Posted by CJR on October 16, 19103 at 23:33:25:
In Reply to: Re: My take on fluff posted by Ric on October 16, 19103 at 06:55:22:
This is the best case for keeping records of your birds. Only by record keeping, can such problems be solved. I have never tried to eliminate fluff, but always noted the few birds that had less. I have records of the birds I keep, but rarely hear about any that are sold, unless they are show winners, and I see pictures. Then I can be satisfied that the type is what I expected, but if our Dutch breeders meet together or with judges--at shows or on visits-- to talk about, fluff, or ei. the correct color of the LB hackle and saddle, (as well as other varieties--especially the CLB, that has never been discussed, except in the fury of posts about proposing a Standard--when there already is a Standard--) it isn't the norm. We should do it at every show, one topic at a time.
I have not often seen much fluff on BLB males I have bred, except for very few I kept for a while, and most, but not all, had less fluff than the LB cock who sired him. Right now I have a BLB cock, that has almost none. And I hatched quite a few BLB cockerels this season, some that have it, some are not showing it, as yet. I am not keeping any of them, and this is the first year that I have kept a BLB male at all--and in the past, have just used my BLB hens to produce a few BLBs for those who wanted them. They have excellent BLB pattern. This year, I wanted to breed for BLB tails (and the full hackle and saddle) that the LBs have. (and also did some matings, hoping for matching breast and tails--hard to get in the lighter blue shade, which is desireable.) So far, the cock I have, has produced, with selected females that are from known great tail breeders, fairly successful looking males and some most promising females (none of which I have kept). But combs, fluff, were not even on the list of features to breed for. Combs will be next, although the male has an almost perfect Dutch comb and I hope for good combs on most of his offspring male and female. Now, I will have to look at fluff, but not as a main feature--it will always remain TAILS.
Now, from Holland, I have learned of another flaw that BLBs can have--colorwise. Asked Gert about a BLB cockerel, via pictures. Response was that we are finding it hard to ELIMINATE a brown lower edge to the feathers of the wing bow-coverts, which are the same red color as the back-- Sure enough there is a brown tip to each feather--just thought it was the natural redcolor and never saw that it was darker--or different. Word is-- that is is hard to breed out, as it is in Patrijs!!!! Never saw it there, either!! Must take a close look! So we go on and on perpetuating small mistakes, that give us something to improve--and make our Dutch still better and more distinct from other breeds.
Now, I have to take a close look at all breeds that exhibit Partridge, Light Brown, and all our BLBs that I can. Is there a brown edge that really shouldn't be there? It is a "heritage" from "long ago and far away". Should we care? Well, we certainly should take a look--for me, not a high priority, but we should take a look!! Judges in Holland do--but when you are faced with judging 150 or more LB cockerels, many of which are truly great birds, there is more to see that differentiates one bird from another!
And I am glad that Ric is working on a line of Dutch, LB, BLBs with little or no fluff! The entire Dutch fancy, will appreciate it as time goes by!!
,: I have found over the years of breeding that I get less fluff from my female line of males than I do from males on the male lines.
: I have always bred to diminish the fluff and have been quite successful over the past two years. In some cases I have males with no fluff at all.
: I generally like to breed my females with smaller cushions to males with little to no fluff. I have found this to help in getting less "fluff" in my males.
: One strange thing though, I seem to have more fluff with the BLB's than any other variety, and with this said, I have absolutely no fluff in my CBLB males. Go figure. Keep the questions coming.
: : Jean, with respect to your comments regarding appropriate saddles, could you help me to better understand what you mean by "the saddle should be wide (as well as long)...." Do you mean "wide" across the back from side to side? And, "long" being the length of the saddle feathers themselves or "long" being the length of back that the saddle feathers cover? And I'm not clear about the white fluff being covered up by the hackle feathers. Help!
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