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#113036 - 07/30/14 05:46 PM New Araucana Club
Smooth Mule Online   content
Coop Keeper

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 628
Loc: Missouri
There is a new club forming for breeders/exhibitors who are working to improve the breed in the works.
ABEC

This club is not to replace the ACA (Araucana Club of America) but for exhibitors working to breed towards the APA and ABA SOP here in the US

If you raise Araucana's, please consider joining. There has been a huge effort to bring in more breeders that are seriously working to bring this breed into the present.

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#113054 - 08/09/14 03:30 PM Re: New Araucana Club [Re: Smooth Mule]
Bushman Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1046
Loc: Wisconsin
So what will the new club do that is different than the ACA?
As a former member, it seems to me they had the same goals you outlined. I see potential for a lot of overlap, to the probable detriment of both organizations.
_________________________
Pilgrim in a foreign land and true believer.
1st John 5:11-12

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#113059 - 08/12/14 08:40 AM Re: New Araucana Club [Re: Bushman]
OmegaBlueFarms Offline
Chick

Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 19
Loc: Vancouver Island
I invested more than a decade into the breed before dropping it and focusing my attention on my Ameraucanas. You have a tough road ahead and I'll share why I feel this.

When I started, my passion was for the araucanas and the Ameraucanas were just a spinoff distraction. In fact, when Bushman and I had our first run in, my Ameraucanas were very low priority. My primary focus was on fixing the Araucana.

I joined the ACA back then, but was discouraged by the very poor breeding advice being defended by the club. The common acceptance of the very poor breeding practices more than explained the terrible genetic state of the breed. Terrible fertility, terrible hatch rates, terrible vigour, and a body type better suited to ornamental use than dual purpose.

I quite supporting the ACA because I felt the club's vision for advancing the breed was not sustainable. I felt politics carried more weight for the club than actually fixing the breed.

I rebuilt the araucana from the skeleton out. I selected for a body type that would support vigour, fertility, and dual purpose utilization. Hint: longer back and a breast bone that runs parallel with the back rather than one that pinches into the tail. Unfortunately, after a decade, I still found negative tendencies that looked like they were going to take another decade to sort out. I had no problem producing excellent body type, but failed to find consistency in producing the good body. My breeding approach is such that I expect my culls to be useful birds. I breed for high quality culls.

Consistently, my best birds were tufted tailed, or rumpless clean faced. However, when I combined rumpless and tufted onto the same birds, my average weight would drop. More importantly, their vigour and body conformation also dropped. Don't get me wrong, I produced some high quality show birds and won some top prizes, but unfortunately, those high end show birds tended to fail in the breeding pen to pass on the quality with any kind of consistency.

For my line, something about combining those two traits simply didn't work. I realized that the only way I could finish my work with the araucana would be to divide it into two breeding lines, one tufted tailed and the other cleanface rumpless. These two lines would be functioning flocks and where I would fine tune colour selection, tuft quality, etc, etc. These would be my breeding flocks. I could cross the two flocks, but only to produce exhibition birds.

Unfortunately for the araucana, my Ameraucanas replaced them as my main priority. I started both my araucanas and ameraucanas with the same initial test cross between hatchery Ameraucana and show Araucana. Both my lines started with the same P1 parents and it is only through selection that I divided it back into the two breeds. Despite both starting from the same genepool, and my main attention focussed on the Araucana, the Ameraucana line was much easier to round into shape. My initial goals for the araucana came to fruition in the ameraucana line instead. A consistently great table bird that lays blue/green eggs and performs well in the show room. It consistently produces good quality culls. Case in point, a bird from my slaughter pen won Res AOSB last weekend at a sanctioned show. Bird will still find it's way to the freezer, but you get the point.



I guess this is a long winded way of saying that I don't see the value in forming a new club focused on exhibiting Araucanas. Exhibition is not where the breed needs work. It needs to be rebuilt from the skeleton out. If the breed is to survive for the long haul, it needs to offer the backyarder better value. Better fertility, better conformation, better vigour. The breed needs to become more rewarding for the average backyarder and the remote chance of being able to produce a prize winning bird simply is not enough. Backyarders like the idea of araucanas but few stick with the breed because it simply is not rewarding enough for most to keep.

Just my 2 cents based on my own personal experiences.
_________________________
APA Grand Master of Bronze Turkey, Black Ameraucana, Black Muscovy, & Khaki Campbell

www.OmegaBlueFarms.ca

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#114334 - 05/05/15 06:37 AM Re: New Araucana Club [Re: OmegaBlueFarms]
Smooth Mule Online   content
Coop Keeper

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 628
Loc: Missouri
The old ACA seemed to be running itself into the ground. The ABEC, from what I've seen, is a small group of breeders who want to start it fresh and do it as a more organized and effective model for the handful of breeders who are actually working to improve and expand the breed. I have to say, it's far better than what the ACA had become. This isn't the first breed to have more than one club.

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#114345 - 05/06/15 08:46 AM Re: New Araucana Club [Re: Smooth Mule]
Robbie Online   content
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 258
Loc: Ontario Canada
OmegaBlueFarms,those are wise words for all breeds, not just Araucanas.

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#115006 - 10/26/15 10:00 AM Re: New Araucana Club [Re: Robbie]
Tufty Offline
New Egg

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 7
Loc: OR
I just wanted to post here to say that the "old" club, the Araucana Club of America, is alive and well. At the latest National Meet held Oct 18 in Washington, there were 61 Araucanas entered, and 8 exhibitors. The quality was outstanding, and several Araucanas were on Champion Row. A white bantam hen was Champion AOCCL, and a large fowl black cock was Reserve AOSB.

The ACA Facebook page, "Araucana SOP Breeders" is very active and has 419 members.

Of course anyone is free to set up any club they want, but I just wanted to provide some facts about the original Araucana Club as balance to the negative comments in some of the posts.

Rosalyn Upson, past president of the Araucana Club of America


Edited by Tufty (10/28/15 11:05 AM)

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#115470 - 02/11/16 11:35 PM Re: New Araucana Club [Re: Tufty]
Lanae Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 123
Loc: Willits, California
Thank you Rosalyn for your comment and your continued support. The Araucana Club of America would love to see more members who exhibit their birds, and I do believe that by exhibiting your birds you can get a real sense of the quality you have and a way to move forward and improve your quality. At every show I learn something new about my birds both good and bad. I am able to pick the judges brains and speak to breeder of other poultry that are working with the same color I am.

We at the old Araucana Club also realize that not every one ( or very many for that matter) like to or are in a position to exhibit their birds. I know of several breeders who I consider to have very good quality birds and they do not exhibit. They do own copies of the SOP and are aware of what their birds are supposed to look like. They are members of the ACA ( Araucana Club of America) and reach out to other members to learn and evaluate each others birds.

We are a breed club not just for those who want to show, but those who breed or those who just have pets. We even have several members who do not have araucana at all but want to learn about them. I think those types of members have value also.

The comment that the ACA seems to be running itself into the ground I do not understand. We have a small club with less than 200 members which is what it has been for the last 10 years and what one can expect from this quirky little breed of chicken. We have created a new website and added a facebook page. We have been able to encourage 6 new exhibitors, and as Rosalyn pointed out we have had birds on Champion Row and not just once, several times. We send out a newsletter to members 4 times a year. We encourage exhibitors with Rosettes and cash prizes.

We had a fantastic National Meet in 2015 and it was simply amazing to walk into a show and see 61 araucana. Our 2016 National Meet held in January was very good also, with 22 Araucana entered and 6 exhibitors.

In short, the Araucana Club of America is going strong and doing great. We have many years ahead of us and are looking to the future.

Lanae Cash
Araucana Club of America president

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