†† Welcome to the month of March! Could winter be over? For the majority of the country, the winter was something that doesnít happen very often. It was very mild for the majority of the country. The biggest problem that I seen with this winter was, it was warm, it was cold, it was warm, it was cold and for us it caused a lot of head molting in our birds and for a lot of you the birds went into a second molt. You know what it did to us, can you imagine what it did to Mother Nature wild animals and birds. They were probably just as confused as the rest of us. Iím not complaining about it, as I would just as soon see warm weather as extremely cold weather. Enough of the weather.
†† Weíve been working on mating up our birds and this year has been no easy chore doing it. Working on trying to put fifty individual pens is very time consuming. I had a friend ask me ďWhat are you going to do if one of your males isnít fertile with the way that you are breeding your birds individually?Ē I told him I would much rather have a pen or two not fertile as to have a male with three to five females and the whole pen not fertile. What Iím trying to do is get my pens set to what Iím looking to get out of them. When you mate up birds, you try to put birds together to compliment each other. You certainly donít want to put two birds together, or a pen of birds, where both the male and female or females carry the same faults in them.
†† I think the color of my females is coming the way that I read the standard. I donít say that they are perfect but I feel they have come along way in three years. It doesnít mean that it canít go backwards because it can. I feel what I bred out in 2001, which were sixteen different pens that they are very consistent in color and type, a personal opinion.
†† My goal now is to work on a problem that I feel that needs vast improvement. It is one of the most important things on any breed of poultry. I wonít say what it is until I can correct it.
†† Another goal that I want to really work with in this female line of BB Red Old English is reproduction. Laying, fertility and hatchability is a problem in them and Iím really working on it. I had the same thing when I had my Black Old English Game Bantams and I made tremendous strides in the seventeen years that I had them. I feel that if I live long enough that I can accomplish this goal.
†† Just remember one thing about poultry. There is no perfect bird and the same can be said about people. None of us are perfect; we all try to do the best that we can with our own resources. Remember, donít criticize someone elseís birds until youíve looked at yours! My most memorable comment by a judge was ďWe arenít going to pick this bird because it belongs to so and so!Ē itís the same way with exhibitorís birds, some people canít see past their own birds. Be kind to your fellow exhibitors and their birds. Until next month, best to all.