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Further comments on judging toe nail colour on dark shanked birds.

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Omega Blue Farms

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First, I would like to thank Heather and her comments in a previous discussion, toe nail colour was never on my radar prior to that discussion.

http://wcps.canadian-forum.com/t9193-toenail-colour-question-for-heather-or-rico-and-exhibitors-alike

It turns out that the majority of my Black Ameraucanas last year had white toe nails. Not just one or two, but all white! If I understand the SOP right, that is an 8 point deduction!! I'm sure I've shown several white toe nailed birds over the year, I'm surprised it took over 10 years of showing before I became aware of such a serious flaw (serious with respect to point penalty).

This year I mated white to black, I simply didn't have enough black toe nailed birds to cull out all the white toed ones. I've ended up with enough black toe nailed birds to move forward without concern. White toe nails will be gone in a couple years. Thanks WCPS and Heather for helping me improve my breed! However, the adventure has created two questions/concerns.

1) on some birds, I see toe nails that appear black and white striped. It seems more common on my more mature birds. My guess is that the toes nails turn white with wear and tear? ??? My question is, how are judges trained to interpret such occurances? Is a part white toe nail treated as white or black?

2) At the sanctioned show this last weekend, the judge seemed to favour white toe nails on the dark shanked breeds. It was weird, the birds I pulled from my cull pens did better than those I've selected from the breeding pen. The bird that won reserve AOSB is a bird that I will be putting in the freezer! I entered 5 pullets and the judge put my worst pullet on top. She had the worst eyes, worst muff/beard, and slightest build. But she had white toe nails.

So Heather, Rico, and any other judges listening, I don't see how being silent on this kind of mistake is helpful to the hobby. This isn't a breed specific mistake whereby the judge overlooks something specific to one breed. This mistake covers ALL dark shanked breeds. I feel we breeders need better guidance from the judges. My question is, how do I create awareness of this flaw in judging without drawing attention to a single judge and embarrassing him or her? Maybe it was just a bad day, we all have those. However, it was a good thing I wasn't present during judging, I most likely would have paid my money and filed a formal complaint. You all know how well those are received, LOL.

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Schipperkesue

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Rico, Heather, other judges, if you are concerned about a single trait being judged, such as in this instance, is it appropriate for an exhibitor to chat with the judge before the show, discuss the problems you have been having, and ask his/her opinion? At the least would this be an appropriate way to get feedback on the issue you are having and ensuring the judge will take the trait into consideration when judging your birds? Or would this be frowned upon? I know I wouldn't do it with dogs, but poultry judges seem more open to discussing birds with breeders.

Bob G


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Sue , same as a dog show after judging is done. Very Happy 

Omega Blue Farms

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Sue, I would not want to talk to a judge prior to judging. Any activity which could be perceived to influence how a judge evaluates the birds is frowned upon. I'm someone who isn't shy about improving my understanding by asking lots of questions, but the questions can never be about a bird (breed) that is not finished being judged.

There is also the idea that the judge should not know who owns which birds until after the judging is finished. This is often not the case, but most shows/judges still try to reach for that ideal.

http://www.OmegaBlueFarms.ca

Schipperkesue

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Omega Blue Farms wrote:
There is also the idea that the judge should not know who owns which birds until after the judging is finished. This is often not the case, but most shows/judges still try to reach for that ideal.

How could this ever happen when many birds have personalized leg bands?

Yes, I understand the impropriety of speaking to a judge before the show. Dog show judges will not even discuss the breeds after they are done. Omega, is there a publication that judges read where you could submit an article about this issue?

Bob G


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Sue... Long before we had APA judges here in B.C., two people judged locally Dick Boulter and Jim Hamilton.Dick was my mentor in Poultry breeding and showing whatever show we attended he knew before we entered the show who would have the best birds entered. The best breeders are not hard to find, they are at most shows and the birds are always in great condition. On rare occasions someone new would take a top placing, the best bird of that day always won. I have filled in at local fairs , if someone came to me before a show was judged they would get a cold response.

appway

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Here in Canada Most of the Judges Know who owns which Birds as they see them at the shows they also are showing in
It is not like the States where they have huge shows all the time and alot of different Judges and the judges here also see the exhibitors feeding and taking care of their birds. We are lucky tho as Our judges here are Real Honest and judge the Bird Not there Friends

CynthiaM

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Bob G wrote:Sue... Long before we had APA judges here in B.C., two people judged locally Dick Boulter and Jim Hamilton.Dick was my mentor in Poultry breeding and showing whatever show we attended he knew before we entered the show who would have the best birds entered. The best breeders are  not hard to find, they are at most shows and the birds are always in great condition. On rare occasions someone new would take a top placing, the best bird of that day always won. I  have filled in at local fairs , if someone came to me before a show was judged they would get  a cold response.

BobG, you sound like you have been in poultry for a very, very long time, and you are an old soul. This is very enlightening to hear and I love to read your stuff, by the way...I wish that I had an oldtimer that went way, way, way back into the beginnings of poultry, but I am so old, I am coming 63 this year, that I doubt any of them would be alive. Don't know why I made this post, but I felt compelled to say this. And with that, have a most beautiful and awesome day. We are in Surrey these couple of days, the sunshine is shinin' away and it is beautiful, the Lower Mainland is so beautiful when that sun doth shine. CynthiaM

Omega Blue Farms

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At the show last weekend, the judging was the polar opposite. Toe nail colour appeared to influence the judging in the right way. I alone entered 7 pullets and there were at least two other exhibitors, thus forcing the judge to judge the class closely. My pullets were pretty consistent in quality with a bit of variation in eye colour and comb quality. Four of my pullets had black toe nails and they placed 1-4. I felt a couple of the white toe nailed birds were overall better quality Ameraucanas than the two that placed 4th, but were they 8 points better? Probably not. Solid judging on the class.

I found the cockeral judging good and informative. My two boys placed 5th and 6th as they should have. I didn't like either and just used them because they were the closest to show condition. They both had a bright white central toe nail and my wife Dawn polished those feet up real good, the white almost glowed, LOL. Anyway, the cockeral that placed first had nice balance, nice condition, and toe nails that were mixed black and white. It was like the nails were striped with one side being mostly white and the other dark. The white portion was a dirty smutty white, not the bright white I have seen in some of mine. It appeared as if the judge judged the part white nails as if they were dark, thus giving his answer to my first question.

http://www.OmegaBlueFarms.ca

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