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Barred Rock Std Large Fowl

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1 Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Thu May 22, 2014 10:19 am

Bob G


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So my question is are there any good show lines left in Western Canada? Rico , Heather, do you see any while judging? There sure does not seem to be any in B.C.

2 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Thu May 22, 2014 10:42 am

Schipperkesue

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Once you have seen the patterning on an excellent quality barred chicken, your eyes are ruined for anything of lesser quality.

3 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Thu May 22, 2014 10:12 pm

viczoe

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Bob, my answer to your question is that I don't know of anyone seriously breeding L.F. Barred Rocks. It is such a shame when a barred rock is correct it truly is a beautiful sight. Any that I have seen generally are way to small and have poor barring. Hard to believe they and so many others used to be a common sight on all farmsteads. I remember when I was growing up on my grandmothers farm she a big flock of some very impressive Barred Rocks, if only I knew then what I know now. Maybe Rico has a better answer for you.

Heather

http://www.triple-h.ca

4 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 6:20 am

CynthiaM

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This is a sorry state of affairs for surely. Why? Barred Plymouth rocks are, in my opinion, one of the beautiful birds, they rival the Dominiques, in what I think is pretty. I love those patterns. Why would this breed, that was such a common homestead bird not be continued on to keep that breed big and beautiful, as it should be? I remember some 30 years ago, my then-partner's Mother had barred Plymouth rocks, and I remember I thought they looked like huge bowling balls. Maybe she had what the breed should look like, I don't know, but I remember, even 30 years ago, thinking one day I would love a bird with that feather type and colour, smiling. Why do you ask Bob G? I would be curious. What about the states, Heather, you go to shows, does anyone show this breed anywhere? I would be just so curious. I have 7 hatchery stock barred rocks, almost one year old. They are running out the back away from my other flocks, with the blue cochin rooster I am saving for breeding my cochins.....they are horrible looking, as far as type and the barring is terrible. And pretty darn small too. But I love those birds. They are my extra egg layers, got them from Terre Wilde when she was downsizing her birds. I have never been so impressed with laying birds, and that is all they are for. They lay a huge brown egg, quite often double yolks, every day, and for the time that they have been here, they have never stopped. Even laid eggs on their trip to my home. I am beyond impressed with that, and the friendlyness of the birds is astounding too, beyond impressed, and they are keepers, as far as I am concerned, for egg laying purposes only. Beyond impressed. I wonder what a barred rock that should look like a barred rock would look like, smiling. Beautiful as beautiful can be I would certainly say. I would like to know more about who is breeding this breed to how the breed should look like. Good topic...I will follow it. Have a beautiful day, CynthiaM.

5 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 8:25 am

Omega Blue Farms

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I'm going to paint with broad strokes today. There are individual exceptions, I'm one of them, but that does not invalidate the generalizations and their overall impacts.

Losing breeds like the Barred Rock is just a symptom of the purchasing decisions and attitudes of backyard poultry communities such as this one. The community has been brainwashed into placing more value on rarity and diversity than on simple quality. People think that the more breeds they have, and the more rare/unusual they are, the more good they are doing. Unfortunately, the net result is not good; it is contributing to the destruction of our overall heritage breed genepools.

The heritage community treats heritage breeds in an exploitive way rather than supportive one by demanding sexed pullets and diversity. The marketing of sexed pullets without a supporting market for the males has rendered the males useless. They are nothing more than a waste product for the hatcheries supplying backyarders with their demand for pullets of diverse shapes and colours. There is no incentive to raise lots of males and then select them for production and quality.

Quality Barred Rock males are large birds that eat alot of food. For the breed to be conserved effectively, it is believed that one should raise 2000 chicks and select the 200 best for breeding. That means raising 1000 males for 22-26 weeks. Who wants to support that feed bill? Especially when only about 10 of the roosters will be saved for breeding. This leaves 990 roosters without a market but a hefty feed bill.

Now the 2000 chicks and 200 breeders don't need to happen on a single farm. They can be spread across 10 farms quite effectively. Unfortunately, the desire to be team players is not even in the vocabulary of today's backyard poultry community. Good luck finding 3-4 farms working seriously on the same breed, let alone 10. Everyone who hatches wants to be unique with their own unique breed. Selfish, exploitive, and in the end, destructive.

Poultry conservation is not driven by individuals, it is driven by communities. Individuals do not save breeds, communities do. The purchasing decisions of the average backyarder is what is driving the heritage poultry conservation bus. As long as those purchasing decisions are exploitive in nature, the loss of breeds like the true Standard Bred Barred Rock is to be expected.

http://www.OmegaBlueFarms.ca

6 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 8:39 am

Schipperkesue

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Omega Blue Farms wrote:
Quality Barred Rock males are large birds that eat alot of food. For the breed to be conserved effectively, it is believed that one should raise 2000 chicks and select the 200 best for breeding. That means raising 1000 males for 22-26 weeks. Who wants to support that feed bill? Especially when only about 10 of the roosters will be saved for breeding. This leaves 990 roosters without a market but a hefty feed bill.

Now the 2000 chicks and 200 breeders don't need to happen on a single farm. They can be spread across 10 farms quite effectively. Unfortunately, the desire to be team players is not even in the vocabulary of today's backyard poultry community. Good luck finding 3-4 farms working seriously on the same breed, let alone 10. Everyone who hatches wants to be unique with their own unique breed. Selfish, exploitive, and in the end, destructive.


Omega, I was struck by this comment. I have one breeding partner, and we do raise as many as we can and cull for the best but it is difficult finding more people who are willing to put their own hard earned money into cull birds that you quite frankly will never regain your dollar on. Many people want a few birds of a certain breed so they can make eggs, hatch chicks and make money. This is not the road to improving a breed. This is not the road we are interested in following.

Currently my freezer is full of ground skinny culled chickens...both sexes.

7 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 9:10 am

authenticfarm

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I see too many people who constantly flip between breeds in the search of the newest/latest/greatest/trendiest, or they just have too many breeds and they ship eggs and hatch and sell chicks as fast as they can. Why not just select one or two breeds that you're passionate about and work on improving them? Become the BEST breeder of that ONE breed? I suppose the answer is that there's little money in that.

I guess for many people, where's the appeal in a plain ol' barred rock when you can get a lemon chocolate cuckoo jubilee double laced orp-oiloa-cemani-velder for the bargain price of $100/day old pullet?! It's not recognized in the SOP, but it's trendy and new!

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

8 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 9:40 am

coopslave

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Here you go Cindi.  I had them for a short while in Australia.  The photos of the hens are what would be considered breeding quality, not show quality.  The young birds were all cockerels that I grew out for a while and then decided to get out of them.  You can see the size and quality of barring.  These girls were big lumps of things.  I used them in a sexlink program for a while and the layers from that were excellent birds.

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Just to give you an idea what the barring can look like.  Remember, these were not show quality, I saw some amazing birds at the shows there!

9 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 11:05 am

KathyS

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Bravo, Omega Blue! And well stated points Authentic.  
Raising and selling the new, trendy colors or imported breeds might be fun and even profitable, but it should not be confused with heritage breed conservation.  There are many  chicken breeds with a long successful history behind them…you could say they have a proven track record for being suitable and valuable livestock on North American farms.  It’s a shame some of the classics, like the Barred Rock, have been allowed to languish.  They are just one of the many  historic breeds and varieties are in desperate need of caretakers that are willing to do the work to bring them back to their former glory.  But I fear too many potential conservationists are spending their time and resources on birds with fancy names and high price tags.

http://www.hawthornhillpoultry.com

10 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 12:20 pm

lady leghorn


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KathyS,

I have to agree with you, it's very sad so many of the original breeds are now almost not to be found.

Coopslave, Those are gorgeous barred rocks. Sure don't see them here.

Would you believe even in the "White Leghorns", the quality that was there isn't now, plus where do you find them anymore?

Are there any breeders out there? I can't find any. I've been looking, can't find any.

11 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 12:54 pm

Bob G


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Omega, Authentic, Kathy , great replies . I think we as breeders are at a point where we will start to lose some of the North American original breeds!! What I call the Greenfire Effect has taken hold , this has renewed an interest in POULTRY KEEPING ! Please note I said Poultry Keeping not breeding !! How to get people back to some of the old breeds is a problem that needs answers.

12 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 1:05 pm

lady leghorn


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BOB G,

You are so right. When you can't find good specimens in Barred Rocks, White Leghorns, New Hampshires etc. It's time to take a step

back and re-think what breed you really want to keep. I'm sure Heather must see a lot of disappointments in the show world. Sad.


We purchased her Buff Silkies ( my first breed of chicken as a child) and intend to stay working with them. Just the Buffs, no other colours.

The colours are lovely, but to do the Buffs justice, that's the colour I will stay with.



Also want to work with White Leghorns--but GOOD ones. But Where do you start? No one seems to be raising them, just hatchery birds.

13 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 2:02 pm

Sebas49

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First, I have not seen really good quality Barred Rocks in Canada for many many years. Again in the show ring the White Rock has dominated champion row for Rocks for years.  People who raise other varieties for show eventually get discourage when you constantly get beat and eventually they say better to join then fight with them.  So the Barred Rock and other varieties are given up and they join the White variety.  There are breeders of these breeds who never show and have excellent quality but it is hard to find them.  The same is happening in the bantam rocks, not as fast but still the whites dominate.  

Great comments on farming out the birds if you can find someone who will do that.

http://www.c-rducks.com

14 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 2:44 pm

lady leghorn


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Do you know of anyone with decent LF White Leghorns?

15 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 2:56 pm

KathyS

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I just remembered Sheryl, aka The chicken town is working on Barred Rocks. I think Hidden River, too, but not sure if Jayme keeps a pure exhibition line or has incorporated some better laying qualities from other bloodlines.

http://www.hawthornhillpoultry.com

16 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 6:18 pm

Bob G


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Rico, you are correct in people turning to the whites . When I was breeding my barreds the best I could get was BV, it was impossible to beat Al and Charlies whites .

17 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 7:23 pm

islandgal99

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For barred rocks with utility traits, I'm pretty pleased with my barred rocks from Ev Gilmore here on Vancouver Island. They are not show lines, but she has been breeding for utility traits for many years - I'm not sure if she's on this forum or not. They are very hardy, sturdy, good attitudes, easy keepers, and BIG and meaty birds. Of the breeds I'm growing out right now, these have everything beat for growth, bone, weight, carcass, shape...I'm really, really pleased. They are one week older than the next batch of chicks they are in with, and are 6X the size! I could actually see eating these at a much younger age as there is a lot to them. AND they are pretty nice to look at too. If anyone's interested, I will get some pictures. I don't know how many generations it would take to improve feathering for showing, but for everything else I'm pretty happy.

I initially got them because I had seen a cockeral that Ev had brought to a chicken swap and was pretty impressed by his size, and by her enthusiasm for the breed and passion in working on utility traits, and then was considering doing sex links so got a bunch as I thought they might be a nice start. I like them so much I think I will start working with them. I can't wait to see how these dress out compared to some of my other breeds and I'm excited to see how they lay.

http://www.matadorfarm.ca

18 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 8:27 pm

viczoe

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Lady leghorn, I doubt you will find any good white Leghorns in Western Canada, the last good were bred by The Sjorgen brothers. I still have their line of Light Brown Leghorns but only breed a handful per year.Bob G those two brothers were hard to beat and could they prepare a bird for show!!

I think the problem for breeds of L.F especially is a complex one. The biggest being the lack of people seriously concentrating on one or 2 breeds and really putting their heart into. We have evolved into a society for the most part that want instant gratification breeding some colors can be challenging and are long term projects and along with that the feed that goes into raising a huge number of birds on your own to get a few can be difficult and if you are wanting to show and are putting out good hard earned money it can be disheartening.

The biggest blow by far though are the fly by nighters who even if the had started with decent birds and a good percentage don't are only interested in the profits to be made by selling copious amounts of eggs or chicks and juveniles that have not been assessed by anyone and they just don't care. When one quits their are always others to take their places with new color varieties that are not even good enough representatives of their breeds to even be sold as works in process.

While I am not happy about these types I have learned over time to say nothing.
I myself have had OEG for a very long time and I make it my mission to work on a lesser seen colors one at a time to the point that they are competitive and then and only then will I let any go.. I am currently working on lemon blue modern games. I am into year 4 and have yet to sell a bird while I get weekly inquiries on them. So not making any money on them, but maybe this year I may have a pair available only time will tell. The other project that I have been working on is my ko-shamo. They are a breed that when bred you can get more than 1 color, so you can breed 2 wheaten colored birds and get blue wheaten, black, white. I have been working on trying to see if this could be changed by selection and hard culling for color. This year I am so excited as I only got wheaten chicks from all the eggs that I set from 4 females and 2 different males. Once again I have yet to sell one bird but have done some hard culling and they taste good too.

So to those of you out there quietly working for sometime I admire you. You know who you are and you can hold your heads high and while you may not win best in show, I know who you are and I for one appreciate your efforts. While it would be nice to make the big bucks sometimes we do projects just because.

Coopslave oh how I wish I could hold that female barred in my hands. She looks like she has great type and a decent "Rock" back. She could go places here.

Heather

http://www.triple-h.ca

19 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Fri May 23, 2014 10:16 pm

lady leghorn


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Heather,

I really think you are right. When I see a whole bunch of different breeds under a breeders name, I have to wonder how they can do

justice to them all. This just doesn't go for poultry but cattle, horses etc. Too many breeds, or just too many, honestly can't be culled

and bred to get good ones, especially if there are too many. I also realize it's hard, so many tempting varieties of everything out there.

But I think a person finally has to choose. Sometimes too many of anything takes all the fun out of it. JMHO.

20 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Sat May 24, 2014 6:53 am

CynthiaM

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Ah my dear Coopslave, thank you for posting those pictures. When I saw that first picture of the female, it made me cry. Now you tell me why? I don't know. She was astoundingly beautiful, and this actually took me a very long, long ways back in my life. To my memory of what my then-partner's Mother had in the way of barred Plymouth rocks. That is what I remember. A beautifully coloured and patterned bowling ball, that is the bird I remember. Now tell me, 30 years ago? Those birds must have made such a huge impact on me, I still remember what I saw, clear as the days are becoming longer. This is a wonderful post. I think one day I would like to breed the beautiful barred rock, maybe not in my lifetime, got others to focus on, but maybe when I go to bird heaven, smiling. Have a beautiful day, CynthiaM.

21 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Sat May 24, 2014 8:33 am

viczoe

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Lady Leghorn when I started I quickly settled on my forever breeds, white Plymouth Rock bantams, Old English Game, Light Brown Leghorns. I would also likely would still have the L.F. White Plymouth Rocks if my partner in raising them Charlie Sjogren had not passed away, we used to raise 100+ and then divide and raise them up. I still have all of the for mentioned breeds except for the large whites.

I have kept many other breeds though, once I decided to pursue and then attained my judging licenses I kept many breeds for a couple years to get a idea what it took to raise a good one and to study color patterns hands on. I am a visual learner and what better way to learn breed type then hands on. I knew these breeds were never staying but I think it made me a better judge over all. After a couple or 3 years they would put in the hands of someone who showed interest.

Life changes though and I am getting older and while I am still learning I have gone back to having only my forever breeds.

This has turned out to be a great thread invoking many good memories on my part. Thanks Bob G.

Heather

http://www.triple-h.ca

22 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Sat May 24, 2014 12:10 pm

lady leghorn


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CynthiaM-------That's how the White Leghorns affect me.  Also guinea fowl and jersey cows. I fell in love with those things from my

grandparents small farm.  They made such an impression on me, that seeing those things really tear me apart now, especially since we

aren't on a farm anymore.


Heather-----The Buff Silkies brought back such memories, I was totally thrilled to get your's.  I had them when I was a little girl, and used

to visit a fellow that had  Buff Silkies.  We'd talk about them plus his pigeons.  He was a true friend.  Poor man had Parkinson's disease,

but loved talking about his birds.  I'm getting older too and now want to settle on the things that meant the most to me.  The Buff Silkies,

White Leghorns, and get a pair of your Birchen Modern Games someday. They are so sweet.    Can't have my guineas and jersey cows here

But maybe someday?  I can only hope. Gotta get back to B.C. Smile

23 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Sat May 24, 2014 1:12 pm

Bob G


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Heather, Hopefully next year you will have some Barred Rocks in your hands to judge once again!! I have had good feedback from some eastern breeders re shipping ! Fingers and Toes crossed I will be back next year.  Very Happy   Very Happy 

24 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Sat May 24, 2014 1:41 pm

viczoe

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Good news Bob, there definitely are some good ones out east and has been pointed out if one really wants a certain breed if you are willing to look sometimes long and hard and save your nickels most times it can be found as there are many breeders who only get to a fair or the like every now and then, that even we as judges don't see and but if you talk to enough people they can be found. Good Luck and I wish you every success with the Barred Rocks. There is nothing I like better than getting hands on with good birds.

Heather

http://www.triple-h.ca

25 Re: Barred Rock Std Large Fowl on Sat May 24, 2014 9:29 pm

Sebas49

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First thing I must say is Heather is right on about the Sjogren Brothers and the quality of birds they raised and showed. They certainly put lay a the birds down for the show. They were true breeders/fanciers. I traveled to many a shows with Charlie in Canada and into the USA.

I always listen to exhibitors who tell me they are working on projects making new colors of the breeds. Many colors that are not recognized. I ask "Why". Why not stay with the colors that are recognized and perfect them instead of working on non-recognized colors that will at best will win BV. I have raised Black Cochin Bantams for 35 years and shown them just as long. Yes I've won shows with them but I'm still learning more each year about them about their type, feather quality, color quality, leg and foot color and so on. As Heather said, you should stick to one variety for a number of years to really understand it. Yes, when one is working on there judging license you need to raise and study many different breeds and varieties. Staying with one variety may be boring but that's the way you learn.

http://www.c-rducks.com

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