"The Future of the Dutch Breed and the ADBS"

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Posted by Ash-Ley Pines Ric Ashcraft on February 15, 19103 at 05:17:46:

This is in response to an article posted on the ADBS Board:


I agree with several of our breeders who are working to educate other breeders and the public to the Holland Dutch breeding. I echo your feelings as well and have delayed my posting anything on the Board for several reasons.

When I first started breeding the CLB's I did it for a different reason than most breeders. Personally, I never felt the type of the CLB's was that of the Light Brown's, so my emphasis was more on type than color. I actually didn't pay that much attention to the color factor until just of late with all the controversy because I hadn't raised that many CLB's to do any comparrison as such.

This year I have hatched over 200 chicks thus far and probably 40% of those hatches are CLB's. Many of these youngsters are old enough to view their coloring quite well. In the last several weeks I have had several local judges read the description of the CLB's as written by the ADBS and that of the Holland standard. After doing so I then had them look at the birds. The "greyish" coloring IS THERE! None of my Dutch have ever been crossed with any other breed giving me the safety in saying this is as close as you get to the "correct" coloring. Every single bird I have, male and female has a pedigree which can be traced directly to Holland with no interception of anything but pure Dutch. Now, before anyone pulls the trigger let me say, I am NOT saying my birds are better than anyone elses. What I am saying is I know where all my breeding came from, where it can be traced, bird for bird, and what I am saying is this, I am breeding a true Holland Dutch bird.

I know there has been much controversy about "American" dutch vs. the "Holland" dutch. There is only one Dutch and that is the Holland Dutch. It seems that each time American breeders want to develop a "new " variety they have to put their trademark on it and change the description to meet their needs or that of their breeding program. Although the Dutch is a fairly new breed in the states, it is not in Europe. Actually it is the most popular breed with shows having very strict qualifying characteristics, coloring, type and heritage. How can a bird, whatever breed, be so worldly accepted, without exception, for many years by proper breeding be the basis of the "American" breed and yet be so different?

It is no shock that many breeders have crossed OE in with their Dutch to create many of the varieties we now see. Many breeders in an attempt to correct or improve traits have used the O.E., but by doing so, the "true" Dutch has lost its true heritage, and probably should have been called something else other than Dutch. That is my opinion. Not only have we lost the type of the Holland Dutch but we have lost the feather quality as well. Dutch are not to be hard feathered, nor do they possess the same body type. And for the novice and the professional breeder alike, it is very plain to see when visiting a show, walking the line and looking at the birds entered in the show, vast differences can be seen from cage to cage based on body type, coloring and feathering. I once had a judge tell me after a show my birds looked so different compared to that of the other exhibitor's that he was at a loss as to whether to start the class with my birds or end the class with my birds. He referred to the Standard and in the end I won every single class I had entered. That day, my birds were the best and that is my goal and what I work toward at every show, every hatch and every sale.

Everyone has their own breeding program. Everyone has their own preferences, but there are standards to be followed as written. Does this mean I am headed to the barn to kill all my birds which do not meet the "new" "proposed" standard written as by the ADBS? No, it means I will continue to breed as I have been and continue to inform and educate those at the top, where decisions are made outside the ADBS. I will continue to breed Dutch, as written to the standard of Holland. To do anything else would be like introducing and new breed into my breeding program.

We need to be very careful when writing these standards. The way the ADBS is writing them now to match the type and coloring to what they are breeding is wrong. If this continues, I will be out of business here in the states because the true Holland Dutch I breed will be non-existant according to what some are breeding and writing the standard to match.

One last thing, before anyone asks if I attended the Muscle Shoals show I can say "No I did not.", but that does not mean I don't know what I am talking about or have the knowledge to make statements or observations. Like many other Dutch breeders I attend many shows a year and fortunately I get to visit and exhibit in all areas of the U.S.. My comments are based on facts and observations alone. My only concern is we as a Club are backing ourselves into a corner by trying to "create" new meanings on a subject that is much older and existant than any of us.

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