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One of the best treads in years on the subject of Barred Plymonth Rocks

General ╗ Plymouth Rock Fancier's Club of America ╗ Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern

Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Jan 3, 2007, 6:27pm

In the process of breeding the barred ply month rock color pattern have you ever heard of a master breeder of this breed crossing a Columbian colored rock on to his strain? I was reading a post on another web site poultry forum and two fellows posted these comments.

We still don't know all the genetics for creating such birds, but we do know that you need Columbian and sex-linked late-feathering and a lot of hard work and many generations of selection.

So if you want to recreate such males you will need to have no barred segregating in the line. These high quality show lines used to always produce black non-barred birds. It is due to the fact that the Z chromosome does not exhibit dosage compensation and two copies of sex-linked barring produce more white than one copy.

To get the SQ barring the birds need to be Colombian restricted on extended black and carry the sex linked slow feathering gene. Today’s hatcheries do not seek to produce SQ birds they work on egg production. They also use the rapid and slow feathering genes to sex chicks. You cross a rapid feather male with a slow feathered female. The female chicks will be rapid feathered (primary and secondary feathers project beyond the down and coverts) and the males slow feathering (primaries and secondaries do not project

Everything that I have read is breed barred to barred. I have only been fooling with large fowl barred rocks for two years so have no clue on what these other fellows are saying above. I was told by one fellow that he new an old time ply month rock breeder that would cross a Rhode Island Red on his barred rocks every ten years. Again I have no clue if it was for color, for type or vigor purposes. If you can share your experiences on this as a breeder of this color pattern or if you heard stories at poultry shows of what breeders did to get their color right I would love to hear from you. Thank you. Robert Blosl

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Jan 13, 2007, 9:01am

Good Moarning: 74 people have viewed this thread and yet not one person has made a comment. Surely there is someone out there that can comment on what you have heard at a show from conversations spoken on breeding barred rocks. Also, there are a few of you who have raised barred rock bantams and large fowl who could comment on this question. If you wish to make these message boards worth while you need to put your two cents worth in once in a while so the beginers can learn about our hobby of raising and showing plymonth rocks. I hope this message does not fall on deaf ears. Bob
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by Matt Lhamon on Jan 15, 2007, 5:30pm

Since no one has tried to respond, I can see no use for the Columbian in the mating as there are very few decent Columbian's to cross with. I am afraid that cross would set the type way back and do little for color other than force a double mating. Several breeders have had sucess crossing to Whites and that's the way I would go. Ralph Sturgeon used a Red female but did not leave the formula to anyone. I have tried it and got New Hampshire colored males and Buff barred females. Scaped that mess and stuck with the Whites.
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Jan 16, 2007, 5:55pm

Thanks Matt for your reply. I could not think of Ralph Sturgeons name when I posted the thread but I heard the same thing about him crossing a red on to his barreds years ago. I got a phone call last night from a barred rock bantam and large fowl breeder from Ariziona. He told me he reads this web site on his work computer but can not make any emails from that computer. He does not have a computer at home but he told me he has been raising barreds for over 25 years and never heard of anyone crossing a columbia barred rock onto a barred rock. First of all their are no columbian rocks worth crossing onto a barred that I know of. To be honest with you I think this is just a bunch of genectic bilology teacher humo gumbo. A lot of these guys can preach the genectic talk but could not breed a flock of rocks to save their souls.
On a different point this fellow told me that some of the best colored barred that he has seen is Eric Nelson from Maine or up in the New England area. Does he still have barred rocks????
Also, do any of you know a fellow from Colorado named Randy who has large barred rocks that he got from Paul Hardy of Georgia. Does anyone know anyone who has barred rocks from Paul Hardy? Paul sold out his line and I have one cock bird with excellent color that I crosed onto two of my three year old white plymonth rock large fowl hens. I have two pullets to mate back to their father and one cockerel with super type an so so color that I can not breed to with out a good Barred rock female. If you know of any of these questions let me know. Thanks again Matt when I read those threads from another web site you where the first one I though of and also Danny Feathers. Danny do you still have your computer working??? See you latter bob
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by randym on Jan 24, 2007, 9:21am

Hi Robert,

I have just a few of the Hardy Barreds that are pure. The male is 4 years old now and am hoping to gets some chicks out of him this spring. Last year I crossed that male bird with some hen's from the breeder in AZ you spoke about, Marvin. The cross really clicked and I got the color and type improvement I was hoping for. Another friend in Phoenix did the same cross and had the same results. From what I understand both lines are the old Glen Holgerson line. I'm pretty new to Barred Rocks so I can't comment on crossing the different variety's.

Randy McKnight
The Colorado Guy
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Jan 24, 2007, 8:30pm

Randy I gald you wrote on the message board. The cross I was told was excellent. I crossed my old old male bird bird to a pair of white rock hens and got fantastic type and good color for the first generation. What I need is a female or two to cross my nice ckl on to start another family line. I know the color of your birds are excellent and maybe we can all help promote barred rock large fowl as they are very few good birds left in the USA. Do you know of a fellow who has excellent Rhode Island Red large fowl in Colorado. I have heard he has had them for many years and showed them at the State Fair every year. If you do place his name on here and the city that he lives in. If you could drop me a email my address is

Bob Blosl
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Jan 25, 2007, 6:11pm

I got a a super email from Dick Horstman yesterday on the subject of barred rocks and I hope he will not mind me posting it for you as it will be excellent reading for us on the message board and will also help us this year as we try to improve our barred rocks in the breeding pen. Also, I would like to try to see how we can post pictures on this message board or a web site (Picture and Yahoo) with a direct hit to where we could store pictues of different rocks for all of us to view and learn from. Maybe Matt will have a suggestion how to do it. I was thinking today at work on this subject and I think if we found some good barred rock large fowl we could make out crosses from one strain to another and then put family lines togeather and maintain the clean barring and work on improving type. When you cross a white rock onto a barred rockas I did, it should take about three to four years to breed the best birds togeather to clean up the production type barred look that you get with the first year cross. In my view with my cross the improved type is worth the time to clean up the barring.Hope you enjoy Dicks message as much as I did. Thanks for the email Dick and hope you can get onto the forum with your computer in the next few days. BOB

Bob: I have never seen a cross of Columbians on Barred. Sounds like a lot of work. There are several people who have used Whites on Barreds. This does help tail development and type. However, most Barreds that do develop a tail do have good type. When I look at the White Rocks that are winning today and then look at th e Stan dard I do not see the same image. All of the birds that I have seen that have been crossed with Whites lose the sharpness of barring that we are looking for. I had a long talk with Phil Clauer a couple of weeks ago. Phil is a poultry specialist at Penn State, studied under John Skinner and others. He tells me that tail development in all chickens depends on K ? factors? Chromosomes? and that Barred Rocks are lacking in this. In order to correct this we need to find something that has it. White Rocks! He is sending me some papers with this in detail. Last Spring on the way to the APA semi annual in Peublo,Colo. I stopped in Kansas to look at some large fowl Cornish Danny Williamson and Frank Ree se wer e working with some other people to raise these and ship them to New York as heritage chickens. While there I saw 5 Barred Rocks that they had been using also. The rest had been dispersed and the farmer had kept these for eggs. The story they told was that they had come from Australia and that they had made some improvements. Not sure how those improvements were made. One male was probably the best male I ever saw. The other male I wouldnt have taken to an auction. The females were pretty good but did not have that sharp barring indicating maybe a cross with whites. All 5 were good type and had good tails. Chris Madaleena had received 200 chicks out of the same hatch as these. I talked to him a short while ago and he still has 80 pullets and 30 ckls. He is going to send me 25 chicks and they along with 25 of mine are going to Penn State. Phil Clauer has agreed to raise and breed and croos and whatever else a mad scientist can do. ; ; I dont know if I have answered any of your questions but am sure I have raised a few more. Dick Horstman
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Jan 25, 2007, 6:16pm

In the transfer of Mr. Hortsmans email the web site would not let me transfer his first name or nick name. I am sure his first name is Richard and goes by the nick name of D--k. He is a excellent breeder and promoter of fancy fowl from the great state of Penn. Sorry to you all and the web site won out on me. BOB
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Jan 26, 2007, 6:31pmĄt=chicken5.jpg

This is a picture of the great E B Thompsons riglet line of barred rocks. Some really great birds for their time. BOB

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by feathers on Jan 31, 2007, 8:27pm

Bob, the computer is still working. Just been working alot of hours.Will try to check the boards more often.As fore the Columbian rock breed into the barreds I have to agree with Matt and Dick, Bad ideal. You will hurt yourself more than help.You have put the type back in the barreds with the whites, now use the barreds to clean them back up.It took me around 5 years to get the barring crisp like the barred should have. If anyone can do it you can,you have the patients of Jobe. Good Luck Danny
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Feb 4, 2007, 2:54pm

I wanted to give an update on my search for the Paul Hardy line of Barred Plymouth Rocks that I asked about on this thread about a week ago and where the bloodlines are located in the country. I talked to Paul Hardy last Sunday and he told me he got his start from Chris Madaleena of California back in 2000. He told me it was not difficult to breed as he just mated the best looking birds each year with type as his paramount goal and the good barring just followed each and every year. He got sick last year and was forced to cut down on his over all flock and sold all his barred rocks to Superior Farms of Oklahoma. At this time I have not heard from Superior Farms, but I may have a contact that maybe can go to the farm and purchase for me one or two original Hardy females so I can mate them to my original cock bird that I got from Paul two years ago. I received a phone call from Norman in Arizona who told me he has been breeding Barred Rocks for over twenty years using the old Glen Holgerson line and also had a few birds that came from Paul’s line which he crossed onto his strain and had a fantastic cross. I was also told that a fellow in Arizona by the name of Ben has been breeding the same birds as Norman with similar success. Then I received an email and talked to a fellow named Randy in Colorado who use to live in Arizona and he had some of the Hogerson birds as well as a few birds left from chicks that he got from Paul about two years ago. His cross was similar to the Arizona breeders and so the Paul Hardy line still is being maintained in the southwest. I called a fellow named Larry in Michigan who came down to Georgia and bought all of Paul’s Barred Rock breeders two years ago and has about 60 birds presently on his place. Then this week I received a email from Chris Madaleena explaining that he got his start many years ago from Glen Holgerson and he did infact give Paul Hardy his start. Since placing posts on message boards I have received about five emails from fanciers interested in getting into Large Fowl Barred Rocks so we will try to direct these interested fanciers to the breeders that I have mentioned above. I also have talked to a breeder who made a great cross of white rocks to barred rocks three years ago from Illinois and has some great type and colored specimens. Dick Horst man has also emailed me on his status of his excellent strain of large fowl barred rocks and some interesting new blood lines that he is getting involved in through a connection from Canada with an interesting twist of possible bloodlines from Australia. This would be the old E B Thompson barred rocks as they where imported in the early part of the 1900s by E B Thompson. I have put together a section on of pictures of barred rocks and plan to get more digital photos from other breeders to place on the site for future interested breeders to review.

So thanks to all of you who have responded to my urgent distress .I feel comfortable that this summer I will have plenty of young chicks from Colorado, Arizona and Illinois growing on my farm for me to choose from for next years breeding program. If you are interested in promoting this lost variety of large fowl please contact me and we will get you connected with some eggs, chicks or adult birds to work with. Happy Super Bowl Sunday.

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by redman34 on Feb 5, 2007, 3:25pm

Great to see you trying to support a wonderful variety. I certainly would like to chat with you about your program again. message me.
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Mar 18, 2007, 10:25pm

Hi Matt! Missed you at Heartland yesterday.
Sorry I’ve been out of the picture. The last 2 years have been rebuilding years for me. I go by Early Bird Farm and I’m probably that Illinois Breeder mentioned earlier.
Barred Rocks are my favorite subject and I feel I must comment. First of all forget all about color. After crossing large fowl to whites, it will come back all by itself in 4 years at the latest, if you are careful. The second year you should go back to a full blooded Barred. About half of the next years hatch will have 2 barred genes and these will be the ones you breed from. You can tell by looking at the barring which ones these are. As long as you continue with 2 gene birds your color will come back and the type should stay. Treat the females as if they had 2 barring genes even though they don’t. I concentrated on type and ignored color, after all, isn’t that what we are trying to fix. I agree with Dick and others about ignoring Columbians for this cross. I’m pretty sure most rocks have a Columbian gene and it would probably turn into a mess.
Dick, I saw you had Reserve American on a Barred Cockerel at a show Shelby had entered Whites in, I’m Very Impressed!!
Large fowl Rocks are recessive white and are easy. Some Bantams are Dominate White and a lot harder. Breeders have gone to R I Reds for the slow feathering gene. It has been my experience that this gene makes for great barring but destroys type. E. B. Thompson said to “use a bird that is full in feather at less than 7 months as some strands feather more slowly and should be avoided if possible.” He didn’t say why and didn’t know there was a slow feathering gene.
When making a white/barred cross, I prefer to use a white male on a barred female. The male seems to be much more of a type problem than the female and the old “color comes from the male and type from the female” seems to be a wives tale. I'm probably the only one dumb enough to actually try this but it worked.

Some birds currently on the farm.

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by Matt Lhamon on Mar 19, 2007, 1:28pm

Great to hear from you Tom, those barreds look nice. Keep up the good work and we will see you at the Rock and Red Show.
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Mar 19, 2007, 9:08pm

Thanx Matt,
Kirk chewed me out for not going last year, this year I'm there!
I posted the pictures after my bed time without paying much attention. If you look at the pullet in the first pic and compare her to the one in the third pic, that's what I'm talking about when I say one barred gene verses two. Those pullets are sisters and going by a line breeding chart are half white. By a genetics chart the first is a full blooded barred and the third pic is half white. That’s how to cheat on your years without using full blooded barreds. If you use 2 birds with 2 genes you’ll have all full barreds, if you use 1 bird with 1 gene and 1 bird with 2 genes about half will be full barred. If you use two birds with one gene you’ll have fryers.

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by Matt Lhamon on Mar 21, 2007, 4:28pm

Thanks for all the info Tom, we had similar results when we did the white cross in bantams but I started with a 1/2 white 1/2 barred Male I got from Kirk. After that we only used the double gened birds. Hit the wall a few years ago with fertility and egg laying and gave up. Been working on Partridge Rock bantams ever since. I emailed Bob Blosl as he was looking for you to compare notes as he is doing a large barred project also. I also tried the RI Red Cross on the bantams to get the tails and fast feathering gene back into the bantam and all I made was a mess. Several of the birds could pass for New hamp bantams but we all know Hamps are just red culls anyway:)
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Mar 21, 2007, 7:48pm

Hi Tom: Love the pictures. When I saw the picture of the first female all I could say is Wow. Love the clean barring and the type. I hatched about six barred chicks this week that are half white and half barred. The old pure barred male mated to his two daughters half and half have not produced yet but hope they will start laying soon. I hatched out four monster white rock large fowl chicks today they are from a two year old cock bird and two three year old hens. How about that Danny? Hope all are starting to hatch some chicks this week as this is the first day of spring. Thanks again for the pitures. Bob Blosl
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Mar 25, 2007, 9:38pm

One Name you haven't mentioned was Tommy Stanley. I suspected his line had E B Thompson blood in them because of the extra long saddle and tail feathers in the males. Perhaps someone knows. I have a Stanley hen or two but no males. They were lacking in vigor and needed an outcross but had very good color. I know Doug Akers crossed some Stanley birds with Hardy birds about three years ago, maybe Doug can tell us how that went and where those birds are.
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Mar 25, 2007, 9:41pm

Oh , Matt,

I'm sorry to here your not doing Barred Bantams, I always used your and Mikes birds to benchmark where I needed to be.
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by Matt Lhamon on Mar 26, 2007, 7:35pm

Neil grassbaugh has the Barred Bantams and we may take them up again someday. Doug Akers sold all his LF Barred to Rick Jandrey a few years back in Connersville. I believe Rick Still has them
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by jamied on Mar 27, 2007, 8:30am

Hello everyone, I just started on barreds and had a few questions if I may. I have a barred rooster and 3 hens of the production type right now. I bought 25 productions chicks from a hatchery (I know they aren't the best, but I use them for pasture layers) and noticed a large variation of feathering. I want to use some of these chicks to start a breeding pen for next year. Some feather really fast and have good barring while others are slow and "muddy" looking almost like cuckoo to almost no barring at 3 weeks. Would it be safe to assume the faster feathering good barred chicks will be potential breeders? I got 11 chicks, I was told from the Tommy Stanley line, and they are already showing distinct barring on their wings and faster feathering than any of the production chicks at 2 wks. I am keeping notes on each chick marking their progress trying to learn pattern and growth habits. I haven't really tried to raise any "show quality" or true to type birds before, so I never really paid any attention to these attributes before. I would greatly appreciate any hints or pointers. Reading this post really helped me see that there is an art to this that has to be learned and is hard to write down in a book form, but any hints would be great. I started this project with my kids, so maybe this art can continue on for the future with them. Thanks for any help.
(edited to fix the faster feathering statement, sorry)
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Mar 27, 2007, 9:18pm

Welcome to Barred Plymouth Rocks jamied! The Hatchery Barreds make great free range layers and taste good in chicken and dumplins but that’s the extent of their usefulness, Unless they our good in type and color ( chances close to zero) when grown, I wouldn’t consider using them for show breeding stock. I wouldn’t assume anything at 3 weeks but well defined straight barring is a good sign. You won’t know until they get all their adult feathers. Type won’t be known for sure until a few months later but you’ll get an idea and can cull for defect. You can actually do that sooner.

The first thing I would do is acquire an American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection, if you don’t have one, there’s a link on this site. Read, read and read again the section on Plymouth Rocks and Barring. I read it every time I put breeding pens together, a tip I learned from Shelby Harrington who still does that after 30-40 years. Your family will enjoy thumbing through that book!

I would keep notes on the Tommy Stanley Birds. Who told you that and where did you get them? Mine were lacking in vigor and you can tell that while their growing. Do they stay in the coop on pretty days or run, peck and fight with the other birds etc. The cockerels might be knock kneed, have stilty legs and have flat chests, also a sight of no vigor which comes from inbreeding. They may need to be out crossed to some other line but not the hatchery stock.

Breeding and showing chickens is a great family hobby, we started out with too many breeds. We finally wised up and are down to Rocks and Australorps. Life is a little easier now and we’re better at what we raise.
Hope this helps. Anyone else can add or correct me.

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Mar 27, 2007, 10:01pm

Interesting what jamied said about the Stanley Birds being fast feathering, mine were the slowest I’d ever seen but the best colored. The females were pretty good type and the males a disaster. No one had good males at that time as far as I know. We’re talking large fowl by the way. I don’t discount those birds being Stanley’s though.

About 3 years? ago at the Rock n Red Show, I took 4 pullets from both my lines and from 2 different outcrossed lines. I was hoping to get some advice on what to do next. Carl Fosbrink walked up to my first pullet and said, “Where’d you get that Tommy Stanley bird”. I about fell over because I new he was right, the original eggs came from Tommy before he died. Carl was surprised to see it. According to Carl, Tommy was going to outcross his line with Carl’s and that bird had not been crossed. (Wasn’t the only thing Carl got right about my birds)

If jamied’s birds came from Tommy and have not been crossed since, did Tommy Stanley cross his line with Carl Fosbrink’s?? I am doing a lot of outcrossing right now and won’t sell anything but adult stock because I don’t want to accidentally sell junk to someone. Perhaps Tommy was working two lines. The answer probably died with him but what an interesting thought. I wonder if those birds will have vigor and if so, have they been crossed recently. Oh well.

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by jamied on Mar 28, 2007, 7:27am

Bear with me for the long post, I feel I need to establish a baseline for everyone of who I am. I just picked up those "Tommy Stanley" chicks from Joel Gilman, who was very kind and helpful on my visit to him. In fact, every breeder I have met and visited thus far has been that way. Great group of folks we are. He said those were from Tommy's birds. Keep in mind here that this is my first year working with large fowl. In the past, I only had room to work bantams, dabbling in OE bantams. Now I have a small farm east of Raleigh, NC with plenty of room to build pens and have yards for them. My goal is to have good looking, correct type birds for my pasture layer operation. I have about a 1/2 acre fenced pasture I planted that I keep the birds on in tractors and portable hoop houses. I know the hatchery birds fill this purpose, but I would like to see my barred rocks look like barred rocks and not cuckoos or dominiques, even though I have some of these. If I did, I would just order them. Just a personal preference, I and my wife like barred chickens, so do the children. It's easier to undertake a farming operation with the whole family involved and interested. I also feel like I have an obligation to help preserve the genetic pool of these 'heritage' type birds. If I just wanted layers, I could use leghorns or sexlinks. I also have some buckeyes I am working with, trying to increase this breed's population. With that being said, I have raised chickens for the past 25 years off and on. I never really got into the genetic or breeding side until recently. In the past, I would just order chicks from a hatchery and be satisfied. Since getting the farm, I now can spend some time to work on the breeding side, so my knowledge there is lacking. If I say something odd or misleading, just call me on it and I'll consider it education learned. After reading your post earlybird, I went out to the brooders and studied the chicks more. I know it may be a little early to separate, but I have the stackable brooders and they needed some more room, so I started sorting. I have 25 4 week hatchery chicks, 11 1 week TS chicks and 4 2 wk TS chicks. I separated the hatchery chicks first into two groups. Those with distinct barring and those with muddied barring so I can evaluate them as the age. Handling every bird is a good way for me to get a good feel of them. The 2 wk old TS chicks I mentioned in my first post was misleading to all, sorry. I meant to say the barring on the primaries are very distinctly. more narrowly barred than the hatchery chicks. I don't know now that I would say they are faster feathering at this point just as you said. So, that may answer the question about Carl's birds. I was thinking about taking the best few hatchery chicks next year and setting them up with the best TS birds to see what happens. I would like to get a few more barreds from another line, that is why I looked for a forum such as this where I could get some help. If anyone has anymore comments or suggestions for me, please do so. Thanks everyone for the great info! Jamie.
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Mar 28, 2007, 9:47pm

A forum member sent me a PM and confirmed that Joel Gilman did indeed by Tommy Stanley’s large fowl.

Taken from the previous post.
“I also feel like I have an obligation to help preserve the genetic pool of these 'heritage' type birds.”
I wish more people had that attitude! Well said. I have the same attitude, when I discovered that the once arguably most popular farm chicken in America had been on the endangered species list, my choice of what to raise was obvious.
This raises another question. Do we breed for the Standard of Perfection or towards what the White breeders are winning with. I guess if we want to win we go with the Whites. If you look at pictures of E B Thompson’s birds, they weren’t exactly what the Standard said then either. I chose to go with and use Whites out of necessity mainly.
But is there more?
Most American chickens were dual purpose fowls; they were as valuable in the skillet as they were as layers. Today the commercial hatcheries have “bred for production”, which means hatchery production. They have all but lost type and color and the birds can’t fill a skillet. We exhibition breeders on the other hand have bred towards the standard but our birds have grown to the point of needing disqualified for being overweight and a lot of our birds have lost their great laying ability. Neither of us has a true dual purpose fowl. I considered this for a long time, not only would I like to preserve all aspects of a variety, but I need to hatch when I want from hens and not pullets to be truly competitive in the show room. It’s no fun waiting on your birds to start laying again. I’ve been paying attention to the hens who lay more than the others and using them in the pens when their close to the best of what I’m looking for. Who knows, I may start trap nesting!

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by jamied on Mar 29, 2007, 12:44pm

I took your advice and put in an order for the SOP. Never had one, so I'll use it as a guide to what I do. I am not interested or really have the time to show right now, but I want good birds that are supposed to be what they are supposed to be or as close as possible. Before I decided to choose a breed to work, I thought about what I wanted them to do. I want good layers that I can hatch with the kids and put the excess and played out birds in the skillet. To get the best of both I had to go with the dual purpose and we were drawn to the barreds. So here we are. I agree with you about the hatchery chicks and birds I have seen looking like barred sex links or leghorns and some of the exhibition birds being rather large. Maybe penning the two together will put them back to being what they were at one time, I don't know what they looked like because I wasn't around then. Like I said earlier about heritage breeds, I feel compelled and obligated to keep them. That is why I am trying the Buckeyes also, to see which works best for me. I'd like to get a few more BR's of other lines so I can outcross and return some of that vigor. Thanks for the help!
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by feathers on Mar 29, 2007, 8:43pm

Hey earlybird,Give me your thoughts on the large white rock fowl that are being shown and winning in the shows today. I have my thoughts just want to see if i'm the only one seeing the faults. Asfore bantam barred rocks I messed with them for 10 years could never get the skull or head that i like on my rocks. They were the slowest feathering bird I had ever seen and never ready for the show room.Tried to speed the feathering process up and the barring went out the window. Gave them to a friend and he lost them to predators.Danny
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Mar 29, 2007, 9:02pm

Well, I'll probably make the white breeders mad (I have some too) but I think the Large fowl are getting too big. The concave swoop in the back is missing, the tail angle a bit high and more than moderately long and the chest needs to be lower and bigger.
Heads are troublesome.
Bob has some pictures linked in this thread, there is a M & M cockerel that I like, his wings are carried too low.
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by feathers on Mar 29, 2007, 9:12pm

Those are the same things that we see down here. Most Big whites are way to long,but the judges still seem to pick them. It gets a little old and dishearting to breed and show according to the standard and still get beat by a pretty rock leghorn cross. I believe that Bob Blosl' s big whites are the best in the country, they have good fronts great width and station with good tail angle.One thing that I stress in my bantams is width and good heart grith,without that you cant have a good breast.Danny
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by robertblosl on Mar 31, 2007, 7:38am

Good Mourning everybody: I finely did it got my new right knee to replace the one that went bad on me for the past five years. I am a little drugged up and can not see very level with my tri-vocals but it will be fun to see if I can make comments on this subject with out making a mistake. First of all who would ever think we would get some much mileage out of this thread. Great comments are made by so many that will give the beginner something to read and learn from. First of all I did not know that the barred rock carries a slow feathering gene. I had heard in the past when people got barred rock chicks that they where very slow to feather or it took for ever for the males to finish out in the tail. My experience is with large fowl whites and Rhode Island Red large fowl. It is so easy to breed white rocks that a cave man could do it. You only have five shades of white color to deal with and I always pick my chicks with the Smokey dirty down color when I choose for breeders. I was told this is the old fashion STAY WHITE gene and you want this especially if you live in the south like I do or you will end up with white chickens with yellow quill color. I always have a snow white bird even if the young bird is raised in a free range environment. I always have a yellow set of legs and bill colors but in the beginning I had a whitish leg color like the color on Silver Queen Corn on the cob. I always breed for the gravy bowl look or the derby hat look on my birds. That is they must have an extended keel breast bone to support the meat that gives you a full breast. I have a picture of a bird from a show I saw in Centralia Washington where Oliver Bowen won Champion of the show on a white rock cockerel. My friend Tom Durgen said to me I like the first pullet better as she has a full extended breast. The cockerel that the judge picked had what we called in the 1960s a sawed off breast. As a cock bird he still will not develop a full breast. I told Tom Durgan that is about a 2 1/2 point cut. He agreed. He had seven points that is a 1 point cut and his tail was a little long about a 1 point cut. He had about two minor faults a total of 1 point so a total cut of 5 1/2 points. That means judging him as they did in the old days like E B Thompson he would score about 94 1/2 point bird still a fine looking bird true to the breed but so was the pullet. She had a five point comb a clean looking blade extended keel with good flesh on the breast and a correct tail lift absent the common fault of bunny tails like a Cochin. So I scored her about 96 points and so did Tom Durgan. So much for us a breeders guess the judge forgot what the point cuts where on large fowl rocks or maybe he never new what they where. When he took his examine they where more interested in what the color fault would be on a breast feather of a buck eye or a white face black Spanish. I better stop now as I will sound like that breeder from Oklahoma that I talk to every two weeks on the phone.
At least you get my drift. When E B Thompson choose a breeding pen, he picked the mail and drew a line down the center of the page on one side he would write down his good points, then on the other side of the page he would write down his faults. Then he would go out to his female pens and look for the correct female that compensated for the males faults. He would then put this female next to him in his conditioning house and go out and look for another. If he found two or three more to be correct mates to this male he would have the breeding pen all lined up in the house if not he would be completed with just the one female. I think he had around 40 or so matings but he used this concept. That’s what I have tried to do with my reds and rock over the past 18 years. I also put intense breeding pressure on the fast feathering egg laying gene of the females. This increased my over all body type and cut down in the fluffy vent feathers that would give me poor fertility in the early years. This I also did on my reds and in five years I produced the Mohawk lost gene of the 1930s. When it comes to barred rock first year crosses, I have to learn what it takes for the barring to lay down in a ringlet format. I do not know if E B Thompson breed for a slow feathering gene as if you did you would also loose egg production and back then they need this to make the over all complete dual purpose bird. I only know that my males have nice fully furnished tails correct lifts in the tail and full breast. The two pullets that I saved have type like my white rock old hens which where the mothers last year. I can only hope that when I cross the father a Hardy male to his two daughters that are half Hardy-Blosl cross that the color will be close to the standard with maintaining the true white rock type. If you only have to produce this back cross for say three years you should be able to go to a show and have correct white rock type on a pretty clean looking barred rock female. I would think my females will score higher on the point system than the males, but my dream is to have a clean barred rock male like the Hardy cock bird with my typical Blosl white rock male bird. What else could you breed for or make it so complicated that you would get discouraged and give up the project. I also have to learn how to breed Light Brown Leghorn large fowl this year. I have 2 dozen eggs in the incubator. I am sure there is a plan or receipt for this color Varity which may take even more skill as a breeder than a white rock breeder. I will stop for now as my RUSH LIMBOUGH medication is setting in and the monitor is rotating around and around. Have a nice weekend and please comment on this message board and show that we rock breeders is alive and kicking. Bob Blosl

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Apr 5, 2007, 10:09pm

If you have a fast connection or time to download a 56 MB file, jamied found a copy of the 1915 Plymouth Rock Standard and Breed book online. GREAT reading!

More good reading on breeding Barreds is in the following book. The barred breeder they are referring to is E. B. Thompson, written in 1920. s&qid=1175696942&sr=8-7

Keep in mind that today’s Standard is slightly different (better) but the color of the female is still wrong, so double mating is still required if you intend to hatch show quality females.

Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by jamied on Apr 9, 2007, 6:33pm

If you type in "poultry" into the search engine at the top of the page and any other related word like "breeding, housing, judging" etc there are a bunch of hits. Don't know how long this golden egg will last, but it has been some terrific reading. I have downloaded several older books. Most of them are vintage early 1900's. Most files are about +/- 30 MB so a fast connection is helpful.

Happy reading!
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by whitney on Jun 16, 2007, 9:32am

I am new to this MB...I am looking for a nice large Barred Rock rooster with a nice defined back. Young is ok would like to have him cover the hens for some mid summer chicks. Not having any luck in my area...Thanks!!
Re: Breeding Barred Plymonth Rock color pattern
Post by earlybird on Jun 17, 2007, 7:49am

Where is your area?

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