Getting Birds Ready for the Showroom
I have titled this article like this for
one reason. The breeder should be hard on his own birds, before the judge ever gets to see or handle them. I don’t believe
in taking birds to any show just to fill cages. With this in mind, let me tell you how I start. We start culling around here
from the incubator. That’s Day one, as they come out of the box. We are culling till the day they are adults. We start
with the obvious defects or disqualifications.
When we start looking at combs and beaks around 4 weeks of age. Removing all the birds that don’t
have the right number points on their combs. The birds that don’t have a nice curve to their beaks. We are also looking
for birds that have a good short and stout beak, this will give the bird some width of skull.
As your birds start showing type, keep an eye on the one’s
that look like little bricks with legs. The faster maturing birds are the ones to start banding. We look through those birds
and look for the birds with long backs and keel bones. Remember we don’t want short reds. Now that we have removed all
of these birds you would think that we would be done. Wrong, now we start looking for Color and feather quality. We check
for the color of red that we believe the standard calls for, on the surface and the under color.
We check all sections of the bird. We also check for the amount of fluff the bird has, this is done
by looking at the fluff and checking the amount of fluff on the feathers. I like to look at the feathers and see how far the
web goes down the shaft, before it turns to fluff. Too much fluff changes the shape of your bird. Remember that there are
to lines on your birds, top and bottom lines.After all of this is done, we should have a good string of birds for the shows
and for the breeding pens. We have followed this system for over 20 years , and we fell we can compete with anyone in the
nation. There are a lot of different systems out there, this is the one that works for us. Hope to see all of you at the National.