Re: Egg laying Trials

Ginny <glvl88REMOVETHIS@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

nuele mersch wrote:

Hi Ginny,

thank you for this very interesting information.

There are no such trials here in Germany anymore, but when your book was
written ithey were not unusual. There is an article about the German
chicken breed "Dresdner" that was a newly created breed at that time,
selected for early maturity, hardiness in German winters and high egg
numbers. Dresdner hens won at least one of those trials, but were always
among the best.

Sounds like a great utility bird. Are they still around?

Hi Ginny,

they are, but they are no longer as productive as they were then. Just
average. But of course they've become much more beautiful, as they have
been "improved" for showing. Same with every productive breed here, like
Jill says - high egg numbers don't come automatically just because the
standards say so, but only in those strains where the breeder keeps a
close eye on it.

This country today is far too rich for people to care about one egg more
or less, or a bit more or less feed for their backyard flocks. In the
old days these things were crucial. I'm really thankful for not having
to count the grains of my chicken's daily ration, but I think it's sad
that the good results of the breeders of old are lost and the only aim
of breeders today (here) seems to be success at shows. I like beautiful
birds, too, and have been successful at shows with mine, so I'm not a
show hater, but seeing how many breeds have been outcrossed and mixed to
"improve" eye colour or length of sickles or whatever I tend to think
there are hardly any real purebreds left! And surely hardly any utility
strains (to get back on topic)

The egg
laying trials mentioned in the book were bird submitted by breeders and
housed all together on one property in individual small runs. I

Yes, that's the way it was done here, too.

I looked up the Sicilian Buttercups and they rate a page and a half by
one writer.


The SB is described by the writer, relating the standard of the day and
he/she goes on to say pullets start to lay at five and a half months,

Well that is very interesting, because the Sicilian, the original
Sicilian Sicilian ;-) has always been famous for its early maturity. My
cockerels started to crow when they were four weeks old (honestly), and
the pullets started to lay when they were exactly four months old, tiny
little eggs at first, but the final weight now is 60 - 64 grams. They
laid an egg daily all winter, only taking a day off every ten days or
so, without extra light or heating, and our winter was really long this
year, I was very pleased with them. They didn't stop laying until now,
when they all got broody :-(

I have always suspected that the first Sicilians brought to America were
crossed with other breeds to make them heavier and more elegant, which
would of course have a great influence on other aspects. I've raised
both breeds and have found lots of differences. In my opinion the
Buttercup is not identical with the Sicilian, even if it preserves the
original colour that is now lost in the Sicilian, and today they should
be regarded as two separate breeds just like the Leghorn and the Italian
are over here, both of which can be traced back to the Livornese of the
19th century.

good layers of 2oz

hmm, how much would that be in grams...?

white eggs, non-sitters,

I wish! (The Buttercups I kept didn't know about that, they never read
the standard...)

very docile, quiet and
dainty. The writer had only had them for four years so they may have
been quite a new breed here in Australia at that time. He/she may not
have wanted to send them off to someone else's farm for a competition if
they had cost him a lot to import.

Oh, I can understand that perfectly well. I dare not take mine to a show
yet for fear of infections. I could have them recognised here (they are
unknown to the German book of standards) but I won't do that until we
have more of them, and hatching large numbers has now become impossible
with the AI threat and the ban on outdoor poultry if you want decent
conditions for your chicks.

Really interesting book in all. I'll have to look around for some more
in old s/h shops. Glad you liked the info.

I loved it, thank you very much indeed!

Nuele (D)
to mail me, replace the fowls by sap to avoid the spam trap