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#52526 - 08/24/06 09:44 AM Re: Which is better?
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
I dont think the Rosecomb breed should be blamed for low fertility? They have the Hamburg type comb and very probably are /were a Hamburg to begin with with selection for the Rosecomb type. It would also seem that by using a total outcross thete would be increased vigor, not less.
I did have reduced fertility in my Hams this year, but also in the Sumatras and Rocks and even the F1 & F2 hybrids. I have no idea why, only around 50% compared to other years with near 100%.
I have noted that the Hams are most fertile later rather than earlier in the season. I do not use artifical lite.

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#52527 - 08/24/06 11:52 AM Re: Which is better?
Hen-Gen Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 1152
Loc: Island of Fetlar, Shetland
I think it has been established that males which are homozygous for rose comb do have reduced fertility. Why this is so and also why females which are homozygous for rose comb are unaffected has not been established.
In dogs there are known correlations between coat colour and other physical defects. For example there seems to be a link between all white fur and deafness. Also homozygosity for the Merle gene seems to be lethal in many cases. I would be hesitant to dismiss similar possibilities in fowl.
(In the canary homozygosity for dominant white is lethal).
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If you have nothing............
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#52528 - 08/24/06 05:02 PM Re: Which is better?
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
I read that all the time, low fertility in rosecombed birds; I just dont experience it only in the males early in the season. But it is not a problem.
In cats its the blue eyed whites isnt it? We bred whites but with copper eyes mostly. The main stud was odd eyed.

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#52529 - 08/24/06 05:53 PM Re: Which is better?
D. Honour Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 292
Loc: New York
Deb,I can agree with you on many areas and I like the way you think. I too spend some time looking at feather width and quality and agree you need a main tail of some length to guage proper tail angle. I often see Rocks in bantam and large with short soft tails like Cochins. I am working on Lavender (self blue) Phoenix ,and since they are a long tailed fowl,you can see how difficult of a project it is.The lavender gene is associated with the narrow frayed ratty tails and wingbows. It is a case of braking the linkage byd breeding numbers. I have heard the term braiding,it usually means intertwining 3-5 lines ,strains ,or individuals into one. Getting back to vigor,most varieties can be improved.Lethal genes can only be strung along as impures ,the pure ones die.The non molting main tail gene in its pure form is linked with low vigor/weakness,but the non molting saddle gene is not. Color genes can have a negative affect,at least to a certain degree,and when doubled up are compounded and made worse,these are often dilution genes. It doen't mean you can not still have a fairly healthy ,robust variety by strict selection. Sometimes you can hide genes under colors,which can help vigor a bit,some buffs have columbian ,or pattern gene hidden. Some recessive whites have colors hidden under them. Black chicks are not as strong if on the E allele,it is mentioned somewhere (Carefoot- maybe)These things can be checked out with a little digging. Dan

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#52530 - 08/25/06 02:48 AM Re: Which is better?
JK Offline
Chick

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Netherlands
Another question, because maybe here in The Netherlands we breed the Minorca a bit different, but I read the suggestion that #1's comb followed the neck to much? Here his comb is just the way it should be.
And what about the earlobes, they don't look very round. Is it the photo or don't they have to be as round as possible?
I'm just curious. What is the breed status anyway in the US, are they quite common or not so popular?

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#52531 - 08/25/06 04:30 AM Re: Which is better?
Hen-Gen Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 1152
Loc: Island of Fetlar, Shetland
Hi JK,
Here in the UK the comb should follow the back of the head, as you say.
The lobes should be the shape of a Valencia almond, not exceeding 2.75 inches deep and 1.5 inches wide so round would be unacceptable.
_________________________
If you have nothing............
......... give it away!

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#52532 - 08/25/06 07:02 AM Re: Which is better?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Wow. I just went to a Poultry show this week and saw the WORST Minorca I have ever seen. The bird had white and yellow feathers, a RIR type comb, and it stood just like a normal bird, level to the ground. It won first...I would have disqualified it. The Buff Cochins looked great though!!! I just never realized that they could look so bad. Well, at least he had a tail! lol!

Hen-Gen, does that comb type follow with the Minorcas too? Having the comb follow the back of the head?

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#52533 - 08/25/06 07:19 AM Re: Which is better?
Hen-Gen Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 1152
Loc: Island of Fetlar, Shetland
Yes, you do see some extrordinary birds at shows but at the same time lots of entries is good for the hobby.
So far as the comb in Minorcas is concerned I like to see five good points as in bird 1 in the photos and the comb well back and following the line of the neck without touching the hackle. Im currently playing with Hamburgh/Minorca crosses to resurrect the Rosecomb Minorca. The spur on the back of the Hamburgh rose comb sticks straight out but the desired rose comb in the Minorca should follow the line of the neck just as should the single comb. Mine dont, so work in progress!
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If you have nothing............
......... give it away!

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#52534 - 08/25/06 03:58 PM Re: Which is better?
D. Honour Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 292
Loc: New York
In the US the Minorca standard also calls for single and rosecomb blades to tend to follow the neck and earlobes almond shaped.They appear rounder in females. From a breeding standpoint I dislike double-mating as it is unnecessary and wasteful,I much prefer single mating,hence I do not mind young (year or less) birds to have small to medium combs with blades level.Old males will tend to have showable combs and you will not get many lopped over combed males. I do like the big round earlobe,on males they keep the shape,while the small almond shaped ones get large,sag and drop. If you over do the twist fold of the females comb,you get males with twisted combs that hang to far forward of the beak. Why waste so many birds due to huge defective headgear ?

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#52535 - 08/27/06 09:44 AM Re: Which is better?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
LOL! I understand what you mean! My top "show" hen will not be bred back to my male. I am scared that because of her huge lopped over comb, she, along with my male, will produce excellent females, but poor males. I suppose with her, I will only keep the females from her breeding and keep the males from my breeding with the other 2 medium hens.

I have some news. We will be eating Cockerel #2 as he has decided he likes to breed his hens by attacking them first, then scratching their backs, then, while still sitting on them, eats their feathers. I do not need this in our flock, so he is in the 'fattening' pen waiting the chopping block.

Question 1: I have 5 full grown hens. One of them is quite a bit younger than the other hens in the flock, so for purpose of this discussion, I'll call her about 1 year old. Here's the thing. My top hen is absolutely beautiful. She has excellent weight. This hen, you can just feel her muscles when she's sitting still. It's amazing. The youngest hen of them all, looks very similar to my 6 month old Minorca pullet. I could even guess they are sisters. Anyway, this hen is very, very thin. She is able to eat the same feed all of the other hens eat, but she is only about 2 lbs. I'd say that my top hen is 9-10 lbs. Could it be the top hen is making the youngest pullet stay away from the feeders? Also, is there a reason that my 6 month old pullet is so similar in size and maturity to my 3 month old mixes, brahmas, and my other single Minorca pullet? I know she is at least six months old, but when you place her with the 3 monthers she looks just like a 3 month old bird. Am I doing something wrong here? She is so pretty, and other than her size and sexual maturity level, I would love to keep her as a breeder. Should I do some intensive work on her?

Mikaela

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