Posted by Deb on October 21, 19103 at 12:34:44:
Well this may sound harsh Jean, but I feel that those who are aiming for the 'ideal' will understnd this point. The statement so often repeated, ' it is a matter of interpetation' is an excuse to not breed according to the standard the 'ideal' reperesentation. It is an excuse to not select properly, invest in either the breed or the knowledge, and excuse to present poor quality as a representation and to set a presidence. There is a percentage of fanciers that truly do not know and have not yet experienced many aspects to the fancy pertaining to breeding to exhibition but we are referring to those that having the experience seeming to rely on the phrase 'its a matter of interpetation' as a means to justify the sub quality or near misses in their breeding pens.
We see more excuses used in regards to the score cards from a judges bad pennmanship to I don't see what he is talking about. We know the flaws of our fowl, we know what is being referred too. We may not agree comparing to another showing flaws in the class and this is where a matter of 'opinion' is the real issue. Is it our judging system? No its either our opinion challenging the judges that day, or our pride. By our standard we can easily astertain the amount of points a flaw will cost our fowl long before we enter a show. We then select based upon the "lesser " which we will enter. but do not deny the flaw, for the judge will clearly see it also. Ironic is the fact that we beseach the judge to use the standard in awarding points, but we do not give the same credit to the standard in seeking the 'ideal' .
I think the only true statment is 'every show is different' based upon competition and the best that are presented that day. Often this can be misleading as to competetive quality. Many of us who have been exhibitors for some time know of this and the shows that give an exhibitor a real opportunity to expose their fowl.
The standard is a blue print, showing you the proto type and the expected outcome in breeding for the 'ideal fowl' it does not tell you how to breed. This knowledge must be sought. Is it clear all the time, no comprehension may only come from you seeking true definition pertaining to your particular breed. Does this hobby requier an effort and study? Yes it does, it is not simply entering the outcome of a mating. In our eagerness to participate we must first consider all things. A flaw is simply that a flaw and may effect the points we are awarded but the presentation of incorreect type is far more and states the type of presidence we may find in the future.
If one understnds and appreciates the history of the standard you will find, like myself, the term "it's a matter of your interpetation, or it's left up to your interpetation' a very old excuse and thus the pursuit of an organised standard with aims to eleminate the chaos in the breeding pens was designed. The 'chaos' that was created in the breeding pens of crosses and fowl under construction were often presented much in the same manner as today. The standard effected exhibitors giving them clear guidlines of how a fowl should be judged. This seems to be the point often missed by exhibitors. How shall our fowl be judged, well there is no 'misinterpetation there'. Clearly stated is the protocal in awarding points for all fowl. A fowl under constuction is not the 'ideal'. Fowl exhibited 'under constuction' bring chaos to the showroom. Thus the standard was designed to give a process of elemination. This brings order and enables a judge to apply the process to those that have sought the 'ideal'. Those that seek the ideal set the order for the judge. Giving description to the assests and flaws that pertain the particular breed and all its characteristics. It is the breeder that gives definition and thus should provide the comprehension to that definition. This is where the breeder must be willing to see the flaws in a fowl in order to fully comprehend what must be considerd in pursuit of the ideal fowl.
Every fowl is clearly under construction though not in the same manner as breeds being introduced, under constuction may entail simply fine points to a subltle flaw only the exhibitor and judge are aware of. Those are entered an placed accordingly based upon the point system, and often enableing a class. They are good specimens, if true in design. It will be these subltle flaws that will seperate , eleminate and create the class untill the perfect "ideal" specimen is presented, and even then the 'ideal' will rise to the head of the class due to the subltle flaws of those entered.
Should we take the standard literally, yes as breeders and exhibitors for it provides guidlines to the breed and the true charactistics that are to be promoted and exhibited. Taking advantage of it will reduce the chaos and unexpected disappointments. Comprehending the standard will enable you to present better specimens in pursuit of the 'ideal'.
Well Jean there is the full thought I was trying to convey on the previous post. It is not ment for critisism but thought provoking. There are so many aspects to poultry keeping but most starts in the breeding pens.There are many challenges a fancier faces and most start in the breeding pens. There are many trials for the exhibitor and most start inthe breeding pens. Does the standard fit these areas, yes it does giving insight, and history, citeria and guidence. What it does not do is give insight to breeding. That is where questioning, seeking and discussion comes in. I believe there is a diference between a good breeder and a good exhibitor. A good breeder will openly discuss the flaws while seeking the ideal and a good exhibiting knows how to use the flaws to his advantage, and when you meet a good breeder-exhibitor they will give you the comprehension you seek.
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