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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:41 pm 
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Wyandotte Warrior
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pedro73 wrote:
From The Feathered World Year Book for 1929 when Welsummers were first introduced to the UK from Holland. Before they became a show fowl, their utility qualities were highly rated.


I doubt many people who follow the poultry show circuit would regard the welsummer as a show fowl in Australia. True a broad ribbon win at Adelaide Royal was a great result for the breed but if you see that fowl and compare it to the British Standard and description by Mrs Pape it is hard to find any points where the bird didn't achieve the requirements of the breed. The only issue may be eggshell colour. I think there were about a dozen at the 2012 Canberra National , most of them came from those fine Tassie breeders!

pedro73 wrote:
Note, the BarrelsFarm Poultry web site on the previous page shows a trophy awarded to the eggs not the fowls! If the sole focus is on the fowl it should be no surprise to anyone that egg quality / number will slip.


Absolutely, Pedro.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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infoaddict wrote:
Some people want to import to improve the physical looks of some birds - improved lacing, better feathering on legs, sheer physical size, introduction of a feather colour or pattern that doesn't exist here - and that's a perfectly good aim in its own right. Others want to import to find out what a previously-unknown breed tastes like. (I want Bresse for that purpose).


Or Crevecouer, or Houdans that haven't been cross bred with Polish, but are still top quality meat birds. I want that too! :-)
I so often see the "we don't need to" or "We need to" but "we" are not so collective as you might think. There are people in the restaurant world who would like to spend a lot of money on gourmet varieties, and who have nothing to do with "the poultry world". There are people who are guarding their breeds jealously and don't want the competition of imported birds. People are individuals. There are people who would import just to show it can be done, if they had the money and the know how.

And it CAN be done. ARPIS 1 proved that.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:00 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Unfortunately there are also people who will not put the effort into "preserving and maintaining."

I guess WE are now all living in a "disposable society"!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Quote:
Unfortunately there are also people who will not put the effort into "preserving and maintaining."


And there are those who will - depending, of course, on what one means by "preserving and maintaining". Some breeds, as you have pointed out, can be maintained with the existing Australian gene pool. Some can't. Those _are_ the facts. Poultry in Australia isn't just one big homogenous group.

But if some don't put in "that effort" - what of it? Who are we to judge, rather than to support?

Quote:
I guess WE are now all living in a "disposable society"!


I honestly don't know what you mean by this. I am, however, getting the feeling that you're one of those against the concept of importing new blood because it implies that people are too lazy to improve what they've got here, and are looking for the easy way out.

Given that ARPIS1 took a decade and hundreds of thousands of dollars, that's an odd definition of "easy".

Given that lack of genetic diversity is a well-known issue that causes unthriftiness in breeds, and yet people persist in maintaining the breed, instead of just letting it drop and concentrate on something - well, easier - that's an odd definition of easy.

If some want to import - excellent. What might it mean for utility breeds in Australia when an importation finally succeeds? I prefer to look on the positive side and say it'll be BRILLIANT. I would be interested in hearing how the importation will adversely affect development and improvement of utility traits in backyard (not commercial, which is a different thing all together) poultry.

And just to re-iterate - "utility", in the context of this thread, means "meat, eggs, ability to reproduce". Some breeds are better for various of these things than others.

Even though personally I think "aesthetically pleasing" is just as practical a purpose as egglaying capacity. What's the point of life if you can't stop and appreciate beauty along the way?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:51 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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It is an interesting conundrum. If we import new breeds will that mean that some existing breeds or strains within breeds will fall by the wayside because there are not enough good backyard breeders to go around? We've already seen most of the old utility strains lost or contaminated (for example).


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:18 am 
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Gallant Game
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Yes Andrew we're on the same level of thinking with this!

Some of the recent articles being published in Australian Poultry Literature are very supportive of both "Utility" and "Exhibition" stating they can and must co-exist or they are and should be the same! What leaves me concerned is the number of people that enter the poultry fancy that are disappointed with what they receive from notable breeders. "Utility" IS NOT / DOES NOT MEAN the bi product of the "exhibition"! Far to often surplus "exhibition" birds are passed off as "utility" fowls.

Fowls may be imported at some date; and I'm certain some of these fowl breeds/strains they were/are pushing to import still obtain excellent "utility" traits! Congratulations must go to our English cousins in many cases they are very good breeders and proudly protect both what was develop locally and abroad! If importation did occur; how long would the traits that these imported fowls possess when they arrived remain the focus? (if that is was intended purpose) How long before new blood is required again to catch the judges eye? These are million dollar questions I guess!

I am not anti importation; but when I'm cold I always look to see what is in my wardrobe before I rush out to purchase a new coat!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:40 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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andrewschooks wrote:
It is an interesting conundrum. If we import new breeds will that mean that some existing breeds or strains within breeds will fall by the wayside because there are not enough good backyard breeders to go around? We've already seen most of the old utility strains lost or contaminated (for example).


There are many, many backyards in Australia giving space to hybrid egg layers. It is time the "poultry world" did something about invading that space. There are a good many "rare breeds" that could fill that space, and some that are not already in australia. I am thinking of Marans (english or french) in any colour, Vorwerk, just for starters. Birds of good temperament, which is another desirable utility trait, if you want to appeal to backyarders.

Backyarders aren't actually preserving rare breeds as such, but they provide a market for those who are, to sell their excess pullets that they don't wish to breed from, as egg layers.

I, personally, would abandon puddling along with my second rate brahmas, for the sake of fostering a breed that is completely new to Australia, if I were given the chance. I am sure I would not be alone in that.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:37 am 
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Gallant Game
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Yes many start with hybrids and then once they're attracted to poultry look for an alternative; only to source reject exhibition poultry which disappoints.

I consider myself a backyard breeder. I may have 150 to 250 fowls but I'm still a backyard breeder. Between my backyard and a few mates backyards numbers may range from 30 to 300 birds; I'm confident that collectively we're headed in the right direction with "maintaining and preserving"! You can't "eat an elephant" or "move a mountain" on your own!

Never overlook the potential of anyone interested in poultry! One backyard fancier may only have the capacity for 6 to 8 birds so why not set them a project; that may benefit you! e.g. record egg data (colour/numbers), or simple a safe spot for some females you could collect back in a few years, or to maintain side strain for you! I've done similar for my fowls benefit!

You'll get failures but you'll also kick some goals!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:43 am 
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Wyandotte Warrior
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There are many theories on why particular breeds or breed colours drop well away from the standard.

There is a very interesting article in latest Aus Wyandotte Club in which the author laments the lack of quality large Wyandotte fowl in Australia at present. This reduction in quality has been quite evident over the past decade. The reasons? Probably too many to mention but the author mentions the success of auctions at National Shows as possible a contributing factor. Good breeders are now achieving relatively high prices for their stock. Well deserved. However, in may cases these birds could contribute to the breeding program but are, quite often, sold to new owners who will, no doubt, look after their birds superbly but they will not see a rooster for the rest of their idyllic life.

Another contributing factor may well be that the limited number of wy breeders are now aware of a huge range of colour combinations, whereas not too long ago nearly all large fowl wyandotte breeders would have around 6 of the very old colours to work with. Now we have a multitude of colours but no more breeders I suspect. So the result is colours such as the gold and silver laced, white, columbian are not being bred in any where near the quality and quantity as the breeders are making room for the "new" colours.

Off course, its a free country , thank goodness, and lovers of pure bred poultry should be able to do whatever they like with their fowl , but I wonder what would be the state of these old foundation colours if the attraction of breeding new colours hadn't become so popular.

I'll now go and put my hard hat on!!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:52 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Denis,your pretty well on the money,you only have to
look at some of the photos,put up on here, to see how
far, they have drifted away from the Standard & that
goes for many breeds. :help:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:29 am 
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Gallant Game
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From the Feathered World 1934. Only a few years after the breed arrived in the UK, Welsummers featured in laying trials and all efforts were being made by the breed club to keep egg colour, size, number & non-broody nature foremost.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:33 pm 
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Gallant Game
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A relevant piece from Poultry Newspaper, 1954

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:30 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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seems a reasonable explanation

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:22 am 
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Good reading!
One thing I still don't understand is why the old utility breeds were replaced when they lay a good amount of eggs for numerous years. The economics of it doesn't add up. If it's just food in eggs out, what about the time it takes to grow a pullet to egg laying age and the cost of replacements each year. Surely the end result would be same money wise. Let's say you do a cost analysis over a five year period. Replacement of commercial layer how many times versus one replacement of old utility breed.
I'm not sure of the maths but surely the old utility strains would win.

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Since the little red rooster been gone!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:57 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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All breeds lay their most eggs in the first 18 months. Purebreeds will continue to lay well into their second and third years, but not a guaranteed egg a day.

The modern commercial breeds have other advantages aside from their egg-a-day on minimal feed habits. They are very calm and friendly to humans, wasting no energy on being nervous of things. They don't go broody. You can sex them at hatching.

If the pure utility breeds were more economically viable than the modern birds, the latter wouldn't be used in the larger commercial farms.


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