Friday, December 30, 2011


From Nettie Metcalf, who developed the Buckeye at the turn of the 20th century: her account of what she did is now posted on Google Books. Original sources are the best way to determine what was done, and I'm grateful to her for writing it, to Pacific Fancier of April 1909 for publishing it and to the Internet for making this resource available.

No chicken breed is perfect, but many Buckeye breeders figure they have come close enough in their breed. They extol the virtues of vigor, resilience and disease resistance in a bird that grows to a solid size and lays plenty of eggs. Their buckeye-color feathers and friendly, easy-going disposition win the eye and the heart. They have played an interesting role in poultry history, giving their breeders the honor of carrying the torch into the future. This lovely pullet belongs to Chris McCary of Alabama.

That’s a lot for one breed to live up to, but Buckeyes are equal to the task. W.H. Card, identified as a judge and breeder in the article he wrote about Buckeyes in the March 1913 issue of American Poultry Advocate, describes them with affection: “Their flesh-carrying ability being as natural as their vigorous, active disposition, there is never any loss of weight by persistent and constant foraging when on free range. In confinement they show no phlegmatic tendencies, being always busy and on the move without nervousness or seeming discontent, therefore keeping in the best of flesh and fettle at any season of the year.”

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