cochins in my blog. Tuesday, October 26, 2010 has a detailed post about them and their history, with several illustrations. Friday, January 9, 2009 haas the drawing of Queen Victoria's original Cochin Chinas.

News of another breed: Blake posted that he has some Dark Brahmas available. Contact him at blake.ragghianti@gmail.com,

Monday, January 17, 2011

Egg Day!

Our Buttercup laid her first egg (for us). She was about a year old and an experienced layer when we got her in October, but was molting. The timing was such that she simply took a few weeks rest, until after the solstice. January 15 was long enough, and she laid a beautiful medium-sized tinted egg. She laid a second one this morning, Monday.
So my husband enjoyed fresh eggs for breakfast today!

I hope our White Dorking gets the idea soon. The Colored Dorking cockerel is trying to mate with her. Thus far, she's not very interested. Once she starts laying, I'll wait about three weeks before collecting eggs to hatch. I'm eager to get a clutch from that pair.
For now, I'm happy to have at least one laying.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Backyard Poultry magazine

The editors at Backyard Poultry magazine have collected 320 pages of articles from 2006, the magazine's first year. They bound them into a single volume and named it For the Love of Poultry. It's now available through their web site, http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/store/books/978-0-972966-13-9.html, for 19.95.

There's something in it for everyone -- light-hearted stories of the naturally fun chickens, such as the hen who hatched duck eggs, serious business of health, all-around husbandry, history and breeding. It's the kind of book you can happily open at any place and find something to enjoy.

Worth having in your poultry library.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chickens in India

Friend Sharon Guynup, http://www.sharonguynup.com/Sharon_Website/Bio.html, visited India over the Christmas holidays. When she wasn't riding elephants and photographing tigers, she took note of the chicken sho[ in Umaria. Because there are no supermarkets as we have them in the U.S., shops like this sell live poultry for the table. The sign is in Hindi.

Thanks for thinking of me while you were having an adventure, Sharon! Chickens are almost a cultural universal.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Getting chickens legal

"Around the country, chickens are gaining popularity as productive pets, and many cities (like Detroit, Iowa City, and Calgary) don’t allow them. More commonly, they allow chickens only on large properties, making the birds effectively illegal for most residents. Here’s what you can do if yours doesn’t give a flying cluck about poultry."

Jill Richardson writes about her experiences working to change the lawss in her Southern California community:

She posted this picture of her ”four gorgeous but illegal Buff Orpingtons.”

Friday, January 7, 2011

American Bantam Association Semi-Annual Meet

Karen Unrath, ABA Secretary, reminds all that March 5-6 2011 is the date to hold for the 2011 Semi Annual Meet, to be held in partnership with the Delmarva Poultry Fanciers in Harrington, Delaware. To receive a premium list, contact Rbarczewski@desu.edu.

"Bantams make the world a better place," she said in an email. This Nankin hen and her chicks belong to Don Cable of California.

"We hope to see a great turnout of bantams," she said in an email. "Competition with this show is always top notch with excellent facilities and great hospitality."

If your poultry club would like to host the 2012 Semi-Annual Meet, contact Karen at fancybantams@embarqmail.com for a bid form. Forms need to be in the ABA office no later than April 30th 2011 to be considered.

2011 Legbands can be ordered on our website, http://www.bantamclub.com/. They are priced at $.35 each and are sold on a first come first serve basis. Order early -- she expects to sell them out this year.

Send your articles for upcoming newsletters and the 2011 Yearbook to her. What do you want to know more about?

"New members crave information and advice on the how to's of raising bantams," she said. "Let's help them out with some articles and/or pictures."

Send all materials to her email or by regular mail to:

American Bantam Association
PO Box 127
Augusta, NJ 07822

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rare Poultry Breeds by David Scrivener

David Scrivener is an English poultry fancier and experienced judge. His research on poultry history, presented in his Rare Poultry Breeds, http://crowood.com/details.asp?isbn=9781861268891, is invaluable.

He chairs England's Rare Poultry Society and is dedicated to historic breeds. His research on hundreds of breeds makes this volume unique. Now that I've got it, I wouldn't be without it.

I often research historic breeds for the Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities. Much material is unavailable or even completely lost, drawing the curtain on the origins and history of many breeds. Mr. Scrivener acknowledges the gaps. Perhaps publication of this book will unearth presently unknown resources and we will fill some of them in future.

He has decided to leave all Game Fowl breeds out, because so much has been written about them separately, giving them attention and documentation, and to avoid the inevitable controversy surrounding cock-fighting. I agree that's a wise decision. He has more than enough breeds to describe that have little attention elsewhere.

Because he is English and working from that national perspective, there are some differences between English, other countries' and United States Standards. Mr. Scrivener includes those details, although breeders should rely on their Standards for all particulars. The international differences may be helpful in understanding variations that appear in their flocks, though.

Mr. Scrivener's explanation of the differences among Langshans is very helpful. Providing the historical context for the development of varieties such as Croad and Modern, in the U.S., Chinese Langshans in the Australian Standard and the German Langshan is the best explanation I've found for this confusing breed.

Illustrated with 237 color photos, it's also well indexed, making it a ready reference. Imposing order on breeds is always a challenge. Mr. Scrivener settles on 14 categories: European Light Breeds; Egyptian Breeds; Long-Tailed and Game-Related Breeds; Rumpless Breeds; Long-Crowing Breeds; Crested Breeds and Their Relations; Cup-Combed Breeds; Frizzled and Naked Neck Breeds; Short-Legged Breeds; Langshans; European Medium/Heavy Breeds; American and Canadian Breeds; True Bantams and Autosexing Breeds. He even includes mention of Extinct Breeds, helpful in tracing down obscure mentions of breeds such as Bucks County Fowl, which were melded into Buff Plymouth Rocks in 1894.

All this historic detail has previously been unavailable, or at best, difficult to locate prior to publication of this book in 2006. It found its way into my hands in 2010 and I am profoundly grateful. I foresee beginning research into many breed questions with it in future.