Tom writes: While this bachelor probably would never get to go to a bird show, he never the less is a very important bird to have in my aviary because of the intensity of his color. He is a very smooth feathered bird and when placed by the ruler, he measures almost a perfect 5 inches. In that same picture, notice also that his tail is short and closely packed and he stands on the perch at a 45 degree angle which is desirable. I have chosen to breed this cock with two hens this year. Since I have only one crested hen, I will also breed him to a non-crested hen as well.
To Whom Shall I Give My Rose - Contestant Number 1 (click on line of each contestant to see bird again)
I am tempted to keep this little hen despite the fact that she has not been color fed. She has a broad, well rounded head. The forehead has a good rise above the beak. Sometimes it is a little more difficult to see all the small details in the bird but while she appears to have heavy feathering above the eye, in the 4th picture of this hen, it appears that the head is pinched (or too narrow) at the beak area of the head. I think for that reason I will pass on contestant number 1.
When I saw the third picture of this little cinnamon mosaic hen it was love at first sight. The head has a well rounded appearance at whatever angle it is viewed. The forehead has a good rise above the beak and the forehead is as broad as the head is behind the eyes. This desired roundness of the back skull carries down through the neck and shoulder area which will insure that her crested offspring will have a crest that blends in without any breaks in the back of the neck. By breeding this hen with the bachelor I will be producing some great non-crested birds that stand a good chance of winning the non-crested rosette this next fall and at the same time be producing stock birds that more than likely produce progeny with prize winning crests in future years.
Without a question Contestant Number 2 will receive a Rose this year.
Contestant Number 3 is a pretty little hen but does not have the roundness of the head I would like to see. Nor does she have the rise above the beak that I would prefer. If she was in a bird show, I would ask the steward to take her off the show bench. She does not hold a candle to contestant Number 2. Sorry, no rose for contestant Number 3.
This brings us down to two crested hens for this year’s bachelor to choose from. Sometimes it’s easier to pick out the looser so that is what I will attempt to do. There will be no rose for hen Number 5. The first reason is obvious. Her crest does not lay flat in the back of the neck. All of her offspring would probably also have horns (feathers that stuck out at the back of the head). If I needed another reason, she appears to be more than 5 inches long. NO ROSE FOR YOU LITTLE HEN.
Contestant Number 4’s frosting level is acceptable but she definitely needs help from the Bachelor in the area of her intensity of color. Her crest feathers radiate from the center of the top of her head and finishes at the top of her eye as the standard requires. The crest lies beautifully at the back of the head where the crest meets the neck. One picture shows her chest feathers roughed up but quite likely the photographer is responsible for that.
Contestant Number 4 is definitely a keeper. Bachelor bird will have to make another trip to the flower shop for a second rose.
Congratulations Tom what a fantastic discussion!