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The Vorwerk Bantam

By Wilmar Vorwerk

In 1966 saw a picture of the Vorwerk Bantam in the German Poultry Paper "GEFLUEGEL BOERSE". Was impressed with the rare color and markings, and thrilled to find a breed of chicken which had the same name as our family. Being of German decent as my father was born in West Prussia, Germany. I made up my mind to have some of these. After searching many years without finding any in the United States, I decided to breed my own. I combined the following breeds:

    Lackenvelder Bantams,
    Buff Wyandotte Bantams,
    Black Tailed Buff Rosecomb Bantams,
    Blue Wyandotte Bantams,
    Buff Columbian Rosecomb Bantams.

After many years of culling we have produced a lively, inquisitive and beautiful Bantam.

The Vorwerk bantam - Admitted to the ABA Standard l985
In making the Vorwerk Bantam I started with two matings: #A pen: Used a Lakenvelder bantam cockerel on a black tailed Rosecomb buff hen. #B pen: A buff Wyandotte bantam cockerel on 4 Lakenvelder pullets. Both matings produced cockerels with rose combs, white bodies with black ticking on necks and tails. The pullets all had single combs, buff bodies and some black in neck and tails.

The following season mated brothers and sisters together. They produced a few white bodied birds but most of them were buff with various amounts of black in necks and tails. 50% had single combs and 5O%; had rose combs of both sexes.

The next spring made up two pens: Pen #1 - I used a blue Wyandotte cockerel on single combed pullets with good buff bodies. Used this mating to improve the slate undercolor and to give the neck and tail its velvety black color. In pen-#2, I selected the best single combed cockerels on the best single combed pullets. They produced some very good colored individuals and of course a good number of culls, some with buff bodies with blue necks and tails with rose combs.

Next season I selected a cockerel with a single comb out of the blue cross and a cockerel from pen #2 mated to the best smallest pullets. This combination produced some nice males, but the females were lacking in neck coloring. This also produced a lot of rose combed individuals again.

The next year found a pure Buff Columbian Rosecomb bantam cockerel with heavy black striping in hackle and a solid black tail. Mated him to 5 of the best pullets. They produced some very beautiful cockerels with deep black markings and good buff bodies. The pullets showed color improvement too but to a lesser degree. About l/3 had rose combs, some were almost entirely black, which I discarded.

From then on, each seasons breeding pen was made up of the best colored single combed birds I had. My backyard pens are small and limited space compelled me to keep-my flock small. I usually select the best 2 cockerels and mate them to 5 or 6 pullets. The Vorwerks are good layers and hatchabilty is very good. I brood the chicks together with my blue Wyandotte chicks and find the Vorwerks the first to find the water and feed. When they are old enough to put out on the ground they are busy scratching from-morning till night and get into every thing. They are the last ones to go to roost. When the pullets start to lay they seem to find the most unlikely places to deposit their eggs. They are very docile but when startled will fly like pheasants.

VORWERK BANTAM STANDARD

Shape of Male

    COMB: Single - medium size, set firmly and evenly on head, straight and upright, evenly serrated with 5 regular and distinct points, the front to extend approximately halfway between nostrils and point 0 beak and extending beyond back of head.
    BEAK: Medium length, sturdy, slightly curved.
    FACE: Fine in texture, free from wrinkles, folds or bristles.
    EYES: Moderately large.
    WATTLES: Moderately broad, medium length, well rounded at lower edges, fine in texture, free from wrinkles and folds.
    EAR LOBES: Medium size, almond-shaped, flat, smooth, uniform in thickness.
    HEAD: Moderately broad, medium size.
    NECK: Medium length, moderately arched, carried well forward.
    HACKLE: Abundant, falling gracefully over shoulders and back.
    BACK: Medium length, broad at shoulders. tapering and sloping slightly to base of tail where it rises in a gentle concave sweep without any break where back joins tail.
    SADDLE: Fully developed, moderately long.
    TAIL: Main tail - carried well back, well spread, with an angle of 350 above the horizontal, feathers broad. Sickles - broad, moderate length, well curved. Lesser Sickles - abundant, Coverts - abundant, broad.
    WINGS: Broad, long, carried above lower thighs, tips not to extend beyond stern, Shoulders & Fronts - well concealed by hackle. Bows - nicely rounded. Coverts - two rows of broad feathers across wing. Primaries - moderately long and wide, concealed by secondaries. Secondaries - moderately long, broad, tapering convexly to stern.
    BREAST: Broad and deep.
    BODY & STERN: Body - moderate length, good depth and width, back and breast line to conform, Stern - well tucked up; fluff, short.
    LEGS & TOES: Legs - medium length, fine boned, straight when viewed from front. Lower Thighs - medium length, well developed, tapering neatly to hocks. Shanks - medium length, smooth, scales neatly overlapping. Spurs - medium size, hard. Toes - four, fairly long, strong, well and evenly spread.

    APPEARANCE: sprightly, alert, active.

VORWERK BANTAM STANDARD

Shape of female

    COMB: Medium size, set firmly and evenly on head, straight and upright with some tendency of rear points to droop to one side, five regular and distinct points the front to extend approximately halfway between nostrils and point of beak.
    BEAK: Medium length, sturdy, slightly curved.
    PACE: Fine in texture, free from wrinkles, folds or bristles.
    EYES: Moderately large, bold.
    WATTLES: Small, oval, fine in texture, free from wrinkles or folds.
    EAR LOBES: Medium size, almond-shaped, flat, smooth, uniform in thickness.
    HEAD: Moderately broad, medium size.
    NECK: Medium length, moderately arched, carried well forward.
    HACKLE: Abundant, falling gracefully over shoulders and back.
    BACK: Broad at shoulders, carried nearly horizontal.
    CUSHION: Moderate width and length.
    TAIL: Main tail - feathers broad, well spread, carried at an angle above horizontal. Coverts - moderate width, flowing well up tail.
    WINGS: Broad, long, carried above thighs, tips not to extend beyond stern. Shoulders & Fronts - partially concealed by hackle. Bows - nicely rounded. Coverts - two rows of broad feathers across wing. Primaries - moderately long and wide, concealed by secondaries. Secondaries - moderately long, broad, tapering convexly to stern.
    BREAST: Broad and deep.
    BODY & STERN: Body - moderate length, good depth and width, back and breast line to conform. Stern - well tucked up; fluff, short.
    LEGS & TOES: Legs - medium length, fine boned, straight when viewed from front. Lower thighs - medium length, well developed, tapering neatly to hocks. Shanks - medium length, smooth, scales neatly overlapping. Toes - four, fairly long, strong, well and evenly spread.


    APPEARANCE: Sprightly, alert.

VORWERK BANTAM STANDARD

DISQUALIFICATIONS
Red in earlobes -- more than one quarter of lobes in cockerels and pullets and more than one third in cocks and hens --Shanks and toes other than slate.

DEFECTS
Legs too long -- legs heavily boned -- beefy and oversized comb -- head too narrow and small -- neck too long, straight or thin -- breast narrow and/or shallow -- low wing carriage. The feathering should be tight to the body and lower thighs -- loose feathering in these sections a defect.

WEIGHTS
Cock - 29 oz. Hen - 23 oz. Cockerel - 23 oz. Pullet - 21 oz.

Color of Male and Female


    COMB, FACE AND WATTLES: Red.
    BEAK: Bluish gray to horn.
    EYES: Orange red with yellow iris.
    SHANKS & TOES: Slate
    UNDERCOLOR: Slate.

Color of Male


    HEAD: Black.
    NECK: Hackle -- lustrous velvety black. Front of neck - buff
    BACK: Deep buff.
    SADDLE: Golden buff with fine black shafting.
    TAIL: Main tail, sickles, lesser sickles & coverts -- lustrous velvety black.
    WINGS: Shoulders & Fronts, bows and coverts -- deep buff. Primaries -- dull black, outer web, buff. Secondaries -- dull black, exposed portion of outer webs forming wing bay - buff.
    BREAST, BODY, STERN, LOVER THIGHS: Deep buff.
    UNDERCOLOR: -- slate.

Color of Female

HEAD: Black.
NECK: hackle -- rich velvety black, a thin lacing towards the head permissible. Front of neck -- buff.
BACK & CUSHION: Deep buff.
TAIL: Main tail -- black. Coverts - velvety black.
WINGS: Shoulders, fronts, bows & coverts -- deep buff. Primaries - dull black, outer webs, buff. Secondaries -- dull black, exposed portions of outer webs forming wing bar, buff1
BREAST, BODY, STERN, LOWER THIGHS: deep buff
UNDERCOLOR: - slate.

Defects
Black ticking in back and wings -- brown and mossy surface in black sections of plumage -- white feathers near base of skull directly under comb.


Wilmar has been raising Bantams since 1927. He is currently breeding and showing The Vorwerk Bantam (which he originated in the US) , Blue Wyandottes, and Golden Penciled Hamburgs in bantams. He also works with Brunner Pouters, Bohemian Pouters and Maltese Pigeons. Contact him at Wilmar Vorwerk, 726 S Franklin, New Ulm MN 56073-3532 or e-mail through his son at
jvorwerk@newulmtel.net


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