ALBERT R. MANN
New York State Colleges
Agriculture and Home Economics
JAMES E. RICE
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A Short History of the Introduction of Cochins, Brahmas, and Langshans— Their Origin is Veiled in
Mystery, But From Data Gathered by Numerous Early Fanciers the Period
of Their First Appearance is Fixed.
By A. F. Hunter, Associate Editor Reliable Poultry Journal.
R. DARWIN tells us that "sufficient materials do
not exist for tracing the history of the separate
breeds" of fowls,. and it is equally true' that suffi-
cient materials do not exist for tracing the growth
<or evolution) of the domestic fowls of to-day as a whole,
but from what materials we haye and by what we can sur-
mise we can piece together a probable history.
The domesticated fowl, according to Mr. Darwin, is said
to have been introduced from the west into China about
1400 B. C, and we see in the descendants of those fowls a
development in a decidedly different direction from that
taken by the domesticated fowls in Europe and North
Africa. Instead of the small, non-sitting, intensely nervous
and active "Mediterranean," we find the large, clumsy,
placid-dispositioned and extremely broody "Asiatics."
If we suppose that quantity and quality of meat were
preferred to a great egg product we would expect just such
a development of the meat producing qualities as those
Asiatic fowls possess. Some of us can remember the great
Yellow Shanghais, Gray Chittagongs and Malays of fifty or
sixty years ago; so tall that, while standing on the floor
beside it, they could eat corn off the top of a barrel that
was standing on end; cock birds of the descendants of those
varieties are said to have reached seventeen or eighteen
pounds iin weight.
Much ink has been shed over the introduction of what
■we know as the Asiatic varieties of fowls. Wright's "New
Book of Poultry," speaking of Cochins, says:
"Books of much pretension have traced the origin of
this breed to some fowls imported in 1843, which afterwards
became the property of Queen Victoria under the name of
Cochin China fowls. As regards the fowls themselves this
is a total mistake. A drawing of those birds was given in
the Illustrated London News of that date (see illustration),
from which and the description it is manifest that they had
absolutely no point3 of the Cochin at all, save perhaps yel-
low legs and large size. The shanks were long and bare,
the heads carried back instead of forward, the tail large
and carried high, the back long and sloping to the tail, the
•eyes black, the plumage close and hard. Of what we may
■call Malay blood they probably had a great deal, of Cochin
blood none, or but some trace in a cross. But one thing
about them there was; these fowls were not only big, but
they probably really did come from Cochin China, and from
them and that fact came undoubtedly the name, which
-will now belong, while poultry breeding lasts, to another
fowl that has no right to it at all.
"The real stock first reached this country in 1S47, Mr.
Moody in Hampshire and Mr. Alfred Sturgeon of Gray's Essex
*oth receiving stock in that year. Mr. Moody's, so far as we
•can learn, were inferior in character and leg-feather to Mr.
Sturgeon's but were very large and of the same broad type;
and all alike came from the port of Shanghai or its neigh-
"The birds were undoubtedly Shanghais and had never
been near Cochin China, and for years attempts were made
to put this matter straight. The first Poultry Book of
Wingfield and Johnson (1853) wrote of them as Shanghais,
and all American writers strove for the same name years
after the attempt had been abandoned in England; but it
was no use. * * * The public had got to know the new,
big fowls as Cochins, and would use no other word, and so
the name stuck, in the teeth of the facts, and holds the field
to this day."
Mr. Sturgeon's stock, with subsequent importations
from Shanghai has been the main source from which Coch-
ins were bred in this country; America has had many inde-
pendent importations. Mr. Punchard's stock was mainly
from Mr. Sturgeon, the latter keeping from choice the lem-
ons and buffs, while Mr. Punchard had the dark birds which
originated the Partridges."
The Brahmas were undoubtedly originated in America
by selection and careful breeding of what was known as
the Gray Chittagongs. Mr. Wright quotes a letter of a
Mr. Virgil Cornish, of Connecticut, dated March 2, 1852, as
"In regard to the history of these fowls- very little is
known. A mechanic by the name of Chamberlain, in this
city, first brought them here. Mr. Chamberlain was ac
quainted with a sailor, who informed him there were three
pairs of large imported fowls in New York, and he dwelt
so much upon the enormous size of these fowls that Mr.
Chamberlain furnished him with money and directed him
to go to New York and purchase a pair of them for him,
which he did. The sailor reported that he found one pair
of light grey ones, which he purchased; the second pair
were dark colored, and the third pair were red. The man
in New York, whose name I have not got, gave no account
of their origin, except that they had been brought there by
some sailors in the Indian ships. The parties through
whose hands the fowls came, so far as I have been able to
trace them, are all obscure men. I obtained my stock from
the original pair brought here by Mr. Chamberlain, and
have never crossed them in the least. These fowls were
named Chittagong by Mr. Chamberlain, on account of their
resemblance, in some degree, to the fowls then in the coun-
try called by that name; but it is certain that they never
bred until they reached this town."
One strain of these fowls, according to Mr. Wright was
first called "Burram pooters," evidently with the intention
of having it believed they were^ of a different race from the
Chittagongs and ShanghaK^the name being subsequently
dropped and replaced by "Brahnia-Pootre," and eventually
simplified into Brahmas, by whicn name they were intro-
duced into England by a present of a pen of the birds to
Queen Victoria by Mr. Burnham. In his amusing and un-
scrupulous book, "History of the Hen Fever," Mr. Burn-
"An ambitious sea captain arrived in New York from
Shanghai, bringing with him about one hundred China fowls
of all colors, grades and proportions. Oust of this lot I se-
lected a few grey birds that were very large and conse-
quently very fine. I bred these with other grey stock I had
at once and soon had a fine lot of birds to dispose of, to
which I gave what I have always deemed their only true
and appropriate title (as they came from Shanghai), to-wit,
It will be noted that these China fowls were of "all
colors, grades and proportions," and it will be readily un-
derstood that selection and careful breeding along any one
line of color, grade or proportion would ultimately develop
a distinct type, which would breed true and become a vari-
that time than the popular Black Langshans of to-day. The
same opinion obtained here in America, and the writer dis-
tinctly remembers hearing the earlier Black Langsbars con-
temptuously sjx>ken of as "Inferior Cochins." It is probable
that the Langshans are descended from the same great par-
ent stock of China fowls as are our Brahmas and Cochins,
and they owe it to the skill of enthusiastic breeders vhat
they are now a distinct variety.
In economic quality Asiatic varieties have been chiefly
ranked as table fowls, or meat producers; they have, how-
ever, been well known as magnificent layers. When farm
raised and with the free and easy manner of farm breeding
and handling, they fall off materially in show qualities and
develop great laying ability.
Mr. Wright speaks of Brahmas which lay above 200
eggs each in a year, and Mr. Silberstein had a Light Brahma
pullet that by trap nest record laid 232 eggs within a year
of laying maturity. We at one time bred what we called an
"Her Majesty's Cochins; Imported in 1843." Reproduced from Tegetmeier's Poultry Book.
ety. Mr. Burnham elsewhere says that the Dark Brahmas
were produced by crossing Grey Chittagongs with Cochins,
the Cochins probably being the "other grey stock" of which
he speaks, and which were probably earlier importations of
China fowls. The illustrations of Cochins and Light Brah-
mas, which we have reproduced from Tegetmeier's poultry
book, give us a good idea of what those early Cochins and
Brahmas were, and a comparison of the birds of (about)
1S50 with those of to-day is full of encouragement and indi-
cates what development can be attained by selection and
The Langshans are a much more recent importation,
they having first been introduced into England in 1872 and
purported to come from the Langshan district in China,
and Mr. Wright says of them:
"It seems more than probable that birds very similar to
Langshans have been imported as Black Cochins in the
early days of those fowls." And an illustration which he
gives of the early Langshans lends probability to this sup-
position, as they much more resemble the Black Cochins of
"Early Laying" strain of Light Brahmas, which were most
prolific layers and pullets of which reached laying maturity
at between five and six months old; an intimate friend had
what he called "Practical" Buff Cochins, which were early
and most prolific layers, and we know a farmer in western
New York who breeds what he calls "Farmers' Black Lang-
shans" that are likewise great layers. In all of these cases
the birds develop with a fineness of bone that makes them
at maturity from one to two pounds under weight, and this
characteristic of great laying Asiatics would indicate that
■;he show stock has been bred to rather excessive size, and
that breeding them to a finer framed type would increase
their economic merits. It would seem that the same deteri-
oration in economic merit has been evident in England, as
Mr. Wright speaks of' the Brahmas as follows:
"There are various causes for the decline in laying
powers, which is certainly general. Of course the one general
cause of breeding merely for feather has some effect, as in
all other cases; but that alone is soon recovered from in
"utility" stock, such as gets about the country. In addition
to that, however, the Brahma is a breed in which it is
particularly desirable to keep the pullets back from laying
with a view to the best show condition; and thJis, repeated
for generations, has also had effect. But beyond even these
factors, all experience goes to show that activity and close
plumage are indispensable to any marked laying power,
and the gradual change to looser feather, with wider and
shorter body, has had probably the greatest share in the
deterioration; the bird has actually been bred to a model
which cannot lay so well as the older one. There are still
to be found about the country flocks derived from the older
stock which keep up the old reputation; but if the Brahma
is desired as a layer, some effort should be made to ascertain
what the character of the strain really is in that respect."
This is a strong recommendation to seek utility bred
stock if we want birds of the highest economic merit, and
that is undoubtedly what is wanted by the great majority
of poultry breeders. Fortunately, too, the birds showing
the better laying ability are of a desirable fine-framed stock,
hence possess better table quality — carry a larger proportion
of edible meat. Such stock is of great practical value. The
eggs of the Asiatic varieties are large of size and of the
most popular brown color, which commands a premium in
the markets, hence great laying ability coupled with their
superior market poultry Qualities insure them lasting popu-
larity. A. F. HUNTER.
"tight Brahmas Presented to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria in 1852, By Mr. G. Burnham,'
Reproduced from Tegetmeier's Poultry Book.
BRAHMA MALE SHAPE.
Criticisms of Foremost Judges and Brahma Breeders on a Composite Ideal From Live Models, as
Drawn by Franklane L Sewell-A Collection of Opinions That Are in Themselves
Authority on the Ideal Shape of a Standard-bred Male Brahma.
Prom the Reliable Poultry Journal.
POLLOWING are presented numerous criticisms of
Artist Sewell's best individual conception of Stan-
dard Brahma male shape. These criticisms, offered
in all good feeling, present strong evidence of a dis-
position on the part of judges and breeders to advance the
true interests of Poultry Culture. In more ways than^o'tie
they prove the existence of a sincere desire to bring about
a greater uniformity of ideals in breeding and judging. We
have received scores of letters expressing a deep interest in
this series, and thanking the judges, breeders, theartist and
the R. P. J. for the parts taken in presenting same.
D. M. Owens, Tennessee, judge and breeder: "Comb
should extend further back and conform more to shape of
the head at rear. Skull hardly full enough over eyes. Wat-
tles rather small. The head has too much of a feminine
appearance. The concave sweep of back commences too
near cape. It should slope slightly downward to the hips,
then rise in concave with the saddle to tail. Saddle and
tail both carried too high. Sickles should stand a, little
more upright. Little too full or loose feathered about the
thighs. The bird appears rather short from front to rear,
but only slightly so."
Theo. Hewes, Indiana, judge and breeder: "I
like this bird . He is extra good. Head might be a little
broader above the eyes, and he might stand just a trifle
longer neck. I would fan the tail a little, making it more
upright, and raise the sickles so as to show about half their
length, making them more prominent. Too much covering
to thighs. Let's keep away from Cochins in this breed.
I like plenty of feathers on their feet, but not too much
on the rest of legs."
F. W. Hitchcock, Colorado, judge and breeder: "The
drawing of Light Brahma male submitted to me for criti-
cism is, I consider, one of Mr. Sewell's best efforts. I can
find but little to criticise about it, and what little there is
is of minor importance. The comb is just a trifle short, mak-
ing it look a little stubby, but in all other respects the draw-
ing comes up to my ideal of correct BTahma shape. It is-
surely one of Mr. Sewell's masterpieces."
H. S. Babcock, Rhode Island, judge and breeder:
"The comb is not clean cut enough fey- .perfection; it might
come farther back with advantage. "TaOjrlght for cockerel,"
not full enough for cock. Thighs do not stand out clearly
enough and foot feathering is rather more profuse than we
see in the best birds in the shows.- A bit of tendency to- •
wards the Cochin type is shown in this cut. The bird lacks-
the vivacity that the Brahma exhibits. Still it is a very-
Charles McClave, Ohio, judge and breeder: "Symmetry-
good. Head outlines good. Comb rather small compared
with size of bird; serrations should commence a little nearer
to beak. Wattles and ear-lobes are good. • Neck shape,
front and rear, is about right. Back," length, medium,
good, but not high enough at base of tail. The back should
show a little more concave sweep. Breast and wings are
good. Length of tail is all right, but it looks a trifle
pinched. Legs and toes have plenty of feathering, but ap-
proach Cochin shape. General outlines are almost above-
criticism, forming a typical Light Brahma male."
W. S. Russell, Iowa, judge and breeder: "The drawing
of male shows a bird too short in body, or in other
words, there is not enough of him behind the legs.
Fluff is too scanty; back too short, according to my liking.
I also think the head is too small and tail too short."
Sharp Bubterfield, Canada, judge and breeder: "I
herewith submit the changes I think necessary in the
drawing of Light Brahma male. The head is alto-
gether too weak — too much on the feminine order. Where
there is such a head as the one portrayed we generally find
wattles almost void. The back is much too short and the
tail too much pinched. The breast is quite full enough in
front, but lacks depth, and the body is not deep enough nor
long enough for the ideal Brahma of to-day. The rage in
the east is for birds of great substance."
J. Y. Bicknell, New York, judge and breeder: "Back
is a little too short for the size of the bird. Head, from
top of skull to base of beak, is not quite full enough; ths
outline representing the head under the comb should b3
convex instead of being concave. Comb is too long, and
still it does not reach far enough back on the head. It
should commence at the front of the skull, rising rather
abruptly in front and extend back farther over the head in-
stead of commencing about half way down the beak and
running back in a straight line to the top of the serrations.
All in front of the serrations should be cut out, thus allow-
ing the beak to show to better advantage. Now the latter
seems to be blended with the head and comb. Let the beak,
head and comb show three sections, more clearly cut, rather
than to appear to be swedged out of one lump, without dis-
tinction. The wing also blends altogether too much with
the surface of the body, and if we were not looking for it
where it should be, we might easily imagine there was no
wing there. The shape should show better."
P. J. Marshall, Georgia, judge and breeder: "The
cut of Light Brahma male is a very good one, though the
head is a little too small, neck a trifle short as is also the
back, although the back is good shape. Tail is very good,
but it might be carried just a trifle lower. Breast to be in
keeping with what the back should be would want to be a
little longer from thighs up and the fluff should show a
little more behind the thighs. Thighs and shanks good.
D. A. Stoner, Indiana, judge and breeder "In crit-
icising shape of Light Brahma male I would say, he is
rather too tall for size of bird and is too much of a V shape.
Trim the front part of his thighs off one-fourth of an inch,
and trim body up one-eighth of an inch at thighs, taper. ng
forward to nothing at point of breast bone. Then trim the
rear part of body or fluff at hocks one-fourth of an inch
higher, tapering out to nothing five-eighths of an inch below
vent. Shorten his legs to match body and you have, in my
judgment, a much better Brahma shape."
S. L. Roberts, California, judge and breeder: ' Head,
with lower mandible stouter, and juncture with neck
a trifle depressed, I would call all right. Wattles, not large
enough. By reason of hackle feathers extending too far
over shoulder of wing much of the typical shape of the
Light Brahma male is lost — it is a Dark Brahma hackle,
and hides the shoulder so much as 10 destroy the back prop-
erties, and causes the wing to appear as if set on too low,
and drooping a trifle. Breast is very angular. The cut is
a good one — 'the best we have seen. Mr. Sewell has excel-
lent Brahma ideas and puts them on paper."
H. B. Savage, Texas, judge and breeder: "I would
like the head to be a trifle broader, crown projecting
a little farther over the eye; serrations of comb to begin
farther front on the beak; beak to curve just a trifle more;
breast a trifle rounder opposite and a little below front of
wing bow; tail a very little more upright and spread slightly
more. The outer toe does not extend far enough out. The
-cut of male is well nigh perfect, as the defects here noted
would cause but very light cuts in scoring, in my opinion,
but of course looking at these well gotten up pictures is
.not like handling the bird itself."
John C. Snyder, Oklahoma, judge and breeder: "I
think the comb is a little small for size of bird and a shade
too of the neck is
a quarter of an inch too low down on neck. Wing carried
too low, tail hardly upright enough. But taken all together
he js good in symmetry."
F. H. Shellabarger, Iowa, judge and breeder: "The cut
of Light Brahma male is, in my judgment about all that
the Standard calls for. The head appears a trifle slim for
a Brahma, but it fits the s.'andard closely."
H. A. Bridge, Ohio, judge and breeder: "Head
of Brahma male is just a little feminine. The comb
should be just a trifle broader and the serrations brought
forward more. There does pot seem to be space enough
between the center and outer serrations. Face below the
eye has the appearance of projecting beyond the eye. The
crown of the head does not project over the eye enough,
but when face below is darkened up may give the crown
the appearance of enough projection. Tncrease the length
of wattle a little so that when the lower edge is rounded
up it will stand away from face a little on lower end. Bring
the ear-lobe more under the ear and round up the front
edge of lobe, making them just a little broader and of
course have them ievel with the wattles. The arch of neck
is just a little low down. The back is a trifle short and too
deep in concave, this I think, when remedied will relieve
the long appearance of the tail. Wings should be carried
just a little higher. Upper portion of tail is a little narrow.
Breast is a little fuller than necessary. Thighs should be
relieved a little from their slightly Cochin appearance.
F. B. Zimmer, New York, judge and breeder: "I
consider the drawing of Light Brahma male perfect as
far as shape is concerned. In all previous proofs of other
bryeds sent me I could find sections I would change, but this
Brahma represents my idea of shape. Therefore your read-
ers would know about where to find me on this variety."
D. T. Heimlich, Illinois, judge and breeder: "The
male bird in all sections pleases me just as it is, and
Mr. Sewell should have a vote of thanks from all lovers of
this grand breed for the picture of the male Brahma."
C. A. Emry, Missouri, judge and breeder: "Head
not full enough over eyes, breast not full and round enough,
tail too small and pinched, legs show too much Cochin leath-
ering and shape."
L. P. Harris, Nebraska, judge and breeder: "I think
the cut of Light Brahma male shape fine, except comb and
wattles. ' The serrations in center row start too far back
by the width of one serration; the side serrations are a
little too far from the head, and the back point of the comb
should tip down on or nearer the head. Wattles are too
small and short."
A. B. Shaner, Illinois, judge and breeder: "The
Light Brahma male as submitted is a good model, and
should I ever come across one as good I think I should pass
him as perfect in shape outlines. He comes as near perfect
as the standard calls for."
George H. Northup, New York, judge and breeder:
"The proofs of Brahma drawings accompanying your letter
of the 20th are received. I consider them very excellent in-
deed and think it doubtful if we ever see a bird as near
perfect in all points as these two birds are. However, re-
ferring to the male bird, I think th'e lobes not quite large
enough, and they do not extend quite low enough to com-
flELWBLC ft,lttlKYJouSNnW--= ; /,
BRAHMA MALE SHAPE— By Sewell.
•Comprising the Best Points of Several Live Models as Illustrated by Franklane L Sewell for the Reliable Poultry
Journal, and submitted to Sixty-five Prominent Judges and Breeders for Criticism
Based upon Standard Requirements.
(KUflBLt PuWTtfY Joi/RPcnfe"
BRAHMA MALE SHAPE— By Sewell.
An Ideal Brahma, Illustrated by Franklane L. Sewell. for the Reliable Poultry Journal, under the Suoaestions of
Sixty-five Prominent Judges and Breeders— The Outcome of Criticism Upon the
Brahma Male Shape Shown on the Opposite Page.
t»are with wattles. The body seems 'too short for height,
that is, the distance measured in a straight line from point
where the hackle divides at the front of neck, touching the
highest point of wing bow and terminating in the lower
part of tail, is too short. His neck and legs are perfect.
Head, a little too narrow above the eye. His tail is good
except that it does not spread enough, the sickles especially.
0. B. Skinner, Kansas, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "Referring to the proof of Light Brahma male which
you sent me, would say the cockerel does not please me at
all. T want a bird with a much larger head, broader skull
and much larger ear-lobes. His tail appears in the cut too
pointed, that is, not spread enough. I should want longer
shanks. His breast and back shape is good."
Mrs. B. F. Jackson, Kentucky, breeder of Light
Brahmas: "I consider the etching of male Brahma excel-
lent, with one exception — the head is a trifle too small and
comb too large or prominent."
T. N. Smiley & Son, Indiana, breeders of Light
Brahmas: "The proofs of Light Brahmas received, and we
think they are excellent. We have no criticism to make on
the male. We think he Is grand."
Sid Conger, Indiana, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The male is fairly good in general shape. The head is too
small, narrow, pinched in the throat. It fails in the hand-
some head the Light Brahma usually shows. It is not quite
deep enough in the breast for an ideal. The coloring of the
neck indicates smuttiness, and white lacing around the les-
ser siclfles is not standard. Shape of back fairly good."
W. A. Irvin, Nebraska, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The excellent proofs of the Light Brahma male and female
came duly to hand. I consider the shape and outline of the
male the best drawing that I have ever seen, and- when we
as breeders can breed them up to the typical standard shape,
as outlined by Mr. Sewell, there will not be any cause for
George Luhrsen, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"In regard to Mr. Sewell's drawing of Brahma male, I will
say that in my judgment he is as near perfect as can be
drawn. Perhaps some breeders would say he is a little too
deep in saddle and .short in back, but I think him just about
Mrs. Ella Thomas, Missouri, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "In regard to the drawing of ideal Light Brahma
male cockerel, as submitted by Mr. Sewell, would say I think
It very good, though I would prefer the comb to extend a
little further back on head, skull broader, wattles slightly
longer, first row of tail coverts solid black instead of edged
with white. Lesser coverts are all right. Body should be
slightly longer for the breadth and depth; wings a little
longer and tucked slightly higher; foot-feathering mottled
well with black. The whole body is too short for true
Brahma shape, according to my notion."
George Clough, Illinois, breeder of Dark Brah-
mas- "I consider the male Brahma to be good in shape,
but I think he is a little short in back; hardly flat enough
at shoulders; breast not round, deep or full enough; fluff
not abundant enough."
John H. Ryan, Illinois, breeder of Light anda
Dark Brahmas: "I can find but little fault with Mr. Sew-
ell's idea of Light Brahma male. He is a little too narrow-
across the head, hardly full enough over front of eyes; a.
little low at base of hackle; a trifle too much sweep to tail;
hackle is too dark. Otherwise he is all right, to my notion. '-
E. E. Marlow, Missouri, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"I think the head of the male Brahma is a trifle small and
the tail is not spread enough. But I wish I could raise all
my birds to be as good."
M. Mayer, Jr., Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The drawing of the male comes so near to perfection that
there is very little room for criticism. The breast could be>
a trifle fuller, otherwise he suits me first rate."
E. Dunstan, Mississippi, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"In offering my criticism on the Light Brahma male draw-
ing by Mr. Sewell, would say that I think the wattles are
too small to be called medium size, and the ear-lobes are
certainly not 'large pendant,' as required by the standard.
The junction between the head and back part of the neck is-
not defined clearly enough. The remainder of the neck,
looks very nice. I consider the back too short, and the
wings not being held high enough, give the back a narrow-
appearance instead of being broad and flat at the shoulders.
And from his saddle to the vent he looks shallow enoughv
for a Leghorn. I do not consider his tail is carried high
enough to be called 'carried tolerably upright,' and is too>
contracted to be considered full, well spread and well filled
underneath with curling feathers. The breast is round and
full enough, but lacks depth. The thighs and legs are, I
think, about right, but from the back of leg to vent he is
Miss Hattie Winship, Illinois, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "When it comes to calling this the Standard Light
Brahma for all strains and cutting every bird one or more
on symmetry, which does not resemble this male or female
exactly, I think it an impossibility, and would be doing;
what is unjust. When it comes to this strain, the Mammoths.
Light Brahma, they are very good, still if my preference
was for this strain, I should work for the heavier, more
blocky and more heavily feathered type. The male is too*
high in proportion to the width and length, is too long-
legged; tail too high-; "breast might be a trifle fuller, an«
when you have the feathers looser and heavier all over youi
will have a bird more of the style in the March, 1896, num-
ber R. P. J. frontispiece. I would not object to one or two>
pens of this strain; but as to a large flock or many pens,,
and when it comes right down to the money-making birde
(what we are after), I should not wish for them in the least.
I had some of that type last year and find they are not lay-
ers; the smaller types are those where the feathers are
smoother, or not so fluffy, and my customers, like myself,
met with poorer hatches from this mammoth 'strain. The.
male which gave me the best satisfaction is of the type Miss.
Forbes, of California, .has- represented on page 242, May,
1896. R. P. J., and is the strain I shall work for. There is
something much richer in color and form, making them a.
beautiful, noble, lordly type. The large type is nothing but
a rough, coarse, lazy bird. If your birds are very small it
is well to mix the larger with them to bring them up. E
think we need an ideal for each of the two or three strains,
as .some will prefer one strain whereas others will choose
another. They will never all ch oose the same."
J. J. Burnside, Indiana, breeder of Light Brahmas: "I
think the male is all right. I cannot see where I could
L. 0. Berryman, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The illustration of Light Brahma male by Mr. Sewell is a
grand type of this noble breed, yet, according to the stand-
ard, it is a little faulty. I think the comb should be serrated
down to beak in front; the back should be medium in length
— I call his short. His tail should be carried more upright,
especially sickle feathers. With these changes made, I think
we would have an Ideal Light Brahma male."
J. A. Roberts, Pennsylvania, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The Light Brahma male is of good shape, but he might
be a little longer in body. Tail might be run in line with
back. I expect it is well spread. I cannott see, as he stands
sideways to me. I should be satisfied if parties of whom I
order would always send as good as he."
T. R. McDonald, Kentucky, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"After carefully looking over the Light Brahma male draw-
ing, I have no comments to make other than that it is ex-
actly my idea of what a Brahma male should be."
Casper Dice, Nebraska, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The cut of male would suit me better if comb ran up far-
ther on head and lower behind. Head seems too narrow.
Neck should be a little longer and fuller at base of hackle
and cape. Fluff should be fuller to make bird deeper from
cape to fluff, and the legs look too short."
F. L. Ackerman, Michigan, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"Commenting on the Light Brahma Male Shape, I would say
that if we get as near perfection as this cut represents we
will be very near the top of the ladder. But if back and sad-
dlo were broader and tail spread out a little, with wings a
trifle smaller and carried higher, it would suit me better."
R. R. Clendenen, Missouri, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"Mr. Seweil's cut of Light Brahma male is a good one. The
comb might be a trifle longer and be drawn a little closer to
the head at the back end."
W. S. Campbell, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"Your beautiful proofs of Light Brahmas a't hand and it is
hard to find fault with them. Comb on male is smaller than
I like and back of neck is fuller in hackle than we see in
nature. The breast is a little full. He looks too tall from
bottom of left foot to middle of back for the length of body,
and the fluff is a little scant."
N. Porter Brown, Massachusetts,, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "After examining the proof of the Light Brahma
male, it appears So me that there is very little to find fault
with, yet he appears to be short bodied. I like to see a
cockerel with more length of back between neck and tail.
I would also add about one-fourth inch to breast, making
him fuller in that section. Most every one likes to see a
short legged Brahma, yet the male for his size, looks as if he
were a little too short in leg."
Mrs. T. W. Ragsdale, Missouri, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "First of all I will express thanks to you and Mr.
Sewell for the beautiful engravings sent me, and to siow
my appreciation I have framed them. I think both are good
specimens and I have but few criticisms to make, though I
have given them close study. I think the head of the male
rather feminine for such a large neck and body, and tne-
body from front to rear is rather too short. I like more-
evidence of weight, strength and vigor."
Simon Lynch, Indiana, breeder of Light Brahmas: "This-
cut is good, but the comb is too high at rear, eyes too low,
ear-lobes too coarse, beak not arched enough, hackle not
fine enough, legs too close together. I want a white color."
H. N. Rollins, Massachusetts, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"I think the cut of Light Brahma male is very fine. I should
like to see the fluff a little more developed, otherwise I like
it very well."
Wililam Chamings, Illinois, breeder of Light Bramnas:
"I would suggest a few changes in Artist Seweil's cut of
male. Comb should extend back farther and set closer to-
head. Head is a trifle small; back should be longer and
fluff back of thighs fuller, so as to give a more massive ap-
pearance and a much better proportioned bird. Body a little
John A. Meyer, director West Virginia Agricultural
Experiment Station, breeder of Light Brahmas: "The excel-
lent proofs of the male and female Light Brahmas, executed
by Mr. Sewell for the R. P. J., seem to me to represent very
closely the ideal type of Light Brahmas. The male is very-
W. W. Kulp, Pennsylvania, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"I have no criticism to make on shape of male Light Brah-
ma. I think if I had one like him in shape and as good in.
color he would have plenty of 'blues' to his credit. There
may be a little too much tail."
B. G. Hayward, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The body of the male should be longer and he should be
correspondingly deeper in breast. At the point where he
measures four and three-quarter inches in length of body I
would prefer it full five inches."
Alfred Doyle, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas: "Head
is faulty in shape; eye is too low down, it should be about
even with the top of upper mandible, and a little farther
back. Mouth is too long; wattles should commence a little-
farther forward on the bill; ear-lobes should be right un-
der the ear, and not at the rear. Comb could be better.
Neck is too thick; that swelling at the back should be trim-
med off; the dividing line between the head and neck is not
clearly enough defined. Back is too short for a Brahma.
Breast should be pared off a little in front of hocks, and
also the upper part of neck, and dew lap should be cut away
so as to leave a clear space under the wattles. Fluff is a
trifle too abundant. Lower edge of wing should be rounding
and not form an angle as in the cut, and the wing is a trifle
too short. Main tail feathers and coverts are a little too-
long; tail coverts should not be edged with white, as in cut.
Hocks and legs are entirely too heavily feathered for the
American type of Brahma. Take the bird all through, I
consider it too blocky for a Brahma."
F. F. Congdon, Wisconsin, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"Etching by Sewell of "Standard Light Brahma Male Shape"
was duly received, and it seems a pity to criticise such a
strikingly beautiful illustration, however, I think the head
is a little too small, back a trifle short, the general appear-
ance of the bird being too high for the length."
C. E. Kunze, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas: "We
received the Light Brahma sketches, and wish to say only
this: Mr. Sewell has a much better idea of what a good
chicken is, and knows how to put the idea into better form
than any other poultry judge or artist anywhere in the
United States or foreign countries. The Light Brahma-
sketches are beauties, and we do not wish to criticise them,
as any alteration might hurt more than do good."
James George, Kansas, breeder of Light Brahmas: "It
seems to me that the back of the male is a trifle short and
the tail is carried a little high. Otherwise I can find no
fault with it."
N. E. Woods, Indiana, breeder of Light Brahmas: "In
regard to the excellent typical drawing of Light Brahma
male, I will say I have no criticisms except that there is too
great leg and toe feathering, which in my opinion is against
Mrs. B. G. Mackey, Missouri, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"As I understand the standard it seems to me that Mr. Sew-
ell has in this drawing almost reached perfection. The
comb seems a trifle higher than I understand to be standard
and the back looks to me short for a standard bird."
G. W. Randall, Nebraska, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"Regarding the drawings of Light Brahmas submitted, I
think them nearer to what the ideal Light Brahma should
be than anything I have ever before seen! and I consider
them excellent, especially the male. I think that submitting
these cute for criticism is doing much good."
H. M. Uttley, Nebraska, breeder of Light Brahmas: "I
am so young in the business of breeding thoroughbred poul-
try that I am hardly competent to criticise a drawing by
almost any one, but I have watched and studied Mr. Sewell's
work in your estimable journal with great pleasure and shall
attempt to criticise in this matter (what little I do) with a
good deal of reluctance. In treating the picture of the male,
in my judgment it would be an improvement to the shape of
the bird to draw a line from the curve of the back across
in front of the hock, lowering that part of the breast in
front of the hock, that, is, give the bird a little more depth
through that part, and it looks to me on the picture as
though it were too much pinched behind."
John H. Rohrer & Sons, Pennsylvania, breeders of Light
Brahmas: "The ear-lobes are too short, not being on a level
with lower edge of wattles. Back is a trifle short, also
not flat enough at shoulders. Fluff % bit too scant behin^,
not having the broad appearance spoken of in standard.
Shanks a trifle short. We would say the neck hackle is
too heavy, as it has been our experience that such heavy
neck hackle in males produces many cockerels with black
in back. With these few corrections we believe he would
be about our ideal Light Brahma."
H. M. Dawson, Tennessee, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"Comb, head and wattles too small for size of bird. Comb
should be a little more prominent in front, more curved
at the rear and evenly serrated. Neck is a little short. He
leans too far forward; should be tilted, so as to stand a little
higher in front and lower in the rear. The shanks should-
W. P. Deam (Deam & Eby), Ohio, breeders of Light and
Lark Brahmas: "The male's head is too small, body too
short for the height. Point of breast not prominent enough.
Very good shape to arch of neck and back."
C. F. Foster, Kansas, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"While I think Mr. Sewell has produced for you a very fine
drawing in general and I would be satisfied should I produce
a large per cent as good as this cut of the Light Brahma
male, still, I notice some minor points I might change.
Comb should reach a little farther back on head, beak lacks
a little in stoutness, wattles not quite large enough, back
should be a trifle longer,, saddle is too concave. The bird
would show a better, more rangy Brahma shape if shanks
were a little longer."
T. Cadwallader, Missouri, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The Light Brahma drawings at hand. I regard this series
as the best thing that has been done to get the fanciers and
judges all on one side as to shape, and I believe that the
scores will be more uniform on these lines. While these
drawings are good, I will offer my criticisms on the male
as follows: Wings are carried too low (look at the stand-
ard). Tail looks well, but is not quite high enough in car-
riage. Shanks are rather short, the feathers on the hocks
come down too far, giving a Cochin appearance. The cut
does not show enough feathers just below the hock. Fluff
is not quite full enough. Wattles and ear-lobes are both
rather too small."
D. J. Lambert, Rhode Island, judge and breeder: "Al-
though my specialties are the American classes, I see where
I should cut these outlines of Brahma shape. The head of
male is too small compared to size of the bird. Comb should
project farther back and conform to shape of skull. Middle
serrations should be a trifle larger. Breast is not deep or
full enough. Body is too short and needs more fluff. Upper
sickles of tail should be more developed."
Mrs. L. A. McMeekin & Sons, breeders of Light Brah-
mas: "Wish I could breed as good shaped birds. Still I
think the male curves out too much in front of hackle. Head
is not strong enough."
BRAHMA FEMALE SHAPE.
Criticisms of Foremost Judges and Brahma Breeders on a Composite Ideal From Live Models, as
Drawn by Franklane L. Sewell— A Collection of Opinions That Are in Themselves
Authority on the Ideal Shape of a Standard-bred Female Brahma.
From the Reliable Poultry Journal.
DT IS highly creditable for the judges and breeders of
standard-bred fowls to submit their criticisms on these
drawings. Their doing so proves that they take an
active interest in whatever is for the good of Poultry
Culture; proves that they are ready and willing to do their
part in the work of developing and improving the thorough-
bred poultry industry along right lines. It takes a degree
of courage for these friends of better poultry to write down
for publication their opinions, pro and con, of Mr. Sewell's
sketches. Located, as they are, hundreds, and in some
cases thousands of miles apart, they have no way of know-
ing what the other judges and breeders are going to ap-
prove or object to. Bach one must depend on his or
her own knowledge, on his or her own interpreta-
tion of the standard. It is a good training for all. The
standard has been carefully read and re-read on account of
this series! The future is bright for Poultry Culture, for
the thoroughbred poultry industry so long as the foremost
men and women engaged in it will do such work as this.
The R. P. J. greatly appreciates the courage and good will
of the judges and breeders. We know that the many read-
ers of the Journal also feel under obligations to them, and
to Mr. Sewell.— Ed.
D. J. Lambert, Rhode Island, judge and breeder: "Head
is r oo small; neck is not long enough; hackle should come
down more on the shoulders. The back is too long; it wants
a more concave sweep to the tail. The tail is uneven; the
upper feathers should be longer so as to appear more
pointed. The legs and toes would look better if longer."
J. Y. Bieknell, New York, judge and breeder: "Back
and body are too short for the depth of the bird. Breast
shows, too much fullness; unnatural and undesirable. Head
looks as if a portion in front had been cut out to make room
for the comb instead of having an oval sweep, and the comb
placed above as it should be. A small comb is desirable,
but this one is too small. Give the head the natural oval
front, make the comb a little larger, place it above the skull
instead of having it crowding the latter out of the way."
L. P. Harris, Nebraska, judge and breeder: "I have no
criticism to make on female Brahma drawing sent to me."
D. A. Stoner, Indiana, judge and breeder: "In regard
to Mr. SeweH's Light Brahma female, I would say that in
shape she is overdrawn, or she shows a bird so fat that she
would be of no use as a breeder. The back is too straight;
cushion is not full enough to rise to tail nicely; breast is
too full; body hangs too low; fluff between legs also hangs
too low; too much like an over-fat goose. Too much fat,
too much fat!"
D. T. Heimlich, Illinois, judge and breeder: "The draw-
ing of female shows too much of a Cochin type of body. The
back is straight, not concave enough. Breast is too deep
and fluff too full. Leg and toe feathering is too heavy for a
Brahma. A line should be drawn from upper edge of "hackle
where it joins the back to tail to the depth of one-fourth of
an inch, tapering. Cut the breast away one-fourth of an
inch in front of the thighs to a point, to the lines in front
where breast joins the neck. Cut away a full half inch of
the fluff back of hocks, tapering to the vent. Between vent
and lower tail feathers fill out more fully. This would then
take away the Wyandotte character of tail and make the
whole harmonize with the perfect makeup of the male."
F. J. Marshall, Georgia, judge and breeder: "The Light
Brahma female is not nearly so good us the male drawing;
too much Cochin entirely. Head is pretty good, except
comb is set too far forward. I like the shape of throat, but
the neck is a little short, not much, though, if the body were
not so blocky looking. Back is too high and straight from
base of hackle to tail. Tail is carried too low and it is a
little too long at the middle of it. The breast is decidedly
too full and carried too low, looks like a pouter pigeon.
Body and fluff are too well feathered, especially about the
thighs. Thighs and shanks are too short and look too much
like they came right out of the body like a peg."
F. H. Shella'barger, Iowa, judge and breeder: "The fe-
male is not as good as the male. The neck is short in
length, the back too long and not sufficiently concave in
front of the tail. The breast is overdrawn and too prom-
inent at point of breast bone. Legs and toes would fit a
Cochin better than a Brahma, as they are too short."
H. S. Babcock, Rhode Island, judge and breeder: "The
female shows more of the Cochin than the male. Back
should be more concave — too straight now, which makes tail
set on badly. Body too deep for its length. Thighs too much
hidden by the fluff. Leg and toe feathering too profuse. A
hen with such a general shape would be markedly cushioned.
I do not like the type of Brahma hen shown in this illustra-
John C. Snyder, Oklahoma, judge and breeder: "The
female is too short in neck; crown is too high above eyes;
back is. too low in saddle; tail is rather large; fluff is too
low, which makes thighs too short. Altogether she is not
so good as the male."
S. L. Roberts, California, judge and breeder: "The head
is good with exception of beak, which is too flat at nostril '
and curves at point too near the tip. Comb appears to be
.good. Eyes, ear-lobes and wattles all right; expression, by
.reason of projection over eye, Brahmistic. Neck, not of
'medium length' as compared with size of body, and it some-
what deteriorates from the arch. Back, not concave nor
flat enough. Breast, deep enough, round enough and full
enough, in all conscience. Body and fluff good. Wings, not
.-square at shoulders by reason of a slight droop at butts. Tail
.all right. Legs and toes right. All considered ft is as good
in outline as one need to wish, the foregoing exceptions
Theo. Hewes, Indiana, judge and breeder: "The female
is not so good as the male; it is too low on the ground; too
much Cochin. Head and neck are set too far back, and
when you remedy this you get the back too long. The back
is too straight and too long. Tail is pinched. There is too
much fluff and too much leg and toe feathering. Breast is
■entirely too prominent, due to the position in which she now
-carries her neck. We could add a little to the length of this
neck, the same as in the male."
D. M. Owen, Tennessee, judge and breeder: "The neck
■is too much arched. Breast and body are both too deep
through up and down. I do not like the set of tail. The
-main tail feathers set too horizontally. The tail should
-continue the even concave shape of back. Legs are too
rshort, and legs and feet are too heavily feathered. General
-appearance of the specimen is too blocky."
H. B. Savage, Texas, judge and breeder: "The head is
a-ather too small. Comb is set back loo far from front of
beak; it needs just a trifle more curve to beak. Breast is
too full and prominent;- neck a trifle too short. Tail is a
little too low, and back is too long. I should like a little
-better concave sweep to it. Outer toe, like that of the cock,
is too short."
F. W. Hitchcock, Colorado, judge and breeder: "In the
:female there is more to criticise, as it is too gross and heavy
for a typical American Light Brahma female. It looks too
much like an over-fat hen. There is not quite concave
sweep enough to the back. The breast and body are -too
•deep and the stern altogether too heavy. It is also too
heavily feathered around the thighs. Head, neck and tail
are all right."
W. S. Russell, Iowa, judge and breeder: "I can find but
little to criticise. I would prefer to see the back flat at
.-shoulders and then rising with a concave sweep to the tail.
If the tail were raised just a trifle it would add to the appear-
ance of the back. I consider the thighs too short."'
C. A. Emry, Missouri, judge and breeder:
■Cochin in legs and fluff, otherwise it suits me.'
George H. Northup, New York, judge and breeder: "The
Tproof of the Brahma hen seems perfect, except that the tail
is a little too long and the back is too flat near the tail. The
back should have a more concave sweep."
F. B. Zimmer, New York, judge and breeder: "What I
said last month applies with equal force in this connection."
H. A. Bridge, Ohio, judge and breeder: "The comb is
too delicately drawn and not distinct enough in formation,
especially outside serrations are not prominent enough. The
back at junction of tail should be raised to relieve the
*roken sweep. The ends of main tail feathers should be of
a length to form a gentle convex sweep from the top main
tail feather to the bottom covert as they are in cut, then
bring out the coverts to a little less sweep, showing the main
tail beyond the coverts in unbroken lines.
■'I did not intend to say anything about color, and will
not, except to give my fancy regarding tail and coverts. The
lacing on first row is a little broad — make it clear and
distinct and sharply defined. Bring out the first row as sug-
gested and add another row, but overlap them just a little
more and have one less covert in second row than first.
Now add still another row with one less than the second.
These coverts should be overlapped enough to show plainly,
and at the same time give feathers of back and side the same
convex outline as they finish up on the tail as the breast
has, this will give the bird a slightly rounded-up finish at
both ends with the snow-white feathers. The breast is too
full and the wings are carried a little too low. Legs are a
little short; thighs do not show quite enough. Body and
fluff are too full and in connection with the legs make the
bird a little Cochiny.
"In connection with the above, I wish to say that with
all my faultfinding I consider these among the very best Mr.
Sewell has given us in all the varieties, and as regards their
merits as typical Light Brahmas they are the best pair I
have ever seen drawn, and had I placed an order with Mr.
Sewell for cuts of Light Brahmas and received these I
should have been very much pleased. My criticism of the
drawings is not so much on the work of Mr. Sewell, but
rather more to give my idea of the ideal.
"Sickness prevented any remarks on former drawings,
but. I assure you I enjoyed them very much and I hope to
be favored with invitations to participate in all future criti-
cisms of ideal cuts, as this worthy enterprise of the Reliable
merits the support of all true fanciers."
Charles McClave, Ohio, judge and breeder: "Symmetry
is good. Shape of head is good, but it is a trifle too deep
from eye back, giving back of head and upper neck & heavy
appearance. Back is rather long when compared with that
of the cock, and too low at base of tail. The breast is plenty-
full and in fact, Cochin full. Tail is a trifle too low. Shanks
aro too short, Cochin- type. Feathering is pretty heavy for
a Brahma. General outlines are a little after the Cochin
type with the exception of the tail. The Brahma and Cochin
shapes seem to be drifting nearer together in females."
0. E. Skinner, Kansas, breeder of Light Brahmas: "Re-
ferring to the proof sheet of Light Brahma female I would
not suggest any great changes in the bird. I would want a
little larger head with broader skull and more throat wattle
and ear-lobes a little more prominent. Would want quite a
little longer shanks. Shape of breast, back and tail is
W. P. Oeam (Deam & Eby), Ohio, breeders of Light and
Dark Brahmas: "The female's head is too small, it has not
enough expression above the eyes. The neck is too short
and too large at base. The body is too low between the
legs. Point of breast is not prominent enough. The tail
is too long for size of bird. The cut looks too round, it
does not show points that should be prominent."
C. F. Foster, Kansas, breeder of Light Brahmas: "The
female is so near my ideal that I pass her, only saying that
she has a too sluggish and listless expression. In my opin-
ion the Reliable is to be complimented on this good work
in the interest of the poultry fraternity."
T. Cadwallader, Ohio, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"'While the drawing is good, I would offer the following
-criticisms: Ear-lobes are rather too small; wings are car-
ried just a little too low; the back is too straight, it should
>have a more concave sweep to tail; the neck is a little too
^short; the legs and toes are too short, giving the bird too
much of a Cochin appearance; tail is too large."
T. N. Smiley & Son, Indiana, breeders of Light Brah-
mas: "We think the female is a little long in back, and
perhaps a little full in breast, otherwise it is excellent."
W, A. Irvin, Nebraska, breeder of Light Brahmas: "I
-am pleased to accept as typical the shape and outlines of
the Brahma female, as drawn by Mr. Sewell."
Sid Conger, Indiana, breeder of Light Brahmas: "The
'hen is coarse, too deep and coarse for her length. She is
too small up and down in front of her tail; head and neck
too small and thrown back too far. Taken all in all, the
hen is not good and will not do at all for an ideal."
O. W. Randall, Nebraska, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The female seems to me to be a little full in the tail. I am
glad to see less tendency to stimulate breeding toward the
-Cochin shape than has been shown in some previous cuts.
"To put the Cochin shape and feathering onto the Brahma
-would destroy its chief beauty— its grand, majestic appear-
H. M. Uttley, Nebraska, breeder of Light Brahmas: "I
have no suggestions to offer in regard to the female Brahma
shape. Older breeders and judges may, but I should say
that a bird which fitted the picture in every respect would
be almost entitled to a score of 100."
Alfred Dyole, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"'Head is faulty; eye should be a little higher up and a little
farther back; mouth is too long; wattles should be placed
■a little farther forward; ear-lobes should be directly under
the ear. Neck is too thick back of the head. Some of the
lower hackle feathers are entirely too large. Back is en-
tirely too straight and a little too short and not rounding
-enough. Breast is too full and should be cut away a little
-from top to bottom. The lower edge of fluff should be cut
-away a little; wing is not quite long enough; tail looks to be
too narrow; middle feathers should not be longer than the
tipper ones, and the upper tail coverts are entirely too large.
Hock and leg feathers are entirely too heavy — they would
look well enough on a full feathered Cochin, but are out of
-place on the American type of Brahma. Take her make-up
«11 through and I consider it too blocky."
Mrs. B. G. Mackey, Missouri, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "It appears to me the female is a little too flat at
"base of tail and the tail is carried rather low. Otherwise
'I see no fault in the shape."
Miss Hattie Winship, Illinois, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "The female is better than the male, still 1 should
prefer her more blocky and more heavily feathered with a
"back broader and not so slanting, such as you find in front-
ispiece of March, 1896, R. P. J."
James George, Kansas, breeder of Light Brahmas: "The
meek of the female is a little full at base. The back is al-
most too straight; it should be a little more concave,
tail might be elevated a little."
N. B. Woods, Indiana, breeder of Light Brahmas: "The
beautiful representation of a perfect type of Brahma female
is almost faultless, as I look at it, except I would suggest
that the back from cape to root of tail is too straight, the
legs are too short and there is too much feathering to rep-
resent activity and usefulness."
F. P. Congdon, Wisconsin, breeder of Light Brahmas: "I
think this etching shows a bird a little too high for the
length, and, as in the male shape, the head is a little small.
I like to see Brahmas with a head that looks as though it
were full of knowledge. I want the crown to project well
over the eyes. Would like 'a thousand of 'em,' however, as
good as the etching."
W. W. Kulp, Pennsylvania, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"I do not like the shape of the female. The breast is too,
much of a circle; they do not grow that way. The standard
'roundness' is more around horizontally than up and down.
The breast line is straighter; should not be one continuous
curve. There is too much tail. I would be satisfied with
less. It extends down one-third too far and is too long at
the end. Fluff is too full also for a Brahma."
B. G. Hay ward, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
think the shape of Brahma female is all right."
H. N. Rollins, Massachusetts, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "The cut of Brahma female suits me very well, but
I should prefer to see the back more concave."
William Chamings, Illinois, breeder of Light. Brahmas:
"The Light Brahma female cut I consider extra good (much
better than the male) and I suggest but two changes: Back
at base of hackle should be flatter, and the two upper tail
coverts extend back too far over main tail feathers."
N. Porter Brown, Massachusetts, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "The proof of the Light Brahma female I consider
perfect. She fulfils my ideal to a dot."
W. S. Campbell, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The tail of the female looks too long and has a pinched
appearance just in front of the coverts. The comb is smaller
than I like. The hackle is a little fuller than we find in
nature's productions. Breast is a little too full."
Simon Lynch, Indiana, breeder of Light Brahmas: "This
cut is excellent, but I would want the back with a shade
more concave sweep. Hackle is too coarse. Fluff extends
too much on hock joint. I want a white color."
Mrs. T. W. Ragsdale, Missouri, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "I can see no fault in the female Brahma unless the
neck is rather short for such an immense body. She is all
I could wish for. I only wish I could' raise such as this
T. R. McDonald, Kentucky, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"I have very little fauit to find with the cut of Brahma
female. The tail might be raised a little, it gives the back
the appearance of being a little too long."
COPYRICin 5Y THf-
, RfUftBit poultry journal-
BRAHMA FEMALE SHAPE— By Sewell.
Comprising the Best Points of Several Live Models, as Illustrated by Franklane L, Sewell for the Reliable Poultry
Journal, and Submitted to Sixty Prominent Judges and Breeders for Criticism
Based upon Standard Requirements.
BRAHMA FEMALE SHAPE— by SEWELL.
An Ideal Brahma. Illustrated by Franklane L. Sewell, for the Reliable Poultry Journal, under the Suggestions of
Sixty Prominent Judges and Breeders— The Outcome of Criticism Upon the Brahma Female
Shape Shown on the Opposite Page.
Casper Dice, Nebraska, breeder of Light Brahmas: "I
thiuk that both neck and legs of female are too short for
body. Back is too straight and narrow and the tail is
pinched too much. It looks as though the lower feather
John A. Myers, director West Virginia Agricultural Ex-
periment Station, breeder of Light Brahmas: "In the female
I think the fluff extends down and back a little too far, and
the line extending from the cape to the back part of the
cushion seems to me to be too straight. In other words,
I think the back should be depressed somewhat over the
cushion so as not to give it such a cocked up appearance.
I grant that many Light Brahma hens have a tendency to
carry themselves as shown in the cut, but I would prefer
the other form as ideal. It is a small matter, however, more
a question of taste than otherwise in selecting our model."
F. L. Ackerman, Michigan, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The back is too long and flat. Breast a trifle too full and
deep, with wings a trifle large and not carried high enough.
Tail too large and a trifle too short in shanks. Otherwise
it is good."
R. R. Clendenen, Missouri, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The cut representing standard shape of Brahma female is
good, but I think it might be improved. The wing is not
carried high enough; the back does not have that perfect
concave sweep to tail that I admire. It is too low on saddle
and perhaps the fluff above vent is not quite full enough,
giving her a pinched appearance in front of tail."
L. 0. Berryman, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The female is all 0. K. except I would give her back a
little more concave sweep to the tail and perhaps lengthen
her legs a trifle."
J. A. Roberts, Pennsylvania, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The Brahma female is good. The eye, which we suppose
is bay, might be a little larger, and the tail should run
straight, not raised, bul run in line from back."
M. Mayer, Jr., Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas: "The
female should have a little more cushion, otherwise I con-
sider it an ideal drawing."
J. J. Burnside, Indiana, breeder of Light Brahmas: "The
female is too straight on back from point of hackle to the
George Luhrsen, Illinois, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The female drawing of Light Brahma from Mr. Sewell is
excellent in my estimation, unless it might be a little long
in the back. I think her as near to the standard as any I
ever saw, and do not think there is much room for criti-
Mrs. Ella Thomas, Missouri, breeder of Light Brahmas:
'The model for the female is better than the male, though
the comb should be slightly longer and extend back farther
on head; skull broader, wattles heavier, back shorter for the
length of body, with more of concave sweep to tail. The
body should be longer in front of thighs, hocks more closely
rounded, and more distinct. Foot feathering with the
amount of black would be elegant. They are grand speci-
mens, but not quite far enough away from Cochin shape,
hardly up to my ideal of true Brahma shape."
Mrs. B. F. Jackson, Kentucky, breeder of Light Brah-
mas: "The female is better in comb than the male. I
think the back is a little too straight and long."
John H. Ryan, Illinois, breeder of Light and Dark
Brahmas: "I think the Brahma female, as drawn by Mr.
Sewell, excellent, but I think she is a little too short and
compact. I would suggest, that her body should be some-
what longer, and I think the back is a little too full and
straight. It would look better if more concave. Wing is
carried too low at rear. Otherwise it is all right."
George Clough, Illinois, breeder of Dark Brahmas: "The
female is indeed excellent in shape. If she is faulty any-
where it must be in tail, which is, I think, a little high, and
the. fluff should be more abundant."
E. E. Marlow, Missouri, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"The back of the female is too long and there is not enough
concave sweep to the tail. Otherwise she suits me all
right. Both are extra good drawings."
E. Dunstan, Mississippi, breeder of Light Brahmas:
"Regarding the Light Brahma female drawing submitted
for criticism, I would say that I think the head, comb, bill
wattles and ear-lobes are all right, but the neck is far from
being of medium length and well arched. The back seems
broad and of medium length, and flat at the shoulders, but
• it lacks the concave sweep to the tail, and the tail is too
large and coarse to be described as rather small. The
breast, 'round, broad, deep and full,' is overdone, and the
same with the body and fluff. Take the cut altogether it
has the appearance of an over-fat Light Brahma with a very
ill-proportioned neck. If the neck were lengthened one-
quarter and in same proportion as presented, with the exces-
sive fullness of breast, body and fluff reduced to every day
proportions, I think you would have a comparatively good
Light Brahma hen. As it stands, I consider it a very ill-
proportioned bird and not in accordance with the Standard
Mrs. L. A. McMeekin & Son, breeders of Light Brahmas:
"Back of female is too much of an incline, instead of having
a concave sweep to the tail. Instead of the sweep, the tail
rises too abruptly. The bird is a little too much Cochin in
LIGHT BRAHMAS IN NEW ENGLAND.
Fifty Years of Improvement and of Advancement in Popularity— Points of Recent Improvement— A
Comparison of Winning Types.
By T. P. McGrbw.
^From the Reliable Poultry Journal.)
iROM the time of what is known as the "Cornish im-
portation of Brahmas" into Connecticut, in 1849, via
the Port of New York from some south sea country,
the Brahmas have become the pride of all New England
fanciers. New England, of all the world, is the home of the
Brahma; there they are produced in all their glory and mod-
Early in the seventies— almost thirty years ago — Mr.
Lewis Wright, of England, wrote the following words:
"Each breeder should fully acquaint himself with the proper
characteristic of his favorite fowl and have in his mind a
definite idea as to the standard of perfection after which he
aims. If such ideas have been formed intelligently and on
good grounds, they should not be lightly given up for the
fashion of the hour, which can often not be depended upon
longer than that of a lady's bonnet. It will often be better,
and in the end even pay better, to sacrifice some prizes for
a year or two than to give in to the present fancies of sec-
ond-rate judges and degrade a stock in order to meet them."
These timely spoken words of the "King of the Brahma
fancy" in England saved the Brahma from ruin and main-
tained their characteristics, while not in our cherished type,
yet of the same fashion, only more cobby than we select.
At that time, in England the opinion of the judges, whether
right or wrong, had great influence and many followed the
lead of these experts and tried to fashion their Brahmas on
Cochin lines by shortening their legs and encouraging
heavy hocks. The words of Mr. Wright changed these plans
somewhat, and called the attention of all to the true rule of
breeding to a true-type. Many times with us could this same
warning be sounded as against following a fashion that is
made popular by the placing of awards in opposition to the
standard rule. It would be well for us at times if some one
of authority could save us from ourselves when we wander
from a true type while searching for a solid wing flight, or
a handsome covert, as if these constituted the whole thing.
Too much attention cannot be paid to the rich coloring
of our Light Brahmas. The neck feathers of the males,
when examined singly, may be quite handsome, but the
proper coloring of the hackle should present a beautiful
blending of color from just at the juncture of head to well
down over the shoulders, the whole presenting a picture of
beauty in black and white that is most attractive. The
black centre of the hackle should be rich and bright and
the white edge of the same pure white, without any shading
of black whatever. The black should be clear cut and dis-
tinct—no running of the black into the white, the white
border or edging of each feather should be pure white and
entirely free from any shading of dark or black.
Such rich, pure coloring of the neck is very beautiful
when the black centre is of a rich shining black that tapers
to a fine ending at the point, and the whole edged or laced
all about the black centre clear up to the very start of same,
with clear, pure white that has no tinge of color in it. When
such coloring extends close up to the head and well around
in front, marking the entire hackle plumage, leaving no pure
white portion upon the plumage, then the perfect neck is
present. No more will the white ring about the neck, just
back of the head, pass muster as the perfect marking, nor
will it do to have clear white portions of the hackle on
either side in front, lacking the black centre; the hackle
must be well marked in every feather.
The pure black flights in the male are most difficult to
obtain in these handsomely marked specimens that have
the nice white lacing about the coverts, and the pure, clear,
rich black tails which are nicely filled in with feathers
laced with white. This beautiful combination of clear black
and white, with the black or almost black flights, gives us
the present up-to-date rich colored show specimens. Many
such were seen at the Boston show, of a quality that sur-
passed any yet produced in this country, their form, color
and markings being the admiration of all who saw them.
There are many fanciers throughout New England who
pride themselves on the high quality of their Brahmas who
never send a "bird to a show, and there are many more who
breed them for the keenest competition and come to the
ring side, as it were, to contend for supremacy. The latter
are the backbone of the New England fancy; they form the
membership of the New England Brahma Club; they are
the men who guide and guard the future welfare of the
Brahma, and to them the world must look for the greatest
■ advancement and quality in this breed.
The application of all rules of law can be so construed
as to fit almost any existing condition; it seems to be much
the same in applying the Standard of Perfection to the
Brahmas in our seyeral shows. After 'the awards were placed
in Boston in 1900, the accusation was made against the win-
ning pullet that it was Cochin in shape. Under the approval
of the New England Brahma Club this claim was made em-
phatically. Next year they had the exhibit and the selection
of judges in their own hands, and we find second on cock
birds and first on cockerels placed on specimens that
showed more of the Cochin type in their make-up than had
the pullet of 1900.
When we compare the awards of one year at Boston and
New York, we find that a cock bird of admitted high quality
was first at Boston. This same cock bird, when he came to
New York two weeks later, was superceded by one that was
selected two weeks before at the Boston show because he
was considered to be the style of bird most preferred by the
New York judge. All the Boston pullet winners were turned
down at New York in favor of one that did not gain a place
at Boston. The winner at New York was small in size, trim
in form, beautiful in hackle plumage, not clear white in
body plumage, and her wing flights almost too weak in color
for an old hen. Here we have a demonstration of the great
gap that divides the opinion of these two experts.
This shows the importance of having a better under-
standing and of getting closer together on the whole matter.
T. P. McGREW.
LIGHT BRAHMA IDEALS.
The New England Light Brahma Club is Content With Nothing Short of the Best— Mr. Franklane L
Sewell Engaged to Portray the Ideals of the Members— History of These Ideals.
By G. W. Cbomack.
(From the Reliable Poultry Journal.)
DT WAS a long time after the idea of securing ideal illus-
trations of Light Brahmas was first mentioned by
members of the New England Light Brahma Club that
an attempt was made to embody their various preferences
Light Brahma Male adopted as the Ideal of the New England Light Brahma Club
A Sewell Production Based upon the Ideals of the Members.
in. composite ideals. There were many men of many minds,
and most of them were very decided in their opinions. Their
ideas of shape had taken years to formulate, and were not
to be lightly forsaken. After a good deal of talk (everybody
admitted the necessity of the New England Light Brahma
Club having an ideal male and female), it was decided to
procure cuts. A committee was appointed and negotiations
were commenced with an artist with a view to getting draw-
ings submitted, and then, having criticised and perfected
them, to order composite illustrations which should repre-
sent the club's ideal. "Well, the drawings were submitted,
and no fowl was ever
plucked more quickly or
more mercilessly than
were those unfortunates.
In short, the subject of se-
curing an ideal male and
female was for a time
As the years flew by
there were continual calls
for the club catalogue, and
finally at the annual meet-
ing in April, 1900, the sec-
retary stated he had sent
in answers to calls for
catalogues, old premium
lists, and that the supply
of those was nearly ex-
hausted. It seemed, there-
fore, that a catalogue
should be prepared. This
question having been set-
tled in the affirmative,
"ideal cuts" were again
suggested^-they must be
had to place in the pro-
posed catalogue. This time
the secretary was instruct-
ed to correspond with Mr.
Sewell and inform him as
nearly as possible what
would be expected in
drawings of ideal male and
and female Light Brah-
The drawings arrived.
The male as published
is identical with that sub-
mitted by Mr. Sewell,
while the female has been
changed several times.
All of this took months
to do and it was January,
1902, before the cuts were
published in the catalogs
It is not to be supposed that they represent everything that
every member wishes to see in Light Brahmas, but every
one believes them to be the nearest possible approach to the
ideals of the members generally, and we hazard nothing in
saying that they are by all odds the finest representations of
ideal Light Brahmas in existence.
G. W. CROMACK.
THE LIGHT BRAHMA A GENERAL PURPOSE FOWL.
They are Good Layers of Large Eggs; Make Desirable Broilers, and May be Cheaply Housed and
Easily Cared For.
By E. Erickson.
in the show
course we do
"B ARE often asked by visitors
room if Light Brahmas are
We believe we can truthfully
they are very good layers. Of
not claim that they will lay
more eggs than the Leghorn
or some of the other small
breeds, but if the size and
weight of eggs are taken into
consideration, they will head
the list. We have jus>: placed
on the scales one dozen Brah-
ma eggs, that were gathered
from our yards to-day, and
they weigh one pound four-
teen ounces. We also weighed
one dozen White Wyandottes,
that weighed one pound nine
ounces, showing a difference
of five ounces in favor of the
Brahma. Thus it would take
a little more than fourteen
Wyandotte eggs to equal the
weight of twelve Brahma
eggs. At this rate for a year,
allowing the Brahma an aver-
age of one hundred and fifty
eggs per year (a record which
they will easily make, and
many of them will lay more
than that), the Wyandotte
will have to lay one hundred
and eighty to equal the weight
of the Brahma eggs.
One of our customers told
us that he kept a record of
his flock for a period of 190
days. By the use of the trap
nest boxes he found that one
hen laid 145 eggs in this time.
With good care she surely
would have reached the 200
mark in a year, as he had 175
days more to go.
We will suppose that the
birds are kept for market
only, and that the old hens are
sold off along in July after
the laying and hatching season is over. A flock of good
Brahma hens will average about nine pounds each, while
most of the smaller breeds will not average over six. Let
them sell, say at ten cents per pound. Here again the
Brahma will gain thirty cents per head over the small,
heavy laying competitor. Some one will say that the
smaller hen has already gained that much in the extra num-
ber of eggs laid. Yes, she may have, if she has been laying
heavily during the winter. But it must be remembered that
the Brahmas are naturally good winter layers. With their
low combs and heavy feathering, they can stand more cold
than any other breed that we know of, and for this reason
they do not suffer or lose any time on account of frozen
combs. They do not need as costly built and warm houses
as the high combed varieties. Any kind of a house that is
tight and dry will do for them.
If early broilers are wanted, there is no breed that will
reach a weight of two pounds each in less time. We have
NEW ENGLAND LKHIT5RflHnACD/D
IOPY RtGKT —
Light Brahma Female Adopted as the Ideal of the New England Light Brahma Club.
A Sewell Production Based upon the Ideals of the Members.
tried them in the same brooder with Wyandottes and Ply-
mouth Rocks, and we always found that at eight to ten
weeks old the Brahmas were a quarter to a half pound
heavier than the others. Some people claim that the Brah-
ma will not feather quick enough for a good market chicken.
We have found that all the buyers care for is the weight.
They do not care whether the chick is full feathered or not.
So this cannot be any obstacle in the way of those who
want to produce early chickens for market. By careful
feeding the Brahma can be grown a great deal above stand-
The Brahma is naturally of a quiet disposition and can
be easily confined. This quality makes them especially
adapted to those who have limited space. E, ERICKSON.
THE LIGHT BRAHMA.
Its Origin and Introduction Into America— The Standard Male and Female Described Section by Seo-
tion— The Principal Defects Explained and the Cuts for Each Given— The
Method of Mating This Variety to Produce Exhibition
Birds Set Forth in Detail.
By I. K. Felch. Associate Editor Reliable Poultry Journal.
POR nearly fifty years I have been known as
the champion of the Light Brahma and to-
day I affirm that among all the breeds men-
tioned in our standard, they are most worthy
of consideration. They are the best of the Asiatics
and are entitled to first place among the three or four best
money making varieties. No matter how often one writes
about them, there is always something good left unsaid, and
the lover- of the pure Brahma type may well sound the alarm
against the encroachment of the Cochin shape in his beloved
variety. Leaving others to display their rhetoric and classic
learning, I simply wish to express in plain words what I
know about this variety from experience. I will tell of
their origin, their development and their influence upon the
poultry culture of our land. I will describe the true Brahma
shape, their plumage, and tell how to mate and how to judge
them. This I will do for the benefit of those who are start-
ing in poultry culture and those who are to follow in this
industry, which is fast becoming the greatest of agricultural
ORIGIN OF THE LIGHT BRAHMA.
The breed came to us in America completed, if we may
use the term; that is, it passed through no mongrel, no
transitory state. So perfected was it then that fifty years
have failed to make them one whit better, and a breeder is
not able to-day to produce a bird with a higher score than
those we had in 1876. One specimen has reached the re-
markable score of 97.
About 1847 they were discovered by a Mr. Knox, on
board an India ship in New YoTk harbor, and those six birds
are the ancestors of the American Light Brahma. Mr. Knox
purchased them for a Mr. Chamberlain, of Hartford, Conn.
These birds and their progeny later became the property
of Virgil Cornish, who placed them on exhibition in 1850 at
the Fitchburg Depot show at Boston, where they were named
Brahma Pootra, or short-legged Chittagong. At that time
there was a large, ugly variety known as Chittagong. It
was the largest and the most popular breed. The breeders
of that variety were jealous of the Brahma's advent and did
all they could to prevent them from forming a distinct
variety, But the Brahma's more symmetrical shape, its pea
comb and its prolific laying soon overcame the opposition,
and in a short time they became known as the Light Brahma
and were acknowledged to be the best of all large fowls.
They gradually absorbed the Chittagong blood and that
breed disappeared, while the Brahmas, as such, were put
into our first standard. There was an effort made later to
resuscitate the Chittagong under the name of Single Comb
Light Brahmas and they were exhibited at one or two shows,
but the race soon became extinct.
The first birds imported were capable of reproducing
themselves and the variety to-day is able to produce pro-
geny, ninety per cent of which will score 90 to 96 points. » It
shows a strength and prepotency not excelled by any other
breed of parti-colored fowls. The standard written for them
in 1876 is, and ought to be standard to-day, for birds of that
type are most prolific. One hen, Rebecca, has a record of 313
eggs in 333 days, and though she laid no more eggs during
the other thirty-two days that finished the year, it was still
a wonderful record. Another hen, Pareppa, laid for twenty-
three consecutive months without showing any desire to. in-
cubate, and eight of her sisters showed no desire to sit.
But one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one
bird with a remarkable record prove the superiority of a
variety, but I know that birds of the Chamberlain-Felcli
strain will average 150 eggs a year besides hatching and
rearing a brood of chickens. Flocks of thirty-five, fifty-five
and seventy-five have records of 92%, 107% and 110 eggs
when one year old. Other flocks have yearly records of 160
to 168 eggs each, and seven-twelfths of the number of eggs
were laid in the five coldest months of the year when eggs
bring the best prices. Eight pullets have a record of 192
eggs each, besides raising 64 chicks in the yards of the late
G. P. Fay. They lay large, heavy eggs, which weigh more
per dozen than those from any other fowls. They will make
tender roasts at a greater age than other varieties and if
the roosters are kept in celibacy they will make tender meat
when a year old. When the Light Brahma females have
been crossed with Wyandotte and Indian Game males, the
result of these crosses are sure to win the prizes in a dressed
Such are the records that have been made by the old-
style Light Brahma, and it is the old-style to which we must
return and adhere if we will have these records remain un-
excelled. The variety has been injured by the desire of
some persons to breed them with short necks, backs, thighs
and shanks and with the looser, longer plumage and exces-
sive foot feathering. The poultry coops used in our large
shows have been greatly to blame for the change to the
Cochin type Brahma. These coops were too low for a nor-
mal Brahma to stand in them free and clear. Therefore,
only a Cochin-shaped Brahma looked well in the coops, and
consequently, birds of that character won the prizes and a
large number of breeders, noting the style of bird that had
been winning, immediately began breeding to that type of
bird and ignored the standard. This would not matter so
much if it did not damage the utility and injure- the egg
productiveness of the variety. But I know that breeding
Brahmas to this Cochin type has diminished the egg produc-
tion of such altered strains sixteen to twenty-five per cent.
I have seen this demonstrated under my personal observa-
tion during my long years 'With the Brahma. To bring the
race back to its old time prolificness and beautiful shape,
we have only to breed them according to the early models.
They should have a close, smooth surfaced plumage. The
neck, back, thighs and shanks should be of medium length
and the general appearance should be oblong. The Honor-
able Geo. Loring, as he stood looking at them at the Middle-
sex South Fair, exclaimed; "They are a vertitable oblong
band-box on legs," a quaint expression, but to the men and
women of his time it was a forceful one, telling of the equal
breast and posterior weight, with their clinging plumage,
the hocks showing in profile below the body line, with the
THE STANDARD MALE AND FEMALE
A cock in his second year should weigh twelve pounds
or more in exhibition condition. A cockerel in his adult
coat should weigh ten pounds, a hen nine and a half or more
and a pullet eight pounds. The birds should be sufficiently
fat to have their plumage show its best sheen when on exhi-
bition. During the breeding season the birds should be al-
lowed to fall one pound under these weights, which will put
thpm in their best working form. Weight is valued at ten
points on the score card and is as much a part of the stand-
ard's demand of excellence as any other section, and a judge
in scoring must cut two points for every pound that a bird
The judging of fowls is no longer confined to exhibi-
Jj^lisJr " *=^>~ Copyright
sat. --' puBVSMtia c?.
Ideal Ught Brahma Male and Female Shape, Advocated by I, K. l-'elch.
thigh plumage curling closely and smoothly about the hock
In 1876, there appeared in the American Poultry Exhi-
bition in New York City, a Light Brahma cock which was
named "Autocrat." It was a bird that was found in Fulton
market and no trace was ever discovered of its antecedents.
He varied little from the bird from the Chamberlain strain
known as the Imperial 300, but afterwards called the Felch
strain. These two males, "Autocrat" and "Imperial 300,"
are the founders of the two strains of Light Brahmas, the
Autocrat and the Felch, whose progeny are to be found in
every state in the Union. The popularity of the Light
Brahma has declined occasionally, when some new variety
has been boomed and amateurs have been tempted to try
them t but each time the Light Brahma has regained its hold
and has even grown more popular.
tions, although articles upon this subject generally refer to
birds in the show room, as they vary less than the speci-
mens constituting a whole flock.
The first article I ever wrote treated of the general de-
fects found in flocks as they existed in the days when our
first standard was compiled. To-day so much private scor-
ing is indulged in that there seems to be a necessity for an
exposition of the subject of judging the average merit as
seen in the whole flock. Lest the novice and beginner may
incline to be satisfied with mediocrity, we illustrate this
article with perfect male and female shapes, while stating
that divergencies from these ideals are faulty in proportion
as they differ.
The plumage of the head is white. The beak should be
stout at the jucture with the skull, and should be nicely
arched to the point, yellow in color, striped with dark brown
color or black in the upper mandible and the under beak
should be yellow. The beak in the female may be yellow,
or yellow striped with a dark color. In the male the face
deep red; eyes red, large and bright; ear-lobes large and
pendant; wattles well developed and hanging, their lower
edge being well rounded on a line with the lower edge of
ear-lobes. The face, ear-lobes and wattles should be rich
crimson. In the females all these features are much smaller
in comparison with the male, and the wattles are closely
rounded to the throat.
The skull should be large, with heavy brows overhang-
ing the eyes. Especially should this be prominent in the
male, as seen in our perfect model. Heavy ear-lobes, long
and pendulous, with wattles that are large and long enough
to place their lower line on a level with lower point of ear-
lobes, are the conditions that insure s rong, procreative
power. In early days cocks with only rudimentary wattles
Defective Hackle Feathers of the Male.
were disqualified and ought to be to-day, for they are worth-
less, save only as poultry meat.
The defects of head and its adjuncts are generally: Nar-
row in skull, depressed in front of eyes; for these cut one
point; eyes, when not bay or red, one-half point; rudimen-
tary wattles, one-half to two and one-half, and when entire-
ly absent, the specimen should be disqualified.
The comb is what is called a pea comb. It is like three
small combs joined together at the front and base, the side
divisions merging with the center division near its rear
point. The channel between the center and side divisions
should be deep enough so that if all the small points were
frozen off the comb would still show its three divisions. In
.an absolutely perfect comb the center division should have
seven small points and the sides each five points. The top
line of the comb should follow the curve of the skull. While
we may say that the comb is small, it is still in keeping with
the size of the bird. In the female the comb is very much
smaller in proportion to the weight of the specimen, in fact,
the smaller the better, so that it is perfect in shape, rt is
of .the same shape as the comb of the male and is subject
to the same cuts.
A comb may be ever so perfect in its three divisions,
yet so thin at base and junction with skull as to flop from
side to side of the head. Such a specimen would be disquali-
fied; yet a comb, if from some cause it leans to one side, but
is firm in its position, would be cut from one-half to one and
one-half for failing to stand erect upon the head in a straight
line from front to rear. The comb could be gross and large
with crumpled or serpentine divisions, the channels between
the divisions so slight "that were the small points frozen or
shaved off, the comb would be literally a short, single piece
of comb flesh. In both these cases we think the defect could
be so aggravated as to be cut one-half to two points, and
when loose at junction with the skull, we would withhold
all score card record as being a specimen unworthy of recog-
nition as a thoroughbred. If the comb should be single or
so defective otherwise as to stultify standard description, we
would also- pass it by.
If it is too large, but still stands erect, it
would be cut one point for size. On the middle division,
if the points are so large and wide that they crowd in a
zig zag way, although side divisions are all right it de-
mands a cut of one point. Taken altogether (size and
shape), even if the comb were erect, a cut of two points
would be demanded. There is another style of comb fre-
quently seen, a short, very small comb, stubbed off at rear,
which causes the bird to look like a man six feet tall, wear-
ing a very small boy's hat. The comb on some birds
has but four points in the middle and three points on the
sides, and the channels are not deep, though straight and
stiff upon the head. Such a comb should be cut fully three
points. Want of development should always be cut with
more severity than over-development. I believe in a gener-
ous development of comb and all head embellishments, for
it denotes procreative work. Diminutive combs are surely
an indication of failing productive power.
The. neck should be medium in length and prominent
in its juncture with the head, nicely arched to the center,
the hackle then falling in a concave sweep, completely cov-
ering the shoulders. Each hackle feather must have a black
stripe the full length of the web, ending in a fine point at
or near the end of the feather. The black stripe must show
a rich green sheen for fully three-fifths of its length, and the
white must form a complete edge the full length of the web.
The under-fluff may be either black, dark slate or white,
neither having the preference in the show room. The throat
should be white.
In the fomale the neck appears shorter and has the same
arch and concave sweep that it has in the male. The feathers
in the female are more correctly described as black edged
with white. The hackle should cover the cape when the
head is thrown back, which gives apparent fulness to the
In this section there are seldom defects in shape so glar-
ing but they are overshadowed by color defects. Yet if th«
neck be short and the effect be that known as Cochin shape,
or if the neck be of sufficient length, but head carried so far
forward as to give the feature too straight a poise, it should
be cut one point for shape, for the latter has the appearance
of robbing the breast of its fulness.
It is not by any means understood that every feather
of the hackle shall be perfect In order to pass uncut, but
that the perfect feathers should be in overwhelming num-
bers, of the character as seen in our models. But when the
neck plumage is in a general way made up of feathers like
No. 1, the neck would most likely be cut one point for color;
if like No. 2, one and one-half points; like No. 3, one
and one-half to two points if void of sheen. Feathers
still worse should condemn the specimens as breeders, and
surely they could not be show specimens. They should be
sent to the kitchen pen. When the head is carried so far
forward as to destroy the full arch of the neck and the
hackle fails to fully cover the cape; or when the white lacing
fails to extend along the entire edge of the web; or the black
and white are mixed, or there is straw color in the white or
black spots in the Lhroat, cut one-half to one point. A more
severe cut should be made if the black stripe is very poorly
The back should be medium in length, but sufficiently
long so that in conjunction with a full, round breast it
will give an oblong appearance to the body. The back will
appear much shorter in the male, because more of the cape
is covered by the hackle and also on account of the saddle
feathers. The standard describes the back as broad and flat,
which appearance is caused in part by the hackle feathers
spreading over the cape and the feathers on the upper part
of the wings. From the cape to a point just in front of the
hips, there is a slight downward slope, but the saddle rises
in a concave sweep to the tail. The saddle should be wide
enough to balance the breadth of the shoulders, the saddle
hangers trailing down over the points of the wing bays. The
surface of the back proper should be pure white, except
where the last row of saddle feathers take on the character
of the tail coverts, being black edged with White, which is
not to be considered a defect. The under-color of the back
may be bluish grey, white or Slate color in the male. Ii
there should be slight traces of black in the saddle plumage
near the tail, it must not be considered a disqualification un-
der the disqualifying clause of "black prevalent in the web
feathers of the back," etc.
In the female the back has a longer appearance, due to
the lack of saddle hackle. The rear portion of the back
is more properly termed "cushion" in the female. The back
should have a Slight downward slope from the cape to a
point in front of the hips and then show a slightly curved
line from the hips to the tail. The surface color should
be white and the under-color may be white or bluish grey.
If the last row of cushion feathers resemble the tail coverts,
it should not be considered a defect.
Cut one-half to one point, according to the degree of im-
perfection, if the plumage is straw colored in place of white
or if the dark under-color shows on the surface. Cut two
points for pronounced yellow shade of feathers.
Occasionally in any flock there appears an aggra-
vated case of roached back, being oval from cape to tail,
and as is general in such cases, wings are carried low and
the back appears narrow and oval from side to side. The
hip may be slipped also. As he stands, the bird is disqualified,
but were hip in position, even with all his roached condi-
tion, the specimen would be cut from one-half to two points.
A specimen with a slipped hip and a crooked back may be
an excellent stock bird, yet he is disqualified, while the
roached back bird surely is worthless as a breeder when in
this aggravated form, yet we cannot disqualify him in
A croojced shell bone causes what is termed a wry tail.
Sometimes a few black ticks appear in the saddle of the
male. He may have fifteen to twenty near the tall. This is
exempt from disqualification, but becomes a defect, subject
to a cut of one-half to one point; the condition we mention
is cut one point. The under-color may be so dark as to ap-
proach black in the fluffy portion and should be cut one
point in the male; if dark slate in female, the same cut.
When black ticks appear in the wab of the feather in the
female, but are not prevalent on the surface, they are a
defect, to be cut one point. If so pronounced that one was
forced to cut two points, the specimen should be disqualified
Should the black ticks, described for the male as a
defect, become prevalent, reaching down to middle of saddle
and appearing in the saddle hangers and under the wings at
the sides, he, too, is a disqualified specimen; yet he may be
a valuable breeder with hens that have lost color by age
and service in the show pen. This defect often corrects
itself as such cockerels molt into their cock form; they grow
lighter with age.
Defective Hawkle Feathers of the Female.
Feather No. 7 is a black ticked one; these feathers, ac-
cording to their prevalence, are cut one-half to one point.
This is as far as the license for their appearance should go,
for a pure white surface color is desirable and it is a fact
that where the under fluff is a bluish gray the surface color
is far more liable to be a pearl white so much coveted in
The breast should be full, broad and round and the
quarters prominent. This will give a full, oval outline from
shoulder to keel, and from shoulder point to shoulder point
that is so much desired. This section is seldom faulty in
color, both surface and under-color being white, though the
latter may be bluish gray at its juncture with the body. The
reason we find this section so perfect in color is because it
is protected, so to speak, and never receives the direct rays
of the sun, nor the full force of storms. This description
applies to both male and female.
Sometimes the ticking on throat extends downward, or
a slight straw tinge invades the upper part so as to secure
a cut of one-half to one point; so rare is this that judges
pay little attention and generally make Hhe breast cuts un-
der the head of shape; and it is as well. Shape becomes the
defect in ninety-nine cases in one hundred.
Tn viewing the specimen from the front you see the
shape Irom quarter to keel is V-shaped, not rounded at the
sides. This and a want of fulness in front generally go
together, and are generally cut one point. When the quarters
are full, giving rounded shape to side lines, the. breast is
sure to have a rounded front from wing to wing front. This
fulness of the shoulder or quarters, as its effect in breast is
called, is what gives the effect of the breast being carried
well forward of the thighs, when such appearance is called
BODY AND FLUFF.
In the old standard the body and fluff were considered
together. The keel should be carried rather low, but not
so low as to hide the full profile of the hock, and the keel
muscle must be full and firm to the touch. The fluff should
be moderately full and with the full thigh fluff gives a broad
appearance to the bird when viewed from behind. The sur-
face and under-color are white, though the latter may be
When keel is so crooked as to affect the shape we have
described as perfect, showing a hollowness in front of thighs
and a want of depth to body, a cut of one-half to one point
should be made, and we have seen cases where one and a half
and even two points were necessary; but slight notches or
slight turning of the keel, if no apparent alteration to shape
of body appears, may pass uncut in Brahmas, but should
a tie appear, the crooked keeled bird should lose, or be given
a check for the defect, which would decide the tie without
If the thigh fluff be scant and fluff proper be shrunken
as compared to our model, a cut of one-half to one point will
in a large majority cover these defects.
Here- again color comes in with such effect that shape is
too often overlooked. Light Brahma wings are a trifle more
than medium in length and
are well cupped in the rose,
that is, they should have a
prominent round sweep from
cape downward. The prima-
ries are folded smoothly under
the secondaries, which lay un-
der the saddle hangers. The
wing fronts are strongly mus-
cled and covered by the breast
plumage at the quarters. In
color the fronts are white, or
slightly mixed with black.
The secondaries are black, but
have white on the lower web
of sufficient width so that the
wing bay is white. The white
along the upper edge of the
upper web, growing wider as
it extends around the tip and
along the upper edge of the upper web, growing wider as the
secondaries comb upward. The five feathers between the
secondaries and the cape have less and less black, until the
top one is altogether white in order to*secure the white sur-
face color. The primaries are black, or nearly so, having a
white edge to the lower web.
The same description applies to the wings of the female,
except that the primaries are black in the shaft, the balance
of the feather being black and white, but to escape a cut for
defective color the black must predominate in the feather.
The wings should be carried high enough to secure the flat
cape across the back and should be so folded that the points
lie under the saddle hangers in the male and are well bedded
between the cushion and fluff of the female.
A Black Ticked Saddle Feather.
.Cut one-half to one and one-half points, according to
degree of imperfection, if the wings are carried too low, or
the. primaries are loosely folded, showing below the secon-
daries; if white predominates in the primaries of the females
and is top prominent in the males; if straw color shows in
the surface color, or brick color in the white of flights. If
the wings have a generally bad color, or have twisted feath-
ers in them, cut one-half to one and one-half points. If the
primaries are folded outside of the secondaries, refuse the
specimen a score card, for such birds will not prove worthy
lary of the Male.
For color, see feathers forming illustrations Nos. 12 and
12%. Such feathers making up the primaries of a male,
should not be cut under the rule "black or nearly so, but
showing a white lacing to lower web," while in the female
white may appear as in No. 13 so long as the surface be
black in the larger proportion as here seen, buit upper web
may be solid black. In hens one often sees nearly all white
with the shaft only black, yet both colors are clear in shade;
one and one-half may be a reasonable cut, but when the
colors are neither black nor white like feather No. 14, we
think one and one-half to two and one-half should be the
penalty. This defect is more frequent in old hens.
The secondaries are a white feather with the centers
being a very dark slate or black, but all color showing on
the surface must be white. Where the surface of wing is
shaded with straw or yellow, one-half to two points will
cover this defect. Of the feathers (five in number^ between
secondaries and cape, the fifth must be white and the others
sufficiently white to secure white in surface color. The cut
then almost always comes in surface color and primaries.
Should the primaries be composed of feathers like Fig.
UA the cut surely should be all of one and one-half points,
and lesser defects one-half to one and a half
The tail should be fairly well developed and carried
tolerably upright and spread latterly like a capital A, which
should be filled in underneath with rich, curling feathers
of mixed black and white color, the darker the better. A
line dropped from the deck feathers to the ground should
just clear the tip of the lower tail feathers. The
sickles and lesser sickles should reach but little
beyond the tail proper and should curve outward
laterally. The larger coverts should lay in form of
a simitar on the side of the tail and reach far enough
to the rear to just cover the tail proper. The sickles, lesser
sickles and tail proper are to all appearances black, but the
quill end next to the skin and along the lower web of the
lower tail feathers may be white and on the very lowest
feather the white may extend two inches. The lesser cov-
erts in the male may be black, or black edged with white.
In the female the tail proper extends beyond the tail
coverts and to all appearances the feathers are black; except
the two deck feathers, which are edged with white, but the
quill ends for one-half to two inches along the web of the
lower feathers are white. While the tail is called fan-
shaped, it must not be exaggerated, but it is a fault if it
comes to a point like the Cochin tail. It should be filled
underneath with rich, curling white feathers which may be
mixed with black and not be considered a defect. The cov-
erts may be black, or edged with white. When the last row
of the cushion feathers are black laced with white, the
larger rear coverts may be black.
We have said that when shell bone is crooked by a fall-
ing hip joint, the tail becomes wry, that is, carried out of
a straight line from neck, this becomes a disqualification.
It is really no fault of the tail proper, it being only the result
of a deformed back. If the carriage of the sickles is too
straight and the tail proper is not spread laterally into what
some term fan-shape, in other words, viewed from behind,
the space between the sides is not A-shaped, cut one and
one-half points for either of these defects.
But color cuts a large figure here, as it does in
wings. If an inch of white appears in sickles above the
coverts, cut one point; if more, cut to two, as the length of
white increases. White appearing in large coverts, with les-
ser coverts in characters like feather No. 17 should be cut
a full point. When this is the case the third set of coverts
next to the saddle will be nearly white.
Here is where the judge or novice has a work to
do. Lift the saddle entirely off the tail and you will see
every tail has three sets of coverts; the large ones that lie
upon the tail proper and curve downward are to be black;
the other two sets, black laced with white. When the saddle
is wholly white, the second and third set do not show on the
surface, yet our model shows what looks like two sets,
showing the second set laced with white. This is only a
case where the last row of saddle plumage has taken on the
character of tail coverts and is not rated as a defect
in back, as it has added brevity to tail the same as if the sec-
ond set of tail coverts showed. No female ever showed
the second set of the real tail coverts unless she had been
faked of her last row of saddle feathers. The judge who
knows his business will uncover the tail to judge of its cov-
erts. The specimen that shows this last row of saddle plum-
age black laced with white, will have tail coverts wholly
black, without the white lacing. When the tail feathers
proper are tipped with white like our illustration, Fig. 18,
cut one full point, or if the defect is less pronounced, cut
Fig. 18 is one of the lowest tail feathers. Note the
white near the quill point. This is the normal condition of
all tails and is not a- defect, for all feathers of tail and cov-
erts, when full grown, are white at the quill points. The
defective conditions are at the tip of the feathers. To decide
on the amount of white at the base I examine the white
in the tips, that being the sign of the evil and generally of
its extent. White in sickles and coverts will sometimes
appear in an alarming degree in old birds, sufficient indeed
to cause a cut of one to three points, but if more than two,
surely the specimen should be passed as unworthy.
If the tail is drooping or carried above 45 degrees; if
the black is devoid of the desirable green sheen, cut one-half
to one and one-half points. If the tail is carried to either
side sufficiently to be termed a wry tail, the specimen must
be disqualified and refused a score card.
Wing; Feathers of the Female.
LEGS AND FEET
The thighs should be medium in length, showing the
hock in profile below the body line. The lower thigh should
be well and firmly muscled and covered with close, clinging
plumage that curls about the hock joint preserving its dis-
tinct outline. The shanks should be medium in length,
looking neither short nor long and should be well feathered
down the outside, the feathering blending with the foot
plumage in a smooth, outward curve. The toes should be
straight, the outer being feathered to the tip joint and the
middle toe bearing feathers enough to fill the space between
it and the outer toe. The shanks and feet should be yellow,
but they may be straw color as the birds grow older. In
the female the hock joint is less prominent than in the male
and the shank and foot feathering is not so heavy. The
feathers may be mottled with black in the male, or may be
white in the female.
Occasionally we find a case of complete knock-knees.
Such specimens are disqualified. When they diverge from the
perfect, as seen in our model, to this condition the cuts
range from one-half to two points. If the shanks are lightly
feathered and the feathering does not grow to tip joint of
outer toes, then the specimen is disqualified. If toes are,
a majority of them, crooked, as we have herein depicted
them, they are to be passed as unworthy. For a crooked toe
cut one point; if middle toes are not feathered beyond the
joint with shank, cut one point for each middle toe thus
affected; but if feathered sufficiently to fill space between
middle and outer toe they should not be cut, for it is not
expected that the demand be to tip joint. For shanks thinly
feathered (the foot plumage being up to the requirements of
the standard), cut one-half to one point.
If the thigh be so short in males as to hide the hock
in the fluff plumage, cut a full point. It is the length of
bone in the second joint, so called, that allows the lower
thigh and hock joint to appear in smoothly plumed profile
below the lower body line. A Brahma should appear in an
upstanding, active poise.
Defective Tail Feathers
The above i re the general defects and more damaging
to appearance in the breed. The lesson is a long one, yet
we are aware more might have been said.
Could we obtain birds such as we have described in the
foregoing, they would be perfect and score 100 points, but
defects appear and cutting them according to the standard,
we are able to produce only birds that score from' only 90
to !>6, and occasionally one is found that will score 96%
honest points. We have described. a perfect bird and given
the cuts that are the penalty for defects. But our task is
not completed until we give our experience in mating to
produce the best results.
MATING LIGHT BRAHMAS.
Of all the varieties of thoroughbred fowls, there is none
that will give us so large a percentage of chicks that will
score 90 to 96 points as will a single pair of Light Brahmas
when mated according to the standard. But we wish to
gee the greatest number of chicks possible during two years
which is the usual length of time we use our breeders and
exhibition birds. To do this we must mate our stock so
that our medium colored birds will give us show specimens
in their first season, because they lose color when breeding
and with age. When we make our selection for shape, the
shape takes care of itself, but to secure approximate per-
fection in color is hard and the artist (breeder) may be said
to be painting with live colors and brushes.
Pen No. 1, First Division— When we mate a cock and
pullet of the color I have described, we make a real standard
Pen No. 2, First Division — Select a cockerel that is as
dark as the standard permits and mate him to hens that in
their second year are standard in both shape and color. This
is also a standard mating in the truest sense. The hens se-
lected for this pen were, as chickens, dark specimens that
have come to standard color by 'the loss which age inflicts
and by the work of reproduction. For my part, I should
not care from which pen I set eggs for hatching. I should
expect the cockerel to molt enough lighter to be prime stan-
dard color as a cock and in the second year take his place
in Pen No. 1 and to mate him to his own pullets, which
would be of standard color. Out of such pens as No. 2
we expect fowls to come which each year will form pens
such as No. 1.
To mate the balance of one's stock is a question for the
breeder to solve. All matings should be such that the
strongest and best exhibition color will be found among
the medium colored specimens of the flocks raised.
Pen No. 3, Second Division — Use a cockerel that is ex-
tremely dark, one that has very dark wing flights, black tail
and coverts, with the rear saddle feather showing character-
istic tail coverts and the hackle with wide black etripss.
The object, as you will perceive, is to have a surplus of dark
color. To such a male mate pullets of pure standard color.
Pen No. 4, Second Division— For this mating use a cock-
erel or cock that is as near standard color as possible, and
mate to him pullets that are exceedingly dark, even those
that would be disqualified for excess of color, but be sure
that it is a defect that will disappear after the molt. The
hackles should have very narrow White lacings, the tail
coverts and the primaries should be black. If possible they
should have a bluish-grey under-fluff. They may even have
black in the under-web of the back. Such pullets will ripen
into show hens and form a part of pen No. 2 the second
The progeny from these four pens will not vary a point
in their average merit. A third division now becomes neces-
sary, because the pullets that have molted into hens have
lost so much in color that they need an exceedingly dark
cockerel to mate with them, like the one described in Pen
Pen No. 5, Third Division— Use a cockerel such as de-
scribed in Pen No. 3, for we must supply the loss that the
hens that were in Pen No. 1 have sustained during their first
year of breeding.
Pen No. 6, Third Division-Select a cock that came from
a dark cockerel and still retains the color of a younger bird,
even if he has black ticks in the back and dark slate under-
color and leg and toe feathers well mottled with black. Then
to him mate pullets that have flights in which the white pre-
dominates, which are white in under-color and whose neck
hackles appear right on the surface, hut when examined, we
find that the black does not extend the full length of the
reamer. They may also have white leg and toe plumage.
After four months in the breeding pen they will molt
out worthless light-colored hens, fit only for kitchen use.
and are used only for breeding from necessity. It would be
foolish to use a male from this pen in subsequent matings.
Another male should be used from pena in which both males
and females are strong in color and strictly prime, but
females from this pen may make valuable mates for exces-
sively dark cockerels that have come from the first four
pens, for remember, these are sisters of birds we have in our
best pens who lost color, perhaps, from the indisposition of
their dams or at some time when the sire was out of condi-
tion. Health and vigor are essential to successful breeding,
as are shape and markings. A strong, healthy, active hen
is the mother of the best chickens, especially when we per-
severe in pedigree breeding and the females in the pen are
Bisters and so the pen is reduced to a single pair in blood.
The best chickens we obtain
may have different mothers,
owing to the varying physical
conditions, but the blood in
the chickens in the same.
All these matings may be
called standard, for both
males and females scoring
from 93 to 96% points are as
likely to come from one pen
as another, provided we have
made careful selection in re-
gard to standard shape. The
birds are all pedigreed and
all of them are reasonably
standard in shape and color
when mated, or they ripen in-
to standard color when they
molt. In our matings we aim
to allow for the deterioration
of age and to protect the off-
spring from adverse ancestral
influence. The breeder who
does not take into account an-
cestral influence has not gone
beyond the A, B, C of the al-
phabet of breeding.
The matings described are
far different than double mat-
ings. inasmuch as exhibition
males and females will come in a like percentage from each
and every pen. Standard color will deteriorate and birds
from the first division will probably give us a greater num-
ber of light birds than dark, while in the second division
we will get probably more specimens that are too dark for
show purposes, but not so many that will be of standard
color the first year, but as hens they will prove winners, for
the dark pullets ripen while breeding into show hens. All
pullets that are what we call medium specimens of standard
color are reduced in value when they molt into hens.
There is a great difference in what different persons un-
derstand by white. Specimens having dark under-color are
always a purer shade of white in surface color, and white
under-colored specimens have a creamy white surface color,
which often during the breeding season becomes sun-burned
or straw colored and sometimes has a red shade when they
begin to molt. A bluish-white or bluish-grey under-color is
the safest to breed from. We all like to breed males whose
primaries are pure black with an outside rim of white. A
female with pure black and white, the black predominating
and the shaft of the feather being black, will prove the best
breeder. The fad for wholly black primaries in females will
in the end prove of more harm than good, and judges have
no right to give such a bird the preference on account of it.
Breeders of Light Brahmas should read and commit the
standard to memory and then mate strictly according to it,
understanding that the standard description applies to a cock
Flort FIRST PRE&-
BREP "^ OWIiED BY
VYESTB !? nflSS
The Male and One of the Females from J. P. Keating's First Prize Pen of Wght Brahmas at Boston, 1903,
and hen. When we are considering young stock we must
make allowance for age and remember that as they grow
older their colors will become less pronounced, and we must
insist that there be a sufficient reserve color to carry them
through. The amateur must not expect to reap success in a
single year, but he should give heed to the older breeders
and take their advice until he learns by experience.
The breeder Who took the Light Brahma in his keeping
fifty years ago, acknowledging their worth then, is to-day
their staunch friend and he tells you with the same enthusi-
asm that they are the best fowl on earth when they are
allowed to appear in the shape and color that is their birth-
I. K. FELCH.
THE IMPROVEMENT OF LIGHT BRAHMAS.
Line Breeding Necessary to Secure and Maintain a Uniform Type — A System of Mating Birds of
Standard Color in Which Like Produces Like— The Relation of JUnder Color
to Surface Color Discussed.
Bv Mrs. Ella Thomas.
P I should consider myself even now anything but an
amateur in mating Light Brahmas, I should go against
my own convictions in the matter, but as I have had
some degree of success, I will be pleased to give you my ex-
perience, as none of us "liveth unto
himself," and I think it essential to
beginners in poultry culture to be
able to profit by the success of
others. It will save them years,
perhaps, of unsuccessful labor, and
often inspires success wliere many
new breeders would become dis-
couraged and quit the business.
I find my ideas of several years
ago are only strengthened into facts
that we cannot depart from, if we
would produce an ideal fowl in
points, pedigree, size and vigor,
.vith egg laying qualities. I believe
the parties who condemned line
breeding are revolted and gone, or
will be, for they have so of ten spoiled
their flocks by mixture of blood
from the different strains. Good
food and plenty of it will make any
"strain" large, while lack of it will
produce the opposite. In the hands
of practical breeders it is the only
safe plan to line-breed; as like,
when the "blood" is established,
will produce like, and give us vigor-
ous specimens full of usefulness.
I condemn Cochin shaped Brah-
mas, because they are not Ameri-
can-bred, because they lay fewer
eggs, and are not like our Ameri-
can-bred, rustling, practical, vigor-
ous birds. Many of the Brahmas
of to-day, as in the past, show a
loss of the broad, short head;
heavy, overhanging eye-brows; full
throat, short, strong, well arched
beak; broad, well-spread tail;
broad, deep breast; oblong body,
with proper length, etc., that characterize our best Brahmas.
You will find them in the show room and elsewhere with
long, narrow heads; long, slim beaks; very small combs and
wattles; narrow, flat breast; and Cochin leg and toe feather-
ing; and short Cochin body. There are many good flocks
of Brahmas in the United States, I am happy to say, but we
do not find" all yards alike as we should do. We should try
to work together to weed out all characteristics other than
Brahma, and we still have years of work before us on scien-
tific line*; even now that we have our National Light Brah-
ma Club we have that much more reason to establish a uni-
form character in our Brahmas all over the United States.
One objection many find to Light Brahmas is the pro-
fuse foot feathering, but I like the feathering when not too
A Boston First
Prize-Winning Light Brahma Male, Owned by J. W. Shaw.
profuse, and find no hindrance to the quality of my birds on
that account. It is easily overlooked when we consider their
great size, marked vigor, hardiness and practical qualities.
They arc loved by all fanciers who know their gentle dis-
position. They respond to kind treatment with evident af-
fection. They leara to know their friends and trust them.
It is pleasant to note the enthusiasm of the fancier of this
breed, who understands mating and breeding them, -be-
cause most of them breed them without injuring their util-
ity and increase their fine quality each year. I shall always
THE ASIATICS. 1
hold as a pleasant remembrance a conversation with Judge
Ball, of Massachusetts, who was a very enthusiastic lover
and breeder of this noble breed. Though he seemed to be
surprised at my knowledge of this breed, I was equally
pleased at his love and enthusiasm for them, because therein
laid the key to my success in mating and breeding them.
MATING BY USE OF THE STANDARD
One very good mating I find is birds of equai color, that
is, as near the Standard as you can get them, selected from
a promiscuous flock of hens and pullets, mated not akin,
all good individuals, cut not over one point in any section
as pullets, or one and one-half as hens, as all birds do not
hold their color at two and three years old. I find they
seldom do from the old strains, and that is why I value so
highly the strain that does. That in
why I described in the Reliable Poultry
Journal so minutely my choice matings
and my mode of keeping them, and why
I consider it so important that where we
have a hen, or several hens, that hold
their color at two and three years old, t (
they should be put where every egg can
be carefully set and pedigreed. This is
the only way, I believe, by which we can
increase and "fix" the color of our birds,
or, rather, produce a strain that will
not fade at one year old, or even at two
years of age.
In mating number two I mentioned,
we must select birds, both male and fe-
male, to come as near up to the Stand-
ard requirements as possible. The cock
or cockerel should be medium high on
legs, not too long nor too short — legs
of a deep yellow color, heavily feathered,
the feathering mottled with black. He
should be of Standard weight when in
good flesh, and if he is over Standard
weight (not too fat) , so much the better,
though I do not fancy the extra large
males, nor do I find them as good breed-
ers as the medium sized. Medium sized
cockerels mated with large hens make
the best matings. The comb should be
set evenly on the head, be deeply ser-
rated and extend well on top of the
head. The head should be broad and
short, with overhanging eyebrows and
a full, well-developed throat, full, well-
arched hackle, long and flowing, four-
fifths of the feather black. The
wattles and ear-lobes should be a
bright red, as well as the comh,
and well developed. A very particular point in this
mating (as well as in the first mating mentioned)
should be a deep bay eye in both males and females.
Wings of both male and female should be as near solid
black as you can get them and there is generally a white
rim on each wing feather, the web being black to the
flights. Our best breeders get fine colored backs, that is,
with bluish under-color, and if you practice the mating I
have first described you will soon have color in wings of
pullets as well as cockerels and have an even bluish under-
color in both males and females, with few black "ticks" in
backs of pullets — none in cockerels. This has been
my experience, and I believe it will be yours, and
as I have several pullets entirely free from the "ticks"
in back, also hens one and two years old that have almost
solid black flights, I feel confident that I can in a short
time have them breed true enough to be entirely free from
them and be in color equal to the males.
The coverts Of the cockerel for the pen mating called
number two should be, first row black, also main tail feath-
ers black; second and third row of coverts black edged with
pure white like the hackle. Breast, broad and full; body
long as compared with a Cochin; wings well folded and
tolded high enough to give breadth to body as well as to
back. He should be broad across the saddle, nearly as much
so as across the shoulders. The wings should be folded high
enough to give a broad, flat back across the' shoulders, well
rounded, yet broad as it sweeps in concave line to tall. I
like black mottling in the foot feathering of the females as
The Boston First Prize Light Brahnia Pullet, Referred to in Mr, McGrew's Article, "I,ight
Brahmas In New England," Owned by J. W. Shaw.
well as in malts, and believe it is impossible to get uniform-
ity of color in our males and maintain it, unless we are more
particular about the color in the females. It is time to ex-
plode the idea that males must have black in color whether
or not the females do. Of course it stands to reason that
where pullets and hens lack color the cockerel, if very dark,
can improve greatly the color of the progeny, for he is half
the flock, and any one knows that by adding one very dark
pullet it would only increase the color of her progeny. If all
the pullets were dark and the cockerel lacked color, it
would have the same effect that a dark cockerel would have
added to the pen of light pullets, yet. in establishing pedi-
greed stock I find that a very dark cockerel, when mated
to any pullet, is liable to produce cockerels with black
in back. Hence, my advice on my favorite mating
as given in the Reliable several years ago. I like
black point* in the females as well as in the males and
breed for it by mating my darkest males and females to-
gether sometimes. I like black mottling in the foot feath-
ering of the females as well as in the males, and believe it
is impossible to get uniformity of color in our females
where it should be and maintain it, unless I breed as above
I always have some specimens of Light Brahmas that I
especially like, because I like shape as well as color, and
color as well as shape, in both males and females. Despite
the years of breeding this noble breed, I believe most breed-
ers, like myself, are very far from obtaining the acme of
perfection, but the few females I have have almost solid
black nights, heavy hackle edged with pure white, tails
black to the skin, with two or three rows of coverts edged
with white, deep blue under-color in backs and throughout
the plumage, heavy leg and toe feathering, mottled with
A Pen of Mrs. Ella Thomas' Mammoth I^ight Brahmas.
black, presenting the Brahma hen and pullet absolutely
beautiful to me.
When it comes to pounds of meat and eggs in a year,
with a combination of beauty in shape and color of this
grand old breed, the west certainly leads at present, and has
for some years. After fourteen years' experience in mating
our gains and losses in mating for certain points. I keep
a number of such hens as a reserve of color, to increase the
and breeding this noble bird, I cannot agree with some of
our fanciers (I trust they will pardon me for this assertion)
who purchase many winning birds and advocate the same
methods as we of the west do, although some of them claim
to despise our methods. They will come to them by and by
when the successfully establish and breed their own strain.
Those who contend for pure white in under-color in all
their birds will find to their sorrow, when too late, that they
will soon sacrifice the beautiful rich, glossy black wings,
tails and coverts that are plentiful in the west. Brother and
sister fanciers, avoid as much as lies in your power the char-
coal under-color. Do not cast away those grand old hens
that have some black spots in backs, even if they have some
charcoal under-color, when they have the needful color in
wings, tail and hackle. Cultivate and work for the even,
bluish under-color throughout the entire plumage and to
extend one-half or one-third the length of the feathers from
the skin outward, and this, when everything is favorable,
will give us black wings and pure white surface color. We
do not need to breed for black on head to retain these char-
acteristics if we use judgment and pay strict attention to
color of birds in my own or my customers* hands that are
too light and to produce extra fine dark males with no dis-
qualification, and this I do by mating black and white males,
that is intense color where it is most needed, and I do this
by mating these very fine males to such hens or pullets.
We must breed our birds in such a manner as to produce
a strain that will reproduce good specimens in the hands of
the purchaser, or we fail to make a breeder of the
purchaser. I find that by breeding carefully for blue
under-color throughout the plumage and keeping in re-
serve the darkest old .
hens that are free from
black in back, to mate
with, a male near the
I can produce offspring
that secures the high-
est honors in many big
I am heart and soul
for the advancement of
the Light Brahma, and
am full of solicitude
for the co-operation of
the breeders in all
parts of our country,
feeling that whatever
is for the good of one
part of the country
would eventually be
for the good of all. Let
the west and east,
north and south, all
work for the advance-
ment of this worthy va-
riety, for you know "in
union there is strength"
and in union of minds
there will be mutual
benefit, and aid in producing harmony and _ zeal among
breeders in perfecting the fine points of our birds, in secur-
ing vigor, great laying qualities, perfecting them as a prac-
tical fowl, breeding for that beautiful shaped body that is
their characteristic, increasing the rich black markings and
bluish under-color that gives so beautiful a white surface
color. The whole, a grand make-up that never has and
never can be attained by any other breed than the Light
In this article I have endeavored to give plainly, so that
a novice can understand it, a description of my methods of
mating this variety which after years of careful study and
painstaking experience I believe to be correct and best cal-
culated to advance the worth and popularity of the variety
from a fancier's viewpoint, while preserving to the
greatest extent the true value of the fowl for all practical
purposes. ' I am aware that the opinions of many, whose
experience and success entitle them to consideration, will
not agree with mine, but no other methods have given me
so much satisfaction.
MRS. ELLA THOMAS.
LIGHT BRAHMA TAILS.
The Advent of Laced Coverts on Females and a Prophecy
That They Will Yet Be Required on Males,
By George Pukdue.
CONVERSATION with Mr. Sewell at the late New
York show, during which we discussed the progress
that had been made in Light Brahmas, brought to
both our minds the pullet "Progress" that was ex-
hibited art; the first show held by the "New York Poultry
and Pigeon Association" in the American Institute Building
of Ntfw York City fifteen years ago. At that time Mr.
Sewell made me the accompanying cut and it was published
the same year in the Poultry Monthly of Albany.
This was the first pullet ever shown with tail coverts
laced. For a number of years I had been trying to bring it
out in a creditable and well devised manner. In those days
the east was still tolerating tire score cardi and you can im-
agine how I felt when I found the judge had cut her three
on the tail. He had run against something so foreign to
the ordinary tail of the day that he made as heavy an im-
pression as was possible. At the present time a female that
has not a laced tail is not a show bird and' there is not any
question in any breeder's mind but that it has done more to
beautify the breed than any other one development.
Did you ever stop to think that it is within the limits of
nature to have every covert and saddle feather in a Light
Brahma male laced and that it would add to the beauty just
as much as the coverts have to the female. I know many of
the wise judges will shake their heads and turn thorn down
just the same as they did the pullet "Progress" fifteen years
ago; but it will come just the same, and when it does it will
be one more stride toward beautifying the breed.
of this character, nor do I advise young breeders to go in too
strong, but keep "Progress" in mind; increase your color;
educate your judges; show them what quality to. At the
time "Progress" was shown the standard requirement was a
Illustration by Sewell of JLaced Tail Coverts on a Light Brahma
Cockerel exhibited at the recent New York Show
by George Purdue,
clean back. As the color of the breed increased disqualifi-
cation for black was modified to "prevalent" in the back. I
do trust that the next step will be to wipe out every dis-
qualification except for fraud. The American Standard has
done more to retard the progress of the Light Brahma than
it has ever done good and has kept the Light Brahma twen-
ty years behind what it should be. My standard consists of
that which is most beautiful to the eye and without it we
cannot make progress. Shape and color well de-
fined is quality. GEORGE PURDUE.
Light Brahmas as Market Fowls.
taced Coverts of Iyight Brahma Pullet exhibited at the First New York
sketched by Mr. Sewell fifteen years ago in illustration of '-the first
ever shown" with covert lacing; Bred, owned and exhibited
k George Purdue, Proprietor, Norwood Farm.
We exhibited in the New York show last winter three
cockerels, from one of which Mr. Sewell made the illustra-
tion which appears in connection herewith.
This article is not written to encourage the sale of birds
Of those who first took up the raising of mar-
ket poultry and made it a special and profitable
feature of their business, a considerable propor-
tion pinned their faith to the Light Brahma. Those
in particular who catered to the demand for roast-
ing chickens, which combine large size and soft,
tender flesh, found this variety well suited to their
use. Their experience indicated that the smaller
breeds, approaching maturity earlier, could not be
brought to the size and weight required to obtain
the highest price without acquiring enough hard-
ness of flesh and toughness of muscle to graduate
them from the quality desired.
A good majority of the large growers of these
birds prefer this variety to-day and some dealers
will pay a higher price for the Light Brahma car-
cass, assuming that the name guarantees the qual-
ity to some degree. The wisdom of this choice
of variety is proved by frequent, well authenticated
reports of sales involving numbers of these Brahma
roasters at over two dollars per head. James Ran-
kin stated in the Reliable Poultry Journal that he raised a
flock of this variety to roaster size and disposed of them at a
price which netted him ?5 an hour for the time he bestowed
upon them. H. A. NOURSE.
RELIABLE FoWTRY JouRWb' 4 4%&*T
STANDARD BRED DARK BRAHMAS— By Sewell.
The Dark Brahma is a favorite with fanciers who are familiar with its beauty and utility. The contrast of black and silvery white on the male,
so distributed as to render it most effective, and the dark penciling with gray ground of the female,
added to their great size, place this variety in a class of its own.
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS WITH DARK BRAHMAS.
The Value of This Variety for Eggs and Meat— The Colors of the Male and Female Described-
Useful Hints Upon Mating for Best Results.
By Ohahles A. Ballou.
THIS breed is one of the oldest established breeds in
America, and I can say, after twenty-dive years
breeding them, that it is one of the best. They are
extra fine layers of rich, brown eggs; mature about
six weeks earlier than their cousins, the Light Brahmas,
and my experience has been that they will lay more, though
not so large eggs. For table fowls, they cannot be beat. In
competition with nearly all varieties at the Rhode Island
exhibition they won first three years in succession; first for
plumpness and first for best dressed poultry in the hall.
For broilers they are excellent; any time after the age of six
weeks they are ready to kill and a more toothsome piece
of flesh cannot be found.
The hens make fine sitters and good mothers. They
will commence laying while with their chicks and care for
the chicks just the same. The chicks are very hardy and un-
der ordinary care there is no need of losing many. Feed them
well, keep them growing and no breed will show a more
rapid improvement than they will.
It requires no fitting process to get them ready for the
show room. They are always dressed for exhibition, their
color being such that it needs no washing or cleaning, if
their surroundings are kept reasonably clean.
They can be kept anywhere and under all conditions.
They always look well, the male bird having a stately car-
riage, a clean silvery white head, with a fine pea comb and
a beautiful hackle, with a dark stripe running down the cen-
ter and a pure silver edging to each feather. The back is
of medium length and a pure, silvery white in color. The
breast, although required to be pure black, is never so pretty
as when evenly mottled with silver, and males so marked
are particularly valuable to breed from to secure evenly pen-
ciled pullets. The tail should be black with flowing sickle
feathers, lesser sickles with black centers edged with silvery
white, like the saddle feathers. Wings must have a beauti-
ful black bar and the outer edge of the flight feathers silvery
The female presents a pure steel gray head, darker than
that of the male. Neck, the same color as in the males.
Back and breast must be gray penciled, not barred, with a
pure steel gray, the lines of penciling following the contour
of the feather.
Don't think you must have a solid black breast in the
male; when you find a nice evenly mottled breast you will
find a bird with cleaner color on hackle and hack and one
more likely to he free from yellow. A certain cock bird
that won first at Boston and special for best shape and color
had a fine evenly mottled breast. Be careful in your nutt-
ings; the Dark Brahma is one of the hardest birds to breed
that there is in the Standard. Never use a short backed,
high tailed male, but if you have a female that is short in
back, that is extra good otherwise, it is safe to mate her to
a long backed male, but if you have none such to use you
had better discard ber entirely.
Another great trouble is with foot and toe feathering.
This is hard to reto-in and I know of only one way to keep
the feet and legs properly feathered, which is by using,
occasionally, vulture hocked hens and pullets, never sacri-
ficing an extra nice female because of this defect; but never
use a vuitured male, unless for some special purpose and
then only as a last resort. It is not advisable to use a male
with a poor comb, my experience having proven that the
male exerts far the greater influence upon the combs of the
l?irst Prize Dark Brahma Hen at Ontario. 1904. Exhibited by ly. C. Sage.
chicks. As in other breeds, we must look to the female for
size and we have always found it advisable to use females
of large size and males of medium size in preference to large
males and hens of medium Size or smaller.
That this meritorious variety is not more widely bred is
due principally to ignorance of its practical qualities. Its
beauty is universally admitted and any one securing stock
from an up-to-date strain and giving them the intelligent
attention necessary to achieve success with any variety will
have no cause to look further for an all purpose fowl.
The future of the variety is in the hands of its breeders
and they should not fail to give it the prominence it de-
serves. The quality is there, but it needs to be made known.
This is the advice of a breeder who has bred this fine
Asiatic variety for twenty-five years. C. A. BALLOU.
RELIABLE Pol/LTRY J°l/fmAL
/J ^^ I DtAL DARK BRAHMA CHART
CHART OF IDEAL DARK BRAHMA MALE.
Illustrating the Distribution of Color as Required by the American Standard of Perfection.
The above chart is prepared to assist in a correct understanding of the ideal shape and color of individual feathers in all sections of Dark
Brahma males. It is, so far as it goes, an illustrated standard of these requirements; the outline too, is that of an ideal
standard-bred well matured Brahma cockerel. By studying this chart section by section the breeder may be-
come familiar with standard requirements to the extent that he can better select from his own flock
the birds most desirable for breeding and exhibition and so be aided in his
efforts to produce the correct type in Dark Brahma males.
IDEAL DARK BlWnrift
CHAET OF IDEAL DARK BRAHMA FEMALE.
Illustrating the Distribution of Color as Required by the American Standard op Perfection.
The above chart is prepared to assist in a correct understanding of the ideal shape and color of individual feathers in all sections of Dark
Brahma females. It is, so far as it goes, an illustrated standard of these requirements; the outline, too, is that of an ideal stand-
ard-bred, well matured Brahma pullet. By studying this chart section by section, the breeder may become familiar
with standard requirements to the extent that he can better select from his own flock the birds
most desirable for breeding and exhibition and so be aided in his efforts
to produce the correct type in Dark Brahma females.
BREEDING DARK BRAHMAS.
Double Mating of This Variety AdYocated-The Matings Described-Caring for the Laying Stock-
Feeding, Yarding and Housing the Growing Chicks.
By L. 0. Sage.
UCH lias been said and much more remains to be
said regarding the mating, breeding and rearing
of the Dark Brahma fowls. Good judgment must
be used in selecting the birds to be mated if the
best results are to be obtained. In the first place, two pens
are necessary, one for pullet and the other for cockerel
breeding. When breeding for the latter a healthy cock or
cockerel must be selected; one with nice shaped head, the
hackle a pure black' and white, and both hackle and saddle
well striped. The top parts must be free from red and of
a silvery white; the under parts black, and tail well spread,
a. glossy black and free from white. The feet must show
mo sign of white feathers or vulture hock. He should have
an upright, graceful carriage. Now the hens that are mated
to such a bird should be large, well feathered, good shape
and the less marking they have the better, or mottled breasts
in the cockerels will be the result. Always avoid the Cochin
shaped hen When mating for show pullets and get a cock or
cockerel as good in all points as possible, but he should have
First Prize Dark Brahma Cockerel at Toronto and I^ondon, 1903,
Exhibited by I,. C. Sage,
hackle and saddle well penciled. His top parts sivery white,
with fluff a good black nicely laced with white, and breast
evenly mottled. The head small and well sbaped.
The hens or pullets for this pen should be a good steel
gray in color, well penciled all over, especially on the fluff
and well up to the throat, with hackle well striped. From
such matings you would surely get good show birds. You
may often get a good cockerel from a pullet breeding pen,
but never a good show pullet from a cockerel breeding pen.
Many breeders, especially beginners, have been heard to com-
plain that the Dark Brahma is not a good egg producer.
But it can be proved that if properly fed they will lay as
well as any other breed. The fault with moet breeders is
that they get the females too fat. One thing must be borne
in mind, not to overfeed them.
Give a good feed of dry oats in the morning and let
them scratch around until noon. Then give a mash made
of table scraps mixed up dry with shorts and bran, and
for a last meal, a generous feed of mixed grain. On this
diet the hens will lay their share of eggs and keep in good
In winter when kept in confinement it is well to give
green food in the shape of cabbage or turnips hung up within
easy reach and plenty of grit. Never allow them to drink
stale or mucky water.
The most satisfactory way of feeding chicks to avoid
the many complaints they are liable to have, is to wait
until they are about twenty-four hours old. Then give dry
bread crumbs and hard boiled eggs chopped fine, shell and
all, for a few days, then a variety of small or crushed grains,
millet seed and grit; feed four or five times a day. Do not
keep food lying around to get stale, as this is the chief cause
of bowel trouble in young chicks. Let them have only
enough feed to eat up clean. Give them plenty of fresh
water or milk in a shallow dish until they are large enough
to reacb the drinking fount.
At the age of three months they should be fed only
three times a day. Give grain in the morning, at noon mash
the same as the old birds have and the evening meal should
be of grain, with a little green ground bone or meat just
before going to roost.
It is a good plan to put a little flowers of sulphur in
their mash at noon about twice each month when they are
finishing out, as it aids the growth of the feathers.
Growing chicks must have shade as well as sunshine.
If there are no trees for shade a good substitute may be had
by growing a few groups of sunflowers or hills of corn in
the yard where they run. This will answer the purpose,
besides providing food, as it is a fact that fowls fed a few
sunflower seeds once a day will add a nice gloss to their
feathers. Chicks should not be over-crowded at night, for
if given plenty or room they will grow faster.
This last point is all important, but is often neglected
by those who otherwise take the best of care of their chicks.
The coops in which to spend the hot summer nights
should be wholly open or covered with wire on at least one
side and provision made for protecting the inmates in stormy
weather without cutting off their supply of air.
By following the rules laid down here you will have
good and strong, vigorous birds, as I have proved by twen-
ty-five years' experience as a breeder of the Dark Brahma
fawl - L. C. SAGE.
The Value of All Varieties of Cochins for Practical Purposes— The Best Method of Feeding and
Housing Growing Chicks and Mature Fowls— A Discussion of the Principles of Mating
Standard Cochins, and Instruction in Preparing for Exhibition.
By J. D. Nevius.
ANY years ago, just at the close of the war. 1 be-
came attracted towards the tien most popular
Shanghai or Cochin fowl. There was something
about their general appearance and attractiveness
of color that led me to select the Buff Cochin fowls and to
follow them continually from that day to the present time.
During the past thirty-five years I have kept constantly in
touch with all the advancements and improvements made
in the Cochin family. To speak of itheir early history would
simply carry us back to the opening day of the gates of
Pekin to the English, about 1840. From that time on there
came to England and this country specimens of the Asiatic
type of fowls of many kinds and colors, and the colors most
irregular and unattractive.
From these several types, kinds and colors of Asiatic
fowls have been built up the four varieties of Cochins, also
the two varieties of Brahmas and the Langshans might
well be classed with them. The most interesting part of
Cochin history is the fact that the American fanciers, of
which I am so pleased to be one, have contended from
the very first for a true Cochin type and distinctive high
class coloring. Long legs, flat breasts and stiff hocks should
be discarded and kept out and away from $he entire Cochin
It cannot but be admitted that the full rounded breast
and the proper Cochin formation adds not only to their
beauty, but to their value as well for market poultry. Free
range is of benefit to all poultry, and while the Cochins will
stand confinement when properly cared for and fed, better
than almost any other poultry, they gain equal advantage
with others through having a free range. The trouble that
confronts us in the confinement of Cochins is that they are
apt to become too fat, but if they are largely fed on oats,
either clipped or hulled, wheat and but little fattening food
they will do very well.
I give my young growing Cochins after they are six or
eight weeks old, the free range of a three acre orchard that
has been sown with oats in the spring. What they do not
consume as green food ripens and is eaten in that condition.
In addition to this they are fed all the whole wheat, cracked
corn and mixed food that they can be induced to eat until
grown to maturity.
There is a general misunderstanding as to the ability of
Cochins to produce eggs. It is not unusual at all to have
early hatched pullets begin laying in October and continue
a profitable egg production throughout the entire winter.
It is largely a question of proper care and feeding. When
Cochins are properly fed they are quite as apt to produce,
a large egg yield as are any oi our meat or general purpose
fowls. It is not reasonable to compare the egg yield of
Cochins with the Mediterranean family, they producing so
much more flesh and feather than is produced by the non-
sitting varieties. At the same time I am fully satisfied that
equal profit can be made from the Cochins "as market poul-
try and eggs as from any of the breeds.
I feed the laying hens but very little corn, depending
almost entirely upon wheat, oats, buckwheat and mixsd food
largely made from the products of wheat, and in addition to
this ground oats and cut clover. My mixture is two parts
of fresh cut clover, two parts ground oats, one part ground
meal. This is fed once a day in reasonable quantity. There
cannot be any set rule for all to follow in the selection of
foods for the Cochins. The surroundings and advantages
at gaining good food products for egg production may be
different in one locality than in another, but you may ,rest
assured that when you wish to have eggs from Cochins, you
must feed for eggs, make them exercise and work for parts
of their grain food the same as other poultry. The relative
value of the Cochins as egg producers in my experience
seems to be as follows: Whites, Blacks, Partridge and
Buffs. Whites and Blacks lay the largest egg and the Part-
ridge the smallest, their advantage over the Buffs being
that they produce a larger number of eggs.
It has always been my earnest endeavor to select my
matings of such a quality as to make it almost unnecessary
to sell any of the chickens for table poultry. For this rea-
son we seldom have enough of the inferior quality to fur-
nish our own family table. My former partner, one of the
largest buyers and shippers of dressed poultry in this state,
much prefers a Cochin or a Cochin cross to any of the varie-
ties that he can purchase in heavy poultry, the meat being
remarkably fine, tender, juicy and soft.
FEEDING FOR GROWTH.
In feeding my young chicks I have always selected that
manner of food which seemed to get the greatest size in the
shortest possible time. In this we must consider the grow-
ing of bone and muscle as well as flesh.
Feed for growth, feed for bone, feed for size and trust
to add the flesh and fat when necessary for exhibition pur-
poses when the time for finishing for the show arrives.
While I have never kept the increased weight month by
month in the growing chicks, I experience no trouble what-
ever in having full grown Cochins ready for the fall fairs
in September and October. One «of the largest Cochins that
I ever saw I raised in 1901, at eleven months old. This cock-
erel weighed fourteen and a half pounds. I have known
some Partridge Cochin hens in show condition to weigh
twelve and a half pounds.
Never have experienced much trouble in leg weakness.
This I have avoided by feeding plenty of bone forming
foods. When Cochins are grown on a soil that has the nat-
ural influence that comes from a limestone sub-soil, they
do not need so much care and attention in the feeding of
bone forming material. Bone meal, green cut bone and any
good food material that adds the proper element for bone
forming and strong growth may be used to advantage to
keep away the trouble of leg weakness. There is another
kind of leg weakness which comes as the result of attempt-
ing to raise poultry in low, damp places. The Leghorns are
quite as apt to be affected by these conditions as are the
During the summer months and up to the time that
is far better not to waste time and money in trying to im-
prove the condition of such as will not grow and feather
properly on solid, wholesome grain, cut green bone, bone
meal and beef scrap.
My growing chicks have all the wheat, hulled oats and
cracked corn that they will eat. In addition to this they are
fed once a day with a rich mash food composed of ground
meal, ground oats., wheat bran and beef scrap. A self-sup-
plying feed box full of bran is aways at hand where they
can help themselves. One hundred young chicks will eat
up one-half bushel of bran from a feed hopper jn about two
weeks. If the feed hopper is kept perfectly, sheltered from
rain and a little catch box kept under the feed hopper there
will be very little of it wasted. That which falls into the
catch box can be either put back into the hopper or made
use of in the mash feed. Statements above as to the feed-
ing of the old fowls may be considered. To make it more
plain, the absolute rule for feeding Cochins with me is to
feed them strongly on egg forming foods throughout the
entire year, except when in molt, when they are fed more
fattening foods to assist in renewing their coat of feathers.
You must watch the Cochins continually or they will get too
fat to be useful.
POINTS ON MATING COCHINS.
In mating your Cochins perfect Cochin type must have
A Group of Colony Houses and Yards, occupied by J. D. Nevius' White Cochins.
orf.ii, frosty weather is at hand, my growing stock is left
oul in the orchard :n open or slatted colony houses. When
the cold weather necessitates removing them indoors, they
are housed in colony houses, made as plain as they can pos-
sibly be, that stand in the center of large sized enclosures,
great attention being paid to have them perfectly dry, free
from damp or drafts and constructed so that they may have
proper ventilation, with plenty of floor space and roosts, the
latter being hung very close to the floor. These may be easily
removed for cleaning and quite accessible to the heavy
Cochin, leaving the floor space free for the poultry and the
nests. I prefer cheese boxes for my Cochin hens to lay in.
Around these colony houses are four feet wire fences, which
seem to be all that is needed for the confinement of Coch-
ins, either young or old.
There is very little trouble in our section of the country
with the young growing Cochins being bare of feathers for
many weeks, or even months, as in some localities. From
experience I can say but little as to this, but my informa-
tion is that it is caused largely through the lack of having
plenty of feather forming foods. Usually young Cochins
that do not feather out for several months never amount
to anything and it would be money saved, as well as time
and trouble, to destroy such as soon as you notice their in-
clination not to grow a coat of feathers. We have seen the
recommendation of many who advocate feeding a mixture
of pulverized bone, beef scrap and iron. We believe that it
the first cons, .'oration. Mate together the very finest
shaped Cochics .-ou can possibly select and remember that
you cannot hope in have good colored offspring unless you
have the finest possiole color in the parent birds. Do not
hope to grow good colored Buff Cochins from poorly colored
parents. This is equally true of the Whites and Blacks.
When selecting your matings for Partridge Cochins, in ad-
dition to the very finest of form, you must have absolutely
the very best of color and marking in the females from which
you hope to grow your pullets, and they must be mated to
males that are strong and rich in the blood lines of the
females that are the best producers. It is a well known
and established fact that the rich mahogany color of the
female with a distinctive pencilling is the only thing that
can win at the present time. You must have this color and
this pencilling of the highest character upon females of the
most exclusive Cochin form and feather or you need no!
hopo to win in Partridge Cochin alley.
In mating Partridge Cochins many follow the doubU
mating system. In using this system you would mate for
females as above described. For males choose the -very
darkest colored specimens, both males and females, the
males having a very dark red top color, very heavily stripe!
with metallic black. Such matings when followed up year
after year produce the richest colored males. I have, how-
ever, always followed the single mating plan, mating the
very highest character and type of form and color for fe-
males and depending upon these matlngs 10 produce my
exhibition males. You cannot have too much feather on
your Cochins, providing you do not have any vulture hocks.
The only advantages to be gained in the use of cockerels
over cock birds is in their greater activity and vigor. I
would rather have a few chicks bred from males and fe-
males in their second year than double the number from
birds in their first year of production. The very best of
size, shape and color comes from the very finest two year
old hens. You need not hope to have large sized offspring
from under sized Cochin hens.
It is quite as difficult to produce fine color in the Buffs,
Blacks and Whites as in the Partridge. You must always
select the very best color and under color for the reproduc-
tion of all varieties of Cochins. Some prefer a lemon, some a
darker, verging on a cinnamon. I myself prefer the very
best of rich golden buff, but perfect evenness of color
throughout is of the greatest importance.
There are a few features in the breeding of the fowls
that have the same influence with Cochins as with the others.
These are bad combs, ugly, ill-formed heads, long ungainly
wing bow on either your male or your female. Always
select good even colored specimens to breed from. Do not
have anything to do with mixed or mealy colors. In Buffs,
when you know that they were formerly of good even color,
any slightly uneven or mottled plumage need not be so much
feared. Always mate together nearly even shades, having
a male just a little darker than the female. Mealiness and
bad color in Buff Cochins come largely from pairing to-
gether uneven shade. Undercolor is of the greatest import-
ance. A male should always have a good rich undercolor,
for color comes largely from the male, and it is always best
to have good undercolor in both male and female. A line
of Cochins that has been bred with care in the selection of
surface and undercolor is much more apt to produce and
maintain a good even shade than a promiscuous selection
from many flocks. ,
BLACK AND WHITE EQUALLY OBJECTIONABLE
The Standard tells us that white or black in the plum-
age of the Buff Cochin fowl is equally objectionable. The
facts are that if there is white in wings and undercolor of
Two Breeding Pens of Buff Cochins— Owned by J. D. Nevius,
backs and vulture hocks. These features seem to transmit
most readily in the Cochin, but one could scarcely meet with
any so neglectful of their interests as to use birds showing
such defects in their breeding pens. When you have in
view the production of Cochins for the show room, tbe most
difficult problem is to unite the three points that are de-
manded in all exhibition Cochins — form, feather and color.
If you do not have Cochin shape, you do not show Cochins.
If your Cochins lack feather, there is but little chance for
them to succeed in the show room, and after you have the
form and feather, if you lack in color, you again fail. The
successful Cochin breeder must unite all three of these qual-'
ities if he would be successful.
There is a natural loss of color in the Buff variety.
There is no way to guard again this; every one is fully ac-
quainted with the fact that Buff is the very hardest color in
the world to produce and to retain. All shades become mo^e
or less mottled. This shows more distinctly in the dark col-
ored females and is caused by bad molting. We have seen
some of these mottled hens, dry plucked at molting time,
that grew a very smooth, rich coat of feathers quite unlike
that of the season before.
Never tolerate in any of your breeding stock the red
either the males or the females, it has a tendency to pro-
duce lighter colored offspring. With black shadings in
wings or tail this has an influence in the opposite direction,
as it is apt to produce dark body colors. Personally I have
much less fear for white than for black. I always prefer
and select, so far as possible, even, true colors and mate
them together. In reckoning for defects in the show room,
you must follow the law of the Standard, which says black
or white shading in wing or tail shall be considered alike
As to the coloring of Partridge Cochins, what we all
aim for is to have the neck color of the male and the female
exactly as demanded by the Standard. Bright red for the
male, with a distinctive black stripe, the same for the fe-
male. But whenever you establish a long line of high
quality penciled females, you will find that the shade and
color of neck become very much lighter, and ofttimes
almost as much penciled as the body plumage itself. We
all prefer to have the exact color demanded in the Standard,
but I have not met with a half dozen females in the past
three years that possessed both the proper color and pencil-
ling of body plumage and the Standard demand for color
in neck. We must all strive to gain the color and markings
of neck exactly as described in the Standard, but it is better
by far to have a weak colored neck than to have bad body
coloring and pencilling. I always find that the finest col-
ored offspring come from the pen of birds that are mated
exactly as described for the exhibition pen, provided they
have been bred in line long enough to establish the influence
that comes from such matings. It is almost useless to hope
to produce high class Partridge Cochins from chance mat-
Formerly there was some trouble in getting the proper
size in White Cochins. Years of selection and of using the
very largest White Cochin females as producing stock, to
be secured by hatching them early and feeding them plen-
tifully throughout the whole season, have very much im-
proved the size, and the size of the Black Cochins has been
improved in the same way until it is not unusual to see
White and Black Cochins fully the equal in size of the other
varieties. Whites are just as apt to have had color in the
plumage as are any other white fowls. This can be bred
out and kept out through care in selecting pure white plum-
age in your producing stock. The shanks of all Cochins
have a tendency to a little bad color, from the fact that
they are so completely covered with feathers that but little
of them is seen. Buff Cochins and White Cochins have nat-
urally rich colored yellow shanks and there is but little
trouble in getting them to equal the Standard demand ex-
cept that they lose a little of their color win age.
The shanks of he Partridge Cochin and Black Cochin
are of a darker shade of color than the others, and there is
less trouble experienced in having them of the proper Stan-
dard color. One great trouble with Cochins of all kinds is
that they seem to be more afflicted with scaly legs than
some breeds, and it is hard to get this out when once it gets
a hold. The way to prevent it is never to make use of
Cochin females for mother hens that have this affliction,
for so sure as you do, all the young chicks that such a hen
raises to maturity will be afflicted in like manner.
In preparing birds for the show room, you must have
them in the very finest of health and condition, absolutely
clean throughout, and their foot feathering as well pre-
served as possible. Foot feathering is usually kept in good
shape for exhibition by keeping the fowls on dry sand,
feeding them all their food from troughs or boxes and never
inducing them to scratch or break the foot feathering.
J. D. NEVIUS. .
WtlWmmi wmml m
ill '-, m m.
Standard Bred Buff Cochins— By Sewell.
COCHIN MALE SHAPE.
Criticisms of Foremost Judges and Cochin Breeders on a Composite Ideal From Live Models, Drawn
by Franklane L. Sewell— A Collection of Opinions That Are in Themselves Authority on
the Ideal Shape of a Standard Cochin Male.
From the Reliable Poultry Journal.
'E PRESENT the following criticisms of Artist F.
L. Sewell's delineation of Standard Cochin male
shape offered by those most interested in the
Cochin fancy in an honest endeavor to secure a
more uniform type for the guidance of breeders and judges:
G. 0. Brown, Maryland, judge and breeder: "The male
appears too much wedge-shaped, lacks fullness of both
breast and fluff in comparison with height. Comb too far
front. "Wattles too large and should not fold. Leg and toe
feathering a trifle too full for American Cochins, but if
full feathered or English is to become the prevailing fash-
ion, all right. Short in neck in comparison with size of
F. H. Shellabarger, Iowa, judge and breeder: "The
cochin male as submitted is, in my judgment, too high up
to his back from his feet. Or, in other words, strip his
thighs and shanks of the feathering and his legs would be
long enough for a Brahma. His neck is also full short for
the proportion he shows otherwise. His wattles are also a
trifle long for a Cochin."
George H. Northup, New York, judge and breeder:
"Cochin male nearly perfect, wattles a little too long, breast
not quite full enough. Too much length from lower edge of
wing to bottom of feet. I do not notice any other section
that can be improved."
D. T. Heimlich, Illinois, judge and breeder: "The
Cochin male appears entirely too high on legs and too short
in neck. The leg feathering and the feathering under breast
are entirely out of proportion to the size of his body. Back,
tail and body shape are all 0. K. If the breast were a little
deeper it would make an improvement in his appearance."
S. L. Roberts, California, judge and breeder: "The first
impression one receives from the Cochin male etching is
that the distance from center of back to foot is too great.
Shorn of the shank and toe feathers the bird would appear
very stilted. Head is not carried forward as Cochins carry
their heads. Upper mandible of beak is blunt. Comb is
small for massiveness of bird. Breast is too full at throat
and down to point of keel. Neck is too short. Shoulder is
held too low. Fluff is not heavy enough latterly on thigh.
Tail is too rounded and blunt. The etching is evidently
done to meet the requirements of the modern bunch of
plumes known as Buff Cochin, whereas it should have con-
formed to a composite Cochin type; for, sad to say, all
Cochins are not characteristically of same form, as now
bred. In some respects I like the work very well."
Theo. Hewes, Indiana, judge and breeder: "The outline
Mr. Sewell has furnished does not leave very much room for
any one to pick flaws. The position of the bird makes him
look as if he were standing on an uneven surface. I should
like the bird to show a little broader in breast, and a trifle
deeper; back broader and tail a little more upright. In
feathers he is immense and fits the new Standard well."
W. S. Russell, Iowa, judge and breeder: "Male bird is
not deep enough in body. Is too narrow in breast, too
scanty in fluff, too short in back. The bird in total is too
high for his depth."
H. S. Babcock, Rhode Island, judge and breeder: "The
Cochin male from top of back to bottom of feet is too long;
too pronounced a V in the whole outline. Otherwise very
good, though personally I prefer to see the legs a little bet-
H. B. Savage, Texas, judge and breeder: "Male — Well,
these illustrations, to my mind, are so near perfection that
there is little left to say. Would like the neck a trifle longer,
breast a little more plump, and legs a trifle shorter, with
fluff a little heavier."
A. B. Shaner, Illinois, judge and breeder: "The head
shows a little coarse, wattles are too long. Neck should be
short, but in my judgment, the one submitted is a trifle too
short. The convex curve of back is a trifle sharp. Lower
breast might be a little fuller. In general, he stands in a
trifle too much of a neck-drawn-in posture."
C. H. Rhodes, Kansas, judge and breeder: "I consider
the cut of Buff Cochin male about right; the outlines are
Oochiny all over. The great abundance of fluff and loose
feathering fills up all angles and represents a Cochin in
every sense of the word. I have no comments to make."
S. A. Rigg, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "In regard
to the etchings of Cochins, I think Mr. Sewell must be a
mind reader. The male is exactly the mental picture I have
always formed of ideal Cochin shape, though I must confess
I can not get my hens to see it just that way."
F. B. Donisthorpe, Nebraska, breeder of Buff Cochins:
"I do not wish to criticise too severely friend Sewell, for I
am a lover of his work, but I cannot help thinking that in
sketching this male he had not fully obliterated from his
mind the old English Shanghai that we used to raise twen-
ty-five or thirty years ago. I apply this simply and solely
to the height of the bird. I think that if about an inch
were taken off from the height we should have a better
Cochin shape. Of course, to-day we are breeding for a
'blocky' bird. We want to get, if possible, a ball of feath-
ers. I admire very much, indeed, the tail of the male, neither
too high nor too low. I have been trying for the last two
years to have my males so that a horizontal line could be
drawn from top of head to tip of tail. I would furthermore
criticise in a slight degree the comb of the male. I think
COCHIN MALE SHAPE— By Sewell.
Comprising the Best Points of Several Live Models, Drawn by Franklane L. Sewell lor the Reliable Poultry Journal and
Submitted to Prominent Judges and Breeders lor Criticism Based Upon Standard Requirements.
COCHIN MALE SHAPE— By Sewell.
An Ideal Cochin, Drawn by Franklane L. Sewell for the Reliable Poultry Journal, under the Suggestions of Prominent
Judges and Breeders— The Outcome of Criticism Upon the Cochin Male Shape Shown on the Opposite Page.
it a little too stumpy, and the serrations seem too blunt. I
like a fine serration, even on a Buff Cochin male. Of course
I want the comb thick next to the head."
O. B. Skinner, Kansas, breeder of Buff and Partridge
Cochins: "Referring to the Cochin cuts just received, I beg
to state that while this shape is fine to look at, if you un-
dertake to breed birds of this type, exactly, you would
surely fail in Standard weights. They are too short in back
and body. I am not criticising the shape to any extent, but
my judgment is, a longer back and body, or else less weight
for mature birds. I find my best shaped birds, like these
cuts, are always short on Standard weights, although I ad-
W. A. Ryon, Missouri, breeder of Buff Cochins: "The
proofs of Standard Cochins, as submitted by Mr. Sewell, are
just about the thing. He might make forty more and not
come so near the real Cochin shape. Were I to offer any
change it would be to have the male more 'English' or full
feathered, and bill just a little longer."
J. H. Parrish, Illinois, breeder of Partridge Cochins:
"The Cochin male cut is very fine. I do not see how it could
be improved. I am well peased with it."
Sid Conger, Indiana, breeder of Buff and Partridge
Cochins: "The male ought to be as long as he is high, but
Mr. Sewell has him two inches higher than long. The
wattles are too long and too much folded to be natural and
neat. He needs some trimming to make him more natural
Samuel S. Sherman, proprietor Banner Poultry Yards,
Iowa, breeder of Partridge Cochins: As regards the
Cochin male and female shape, as submitted, would say that
Mr. Sewell has certainly produced the ideal in the English,
or 'full feathered' class, and I, being a breeder of the Amer-
ican class only, would not attempt to 'split hairs' in a crit-
icism of the proofs submitted, but confess at once that I am
one of those old fogy fellows who cannot just keep up with
the extremes of the fad for bloomer legs and pillow cush-
ions, which latter almost conceal any appearance of backs
0. L. McCord, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "The
etchings of Cochin male and female shape received. I pro-
nounce them fine. I cannot see where there is any fault to
find with them."
Dr. A. Gaiser, Nebraska, breeder of Buff Cochins: "Pro-
file of Cochin male at hand. While the shape of male is
good, I like a little more breast, more fluff and a trifle
shorter legs, otherwise he suits me in every way."
Dan Robertson, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins:
"Etchings of Cochins received. The male suits me. Wish
I had one as good as he."
E. Dunstan, Mississippi, breeder of Buff and Partridge
Cochins: "Mr. Sewell's drawing of Buff Cochin male re-
ceived, and in offering my opinion as to its merits as a suit-
able sketch for a place in the Standard of Perfection, to
guide and govern Buff Cochin breeders in forming an out-
line, I would condemn same as not fit for such an exalted
position. The general outline of head and neck is suggestive
of Mr. Sewell's drawing of Royal Blue strain of Barred
Plymouth Rocks. Examine it by the wording of our Stan-
dard, which says: 'Wattles medium in length, well rounded,
fine in texture; ear lobes, large, etc' We find here tha wat-
tles long and coarse and ear lobes small. Standard also
says: 'Neck short, neatly curved.' The neck is certainly
short in the drawing, too short to suit my fancy, but the
neatly curved part should be condemned by all followers
of the Standard. Again it says: 'Breast broad, deep and
full.' The breast may be broad enough, but it is cartainly
not full enough to fill the requirements of the Standard.
In looking at the thighs, I should say they are one-third
longer than is demanded, to be symmetrical, but I am in-
clined to think the great length of thighs shown is caused
in part by the breast not being deep enough. On the whole,
it suggests to me a Shetland pony set up on a pair of ele-
phant's legs. Try again, Mr. Sewell. Give us something
from life; for instance, the bird -Oakland,' winner at Madi-
son Square Garden, January 2, and at Boston, January 26,
1897, which suits me much better than this drawing."
J. A. Ayers, Missouri, breeder of Buff and Partridge
Cochins: "The sketches of Buff Cochin male and female,
by Sewell, sent for criticisms, were received. For my part
I would lengthen the body of the male bird. I would ex-
tend the fluff farther back and the body farther forward of
the legs. The head is too nearly over the tegs for a Buff
Cochin. The comb extends too far back and fits too closely
down on the neck. The comb also extends a little too near
the end of beak. I would suggest he be a little deeper in
breast; he is a little too shallow from lowest point in back
to breast just in front of thighs. Otherwise he is tip-top."
E. T. Blood, manager Crescent Farm, Ohio, breeder of
Buff Cochins: "Our criticisms on the Sewell sketch of
Cochin male are: Male, too tall for length of body. Would
add to depth of breast and length of fluff at rear. Tail,
while nice in general shape and carriage, shows an unnat-
ural evenness in outline."
Robert M. Dale, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "This
bird appears to me very good with but few changes. In my
estimation the comb projects out over the beak too far and
is a trifle too high in front. The bird is also too high for
his length of body. If the legs were shortened a trifle I
think it would improve the bird in symmetry. With these
few changes would call the bird a winner of the blue."
George Clough, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "The
proof of Cochin male received and I must say it is hard to
find any fault with it. It is an excellent proof and suits
me, except that the wattles are too long."
Julius J. Klein, Illinois, breeder of Partridge Cochins:
"J think the male is perfect."
I. V. Hardy, Kansas, breeder of Buff Cochins: "The
drawing of the Cochin male appears to be overdone as to
feathering from breast down. I think the bird a trifle too
J. H. Lewis, manager of Hanlin Poultry Farm, Penn-
sylvania, breeders of Buff Cochins: "Outlines of Cochin
male and female received. I think the male is the better
of the two, though both are better than most breeders get
them. I would like the male's saddle not to rise so close to
hackle. Head a little too much crouched in feathers, mak-
ing wattles rest too much on feathers. Otherwise he would
COCHIN FEMALE SHAPE.
Criticisms of Foremost Judges and Cochin Breeders on a Composite Ideal, From Live Models, Drawn
by Franklane L. Sewell-A Collection of Opinions That Are in Themselves
Authority on the Ideal Shape of a Standard Female Cochin.
From the Reliable Poultry Journal.
THE wide difference of opinion expressed by judges and
breeders, in criticising the work of our foremost
poultry artist, is ample proof of the urgent need of
exactly such work as is being done along this line.
If we are to attain a greater uniformity of judging and
breeding, it must come through efforts of this kind. The
judge or breeder who is in earnest in his desire to progress
will not fail to give careful attention to these sketches and
George O. Brown, Maryland, judge and breeder: "The
female appears squatty. Shape makes her appear as if walk-
ing down-grade instead of standing on the level. Head car-
ried too low for the size of the cushion-^which is a trifle too
high, anyway. Oomb does not go far enough back on head.
Trifle short in neck in comparison with size of figure."
P. H. Shellabarger, Iowa, judge and breeder: "The
Cochin female is much the better of the two, yet her neck
should be a trifle longer, with the head increased in size to
harmonize with the rest of the drawing. The Standard
calls for a short neck on a Cochin compared with that of a
Brahma or Langshan, but it does not want to look like a
mud turtle on a fish line, nor to have a head so small that
it looks like the eye of a rhinoceros compared to the size of
George H. Northup, New York, judge and breeder: "The
female is just my idea of a Cochin hen, the embodiment of
my ideal when I was breeding them."
D. T. Heimlich, Illinois, judge and breeder: "The Buff
Cochin female is too short in the neck. The back breaks too
albruptly into the cushion. She does not show depth of
breast in proportion to general size. As a whole she repre-
sents well the fad now in vogue, without the practical feat-
ures so desirable in an utility fowl."
S, L. Roberts, California, judge and breeder: "The bird
appears to be taking a walk toward her keeper, evidently
looking for something to eat at his hands. Comb is too
small. Too great a sinus between cushion and joint of
hackle, and not enough at juncture of tail with cushion. Cut
breast away at center thereof a trifle, throw the head for-
ward some, and with the foregoing alterations I should con-
sider the study a good one."
Theo. Hewes, Indiana, judge and breeder: "The female
is overdrawn. The head should be pulled up a little and
some of the cushion taken away. I will not say a word aibout
this bird below the wings. She is elegant. But the cushion
runs too far forward. We do not want to call for something
that we cannot get. Modify it just a little and raise the tail
a sixteenth of an inch."
W. S. Russell, Iowa, judge and breeder: "The female
is good with the exception of back, which is too short, and
the convex sweep is too abrupt. I should prefer to see sweep
rise more gently."
H. S. BaJbcock, Rhode Island, judge and breeder: "The
cushion rises too abruptly from back and too near neck. A
very good cut, otherwise."
H. B. Savage, Texas, judge and breeder: "The female,
like the male, is a cracker-jack. I should prefer the head
just a little larger, breast a little deeper and just a trifle
more distance between the hackle and the rise of the cush-
A. B. Shaner, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "The
head shows ' coarseness. Beak is a trifle long. The cushion
is too large, and rises too sharply. Lower breast is not full
enough, and the tail is carried a trifle low."
C. H. Rhodes, Kansas, breeder of Black Cochins: "The
sfeetch of the female Would suit me better if the breast were
carried lower and were fuller in outline. The position may
have something to do with it. Otherwise it suits me."
S. A. Rigg, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "In the
female I make some objections. The cushion is a little too
abrupt in start from the back. The body seems not well
balanced — too much behind for what there is in front — looks
as if she were standing by muscular effort rather than an
easy equilibrium. Take her a section at a time and she is
faultless, but those fellows who are always rawhiding about
the symmetry cut can find use for it on this bird. These
drawings are great educators and are worth fifty times the
cost of a year's subscription to the breeder who wants to
keep 'up to snuff.' "
0. E. Skinner, Kansas, breeder of Buff and Partridge
Cochins: See page forty-six for criticism. Mr. Skinner
thinks birds of this type cannot be brought to Standard
weights for adults.
W. A. Ryon, Missouri, breeder of Buff Cochins:
fault to find with the female."
J. H. Parrish, Illinois, breeder of Partridge Cochins:
"The Cochin female cut I think could be improved a little
in cushion. It is most too long from rise to the point of tail.
Very good all over."
copyrighted by the
Reliable Poultry Journal
COCHIN FEMALE SHAPE— By Sewell.
Comprisina the Best Points of Several Live Models, Drawn by Franklane L. Sewell, for the Reliable Poultry Journal, and
Submitted to Prominent Judges and Breeders for Criticism Based Upon Standard Requirements.
Rfi ABlE PouW JO^'RNPL
COCHIN FEMALE SHAPE— By Sewell.
An Ideal Cochin, Drawn by Franklane L- Sewell, for the Reliable Poultry Journal, under the Suggestions of Prominent
Judges and Breeders— The Outcome of Criticisms Upon the Cochin Female Shape, Shown on the Opposite Page.
Sid Conger, Indiana, breeder of Buff and Partridge
Cochins: "The female should have one more point on comb,
and comb should not be so wide between the serrations; they
are hollowed out too much, not cut V-shaped enough. She
should hold her head up a little more, making it higher than
Sam S. Sherman, proprietor Banner Poultry Yards,
Iowa, breeder of Partridge Cochins: See page forty-six.
Mr. Sherman believes in more chicken, less feathers.
0. L. McCord, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins': Finds
no fault with this cut.
Dr. A. Gaiser, Nebraska, breeder of Buff Cochins: "The
female Cochin profile is before me, and if she were a little
fuller in the breast I should call her about perfect. I like
a very full breast in a Cochin.''
F. B. Donisthorpe, Nebraska, breeder of Buff Cochins:
"As to the female, my criticism in the first place would be,
breast not low enough. Breast should be at least five-
eighths of an inch lower, and I dislike the division as it ap-
pears between the foot and hock feathering. The leg feath-
ering is hardly full enough. The tail just suits me, it does
not droop like some, neither is it erect like others. I wish
we could have had color given, then there might have been
more room for criticism, but I would say candidly, as a Buff
Cochin breeder, if I could raise all my birds as good as the
proofs received, I should be perfectly satisfied."
J. A. Ayers, Missouri, breeder of Buff and Partridge
Cochins: "The female I would suggest be a little deeper iit
body from the lowest point in back to breast just in front
of thighs and her hackle a shade longer. Otherwise she is
O..K., and would be hard to improve on."
Dan Robertson, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "The
female would look better if she were fuller in lower part of
breast. That is about all I find bad about her."
Julius J. Klein, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "The
female suits me."
Robert M. Dale, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "Head
of female appears to me a little too small for size of body,
and beak is too large for such a small head. Otherwise to
me she appears good enough to win, and that is what we all
want. It will take a good one to etcb a better female than
the one now before me."
George Clough, Illinois, breeder of Buff Cochins: "I
am well satisfied with the shape of the female. I can find
no fault with it."
B. Dunstan, Mississippi, breeder of Buff and Partridge
Cochins: "I have received Mr. Sewell's drawing of Buff
Cochin female. Would say that I think comb too small and
it conforms a little too closely to shape of head. Beak not
curved enough and rather too masculine in appearance.
Whole head and neck set too far back. The live specimens
I have seen and admired have a more slanting, stooping
forward shape, and if a perpendicular line were dra .vn, com-
mencing at back of neck, it would strike the front part of
thigh and toe feathers, while this drawing shows a line from
eye would touch front feathers of thigh and toe, consequent-
ly the breast does not show either full or low enough. The
fluff and back parts would pass as Standard, but I am in-
clined to think the cushion rises too suddenly and is slightly
overdone in size."
E. T. Blood, manager Crescent Farm, Ohio, breeder of
Buff Cochins: "Female, head just a little bit small. Breast
carried a trifle high, not showing prominent enough in pro-
portion to fluff and cushion."
I. V. Hardy, Kansas, breeder of Buff Cochins: "With
the female it strikes me that her cushion rises a trifle too
abruptly, and that she would look better if the lower part of
breast were a trifle fuller."
J. H. Lewis, manager for Thomas and F. M. Sankey,
breeder of Buff Cochins: "Female cushion rises too ab-
ruptly and runs too high, making a hump on back. I like a
full cushion without so much hump. Point of tail too low.
Breast a trifle low, otherwise she suits me."
Frank W. Breed, California, judge: "It is difficult to
get a correct idea of this female's shape, owing to the poise
caught by the artist in illustrating his ideal. As here pre-
sented, the bird was caught in the act of stepping down and
off some object, thus throwing her weight on the extended
foot and consequently forcing her whole contour out of sym-
metry. Did she stand so as to give us a square side view
her neck would not be strong enough in arch and breast
would lack a trifle in depth. If main tail had more of a
tendency to point downward a rounded appearance would
be given to her cushion, thus adding to her beauty."
STANDARD BUFF COCHINS.
Their Introduction and Development in America— A Description of Standard Shape and Color of
Each Section— The Defects Found When Judging and the Penalty for Each— Selecting
and Mating to Produce Exhibition Specimens.
By 1. K. Pbloh, Associate Editor Eeliable Poultry Journal.
DF ANY breed in America deserves to stand at the head
of the list of fowls this breed does; for it was in its
crude beginning, under the name of Cochin China,
the means of awakening the American fancier farmer
and breeder to the importance of poultry culture. While
1S49 may be said to be the first year of studied effort in the
importations of Chinese fowls to America, for several' years
previous there were many foreign specimens that came in as
surplus stock left over in ships' cabins that were called
China fowls, more from the fact that they were found on
ships employed in the China trade. The "Hen Fever" be-
tween '49 and '55, however, was the incentive for studied
importations of these large Asiatic fowls that were brought
from Shanghai, China, the white, grouse and buff specimen,
the latter in number predominating. The improvement of
these Buff Gigantus have resulted in the improved product
we now call Buff Cochins. Yet their importance and real
benefit to the nation were in a very large measure achieved
under other names as above. Previous to 1850 our birds
were small; but such was the influence of the Cochin blood
upon our native stock that the average weight of the speci-
men upon the poulterer's tables in 1852 was found to be
fully one and one-half pounds more per fowl than ever be-
fore. That this race gave to our native stock renewed life
and productive merit none can deny, and to it must all the
buff races we now have in our best breeds date back for
their color and ancestry- Thus in a collateral way are they
the progenitors of merit and utility, while in their present
condition do they present and hold a premier position as
one of the grandest of exhibition breeds, that have de-
manded the very highest prices known among fowls.
The development of the Buff Cochin has been erratic,
yet remarkable; it has at times held the favored esteem of
nearly all the poultry loving nations of the globe. The
pride of possession in the fanciers has carried the prices to
the remarkable sum of $300 for a single specimen, $500 for
pairs, with current and repeated sales at $100 each, and by
the trios hundreds of them at that sum until at the present
writing we can truthfully say of the Buff Cochin, that they
are the pride of the Cochin family, the source from which
emanates that gem of all colors seen in fowls, convexed
lines of beauty which give that shape to the breed's sec-
tions so in harmony with their color that as a whole makes
the breed hold the gazer spellbound, forcing him or her to
exclaim in viewing them, "Perfection of color!"
The six months' old pullet, with her full, broad, rounded
development of breast, with length of back sufficient to se-
cure that full curved outline from cape to tail, with full
thigh fluff, broad, full body fluff, with tail proper nicely
folded to a point beneath the ample cushion and coverts,
this with lower thigh plumage hanging full in front, as well
as rear and about the hock joint in soft flexible feathering,
meeting the shank and foot plumage in a smooth outward
sweep, covering completely the feet; such a plumage col-
ored in a rich orange, ocherous shade; then do we have per-
fect harmony in shape and color, which puts to rout the
assertion that shape has nothing to do with color in poultry
But we say each is dependent up on the other, this har-
mony essential for the fullest and best effect, and this breed
our most able witness for the position we take that shape
and color shall receive equal consideration in adjudicating
for prizes. It is this very harmony that has enabled the
breed to hold its position as one of the strongest and most
popular exhibition varieties and secured for it the high
We have many breeds of which the same color is de-
manded, but do they present the same strength and perfec-
tion found in this ocherous shading of the Cochin?
When practical useful merit is coupled with pure color
then do we see such breeds meet 'the popular demand, for
then the poor and middle classes will buy and propagate
them and the breed no longer is dependent upon the rich
and those who prize them solely for exhibition purposes.
It is exhibition quality that brings the fabulous prices,
practical merit that makes any breed popular and secures
for them satisfactory prices year after year, and as there
is nothing that stands exclusive and alone, thus we see the
advantage of massing the plumage in pure convexed lines
upon which to display a pure orange ocherous color. No
other satisfies. The feather itself must be convexed from
base to tip and from edge to edge of its fiber, which aids in
producing this desired outline.
But let us begin at the beginning as we trace its history
and completion as a breed in America.
From 1846 to 1852 there were many Chinese fowls re-
ceived in America. They must be called chance receipts,
for, as I remarked above, they were the unused cabin sup-
plies found upon ships in our foreign trade, usually called
Cochin China or often named for captains of ships upon
which they were found. Not until the year '49 or '50 were
there many if any special importations. The specimens in
the two shades of brown plumage were called marsh fowls,
later Grouse Cochins, and finally they assumed the shape,
color and name of Partridge Cochins; others came into the
country white and buff in plumage, but all classed as
As a boy I came into possession of a Black Red male
and Buff pullet that weighed ten pounds. Will I ever for-
get her magnificent proportions? You who to-day gaze
upon the general flock can have no conception of the differ-
ence in sizes experienced in 1849. When we consider the
fact that fowls are marketed at about two-thirds their full
grown weight, and understand that in thirty months the
average market weight was raised one and one-half pounds,
you may understand the surprise of those who saw the
effects of this pair upon my flock of native fowls.
The prevailing colors in the progeny, however, were
Qcherous, either light or dark, shading from lemon to light
brown, and when these colors prevailed the shape ap-
proached that now acknowledged as perfect • and their
shanks and feet were more heavily plumed.
This country is fast following in the footsteps of Eng-
land. There is a strenuous effort to produce an over abun-
dance of plumage and in too many cases it has produced
nothing less than an excrescence. But for all that a prop-
ejly feathered Cochin is, even in comparison with the other
sub-varieties of its class, most profusely feathered in the
Buff variety. As the Brahma is the largest of all breeds,
so is the Buff the longest and most profusely feathered
Cochin. For all that I do not think this should license pro-
nounced vulture hocks to win prizes in our exhibitions. We
had vulture hocks in 1852; we have them to-day. They
were unsightly and a disqualifying defect then; the Stand-
ard so declares them to-day. Yet oftentimes we see the law
ignored and see vulture hocks on the winners. They are an
objectionable extreme and usually such birds are mated to
pullets having bare middle toes, both being disqualifica-
tions by our Standard. Yet because the breed is acknowl-
edged the heaviest plumed of all breeds, nineteein-twentieths
of the judges become a law unto themselves and pass them,
and the worst feature of it all, they allow them to pass
uncut. Were the disqualifications raised in our Standard
and the defect cut a reasonable amount these specimens
would not win, and it would soon reduce the plumage to a
reasonable condition, and the egg product would be the
greater for it.
The use of any disqualifying extremes is but to harbor
inherent defects to be reproduced from time to time, and
the breeder known to thus indulge in their use hazards his
reputation; eventually his loss in sales will far outweigh
any gain ho may derive through the' use of disqualified
All the breeders both of England and America have
striven to breed out this eye sore, and why? It is not only
unsightly, but this stiff, coarse plumage that results in vul-
ture appearance generally has accompanying it a long stiff
tail plumage, very objectionable in a Cochin sense, and the
progeny, even though they in themselves may be termad
first-class, still have the repeating influence in transmitting
the defects of their sires, even producing the bare toes of
the females and the vulture hocks of the males.
"We can never be free from our ancestors" is as true
here as in the mammals, but this breed was destined to have
the greatest effect upon American fowl culture and to
awaken in the minds of our farmers and fanciers the fact
that the raising of poultry could be made one of the largest
agricultural industries. Who has not read Burnham's "Hen
Fever?" Ludicrous and a burlesque that it is, it disclosed
the fact that over the ancestors of the Buff Cochin was cre-
ated the wildest excitement ever experienced in poultry
culture. It reached presidents, kings, queens, senators, as
well as the humble occupants of our village homes and
farms, and $20 to $300 was paid for specimens.
Crude as the breed then was, I fear that to-day in their
accepted exhibition form they do not maintain the merit of
egg production that they did, when not required to carry the
volume of plumage now demanded of them.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE UTILITY BUFF COCHIN.
This leads up to the question: What do they need to
make a more practical, money earning breed?
I believe I will be sustained in the assertion that to-day
they are shorter jointed, shorter bodied, heavier and more
profuse in plumage, the eggs smaller and thicker shelled,
with the need of fully twenty-five per cent more males,
compared to females, than formerly to secure satisfactory
fertility. (This last is equally true of all Asiatics.)
I fear the shortening of body structure, the lowering of
the weight center and the greater amount of lower thigh,
shank and foot plumage has proved a sad mistake for the
practical merit of the breed, and has lessened the call for
the breed outside the exhibition demand; even with the cov-
eted outline of hocks, we would have more of them if bred
to a longer conformation.
The earlier birds I speak of in 1872 to 1876 were longer
bodied and more generally pronounced in the convexed
feature of hock and cushion. Fads make shuttle cocks of
The desire to intensify and develop to a wonderful de-
gree any one single section, such as enormous leg and foot
plumage, or to make a fad of unnatural developments that
have come in the place of features sought for in our mat-
ings, should sink into utter insignificance as compared to a
development of beauty that has come in company with won-
derful development of muscle growth or egg production.
To produce the latter is much greater honor and surely of
greater profit to the breeder.
The angular, over long, flat sided specimens of early
days are being supplanted by birds of the other extreme,
until these excessively short necks, short. legs, backs and ex-
cessively feathered specimens have lost so much of merit in
egg production that we hear the clamor for the old time
excellence and productive power.
Is it not history that the most practical and prolific ele-
ments in a breed carry it into popular favor and secure for
it a prominent and lasting position there? Surely it is such
that secures continued demand in the purchasing world at
Periodically does this breed come to the front to de-
mand the breeder's attention and adoration.
It is hard to forget the furor and fire of interest kindled
by the advent of the Hodgen trio at New York in 1866, at
which exhibition they sold for $315 at auction, the record
price at that time, and for a decade breeders were not con-
sidered in it that could not boast of the blood of that trio
in their breeding pens.
For a score of years following the above the interest
drifted west, where in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan seemed
to center the home of this breed, the breeders there becom-
ing their champions and defenders. During this time it was
my lot to judge, at Indianapolis, a class of 180 specimens;
nine of which had cost twenty pounds or more each in Lon-
The eastern states for a time found other favorites, let-
ting the Buffs fall into careless hands, but would they have
maintained their position even in the states named had
they been other than the catchy and beautiful color that
History has been repeating itself again with this breed
and, as with others, we see about every ten years a revival
of interest in them. The last time the controversy was over
types— the effort of the breeders to raise the disqualifica-
tions of vulture hocks, even going to the extreme of giving
classes outside of the Standard which allowed such to com-
pete under the name of Full Feathered Cochins. The con-
troversy served to awaken the American breeder, to sustain
and in. fact triumph with the American type and breeding,
and the full feathered classes were abandoned. To the
Sharp Brothers, of Massachusetts, should be given the credit
for they have demonstrated that the American bred speci-
mens are in every way the equal of the full feathered birds,
and that the soft, clinging plumage, to fall about and down
upon an ample foot plumage, can be secured without the ob-
je.ctionable and unsightly vulture hock. While we must ad-
mit that the American type is somewhat altered, yet have
we retained the line rolling tails and soft and wonderfully
fluffy feathering accomplished.
The sales have been marvelous, $250, $150, $100, $75, $50
each in the past fivt years have been surprisingly frequent.
With this breed so prominently before the breeders, can we
not agree upon a shape that will improve their egg produc-
tion? Cannot the breeders, for their own general interest,
agree to a less heavy plumage and a longer body structure,
that they may improve the breed's productive merit?
It has been our hope that our efforts may do something
to make the race more practical and more universally ap-
preciated in the future, for it is those especially useful and
practical merits that add most to a nation's wealth. What
will make them heavier, quicker growers, and more prolific
layers, and thus more profitable, will make the rank and
file of the breeders the larger purchasers.
What has been the grand reason for the late strenuous
effort to introduce these superb colors in other
sub-varieties more generally used by the poul-
The plain unvarnished truth is that the con-
trollers of the Buff Cochins have ignored pro-
ductive merit for feather. The conservative
middle ground is where the majority meet and
where the greatest money value is found. A
rich buff color in its purity as a color in fowls
can never be excelled in any
other breed than in the match-
less convexity of outline as
found in nature's champion of
that color, the Buff Cochin.
Now make this breed match-
less for color, as matchless in
practical worth, by converting
their type to that which will
give the very largest amount of
flesh for food consumed and that
produces the largest number of
generous sized eggs (for they
are by nature winter layers);
thus will you make them money
earners, as well as show speci-
mens, and all other similarly
colored breeds will become obsolete, as have Pea Comb Ply-
mouth Rocks, Jersey Blues, Dominique Leghorns, White
Javas and all such that have failed in their harmony of
color with the shape their breeders have tried to marry.
A multiplicity of breeds of one color has and will prove
a mistake for the breeders; first it only divides the demand
and sale, that would be controlled by the one breed, could
it enjoy the sole position as representing the color in ques-
tion. One has only to coop an oblong bodied, reasonably
plumed flock, to find that such will lay about twenty eggs
a year more than will those excessively short in body and
of vulture hock character of plumage. This very difference in
the egg product will go far towards securing and keeping up
the sales, for a large number of breeders must look to the
money earning feature of any breed for support and pleasure.
This breed is the oldest that has been adopted by Amer-
ica, and should have been the best, but the fads of its fan-
ciers have been its worst enemies. Any fad that introduces
extremes in a breed has always proved detrimental. The
excessively heavy plumage that has been demanded has
caused the breed to be given the go-by by the poulterers.
Thus has the surplus stock other than show specimens sold
so slowly as to cause many to cease breeding them.
A Massive, Full-Feathered Buff Cochin Cock
It is the fancier who establishes the lines and beauty
to be called Standard; then is it in their power to make
the accepted type a money earning one and thereby make
the breed of their choice far more popular and valuable.
"Give this breed all the exuberance of plumage that can be
secured without bringing with it stiff quilled feathers in
lower thighs and very long sickles in tail, for a vulture hock
becomes a feeder upon the juiciness and roars the flavor
of its meat;" so says the poulterer. Then why produce such
volume of plumage as makes them a fad? They are not
beautiful, they are only grotesque, a burlesque, so to speak,
upon beauty, just as excessive dress becomes dudish and
subject to derision.
But too many breeders fail in moral courage; they may
come out and demand a practical money earning position
for all breeds and exclaim that all poultry breeding is but
a fad, but when fashion turns its cold shoulder, give up the
breed altogether, A moral obligation to poultry lulture,
as a calling they ignore. But has not poultry culture be-
come a business in America? We think so and fail
to see in the past the same keen insight and action
in its control. The same parties exist in the bank,
store and factory in which they are interested.
It will be remembered that during the excite-
ment in which the full feathered
craze was at its height, the fol-
lowing appeared in an English
"The carrying by storm of the
Cochin world in America by the
English full feathered type of
birds should convince our Ameri-
can cousins on the other side, that
two of a trade will never agree,
and that while the supporters of
our type of a bird are engaged
in smashing up the favorites of
their rivals, the public, who after
all is said and done are respon-
sible for a most important part
in the development of a breed,
become scared by the dissen-
sions that exist and will be
found by the time the matter is
financially thrashed out to have
quietly invested their money in some other breed."
We acknowledged the force of the prophecy at the time,
but how true has it become in the strenuous effort to per-
fect buff in other breeds to the disparagement of sales in
the Buff Cochins. Extreme views and contention among
the breeders of any variety are a misfortune to the breed.
To be sure, these Cochins are an English product. The
exhibitors there do not have as an end and aim the improve-
ment of those qualities that make breeds in America wealth
producing money earners outside the show room. To breed
these beautiful colored gems of the show world, without
merit in egg production, is folly for the American breeder.
Statistics give us three per cent that get rich and thus are
able to support a fad. The balance are forced to couple
with their pleasures work that helps to a living, but all of
us enjoy seeing those things we are interested in appreci-
ated by the many.
You ask me how I would make a standard, that which
lived up to will secure the greatest practical virtues in the
breed. I answer, just as I would make a standard for a
horse, one that has all the features acknowledged as perfect.
You say there is no such specimen, but there are the best
of a thousand good ones and among the whole thousand
cannot we find a perfect section for all "the sections that go
to make up a perfect whole in our best one of a thousand?
We have only to substitute perfect sections for the ones
found faulty in him and the trick is done, and when done
have you not a standard by which to compare and judge all
Apply this rule to Buff Cochins and I ask: Is your con-
ception of perfection in the head other than the best head
you ever saw? Then suppose you take the first prize male,
exhibited in the class of American Buff Cochins at New
York, 1893, that scored 96y 2 points by the score card system
of applying the Standard. This specimen was claimed by
all the judges present, to be the best ever exhibited in
America, which I believe is true, nor has he ever been beaten
since, yet his comb was not absolutely evenly serrated, hav-
ing but four points; while cutting one-half point for his
defect, how easy to describe his comb with five points so
graded as to make the middle one the largest and stand the
highest, when our work presents perfection. His back was
faultless in shape, but a trifle faded; what had we to do but
1 " ^ il«M
P^ " ' ^tB
*■ '%■ aH a
An English-Bred Buff Cochin Female.
describe his back as it was and to describe perfect color.
Thus, by such deduction, we easily obtain in the end a per-
fect standard. At the same time, note his defects, give him
a score card value of 96% his specific value as tried by your
This bird was a grand compromise between the cham-
pions of full feathered and American Cochins and accepted
as strictly first-class, and worthy to win the "first and all
specials" that he did. But our pen picture of the breed must
be our ideal of a perfect Cochin. Any further development
of plumage, we believe will be at the expense of practical
worth, and as it is we make a partial sacrifice to exhibitors'
WEIGHT AND CONDITION.
In the Cochin, as in all the other breeds of fowls,
the authorities have wisely left the value of weight to be
determined by the scales, by deducting two points to the
pound for all deficit of full standard weight, that being
eleven pounds for cocks, nine pounds for cockerels, eight
and one-half pounds for hens and seven pounds for pullets.
The question of condition Becomes one of general
health, cleanliness and breakage of plumage. The percent-
age of damage is left to the decision of judge, with right
to banish from the show room for disease.
Defects. Puffed cheeks, watery eyes and soiled plumage
beyond reasonable effect of cooping. For these cut one-half
to one and one-half points as a reasonable per cent shall
dictate. In this breed an isolated feather broken should
be ignored, but general breakage to disfigure should be pun-
ished under the head of section where breakage occurs.
As a matter of fact condition is a resultant, and
the utility of the unused points for the defects of condi-
tion always appears in some other section and becomes more
intelligently punished in the section where located, yet it
is the effect of condition. To cut such under thei head of
condition usually has the effect of cutting twice for the same
The comb is single, small as compared to size of breed,
should be serrated into five points, the middle one the larg-
est and highest; forward flanges, counting with first point,
rear flange and rear point counting together, leaving three
between top line, the top forming a line parallel with the
natural curve of the crown of the head. The sides smooth,
free from wrinkles, corrugations or side sprigs; these last
having a specific cut of one point for each sprig developed;
the whole perfectly erect and in a straight line from front
Defects. For each point less or more than five cut one-
half point; for turning to left or right at rear, or corruga-
tions along the sides, excessively large or ill-shaped, one-half
to one and one-half points; twisted or falling combs in fe-
males one-half to two points, according to degree. Combs
other than, single in either sex or twisted in front or falling
to one side in males, condemn as unworthy a score card
The rear flange is not uniform in males, nor do
the artists illustrate them correctly; some are turned
smooth, others have upon the flange two and three small
points. It is only the rear perfect point in front of flange
that is counted to secure the five described above or by
the Standard. This has been a fruitful cause of the dispar-
agement of scores between judges. Whether the flange be
smooth and rounded from its rear point, or has the scalloped
character that presents the three minute points is immate-
rial if both give a graceful finish to the rear portion of the
HEAD AND ITS ADJUNCTS.
In this breed the head is wide in skull, deep in face as a
whole, appears short and shows prominently in its junction
with the neck. Plumage a dark orange ocherous color, eyes
large and bright, bay or red, beak heavy at junction with
skull, but evenly arched to its point, being a deep yellow in
color. Ear-lobes well developed, especially in the male, wat-
tles hanging in a pendulous manner below lower point of
lobes. This feature when developed is much smaller in
proportion and more closely rounded to throat in the fe-
males; the whole free from ridges or coarseness in texture,
the head as a section carried well forward (a drop line from
point of beak to ground will clear the breast by an inch).
Defects. Skull long, narrow and depressed in front of
eyes, beak too straight or turned slightly to one side or
tainted with foreign color; ear-lot>es very small, eyes other
than bay or red, face shriveled from disease, should be cut
one-half to one and one-half for each according to the de-
gree of the defect. Wattles in males too small or nearly
absent, one-half to three points. When the wattles are ab-
sent or merely rudimentary, the bird should be deprived of
score card record.
A generous development of comb, ear-lobes and wattles
Is a sure sign of procreative vigor. The desire for a small
fine head in the males of any breed is a mistake for the
Hackle should be full; this with head carried forward
gives a nice curve rather than prominent arch to the neck;
hackle profuse and in length sufficient to cover cape and
shoulder, even covering back in part; surface color and
quill a rich orange ocherous color with outer edge shading
off into a perceptibly lighter shade than center of web. Un-
der color hidden well, up to surface color without the sheen
(or hard finish, so to speak) ; this under-color must be free
from white, a slight shade of blue may be Ignored, but when
pronounced, it is a defect, but of less magnitude than white.
Defects. Head thrown too far back, neck too long and
scantily feathered, the hackle failing to cover cape and
shoulder points, surface color faded to drab or light lemon
color, or so dark as to show shades of brown in the under-
color, a very pale shade or reaching white, to
be cut from one-half to one and one-half for
each, according to degree.
We may as well here define the individ-
uality of the feather in Cochin plumage. In
this breed we have the very largest amount of
under-fluff, often reaching more than half the
length of the feather, which does not web out
smooth. This causes the puffed character and
causes the feathers to lie in a curved form, its
function being to give us the oonvexed outline
in all the sections throughout In shape we
describe that much of development as shall
pass uncut and which in our judgment can be
reached without detracting from productive
merit. Any surplus that nature shall give us,
which does not mar or alter our standard
should not be deemed' a defect in the show
room. To- wit: A specimen may have a won-
derful amount of plumage in competition with
one that fulfills the law. Both must receive
full score,' but in case these specimens tie, an
honest question arises, which of the two
should win? The one over-developed in plum-
age has been the favored one heretofore, but
when it has been so forcibly demonstrated that Buff Cochin
such detracts from productive merit, shall we continue thus
to favor such? These are the questions that arise outside of
any general law we may make; but in color these exceptions
do not arise and we can apply the law with arbitrary force.
A rich orange ocherous color is perfect, but the question is
how much shading therefrom may be admitted and pass
uncut in judging. The evenness of a shade throughout,
surely is of prime importance.
Suppose we make seven, nine, or eleven shades between
what we call a light lemon color, and a light brown, or even
thirteen divisions, the middle one will be our rich clear
ocherous color. Now of the three or five center shades,
either should pass uncut but they grow lighter, or toward
brown, it becomes defective color. As in other breeds, five
shades of described color are advisable. (A light cinnainon
might be termed a shade of brown or an ocherous shade.)
While we cannot disqualify or rather we would not deem
it justice to disqualify, still this shade of brown must be
cut as defective color. Prime surface color with poor under-
color, is far preferable to prime under-color and poor sur-
While the back is broad and flat across cape, the
hackle which is long and flowing on to back, gives a very
short appearance to forward portion; the saddle being full
and broad, rising well upon and with the tail coverts en-
velopes the tail proper. All serves to give that short ap-
pearance to the back as a whole. The profusion of saddle
hangers, reaching well down over wing tips, but being
slightly flattened on the top destroys any pronounced convex
outline Of back from hackle to tail in the male. In the
female this saddle, or cushion, as it is called in her case,
must be a pure convex outline from neck plumage to tail
so profuse as to be a complete circle from top around base
of tail, meeting the circling plumage under tail, the back
long enough to secure the con vexed formation and give
a slight dblong appearance to structure. Exposure to sun
and storms will, in a vast majority of cases, cause surface
color to be somewhat faded from the rich ocherous color de-
manded by our standard, but we must demand a tolerably
clear shade in quill, however, and permit a shade lighter,
but free from the sheen In the fibre of under-color.
.Defects. Back narrow, too straight, or concave, lines
Cockerel and Hen, scoring 94 and 92J£ Bred and Owned by A. A. IJvans.
from neck to tail too short and wanting in saddle and cush-
ion, oval shape of cape, surface color faded to -a drab or
mottled with brown, white in quill or under-color, cut one-
half to one and one-half for these evils according to degree.
Passing as unworthy crooked shell bone or slipped hips.
In the Cochins there is little if any of that description
for forward part of back, all being covered by hackle or
hidden by a pronounced type of cushion. Back in any breed
is simply a collective term for cape and saddle and cushion,
and when we say, "back broad and flat," we mean "cape
broad and flat," for surely that is what is commonly accepted
as a broad, flat back; without this upon which the neck
plumage flows out how much of beauty and symmetry are
The quarter muscle is full, tapering downwards, beirig
very broad across in front and deep to forward point, of keel;
thus we say for the male full and deep. Outline from throat
to keel long in its sweep. This effect comes from the for-
ward" carriage of head and neck, which takes from breast
much of the globular form in the male, the same as it re-
duced the rear outline of neck to a curve. In the female,
the breast appears more round and the outline from throat
to keel presents a fuller profile than in the male. The color
in both, while having less sheen, is generally a pure shade
of ocher and more free from any discoloration by false color
for the reason that it is protected from the direct rays of
the sun, there being generally but little difference between
surface and under-color.
Defects. In males if very flat in front, or flat in females,
quarters not being prominent, thus giving pronounced wide
shape viewed from the front, the color mottled, faded to
drab, or too brown, a shade of surface color too light or
white in under-color; each of these to be punished by a cut
of one-half to one and one-half according to the degree of
defect in each.
BODY AND FLUFF,
Keel in this breed is carried low, its muscle full and
firm to the touch. This large muscle and full plumage give
great apparent width to body, and with well rounded wings,
come well rounded sides. Fluff well developed, especially
the thigh fluff, which together give a broad appearance from
This feature in the female causes great apparent fullness.
The' upper thigh fluff should be very full between wing bay
and hock, for to this feature are we dependent for that full,
Cochin appearance so desired. The loose fluffy condition of
this feature robs it of the sheen seen in other sections, but
in color it must retain the rich ocherous shade described
Defects. Keel so crooked as to mar shape and depth of
body merits a cut of one-half to one and one-half points. It
is not so much for the fact that the keel is .crooked as when
it affects the shape as a whole; the fluff may be shrunken,
or the thigh fluff not standing out. Failure of con vexed out-
line in all these, too light in shade or positive white in
under-color, surface color faded to drab, should be dis-
counted one-half to one point each.
Wings are small compared to weight of specimen,
strong and heavy in muscle, front buried in breast plumage,
rose well cupped, which, with full quarters, secures a circu-
lar line from back to point of keel. Primaries smoothly
folded under secondaries, the whole wing presenting a
smooth, sheeny surface of rich orange ocherous color,
reaching its deepest shade in the rose of the wing, where it
may be a reddish orange shade in the male and not a defect,
as it is sure to be accompanied by a perfect colored back,
such being grand mates for hens having lost color by age.
In the female the evener the shade and more pure the
color throughout the entire plumage, the better. Wing-
bays a rich deep ocherous shade with no mottling of other
■color. (See neck section.)
Defects. Failure to fold primaries completely under
secondaries, the rose shading to red or brown shades outside
of ocherous; white or black in primaries or secondaries,
mottled or faded surface color, white quills or white fibre in
under-color. The rose flat, losing its cupped form, the whole
carried so low as to give an oval shape to cape. For those
cut one-half to one and one-half points, according to degree.
Twisted feather one-half to two points. Primaries folded
outside secondaries pass as unworthy specimens.
A single broken feather, the mate being perfect, is not
a defect, for it does not cover a chance to disqualify, but
a general disturbance and breaking which is really condition
will receive a more just punishment by checking condition
thus, X, and cutting the defect in the wing where effect is
The tail proper is short and nearly enveloped in an
abundance of tail coverts and lesser coverts which secures
the rolled tail, so called, and the carriage of tail proper. It
is the abundance of saddle and tail coverts that gives the
drooping appearance in the female, although as a matter of
fact it does not exist. The sickles and lesser sickles are so
Short and small as to appear like enlarged coverts; these
whole upper tail furnishings should be a rich orange ocher-
ous color, the under-color admitted at a lighter shade; tail
proper a dark chestnut, shading to a light shade in such
portion as shows to surface. That of the female may be of
chestnut at quill, but surface color should be pure orange
ocher and nicely folded into a round point just beyond the
Defects. Showing end of feathers in a lateral spread
affecting Brahma shape; the whole section too large or ir-
regular in the combing with sickles too long and prominent;
positive black or white in any part. For these cut one-half
to one and one-half according to degree. If tail be carried
to one side or twenty-five per cent white, withhold score
There has been the demand by many judges for pure
buff, as they have termed the color in this section. This
we believe will prove a grave mistake, for if none but such
males are used we may look for an increased amount of
white in primaries and tail proper, with a decided light
shade of surface color with white in under-color in our fe-
males and with the culls vastly increased in the breed.
In all breeds, no matter what their color, there is the
tendency to become light and for absolute white to appear;
why cause in a greater degree this danger by a requirement
advocated by the few, when to do so is to oppose nature in
her effort to do her best for the breeders, as a whole. What
we propose as the proper color is, at the best, all we can
demand of nature; the word buff is surely a misnomer as
applied, for scientifically there is no buff in Cochin fowls.
LEGS AND TOES.
The lower thigh and shanks should be apparently
short, heavy in bone; thigh muscle large; plumage long,
soft and profus%, hanging in front of hock two-fifths the
way to foot plumage, curving about the hock free from stiff
vulture hocks; shanks heavily feathered; meeting without
a break in an outward and forward sweep, with foot plumage
covering outer and middle toes, all of which in surface and
quill should be a rich orange ocherous color. Toes should
be stout in bone, well spread and with shanks in scale and
skin yellow, permitting straw color with age.
Defects. Scant covering of hock joints, feathers not
hanging below and filling the space between hock and shank
plumage; apparently bare middle toes; for these cut one-
half to one and one-half points for each, according to de-
gree; turning inward at hocks with shanks too long or being
cow-hocked one-half to two points. For actual knocked
knees; exposed hock joints; middle toes actually bare to
instep, debar as an unworthy specimen.
The act of the bureau of judges to protect from dis-
qualification superior specimens that had feathers upon
middle toe from instep to edge of web, and not to blindlr
disqualify such, because middle toe from web to point was
bare, was a just dissension. All law should be applied with
equity and common sense. Technical application to save or
to destroy is not the intention of the standard law. The
judge should protect the good and destroy the bad. The
a p A. demand to disqualify all Cochins having bare mid-
dle toes, we believe 'a mistake.- For no disqualification
should apply to one variety and not to all of its class, and
especially in this case should females be exempt. To cut
bare middle toes one and one-half points would destroy all
chances of the specimens winning a first prize. But the
card, disclosing her true value otherwise, might discover in
her a valuable specimen for the breeder. Any disqualifica-
tion that shall work to destroy a really nice specimen is not
just and had best be ignored. Therefore, notwithstanding
the standard may disqualify for bare middle toes, the judge
should and can protect nice specimens. When the plumage
grows from instep joint to web of the middle toe and close
inspection here should be the rule and cut for the defect for
not extending beyond the web, many are disqualified off
hand through the adjudicator failing to examine closely. The
judge should protect by a cut of two points as defect before
going to the extreme of disqualifying. Our standard is con-
tinually criticised because of its too meager use of language,
but however exhaustively the subject be treated, the novice
fails somewhat of its meaning until he has had experience.
To excite the reader to investigate is the writer's aim in
writing these notes.
In the past under-color has been ignored, and this has
led to discrepancy and differences between judges.
But show record as made by the score card application
surely should be a guide to mating and breeding, not a mere
surface consideration. The older breeder understands this
and scans closely the under-color.
THE MATING OF BUFF COCHINS
It shall be noted that while we may give a set
of rules for matings based on the experience of breeders,
they must be based upon the antecedents of the breed that
have been mated under similar rules and conditions, when
we may surely expect first-class results. We may in the
foregoing have described the best shape, best color and best
conditions which have given the best attained results even
the photos of best specimens we have yet seen.
But now comes the all important question, how shall we
produce more like them, with a hope that in a few we may
have those that excel in beauty, brilliancy and prolific
merit, the best we now have. But decay is written upon all
things animate and inanimate, and the vast majority come
poorer than the merit we have described. It is nature's best
that are the peers, not better than we have portrayed.
As a rule even in old and tried breeds like this one, we
should first cull closely fully twenty-five percent of the
males, consigning them to the kitchen's use before making
our selections for our breeding pens and exhibition room.
This in ordinary flocks of one hundred will leave us some
forty pullets for our work. Cockerels may have ten con-
sorts, and cocks five to not more than eight.
We divide the pullets into two divisions, of light and
dark under-color, then again we divide each of these into
the long-bodied, oval backed, and the short bodied more
In Pen No. 1. The nearest we possibly have in a
male, cock preferred, that fills our foregoing pen picture for
the breed, both as to shape and color; to him mate females,
which are in surface color as described, but retain the dark
under-color, the quills all having the orange ocherous color.
This is our pen from which we expect our best male speci-
men, having a strong reserve of color, as progenitors. For
a mate pen we would select a cockerel that had a strong
under-color as well as surface color and with all else as in
our pen picture. To him should be mated hens that in molt-
ing retained their rich ocherous under-color and a prime
even shade of surface color, even if in its general shade it
could be considered somewhat light. These hens would in
nearly all cases have been, in their pullet form, like the
dark pullets of our first division, we mated with the cock
in pen number one.
The pullets mated to the cock being the darkest short
Pen No. 2. The male as large and as long in body and
full in quarters as can be confined within a reasonable like-
ness of our pen picture for shape, being a cockerel of rich
ocherous color, rich in his profusion of plumage.
To him we will mate the long bodied convexed backed
pullets of good weight and of fairly first-class surface color,
with a reasonably medium Shade of ocher, retaining in the
quills the color of surface plumage. This pen will produce
females the equal to any.
Pen No. 3. A male that is an even shade of color, but
so dark as to have nearly the golden brown shade found in
this breed, with chestnut colored tail coverts and tips, with
neck and rose of wing a reddish ocher or orange bay shade
of color, and a very dark shade of under-color, se-
curing in shape all the convexity of form of "wing,
thigh fluff, back and roll of tail. To him mate the hens in
our second division that have faded to an even light shade
A Pair of Buff Cochins, Winners at St. Louis.
Gelder & Robertson.
of surface color, which will most likely have a very light
under-color and Shafts to plumage — -those long bodied con-
vexed backed, nice old business hens that have lost their
hold upon the exhibitions. Do not confound these with the
white under-colored specimen we abandoned to the cull pen
before commencing to mate, for from this pen we will have
fine pullets and many fine males.
Pen No. 4. For this pen we have left the smallest short
bodied females from the first division, also the darkest short
bodies females of the second division, to these we propose
to mate a large boned, long bodied, very dark male, whose
tail reaches the chestnut color, with neck and rose golden
bay, and with a very dark under-color. The pullets from
this pen will be the desirable part of its progeny, for they
can be mated to perfect colored males, to produce males. It
is a fact that all lose color by breeding; white and gray
constantly creeps in. Another fact; we cannot make radi-
cally extreme matings for color without producing a mottled
or mossy plumage. By the use of these pullets we sustain
the color derived from the dark color of their sire, and use
it in so diluted a form as to be absolutely controlled by our
perfect colored lines in this second year use.
I do not believe in any disqualifications except the fol-
lowing: Crooked back, positive wry tails, and all specimens
scoring less than 87 points. This last will prevent anything
like culls or scrubs from taking premium honors. It con-
demns such to strictly kitchen uses.
All the above surely would demand a price for breeding
' equal to $3 to $20 each for females, with males at $4 to $35,
leaving all others at a personal consideration of buyer and
seller, outside the thoroughbred trade.
Then winners will breed winners and from any one of the
pens described we may expect to breed winners. They are
one of the oldest breeds; is there any reason why they
should not breed true if proper care is taken of them? Close,
grassless runs will destroy the chances of even the best mat-
ings from winning, except by accident. I am sorry to be
obliged to chronicle the fact that nine-tenths of the breeders
who confine their stock thus as a rule neglect them. A
prime breeding pen is not all there is to poultry culture.
Experience has taught that when very dark colored
males have from necessity been mated to very light colored,
faded out hens, even those with white appearing in their
flights, feet, and tail, very gratifying results have followed,
but faded, white tainted males are a failure whenever they
are used as breeders. When loss of color is marked in the
males, it is surely time to kill them and take a new source
of color supply. It is only when we consult the entire ques-
tion of color, that we are safe.
, I call to mind a ease in St. Louis, when a pair of pullets
had been tied for first place. Their owners calling my atten-
tion to the fact, as they put it, of two pullets being exactly
alike. I looked them over and said, "They are exactly alike
in surface color, but in no other particular, for one is solid
mahogany while the other is simply veneered, that is three
full points difference in color alone." One had a fine under-
color, while the other was white quilled and white in under-
color. When breeder or judge ignores under-color in Buff
Cochins, they have both sadly missed their calling.
A knowledge of the antecedents of any flock is highly
necessary for the breeder to make correct predictions in re-
gard to the results of his matings. The show specimen
should by no means be the darkest one raised, but as near
as possible should represent the medium color of his flock —
for should he be caught without darker color he surely can
feel he has entered a stage of decay in color production.
In. this breed, like many others, a cock and hen that
have ripened into standard color, both as chickens having
been deemed too dark for standard demand, surely are the
very best mating to preserve color. Such is beyond all ques-
tion a standard mating. I have come to the conclusion that
in a general sense there is no single mating. The distinc-
tion should be: Middle matings, not extreme or double
mating, though this breed is like Brahmas, one of more
nearly single mating than any other breed.
THE SPECIAL CARE.
For best results this breed requires to be furnished
a cool and shaded retreat in which they can repose between
9 and 4 o'clock when molting. Their hearts beat 150 times
each minute and as they cannot sweat like the horse, you
can see what a tax there is on their respiration, besides the
effect of the hot harvest sun is very disastrous to their deli-
cate plumage, when in its pin feather state.
To have an even shade of color during the last stage
of growth of their adult or new plumage it is necessary that
all premature growth and the old coat be removed, that all
plumage of back and saddle may be of the same age, or you
will have a spotted back or mealy wing to militate against
the specimen if she or he is to be shown. Even for one's
own selection in one's breeding pen, this care will be needed.
If these birds have been early hatched and are liable to grow
their adult coat in July and August, then a grove or tent
or artificial shade will repay you well if you furnish it.
Continued soft and sloppy food is not good for this or
any other breed, but a free use of scalded milk to drink and
one meal each day of mash, twenty per cent of which shall
be meat, such as desiccated fish or granulated beef scraps,
(avoid pork scraps) may be fed, the whole day rations being
so fed as to consist of fifteen per cent of meat, twenty-five
per cent vegetable and sixty grain. These are the main
points to be followed if you would raise strictly first-class
For your chicks until three weeks old or older, you will
find it will pay you to have corn cracked as fine as millet
seed. A bread made of excelsior meal, thoroughly baked
and moistened in scalded milk, is fed for the forenoon, while
the afternoon feeding should be millet, rolled oats, fine
cracked corn and wheat. After a month begin the feeding
of meat in the morning food, giving for the first two weeks
the scalded milk to drink; if this be followed, there will be
no bowel trouble, or loss by death because of it.
This care will start them at one month old with a strong
constitution that will carry them through life with a low
death rate in your flocks.
Little things become great things in their results. If
you watch the combs as they commence to develop, it may
be a surprise to you that they start with anywhere from
four to even nine points. Pinch the ones that are desired to
be absorbed; nature does not always absorb the right ones
to secure for us the even, regulation five point comb. But
if this care is taken, the one which is pinched and whose
growth is thus checked, will be the one to be absorbed into
the two one each side and a serration is secured in place of
the point. Little cares win premier prizes.
I. K. FELCH.
MATING BUFF COCHINS.
The Influence of Past Ma-tings— How to Overcome Prominent Defects And Maintain the Required
Size and Proportion.
By A. W. Bell.
THE proper mating of any buff breed to produce the
most desirable shade of buff is a question yet in a
very transient and unsatisfactory state. Of course,
if one has the room to produce chickens of any one
variety in the hundreds, doubless he can by proper selection
obtain a sufficient number of good birds to exhibit and sell
his customers. But if on the other hand his space was limited
to about forty or fifty chickens each year, then comes the test
of his resources. This is as true in any of the buff varieties as
in Buff Cochins. I have visited the yards of a large number
of prominent breeders of other buffs, and have found where
they are raised in large numbers, all shades of buff from a
light lemon to a color bordering on cinnamon.
What is the cause of this?
No doubt they are cases of reversion to some ancestors
of these shades, going back to a time when they mated these
dark birds to a lighter one to produce a good under-color,
and whilst that purpose was accomplished, it has left a taint
in the blood of their progeny that Will take years to breed
out, but to a certain extent will be continually cropping out.
In these days so much more specialty breeding, that is,
mating a male with one or two females, is done than for-
In all articles, in mating one most universally finds
statements like these that the male bird gives the color to
the chicks, and the female the size and shape. I do not be-
lieve this is the case, but on the contrary, that the female
has as much to do with the color as the male, and not only
is this so in color, but also in shape, i. e., one parent has as
much to dt> with producing color and shape as another.
Breeders of other stock do not lay as much stress upon color
from the male and shape from the female as we do in
This was brought to my notice very forcibly the other
day when discussing this subject with a breeder of horses
for a number of years, and he showed a pair of horses, filly
and gelding, the former a brown and the latter a bay. The
dam was a bay and the sire a bay. He told me that all this
stallion's colts were of the same color of fillies, whilst the
geldings almost unlversially in color took after the dam.
But can all the characteristics of breeding In one line
of stock be found or carried out in another? This year I
bred a very heavily hocked male with much foreign color
in wings and tail to females solid buff in these particulars,
and whilst we would expect to get bad winged birds, yet
the females take mostly after their dams, whilst the cocker-
els follow the sire.
The chief obstacles to overcome in breeding Buff Coch-
ins are color, shape and size. In color, we have the uneven-
ness not only in surface color, but also in under-color, for
if you have the latter you will undoubtedly have the former.
To overcome these, .select in both parents stock of as
uniform a color all over as you have, one whose hackle,
back, saddle and body shades are all the same. These prop-
erly mated will give you birds that will be a pleasure to
behold. Under no circumstances use dark surface colored
birds for present day exhibiting.
I do not object to a little black in tail or wings, in
breeders, as you must have this to retain your rich surface
color, and if your birds are too dark, a little white in the
wings will soon tone this down, though many look upon
white as a most serious defect, yet if one's birds are inclined
to be too dark, the presence of white will in a season or
two work wonders.
Another serious color defect is shaftlness. This, to me,
is the hardest point to eradicate, but if one will persist in
A Buff Cochin Female of Rare Shape and Color, Winning First Prize as
Pullet at Boston (Novice Class) ; Eastern Ontario and Chicago. As
Hen, First at the Eastern Ontario and Ontario Shows, also
at Chicago and New Yor^. Owned by A. W. Bell.
using those birds with good under-color, not too dark, and
the quills of the feathers buff both on the surface and under-
neath, which can be easily noticed by looking at the wing
spread out from the under side.
Endeavor to breed from birds having a rich buff
(not red) quill, superficially, and one will be highly satis-
fied with the result.
Mealiness is most prominent on the wing bows of
females, but is very seldom seen in first-class birds of
to-day. This was caused by formerly breeding dark males
to light females to produce under-color, but as this is not
practiced at present to any extent, it is not much seen.
In breeding for shape, I like to employ birds as short
in every particular, save length of feather, as I possibly can
A Cochin should have a short neck, short in back, which
should be wide, his breast deep and full and carried for-
ward, body short and wide, his legs short — I have not yet
seen a Cochin too short in legs for me — and set well apart,
covered with long soft fluff feathers, giving them the ap-
pearance of having a thigh eight to ten inches around.
The same Is applicable to the female, only of a more
feminine nature. Her cushion being more pronounced and
tail carried low, if anything, that is, below or at the hori-
zontal line. What I like to see in young stock is a bird,
when you notice it, looks as broad as it is long, and seems
to be creeping on the ground, due to its large soft fluffy
hocks and short legs.
A. real good Cochin should look as if it had been raised
in a pail and as round as one.
Under no circumstances use a long-legged Cochin, for
as sure as you do, you will produce Brahma shaped birds,
which would be as much of an eyesore to a Cochin man as a
Cochin Brahma is to a Brahma breeder. Do not use for
breeders, in either sex, birds with long tails or with tails
carried high, for you cannot produce stock with good cush-
ions from these.
To the casual observer the Cochins are possibly the larg-
est looking of all fowls, due to the long fluffy feathering,
and to secure this with a body of good size is a very impor-
Size is due more to breeding from large birds and the
care they receive. Some could take the same parents and
with their plan of feeding produce birds very different from
what others could.
By good care also can shape be vastly improved, for
what can you expect a half-starved or search-my-own-Hving
bird to amount to, especially in Cochins. Give them a gen-
erous supply of nourishing food containing an abundance of
protein, and you will have birds with large frames and
loose in feathering. Do not endeavor to fatten young Coch-
ins; get the frame on them first, then add your flesh.
A. W. BELL.
Ideal Buff Cochins of 1895-By Sewei^
STANDARD PARTRIDGE COCHINS.
An Illustrated Description of the Standard Requirements for This Variety— The Cuts Scored by-
Judges for the Defects Found in Each Section.
By Theo. Hewes, with Illustrations by Seweli,.
irp EALIZING that one must have ideas of his own and
]j\£ by a careful study of the different breeds, together
with the Standard description of them, arrive at
some definite conclusion, I offer to the readers my
ideas of the different breeds, and I believe if the amateur
will study the chart and defective feathers, together with
my description, he will arrive at a fair conclusion as to what
constitutes perfection and gain a fair knowledge of the de-
fects that he may expect to find in breeding the different
I will take up the Partridge Cochins, and since there is
the same general shape in all varieties of the Cochin fam-
ily, it will not be necessary to give a detailed description of
the other varieties.
In Chart Pig. 1 is shown a male that can truly be called
an ideal. While, as in the cases cited above, there are a few
minor changes that could be suggested, the picture is so
good, that I agree to pass without discount on shape such a
specimen when found in the show room. The Standard says
in describing outline for the Cochin male, that he should
be a very deep, massive bird, showing great constitution,
having a dignified carriage and a tendency to lean forward,
the keel carried low and the saddle or cushion well up. The
outline of every section should be well rounded and free
from any flat or concave surface. Mr. Sewell has certainly
filled the Standard description in the outline Fig. 1.
In color the Partridge Cochin should be rich, deep black
in breast and body; neck and saddle, bright red or dark
orange with black stripe extending down each feather. In
Fig. 1 Mr. Sewell has faithfully portrayed the correct color
as described in the Standard, and in the accompanying
drawings I call your attention to defective feathers with
their discounts as measured by our best judges. It is a well
known fact that some males are used in the breeding yard
that are decidedly off color so far as the Standard is con-
cerned, and our best breeders tell me they have to use them
in order to get the fine penciling and proper ground color
on the females, so that a discount in the show room is not
always so serious a defect as the cut would lead one to
imagine. As an illustration, a male bird might be cut on
color of neck, back, breast and body, and still be the high-
est priced bird in the breeder's yard, or in other words, his
best breeding male. I call special attention to this so that
the amateur may learn the difference between a show bird
and a pullet breeder.
I will how take up the different sections, using a few
feathers from each section for comparison.
This section should be bright red or dark orange red,
with a distinct black stripe extending down each feather
running nearly parallel with the edge of the feather and
tapering to a point near its extremity, the red or dark
golden edge to be free from black. Such necks as the Stan-
dard describes are met with quite often in our fancy show
specimens; in fact, so exquisitely are some of them colored
that an artist could hardly improve on them with his brush
or pencil. There are others, however, where many defec-
tive feathers are found, and to better illustrate these defects
I call the attention of the readers to Fig. 2. Feather No. 1
of this group is, taken from the lower part of neck, and is
fairly well proportioned in black and red, but the under
color is too light, and there is a streak of red running along
the shaft, and black runs to the end of feathers, making the
point look black and smutty. A neck with plumage like this
Defective Neck Feathers of the Male.
should be discounted one and one-half points. Feather No.
2 is taken from upper part of neck and is quite a good one,
except the tracing of black on outer edge of feather. Dis-
count one-half point. In feather No. 3 is found a defect
quite common among the pullet breeding males. The black
and red mingle up in the center of the feather, and the out-
side edging of red is too light, and there is a trace of black
on its edge. A neck like this should be discounted two
This is the most important of all the shape sections,
and nearly if not quite the most important in color. The
Standard says in describing this section, in shape, appar-
ently short, very broad and well rounded. You will note the
words "apparently short" are used in describing back. This
breed if bred to feather as the Standard, calls for is very
deceptive. A glance at the Chart Fig. 1 would lead one to
believe that the bird was short in this section, but a closer
inspection shows you he is quite long in back, and it is only
the long feathers around body and legs that give the bird the
short appearance. While inspecting the chart place a piece
of paper over the lower part covering up to lower part ot
wings, and you will be surprised to note the difference in
the length of the specimen. The Standard in describing the
color o£ this section gives the same description as in neck.
There is a slight difference in the shape of the feather, as
will be noticed by a study of the chart.
In Pig. 1 is shown a well proportioned, finely shaped
back and one that fits well this breed of fowls. In Fig. 3 are
illustrated some defective color, all three feathers in this
group taken from the back of one male, and still the back,
taken all in all, was far from a bad colored one, as there
were any number of nearly perfect feathers to be found.
Defective Back Feathers of the Male.
Feather No. 1 is light in under color, is not black enough
in center of feather and fails in the black stripe. If all the
featiiers in a section were as defective as this one the sec-
tion should be discounted two points. Feather No. 2 is
taken from just back of the wings, and shows a fairly per-
fect feather for that section. There is slight stripe of red
running through the center of feather, which should dis-
count one-half point. Feather No. 3 is one of the long, side
hangers, and is very defective.- It is too light in under color,
shows but little black in body of feather, and the stripe is
almost entirely lost. A back showing all feathers like No.
3 Should be discounted three points.
.Like back, this is a very important section, especially in
shape, and next to back is the most important from a breed-
er's standpoint. It is doubtful if there is in the Standard a
better description of any breed than the one used in con-
nection with the Cochins, which is as follows: Breast car-
ried low in front; full and well rounded, with great breadth
and depth. With this description and the Chart Fig. 1 the
reader should have no trouble in gaining a good general
Defective Breast Feathers of the Male.
idea of the shape of this section. You will note the breast
is carried low as compared to any other of the large breeds;
this gives our Cochin males a peculiar pose, and one that
harmonizes well with
their quiet, docile
In color the
breast should be
black, and in our
choicest show speci-
mens it is seldom
this section is dds-
counted in color.
However, there are
some defects that
show up, and in or-
der to explain them
to the reader, I call
your attention to the
feathers as shown in
Fig. 4. In feather
No. 1 is shown
a faint trace of red on lower edge, and the discount is one-
half point, while feather No. 2 has red on both sides running
well down, and the discount is one point. Feather No. 2 is
one that crops out quite often in the pullet breeding males,
and is not considered a serious defect when breeding for
BODY AND FLUFF.
This section has a valuation of eight points and
is divided, giving five to shape and three to color.
It will be noted in the division of points the Stand-
ard makers considered the shape of this section of
more value than color, and in most of the Asiatic
varieties this is true, but in Partridge Cochins and Dark
Brahmas it is doubtful if the scale of points should not
be changed, giving four for shape and four for color, as a
more intelligent card could be given in that way. However,
a full feathered Cochin must be good in body and fluff to be
Standard, as so much stress is laid on the rounded outlines
of these sections. In Chart Fig. I is shown a full feathered
bird, one that conforms to the new order of things and one
that we must admit makes a pleasing picture. In color the
Standard says the feathers should be black, but there are a
very few males that are entirely black in this section. Quite
Defective Body Feather of the Male.
often every feather in breast and front of body will be black,
still there will be quite a trace of red in the surface of fluff
and rear of body. The Standard description of body, like
CHART OF IDEAL PARTRIDGE COCHIN MALE
Fig. 1-Illustrating the Shape and Color Required by the American Standard of Perfection.
that of breast, is well worded; in fact, there is no better
description given in all the book than the one describing
this breed. The body should be from point of breast to
abdomen broad, deep and well rounded; medium in length.
The abdomen well let down between the legs, broad and well
rounded up from breast bone to tail, depending more for its
fullness on the length of feathers than upon muscular de-
In Fig. 5 will be found three feathers that were taken
from a male that showed fairly dark in breast and body.
Feather No. 1 is red on outside, with a tracing along the
shaft. A section showing feathers like this should be dis-
counted one and one-half points. Feathers Nos. 2 and 3
show a lacing of red on the outside and should be discounted
one point. Feathers 2 and 3 are quite common on pullet
breeding males and quite often this lacing of red will run
down on thighs and feet. The cuts of one and one-half
seem slight as compared to other discounts, but it must be
remembered there are only three points allowed for color in
This section in a Partridge Cochin male is usually good.
Broken feathers sometimes mar the shape, and occasionally
a trace of white will show in nights, but as a rule the wing
is good, and quite often passes without discount in either
shape or color. Where feathers are broken the cut is from
one-half to one, as in degree. If white shows in primaries
or secondaries, the cut is from one-half to one and one-half,
as in degree.
This section has quite a bearing on the shape of a
Cochin male, and it seldom passes as perfect. In fact, there
is undoubtedly as much tinkering with this section as any
one on the bird, including the hock. The nice short tail,
well furnished with long, soft coverts, doesn't grow on every
In the Chart Fig. 1 is shown a tail that is slightly over-
drawn; in fact, the stiff feathers are entirely out of sight.
This bird shows a tail nicely filled in underneath and just
such a one as our Cochin breeders are striving for, and one
I hope soon to see common with this breed, without the aid
of artificial help. So much trimming has been indulged in
by some of our breeders that when I see a good, well bal-
anced tail I am the least bit skeptical about it. But the rad-
ical improvement that has been made in this section within
the past fivo years encourages one to the belief that it is
only a matter of a short time until we may expect to find
many of our best specimens with such tails as illustrated
in the chart. There is a color disqualification in tails of
Partridge Cochin cockerels that some of the breeders seem
to overlook, and should white creep in the web of main tail
feathers or sickles, the bird is disqualified. When under
color is allowed to run too light, one may look for this de-
fect, and it is well at all times to keep a watchful eye in this
LEGS AND TOES.
In Fig. 1 is shown a male bird that has sufficient plum-
age on legs and thighs to please the most fastidious. It
was this extra heavy feathering that put so many of our
Cochin breeders at variance, and in many cases caused the
old-time breeders to give up the Cochins altogether. The
claim made by them that the heavy feathered bird was not
so good an egg producer was in some cases exaggerated.
Some strains may have been affected by this introduction
of the longer feathers, but breeders to whom I have talked
who at first were radically opposed to the change, have ad-
mitted that they see no difference in the laying qualities of
their birds. There have been some radical views taken on
the leg and toe feathering, many seeming to think the stiff
vulture hocks were being called for, and the birds exhibited
in the full feathered class some eight years ago were abom-
inable looking scrubs, and it is really wonderful that the
breeders came to adopt the full feathered ones at all. Care-
ful mating along intelligent lines soon eliminated the stiff
hocks and produced in their place a profusion of long soft
feathers, covering the thighs completely and curling as
much in front as behind the leg. A careful study of the
chart will show the readers that a Cochin male when prop-
erly feathered comes pretty near filling a perfect triangle.
They will also note the entire absence of stiff feathers on
hocks. Such birds as pictured in the chart are rare, but
only from such may we expect to breed the ideal Cochin.
Perhaps of all the Standard varieties there is no female
of the heavy weight breeds so strikingly handsome as a well
bred Partridge Cochin. Their beautiful color, with well
rounded shape, is surely a pleasing picture; add to this their
gentle disposition and we have something well worth out
time to study and care for. In my opinion the two hand-
somest females recognized by the Standard are the Partridge
Cochins and Dark Brahmas. The Cochins, with their grand
penciling and their rich mahogany red ground color, the
Brahma, with its graceful tracings of white on the steel
gray, make a study for an artist.
The lacing is the same in both breeds, being a distinct
triple in back, breast, body and wing bows.
In Fig. 6 is shown a chart that represents an ideal
Cochin female. So far as shape goes there is little chance
for improvement, and shpuld any Partridge Cochin breeder
get one as good in color as the tracings on this chart, he is
pretty certain of a place in close competition. With the
chart as a guide there is no great amount of explanation
necessary for a clear understanding of shape, and it is this
ease of demonstrating by outlines that convinces the writer
that an illustrated Standard is not only valuable, but a real
necessity if we wish to educate the breeders to a better un-
derstanding of the different varieties. With the chart as
our guide for perfect shape and color, I will call attention to
some defective feathers, and place a discount on them sim-
ilar to the male.
This section is seldom good in color if other sections of
the bird are nicely penciled. Instead of a black feather with
golden lacing, we are quite likely to find the feather laced
like the back and wing bows. The Standard says in describ-
ing color of neck: Bright red or dark orange red, with a dis-
tinct black stripe extending down each feather, running
nearly parallel with the edge and tapering to a point near
its extremity. The black stripe may be slightly penciled.
In my opinion the wording should be changed to read lower
part of hackle penciled similarly to the back, then we can
breed without asking nature to reverse her markings in two
sections that join each other.
In Fig. 7 are shown some defective feathers taken from
che back of a female that possessed remarkable color in
breast and body. The back had a good shade of ground
color, but was almost entirely void of lacing. Feather No.
3 shows a faint irace of lacing, but is badly mixed
up and should be discounted one and one-half points.
Feather No. 2 in the same group is entirely devoid of
lacing and should be cut two points. Feather No. 1 is
not only devoid of lacing, but has a shading of gray on edge
of feather, which gives the surface a faded out appearance.
^LIABLE POULTRY JflliRftflt-
CHART OF IDEAL PARTRIDGE COCHIN FEMALE.
Fiff. 6— Illustrating the Shape and Distribution of Color Required by the American Standard of Perfection.
A back showing feathers like this should be dis-
counted two and one-half points. In shape it is doubtful if
a better outline Will ever be offered than the one Mr. Sewell
has portrayed in the chart. Perhaps a little overdrawn for
our best Partridges, but well in hand for some of our Buff
Defective Back Feathers of the Female.
females; in fact, the first pullet at Illinois State show, Jan-
uary, 1902, was only a shade behind this drawing. The Part-
ridges have only within the last few years been shown with
the long, soft plumage so common with the Buffs, but with
such men as Mitchell, Baylies, Harrison and others in the
chase for perfection, it is only a matter of time till the
Partridges will take their place alongside the best of the
This section usually shows as good color as any on the
bird; in fact, we quite often find good lacing on breast when
other sections are quite defective. In Fig. 8 is shown a group
of feathers frequently found on the breast of this variety.
Feather No. 1 has a fairly good style of lacing on outside,
but pencils up too much in center of feather. A breast with
feathers like this
should be cut one
and one-half points.
Feather No. 2 is
taken from up near
the throat and
shows a faint trace
of lacing, but not dis-
tinct enough, and
center of feather is
penciled and runs to-
gether. A section
showing feathers like
this should be dis-
counted one point.
Feather No. 3 is
laced on outside; in fact, two rows of lacing show fairly
plain, but mingle too much near the shaft. A breast show-
ing plumage like this should be discounted one point.
In shape the breast should be full and well rounded,
with great breadth and depth, carried low in front. In Fig.
6 is shown an outline of breast that fills the Standard fairly
well. However, this breast might be carried a trifle lower at
point of breast bone, still not go beyond the Standard de-
This is another important section in all Cochins; in fact,
there are but few if any breeds where this section is con-
sidered of so much importance especially in shape. To be
Defective Breast Feathers of the Female,
perfect it should be from point of breast bone to abdomen,
broad, deep, full and well rounded, medium in length, the
abdomen very full and round from breast bone to tail, with
great length and fullness of feather.
In Fig. 6 is shown an outline of body that would be hard
to improve upon. The long feathers of the lower body com-
pletely hide the hock, making a nicely rounded out profile
that is pleasing to look upon and one our Cochin breeders
are striving to breed. In this, as in other sections where
the long, soft plumage has much to do with the outline, it
is well to remember that but few of our best Partridge Coch-
ins are so profusely feathered. The Buffs of this breed have
a trifle the best of the long feathering thus far, but year
by year we see the improvements in the other varieties, and
it is only a matter of time, and a short time at that, until all
varieties of the Cochins will be as profusely feathered as
our chart shows.
In Fig. 9 are shown some feathers taken from a female
in a pen mated for general results. It will be noticed there
is scarcely a trace of lacing, and the feathers are badly off
in penciling. Feather 1 looks more like the fluff of a cock-
erel breeding Brown Leghorn. There is no lacing and black
extends almost half way through the web of the feather.
A body with plumage like this should be discounted two
Defective Body Feathers of the Female.
points. Feather 3 has some of the same defects as feather
No. 1 and there is also a tracing of light lemon on outside. A
body showing color like this should be discounted two and
one-half points. Feather No. 2 is not so bad as 1 and 3, but
is void of the lacing and black runs too far into the web and
should be cut one and one-half points.
In shape the wings should be small and completely
folded, the fronts embedded in the plumage of the breast.
The tips concealed between the cushion and thigh plumage.
In color the chart Fig.
6 is shown correct in
lacing for this section,
and like breast is usu-
ally good, as compared
to other sections.
In Fig. 10 are shown
three feathers that are
more or less defective;
all of these feathers,
taken from the wing
bow of one bird, show
how defects will multi-
ply if careless breeding De£ ective Wing Bow Feathers of the Female
is indulged in. Feather No. 1 in this group shows a
trace of lacing, but is not distinct enough. The penciling
runs into the ground color, and should be cut one point
Feather. No. 2 is so penciled as to practically destroy all
trace of lacing and should be cut one and one-half points.
Feather No. 3 is one of the small feathers taken from upper
part of wing bow: Like feather 1, it is not clear enough in
lacing and should be cut one point.
This section in the female, like that of the male, gives
the breeder more or less trouble in keeping it at the proper
length. A nice short tail is a wonderful help in rounding out
the back, while a high stiff one will mar the symmetry.
However, there is not so much trouble experienced in pro-
ducing good tails on females as on males. The Standard
says in describing the shape of this section: Short and
broad at base, well filled underneath with a profusion of
soft feathers and nearly enveloped in the ta.il coverts, which
help form the cushion. The tail in Fig. 6 is slightly over-
drawn; the tail proper should show at an angle of about
85 degrees, while the feathers in Fig. 6 would show they
grew out on almost a straight line. The point for the breed-
er to take into consideration is to breed the main tail feath-
ers as short as possible, with a profusion of coverts and
cushion feathers. In color the tail of a Partridge Cochin
female should be black, except the two highest main tail
feathers, which should be penciled. The penciling of the
two top feathers carries the handsome color effect from
comb to end of tail, but tail, like neck, is pretty hard to
keep free from penciling, when other sections are good in
color, and it is a question in my mind if penciling should
not be allowed in the main tail of Partridge Cochins, Indian
Games and Brown Leghorn females; but so long as the
Standard reads as it does, all we can do is to discount the
In feather 1 in Fig. 11 will be found a penciled feather
quite often met with in tails of well colored females. A
bird showing this amount of penciling in tail should be dis-
counted one point. Feather 2 is taken from down on the side
of tail, and only a trace of red appears. A tail like this
should be cut one-fourth point. Feather 3, like feather 1,
shows the penciling on both sides, also shows a streak of
very light ashy color on surface, and should be discounted
one and one-half points.
LEGS AND TOES.
This section is not only important in shape, but in color
as well. Thighs, shanks and feet should be profusely feath-
ered, and the lacing on feathers should extend to the toes.
It is only within the past few years that good lacing on
body and fluff was considered wonderful, but with the great
improvement in mating we have to-day not only the hand-
some coloring in body and fluff, but on feet and toes as well.
In fact I have within the past three years found several fe-
males with foot feathering as well laced as Mr. Sewell has
Defective Tail Feathers of the Female.
shown in the chart. In shape improvement would be hard
to make, as Mr. Sewel] has portrayed one of our very choic-
est Buff pullets. She has a sufficient amount of feathers on
legs and toes, and the length of leg is in proportion to the
well rounded symmetrical body. T. HBWES.
TWENTY YEARS WITH PARTRIDGE COCHINS.
A Variety Adapted to Any Locality— That Thrives in Confinement and Lays When Eggs Are High
Priced— Feeding, Mating and Judging.
By 0. E. Skinner.
DHAVE bred Partridge Cochins nineteen years. History
has it they originated from the same sitting of eggs as
the Buff Cochin. A skipper brought the eggs from
China and when hatched one party took the chicks
looking most like a partridge and the other the Buffs.
It is needless to say that they have been very materially
advanced in color and shape since.
Partridge Cochins prove highly satisfactory in cities
and mining districts, as they do not show soot and coal
smoke like other varieties.
They are easily confined. To illustrate — I have only a
two-foot fence between two pens of Partridge Cochins and
they do not bother any. Three feet I think amply high.
I am, from varied experience, an advocate of low houses and
low roosts, but they must be kept absolutely clean and dry.
Twelve to fourteen inches is high enough for roosts. They
bear confinement exceedingly well, and do not get overly
fat like Barred Rocks and other more active breeds. To
get the best results in close confinement, straw or other lit-
ter should be liberally supplied to induce exercise.
I have succeeded in producing a larger number of eggs
in zero wea'ther with Partridge Cochins than with any other
breed. I have bred all the leading breeds of fowls side by
side with them. I tested five Partridge Cochins (three hens
and two pullets) with forty Leghorn pullets and hens in the
exceedingly cold January and February of 1899. These
fowls were kept in the same kind of a house with the same
food. Now for results. These Partridge Cochins averaged
two and a half eggs per day with the temperature running
as low as twenty-four below zero, and for nearly one-half
the time the forty Leghorns laid absolutely none. Some
will say, "Your houses were not warm enough." Yes, but
the same conditions applied to the Partridge Cochins; be-
sides, one egg laid by one old Partridge Cochin has produced
a pullet that commenced laying at four months and twenty-
nine days old. They are considered by many the very best
Here are some weights— Hatched June 24th, weighed
Pour Partridge Cochins— 3 pounds.
Four Light Brahmas — 2% pounds.
Four Barred Rocks— 3% pounds.
Four Light Brahmas— 4% pounds.
Four Partridge Cochins— 4 11-16 pounds.
Four Barred Rocks — 4% pounds.
Weighed again September 7th:
The Partridge showing a gain over the rest.
A great many breeds of fowls are subject to leg weak-
ness when young and growing fast. In nineteen years of
breeding Partridge Cochins, I cannot recall a single case of
leg weakness. Where it does occur in any breed a little
copperas in the drinking water is valuable.
Another good point about Partridge Cochins is that
when bred for winter layers, having been laying all winter.
they are ready to sit early for early show chicks. For hatch-
ing in incubators, Partridge Cochin eggs knock the Light
Brahmas clear out and are far better than Buffs.
The longer I breed fowls the less I think it requires
any special kind of food to raise young chicks successfully.
It is the air surrounding the hen or in the brooder that
does the deadly work and not the food. I believe this, how-
ever; the kind of food has a great deal to do with the rapid
growth. I am at the present time using Spratt's food. Corn
bread baked with plenty of eggs and oatmeal mixed with
hot water for one feed a day for chicks up to two weeks
or more old helps them make a very rapid growth.
B^or mature Partridge Cochins I feed one mash in morn-
ing with some variety of meat and potatoes cooked. In the
evening I feed whole, grain, corn, oats and wheat mixed.
About six to ten females to one male for breeding is the
Third Proe Partridge Cochin Cockerel, in a targe Class at the Great
_ Mid-Contmental Exhibition. Bred by M !? Skinner
proper mating. I always prefer cockerels with hens and
early pullets, as I make a specialty of raising winter-laying
Partridge Cochins hatched from eggs laid in the winter.
Cocks are all right for summer breeding, but the most active
cockerels are required for cold winter breeding. In breed-
ing for show birds, I always advocate mating as near stand-
ard as possible on both sides, using a male as high as possi-
ble in cushion with as short a tail as possible and broad
In breeding good Cochins, it is difficult to get good
shape in males and good penciling in females. In color,
white is the hardest to keep out. My idea is if you use a
special mating, that is, a cockerel with penciled feathers,
you soon will have a white strain of Cochins in males. On
the other hand, in mating for cockerels, you soon would
have a strain of females without any penciling. I much pre-
fer cherry red in males and females with a rich golden
edging to hackle, rather than lemon edging. The new stand-
ard calls for the same hackle in females as in males. 1
think this is a printer's error.
In judging I have seen the most noted judges make
bungling work, aljowing a little under sized pullet, for in-
stance, to take first because she was of good color, leaving
out shape and size altogether.
If I were judging Cochins, I would look over the entire
lot and select the one with good size, good shape and best
color possible, with the other qualities, and score this one
first and then be very careful that I got none higher. I
believe, if this system was adopted in judging, a better and
evener type of Cochins could be established. Then a long-
legged, out-of-shape and under-sized bird could not win over
other birds far more valuable as breeders.
In the accompanying photo of a bird I bred is shown
the cockerel winning third prize at Kansas City, twenty-
seven competing. He is a trifle long on legs, but fine shape
of body. His present position is a little more erect than
usual, owing to his standing near a coop containing another
cockerel. His comb is a trifle larger than I like, otherwise
he is a fine specimen.
0. B. SKINNER.
MATING PARTRIDGE COCHINS.
Characteristics Specially Valuable in Male and Female— Inbreeding Necessary to Fix These Char-
acteristics— Improvement in Recent Years— Double Mating Advocated.
By A. W. Bell.
THE main difficulty in breeding Partridge Cochins is
to obtain the desired penciling in the females, with
proper mahogany ground color, which is so earnest-
ly sought for by all breeders, but as yet has been
the reward of the few. In the male the most important,
outside of shape and looseness' of feathering is to secure a
well-striped hackle and saddle, free from what is called
mossiness in the edge of the feathers, and the quill of
feather being light, the latter being the result of use of
English blood to a greater or lesser degree.
I know of no special mating that will in one season pro-
duce birds with a standard hackle and saddle, except that
by breeding from males strong in under-color will assist,
and all one can do is to mate such birds with the best pro-
curable characteristics in these sections following a good
deal in-breeding until you have this point thoroughly fixed
in your strain, then attempt another section of the bird,
unless you are fortunate enough to possess one good in all
points, though of course it is much more expedient to accom-
plish the perfection of two or more sections at the same time
When we turn to the female though is where the per-
sistence and resources of the breeder are taxed to their
utmost. To produce every feather on the body as distinctly
penciled as if it had been done by an artist, in fact, often
say that an artist could not do such work, is an undertak-
ing that not every one is capable of accomplishing. ,
A few years ago most judges would pass a hen with
peppered fluff sound or cut one-half, whilst now she would
lose two points because in this section alone has there been
such wonderful improvement. I saw last winter a female
where one could almost truthfully say every feather on her
body was perfectly penciled, and to a Partridge breeder she
was Worth a considerable sum.
Your male should be from what they call a pullet breed-
ing strain (would that though the single mating was all
that was required to produce any variety), 1. e., a bird whose
breast, body and fluff are penciled, with black, and not a
solid black as for cockerels. Added to this with a light
under-color, and do not object to a little white or grey in
wings, as you will easily notice the improvement in your
To a male of this type should be mated a female as dis-
tinctly penciled in all parts, as you have, of a mahogany
red shade, her under-color being light
To one who has bred Partridge Cochins, no more beau-
tiful bird exists, and no doubt after they become perfected
more in color, especially among females, they will be bred
considerably in excess of the present time. There is no
doubt this deters many from taking up those beautiful birds,
the same as with Dark Brahmas.
I have said nothing as to shape and size, as rules for
other colors will answer the Partridge, only the majority
of strains are a little too much inclined to a great length
of leg in both sexes. This can be remedied a good deal by
breeding later in the season, as a majority of birds so bred
are shorter legged than those hatched earlier; possibly also
they are being inbred more than they should be, which ex-
plains their smallness and tightness of feather in compari-
son with the Buffs. A. W. BELL.
BREEDING HIGH CLASS PARTRIDGE COCHINS.
The Combination of Form, Feather and Color Necessary to the True Cochin— How to Obtain These
by the Single Mating System— Value of Inbreeding, Wholesome
Food and Proper Care.
By George W. Mitchell.
DN the production of high class Partridge Cochins it has
been my constant desire to have not only the best
quality of this variety, but to equal the Cochin quali-
ties of any variety of the breed. To handle them in a
manner to gain such quality has been an extremely difficult
task, demanding the closest attention as well as continuous
thought for the future. In the production of all the qualities
required to have them fill the demands of the Standard it
is absolutely necessary to line breed, even to the verge of
dangerous in-breeding. To continue in this line of work and
maintain all the Cochin qualities has been a problem that
has given occasion for thought.
The best way to convey to those who are interested such
information as will be valuable is by telling how it "is possi-
ble to maintain size, shape and feather when line-breeding
for color. First, the size can be maintained only by the se-
lection of the largest and most vigorous females, those that
show good constitutions and bone force, with thick heavy
shanks and thighs. Cochins must have strength in these
sections to enable them to carry the weight that comes with
increased size. The thighs must be long to carry the full
feathering of the present type and must be so located, or set
on the body, as to spread well apart so the body may be
wide and full and at the same time let the body down be-
tween the shanks that we may gain a broad* appearance both
fore and aft. Such hens can be depended upon to produce
good size and vigor at all times, even if bred in line for
Another thing that must be done is the forcing of the
ohick from start to finish with good, strong and wholesome
food that contains a large per cent of bone and feather form-
ing properties. Much more depends on proper care and feed-
ing than is generally understood. A Cochin that is allowed
to falter in its growth at any stage of its development will
never make a large, vigorous bird. Poor or irregular feed-
ing, over-crowding, damp or cold coops, all have quite as
much to do with loss of vigor, size and luster of feather as
has the method of mating. The chicks must be regularly
fed and properly looked after all the time or they will not
become high quality fowls, even if the eggs they came from
were from the finest of hens.
DISCARD VULTURE HOCKS
To gain the best Cochin shape and feather we must have
the right tendencies in our breeding stock. The progress
that has been made in this line has come from the use of the
heaviest feathered females to be obtained. The use of males
that have long and heavy vulture hocks stamps this evil
quality so strongly in the blood that it gives continuous
trouble for years. Select the heaviest feathered females you
can find, and the heaviest feathered males without the stiff
hocks and breed these qualities into your young stock grad-
ually rather than to have the bulk of them discarded for
Of all things, do not tolerate a specimen that lacks
Cochin shape. In selecting for this do not make the mistake
of having them so short in body that they look dumpy or
deformed, nor so low in front nor so high behind that they
have the appearance of falling forward. The most desirable
Cochin shape is the rounded, full form in all sections, as
large and full as possible, and as long as can be had without
losing the well-rounded form that is the beauty of the
If these rules of maintaining shape, size and feather are
followed, you may feel assured of reasonable success and
improvement in the stock from year to year.
Color and markings give this variety a grace and beauty
of feather that seldom are excelled. The combination of the
black and red of the male, and the mahogany red with
brown or black in the female, gives us a pair of birds beau-
tiful beyond the power of the pen to describe. When the
feathers show the smooth, glossy, velvety sheen that indi-
cates good health and breeding, you have a sure evidence
of vigor, without which you cannot gain the best condition
of color and feather.
INBREEDING— ITS GOOD RESULTS.
For many years I have practiced line breeding and the
good qualities so much desired have been infused into the
blood by the mating together of the specimens 'having in
the highest degree the qualities most desirable for the show
pen. Always having in mind the methods set forth above
for the control of shape, size, vigor and feather, it has been
possible to mate together the finest specimens produced,
even to using in the same pen full brother and sister. If
asked if I would advise such close breeding, I must answer,
"Yes, but — ." The "but" is added only to remind the ama-
teur that the greatest care must be exercised along the lines
set forth, and then success is the reward.
Should one not desire to give the time and thought nec-
essary to produce the results mentioned he can hold to the
male line and breed these males to two or three separate
female lines that can be kept separate by knowing the pul-
lets from each hen, and hold these over to be mated with the
cockerels of the year, or with cocks that are a very little
removed from full brother and sister. In this way color can
be improved from year to year, providing you make use of
the true Standard colors in your matings. Our Standard
calls for the same color and striping of the hackles of both
males and females.
Real beauty demands that the Standard be obeyed in
your matings or the result will be inferior hackles in the
females at least. Nature gives the proper hackle to the male
more readily than to the female, and to keep the proper
shade and markings in the hackle of the females we must
see to it that the hackles of the breeders are as we would
have them in the young stock.
The mahogany red of the female helps to keep the bril-
liancy of the top color of the males and the dark penciling
helps to add richness and gloss to the black of breast and
body color of the males. The proper use of the Standard
colors in your matings will aid in establishing a line of birds
that will produce winners in both sexes from the matings
X x -
as mentioned, while the manipulations necessary to the dou-
ble mating system tend to force your blood lines so far apart
that the introduction of one into the other injures both color
The only way to hold in check the white that is so likely
to make its appearance ir the wings .:nd about the? roots of
the tail feather? c-f the male, is to have a good, rich black
in breast, body and wings and with these good, strong under*;
color is necessary. These are the only safeguards against .
the white or gray, that naturally belongs to all fowls whose
plumage shows the black-red shades. The same fault, if
fault it must be called, was found in the early-day males,
the Earl Derby Games, our present-day Black Red Games,
Brown Leghorns and others with similar colors. The pres-
ence of white or gray has a very undesirable influence upon
the richness of the surface color. For all these reasons it is
quite difficult to hold the shades and markings of Partridge
Cochins together with perfect Cochin type, but it can be ac-
complished if the proper care and attention are given along
the lines as I have suggested. GEO. W. MITCHELL.
STANDARD BRED BLACK COCHINS.
An Instructive, Convincing Article by a Fancier and Judge Who Has Bred Them Continuously
During Twenty-two Years.
By C. H. Rhodes.
FTER a fancier has made the breeding of a
certain variety of fowls a specialty for a num-
ber of years, it i s hard to keep his mind
free from prejudice toward other varieties. Very
naturally his special variety of fowls become his fav-
orites, and he desires to have other breeders recognize the
true merits of his variety as seen by himself. The true
fancier, however, will avoid prejudice or favoritism, con-
ceding to all varieties the true merit they deserve. When-
ever an article is published from the pen of a contributor
showing a desire to depreciate any special variety of fowls,
you can rest assured that the fowls he depreciates are strong
competitors of public favor. It is to be hoped that the read-
ers of this article will recognize the desire of the writer to
A Black Cochin Hen of Grand Shape and Color. Bred by C. H. Rhodes.
call attention to the excellencies of the Black Cochin, giving
to all other varieties of fowls most respectful consideration.
It is not the purpose of this article to go into details
regarding the origin, history or advent of the Black Cochins
in this country. Many articles as to the history of these
fowls have been published heretofore. The purpose of this
article will have been accomplished if it produces in the
mind of the reader a recognition of the sterling qualities
possessed by the Black Cochins, and assists in placing them
in the front rank with other varieties.
The breeders of these fowls thoroughly understand and
appreciate them for their economic worth. As compared
with the other Asiatics they stand second to none
as egg producers. Their eggs are large and uniform.
The hens are not prone to sit very early in the
season, but when they raise a brood of chicks,
they make thebest of mothers. The better strains
of these fowls under careful handling' breed
very uniform as to size, color and shape. The
epicure will find in the Black Cochin a fowl
that for table use will fill all requirements. The
tissue of the fowl is tender and easily prepared
for use. Unlike many varieties of black fowls,
the skin dresses yellow and is free from any
bluish tinge, which is so objectionable in many
of the markets of the east.
The Black Cochins are very hardy fowls.
They stand exposure and fatigue, changes of
climate and temperature with impunity. As a
class they are exceptionally free from predis-
position to disease. During unfavorable sea-
sons of the year, when other flocks are infected
with disease, they are immune. The typical
fowl has a beautiful greenish black metallic
luster. A flock of these well-bred fowls is most
pleasing to the eye, and would please and en-
thuse any admirer of fine poultry.
MR. RHODES LONG DEVOTION TO BLACK
My attention was first called to Black
Cochins in 1872. A Wisconsin friend was at
that time giving his especial attention to these
fowls. The early breeders were more success-
ful in securing the requisite color than in ob-
taining the Cochin shape. In early days these fowls were
tall and leggy, and close feathered, both in the males and
females. By shape they would hardly have been recognized
as belonging to the Cochin family as described by the pres-
ent American Standard. In the early days they were known
as almost non-sitters.
Four years later, at the National Poultry Show at Chi-
cago, the Blacks on exhibition was one of the strong classes.
During this short space of time they had made considerable
improvement in shape, but the color had somewhat depre-
In 1879 we owned our first Black Cochins. They were
somewhat undersized and coarse in their general make up,
though they filled the requirements of this variety at that
time. I took up the breeding of Black Cochins with the
fixed determination to secure if possible birds of larger size,
of Cochin shape, with more profuse feathering, and at the
same time retaining their economic qualities as to jgg pro-
duction and early maturity. How well I have followed this
determination is best shown by the fact that I have contin-
uously and without interruption bred this variety twenty-
two years and produced fowls that have received the high-
est recognition at the local and national exhibitions of our
Starting with the Williams strain, for two years we in-
bred the fowls, selecting the fullest feathered for the pur-
pose, using sire on daughter and granddaughter. This
resulted in an increased size and an improvement in sfcape.
Later we purchased what was then known as the Stone
stock. The male line was not satisfactory. We selected
two pullets that were extra heavily feathered on legs and
toes and mated them with 'the old cock. From this mating
the results were very satisfactory. The cockerels combined
the good qualities of the sire, increasing the leg feathering
and fluffiness so desirable in the Cochins. The best cockerel
was bred to his dam, and from this mating a line of sires
was established that has remained unbroken to the present
It seemed to be a natural tendency of the Blacks to be
more closely feathered than the other Cochins. To obviate
this, I concluded to try the cold weather theory of fluffing.
I had a brood hen come off in August with six youngsters.
These chickens were given the closest attention, sheltered
from the inclement weather and kept growing from the
shell to maturity. In November they were black balls of
fluffy down. From this lot four were selected for exhibitior-
purposes. That they were excellent Cochins is evidenced
by the fact that they won sweepstakes prizes at two of the
largest shows in the west, i. e., Chicago and Indianapolis.
EXPERIMENTS WITH IMPORTED STOCK.
A number of importations of Blacks have been made
since 1885. This blood must be used very sparingly to avoid
A Typical Black Cochin Cock. Bred by C. H. Rhodes.
a stiff, harsh hock. On several occasions I have experimented
somewhat with the English variety of Black Cochins, but
have achieved my greatest success in confining the matings
to the stock of my own production.
The increasing volume of my correspondence and the
statement received from many fanciers, show conclusively
that the Black Cochins are growing in popularity each
year. From the present handsome and symmetrical Black
Cochin, one would hardly recognize any resemblance to the
tall and leggy variety of birds of twenty years ago. The
development of this fowl to its present state of perfection
illustrates* what may be accomplished by careful matings
and persistent effort to perfect a given variety of fowls. In
the history of Black Cochins, there never has been a time
when the variety has been given any great boom in the
fanciers' world. They have grown steadily in public favor
without the boom and reaction which is the fate of so many
other varieties. With their intrinsic merits and from their
past history, one has a right to believe they will continue to
grow in popularity as their excellence becomes better
known. C. H. RHODES.
THE WHITE COCHINS.
A Useful Variety for Exhibition and Practical Purposes— The Standard Demands for Form and
Feather— A Bird Worthy of the Breeder's Skill.
By Edward Wtatt.
T IS with the utmost pleasure that I herewith present
an article upon the justly entitled 1 "Royal- White
Cochin." They are royal first, because of the admira-
tion our late sovereign, Queen Victoria, had for them
when she imported them direct from China into Eng-
land, and second, because of their great excellence of merit,
marvelous combination of form and color of the purest
white. They seemingly possess all that can be expected of
In this short article I will try and give, with the hope
of aiding the tyro, the Standard demands of shape and color
and the system of mating for best results. Many to-day find
themselves shipwrecked upon a sea of wrong mating. To
successfully raise the White Cochin for exhibition, one must
necessarily be a fancier — a lover of his fowls. He must be
an artist in his line, with an eye for the beautiful, for no
breed is more beautiful if bred in their pureness of white,
with an abundance of feathering to give it the shape of a
large ball of snowy white. To breed them to almost perfec-
tion, the fancier must be an enthusiast, a specialist devoted
to this one breed — this one variety.
If a person possesses not the taste to become a fancier,
or is indifferent as to the proper care of his flock, he had not
better undertake to raise this illustrious fowl, or he will be
doomed to disappointment. Such arrangements on the part
of the indifferent have hatched out many disasters and been
the chief cause of repressing the great merit of the whole
Cochin family, constraining themselves and many others to
believe that, this variety is of little use except for exhibition
Second Prize White Cochin Pullet, at New York, 1904
Bred by Edward Wyatt.
purposes. But, my dear readers, learn from me this truth—
the whole Cochin family have stood the storm of criticism
from jealous breeders for many years, and have come out
of the controversy as one of the best all-round breeds in
use to-day. They stand upon their own merits and are rap-
idly becoming the favorites in every clime, country and
state. True the Buffs are the most popular, but they do not
excel the whites on any point save as a matter of taste on
the part of the fancier. The writer frankly admits that the
White Cochin is his first love and the fowl he most ardently
admires, and he has been breeding them for ten years.
The typical White Cochin is a majestic fowl, a beauty
in itself, and stands upon the canvas of the past distinct and
vivid as the king— an exhibition fowl par excellence. Its
lovers and breeders, though not so many as those of the Buff
and Partridge, are on the Increase and will be as long as
the love of raising poultry warms the "heart of man. The
White Cochin is also one of the practical every day workers
and money makers in Canadian and American yards to-day,
provided, however, they have the proper care and food.
The up-to-date White Cochin, similar to its sister varie-
ties, is a massive, profusely feathered fowl, the more heav-
ily feathered the better; broad, blacky, globular in every
outline. This presents a most grand and imposing form.
Under the present Standard, the most grandly formed, the
purest white, the fullest plumaged birds win the honors.
To obtain the plumage one must breed for it. It can be had
only by selecting each season for mating those showing pro-
fuse side fluff, massive front and rear hock and foot plumage
and great length of underfluff. This will gradually approxi-
mate that broad cushion or saddle, which properly should
be as broad as or broader than the widest point of the fowl.
This and the desired full breast are only seen at our best
shows and are hard to obtain. The full plumage will give
the required almost horizontal tail. The profusely feathered
Cochin does not carry any more weight in feather than does
a Light Brahma of like class. The feathers are longer and
fluffier — that's all.
The Standard color is a pure white — something beautiful
indeed. Too much stress should not be laid upon color. In
my opinion shape comes first. The neares.t and best illustra-
tion of a pure white is the newly driven snow as it descends
from heaven. On the male bird the wavy, metallic lustre of
the neck, wing and saddle is almost identical; While on the
female, of course, it lacks life and gloss. The White Cochin
is the easiest of all the Cochin varieties to breed as regards
color, for in them there are no discordant colors as in the
others. As for shape, they are all on a level, the shape of
one variety being that aimed at in the others.
To breed White Cochins is work for an artist and a
great repast for thought and study. They represent the
world's greatest artistic work in serenely combining form
and color, and as a result for exhibition qualities as a fowl,
they reign supreme. So mucb for the White Cochin, and.
long may they reign. EDWARD WYATT.
STANDARD-BRED WHITE COCHINS.
A Judge and Fancier of Thirty-three Years' Experience in Breeding Cochins Says a Few
Words in Favor of the Whites.
By J. D. Nevius.
(From the Reliable Poultry Journal.)
THIS variety of the Cochin family should differ only
in color from that of the Buff, which is and has been
for years considered the most perfect in shape, size
and feathering of all the varieties. This can, I
think, he easily accounted for from the fact that the Buffs
have had far more admirers, consequently have had much
more attention paid to their improvement, and being bred in
much larger numbers, better specimens have been produced
from which to select breeders. After thirty-three years'
experience as a breeder of Cochins, most of this time breed-
ing the four varieties — Buff, Partridge, White and Black—
I have found the Whites in all respects the equal of either
of the other more popular varieties — Buffs and Partridges.
In hardiness, either as fowls or chicks, they will stand con-
finement as well (but like all white birds, -if not kept on
grass runs, appear to a disadvantage in point of condition),
are good sitters and splendid mothers, and are better layers
and their eggs are much larger than those of either of the
other varieties. The beauty of a well bred flock of White
Cochins on a green lawn I do not think can tie excelled by
that of any other variety of all chickendom. Prom the de-
mand for eggs and fowls for the past three years I am con-
vinced that they are rapidly growing in favor, as they cer-
tainly deserve. We have been unable to supply the demand
for either fowls or eggs the past two years. With White
Cochins, like all varieties of white fowls that the Standard
demands shall have yellow legs and bay eyes, it has been
difficult to breed stay-white males. I mean by this males
that when exposed to the sun for a season will be free from
any tendency to straw color. Such a cock, if first-class in
size, shape and feathering, is almost priceless as a breeder.
We lost a bird of 'this kind this year (a winner of many
first prizes) that we had used as a breeder for five years, and
was strong, active and vigorous up to within a short time
of his death. We never bred a Cochin that was more vigor-
ous at his age.
The White Cochin, like all the other varieties, should
be a massive bird with broad, deep, well-rounded body and
breast, small head for size of bird, comb small, with five
serrations, eyes bay, neck short and full, the male's hackle
cushion full and well rounded, that of the female almost
extending well over the shoulders, back short and broad,
hiding the entire tail, which should be so carried that the
highest point does not appear above the highest point of
cushion, breast deep, full and well rounded, and carried mod-
erately low, legs yellow, short and abundantly feathered to
end of middle toe. We believe that in a few years the
White Cochin will in all respects be the equal of the best
of any other variety of Cochins.
J. D. NEVIUS.
RELIABLE: PoULTRY J°l/Rltf)L
Standard-bred White Cochins— By Sewell.
novDlCHT '• -; '■ - .- "O^.
IDEAL BLACK LANGSHANS— By Sewell
THE BLACK LANGSHAN.
A Product of the Langshan Hills of China— Its Admission to the American Standard and Subsequent
Development — Pen Pictures of Ideal Male and Female— The Defects Found and Cuts
Scored by the Judge— A Tried and Proven System of
Mating for Best Results.
By I. K. Felch.
THE first importation of them to America was made
in 1876, by E. A. Samuels, the ornithologist of Wal-
tham, Mass., from the Langshan Hills of China.
About four years before this (February, 1872) they
were imported by Major Croad of Sussex, England, from the
same quarter. Those of us Who were active in poultry cul-
ture at that time remember the bitter antagonism exhibited
toward them by those breeders then trying to make the Black
Cochin popular; they terming these new importations as
crude and indifferently-bred Cochins, but they reckoned
badly, for they lived to see these black additions to our list
prove beyond dispute a difference in type and exhibit more
decided and brilliant color, which secured for them the ap-
pellation of "The black diamonds" in poultry culture. The
clandestine use of them as crosses with the Cochins, both
in England and America, in the hope of improving the color
of their plumage, brought to the breeder thus working, the
chagrin of seeing the Cochin character and color of shanks
and feet absorbed by the Langshan instead, and in the end
forcing him to acknowledge their superior strength of blood
and breeding; the Langshan establishing itself as a thor-
oughbred of decided type and color and maintaining its de-
cided merit as producers of eggs, taking rank as the best
layers among the Asiatics.
They have many admirers and those not prejudiced
against the color of the skin of poultry (it being white
skinned), find no fault with its merit as a meat supply.
The Langshan Hills of northern China is the original
home of this breed, as it was from there that the first speci-
mens, sent both to America and England, were imported.
It matters not how fully one may write of its advent, its
history in America is what interests the readers of to-day.
During the seven years from its advent to 1883, when at
Worcester it secured admission to the American Standard,
its path was a thorny one for any breed — no breed probably
ever had such opposition and probably none ever had a
greater triumph in its acceptance. A petition of nearly a
thousand names accomplished its admission.
It is now nineteen years since they were acknowledged
as thoroughbreds by the American breeders and accepted by
the A. P. A. at Worcester, Massachusetts.
It was my privilege to write out a standard for them as
a disinterested party. Those being on exhibition (a full row
across the hall) comprised birds of all ages, imported and
American bred; no finer lot has ever graced an exhibition
since. After having made a standard for them, which was
accepted at that meeting, it was my lot to repair to the hall ,
to judge and score the exhibits; thus was I the first judge
to score and award the prizes to the first exhibit of Lang-
shans under A. P. A. law. At that time arbitrary demands
for disqualifications were necessary to secure their admis-
sion, in order to make them as distinct from the Black
Cochin as possible. For all that, t>y the simple change of
the disqualifying clauses of that date for those of to-day,
we claim that the weights and other demands of their stan-
dard, if they had been allowed to stand intact, and the
breeder forced to live up to and breed to them, would have
given us to-day in America a larger and handsomer breed
than we now have.
The color appearing in neck, saddle, tail coverts and
sickles, wing coverts and lower web of secondaries is a
changeable one off dark green to black. Looking at the
plumage at right angles it is a coal black, while at an angle
of forty-five degrees it is a rich, sheeny green — might be
said to be a calendered green — over black. The breasts,
thighs, primaries, fluff and tail proper are a solid black in
first-class specimens. In these sections we have little if any
of the green sheen spoken of above, for the reason that they
are protected from the direct rays of the sun, being almost
constantly in the shadow of the body. A dark slate color
for under fluff will be found in the best colored specimens,
this with black under color being the only ones that should
be passed uncut by the judge in adjudicating for prices.
I have no desire to alter or amend that which I sug-
gested to the Langshan Club in 1891, which is herewith sub-
mitted, neither have I any desire to change my criticisms of
the illustrations then in vogue and of the character of foot
plumage. Excessive shank and foot plumage changes the
appearance and pure Langshan shape into a similarity to
Cochin shape. This, as is well known, disgusts every first-
class breeder of Langshans. But to return to color in this
estimable breed. How many do we see of a rusty shade of
black, with no lustre or green sheen, and is it not the truth
that these birds are most leniently considered by the judges.
There is another defect that is objectionable. Some speci-
mens are actually barred with bronze bars, or a color akin
to claret shaded with bronze. We had rather see this than
a dirty, rusty black, for this evil creeps into the nice col-
ored specimens and seems to grow out of excessive lustre or
metallic shading; yet it should be watched and such males
chosen as the mates for females that seem to lack in lustre.
The fact that pullets dull in shading show a marked im-
provement in the plumage of their progeny by such males
leads us to make the assertion that the evil grows out of
excessively high color, for dull black specimens are never
thus marked. These males and females having the pure
black with green reflection free from the barring alluded to
should be able to prove that "like begets like" to a greater
degree than in any other breed extant. Such should liter-
ally reproduce themselves — and being in health and fur-
nished with a generous supply of grain, meat and vegetable
food, with shade that they can retire to at will, they will
do all this. A dull, sooty black Langshan, no matter what
its type, is a cull, and no judge is doing justice to the best
specimens who in judging gives a Langshan the benefit of
a doubt in color. This should be the rule with any solid
colored bird, if we would secure a just color discrimination
between breeds. .
The neck of a Langshan is longer and slimmer than the
Brahma or Cochin, therefore is less arched. The term well
arched is not a good one— it being rather longer than
medium. We should say more than medium length, slightly
yet neatly curved, with hackle long and flowing. Breast
while full, has a long oval sweep from throat to thighs,
which while equally full, shows less prominence than in the
Brahma. This is due to the longer neck and long tail plum-
age, which accompanies it. The back is exceedingly short
and flat, and therefore looks very wide when hackle is lifted,
the saddle being more of an inclined plane than a concave
sweep. The first description ever given, we think the best;
"gently rising from the back to high upon the tail, while
the tail is carried in an upright position, but short of being
a squirrel tail." This high carriage is necessary to secure
the fountain tail, so called, the long sickles, lesser sickles
and side hangers gracefully falling in long trails over and
about the tail proper, almost completely hiding the same in
the males. (See dotted lines to rear of male and female.)
Instead of saying the sickles extending beyond the tail
proper six inches, the term falling in trails six inches long
at the rear of the tail proper would express it literally. The
wing like that of the Brahma is larger than that of the
Cochin. Artists make a mistake when they portray them
with small wings, for they lift themselves in the air very
readily when frightened. The side hangers on lower part
of tail take a half turn as they lop about the rear of the
tail and viewed from the rear show flat to the gaze of the
Now, the females of this type should all show this char-
acteristic, and those that do are the dams of our winning
males. They show at the surface only about four at the
most of the upper stiff tail feathers which give a slightly
thicker set appearance to body, and in fact a larger look
to body proper. It is for the club to vote what the correct
type for the breed shall be; that the type that I uphold here
is the original one not a breeder who has followed the breed
since 1883 can deny.
Whatever cut the club adopts it must be a natural one;
if not upheld by nature, then its use as a rule of form and
shape will subject nature to a cut for being perfect. The
Langshan breast was never seen so prominent as to reach
within one inch of a drop line from beak to ground at its
most prominent point, just above the point of keel bone.
Its breast seems farther to the rear because of its longer,
slimmer, le3s arched neck than any other Asiatic. We are
aware that all pictures are not exact measurements in pro-
portion with the original. We have to portray them as they
look on flat surface; could we em<boss the picture, we could
adhere to exact proportions, but on a flat surface a pure pro-
file presents the fowl in the nearest proportion and measure-
ment. To get fullness and width of breast, we cannot, how-
ever, take more license than to even the curve of breast up
to this drop line; If we do we are forced to add fictitious
length and depth to fluff and rear of tail, to balance the
picture which is thrown all outside of nature's lines. We
have taken this license in our cut, but know, as herein
stated, a live Langshan never yet snowed a breast in normal
shape that protruded to meet this line described. But no
breeder can deny that we find these types in nature and that
they are desirable. It is folly to tinker with nature's best.
We can only entice nature to be prolific with her best; this
we do and secure in greater degree by furnishing all the
year round, so far as we can artificially, the foods and condi-
tions of nature's breeding and most prolific months, which
are April and May for the Middle and New England states.
It is absolutely necessary for a club to agree upon a fixed
type and standard description for color, and to revise the
weights to, cocks ten pounds, cockerels eight and one-half
pounds, hens eight pounds, pullets six and one-half pounds.
Then declare the standard final and unalterable.
They should return to the original description of shank
and foot feathering, to-wit: Shank and outer toe well feath-
ered, to a degree that the outer toe be covered from sight.
The disqualifications should be: Shanks not feathered down
outside, outer toe neither feathered to the end nor well cov-
ered by the shank plumage.
It is the height of folly to declare a first-class specimen
a cull by disqualifying it because no feather grows on the
toe itself when the toe is completely covered by a profusion
of the shank plumage, for the effect and looks are the same
as when the shank plumage is extended by the feathers
growing to the tip of the toe.
The breeder should watch out for medium sized, evenly
serrated combs, green sheen to plumage, full fountain tail,
well feathered shanks and feet, close profiled hocks that
give the specimen an "up and up," smart appearance as the
English express It, all excellence being backed by the fitness
We class it as one of the most productive layers of the
Asiatic class, its prolific egg production in winter and color
of shell being in conformity with the other Asiatics, but
the shells are the darkest shade of all. Aside from this it
presents an independent character: Long in its joints, long
in comb, neck, wings, tail, thighs and shanks, thus giving it
a character all its own, while its green sheen over black pre-
cludes the thought of any other breed in the beholder. But
as to texture and close adhesion of its plumage, it is akin
to the whalebone texture of the original Brahmas. Not-
withstanding many of the oppositions to its white skin, its
friends and breeders are multiplying in the west and south-
west, and why should they not? It came to us a thorough-
bred, it has passed through no transition, has reproduced
itself ever since, and our care of it has only enabled us to
produce a large per cent to scores above ninety-two points.
Nature's best in 1883 were and are the equal of the best
in 1903, and though we saw them once almost rejected, we
now see them one of the principal Asiatics to-day; as a
purely utility breed, the equal of the best in its class, while
as a fad and exhibition variety we have seen them popular,
so shall we again see their classes large in our large exhibi-
tions. Their merit has placed them with us to stay in our
American lists of thoroughbred fowls. It is a fact that no
breed stands long in public favor as a fad of fashion that
faila in true productive merit; so true is this, that when a
breed holds such a position it is prima facie evidence of
merit and utility.
Oddities have never stood popular long with the so-called
fancy breeders. They are seldom sought for by the practi-
cal poultry keeper and as the prejudice against the color of
skin and fat in this breed gives way see them gain favor
daily with the poulterer; New England being the only sec-
tion so strongly prejudiced in favor of golden colored car-
cass when dressed. This is the only objection which pre-
vents the breed being a universal favorite, even in New
The early and prominent breeders of Langshans adhere
to the original type. Their early acceptance protected them
from breeders' hobbies and individual claims for strains.
There were only claims of excellence for families or the get
of particularly meritorious sires. Charcoal, Paragon, Bar-
cem C, Prince Cyclops, Thunder, Cyclone are among those
of American reputation during
all these years. To-day do we
see the best types, and they are
the types admired in 1883.
The breeder no longer ignores
egg production in a breed; none
but the very best, in an exhibi-
tion sense, now sell at the price
of beauty. In a breed beauty is
quality to be sure, and the very
few having this exhibition excel-
lence sell at extravagant prices,
but the rank and file are the bone
and sinew of poultry culture and
herein comes the question of egg
production; these produce the
dividends that make all stock
profitable. None can deny that
the Langshan is one of the best
and most prolific layers among
To produce a layer we have to
produce a brother to her and
herein comes the question of
poultry meat. The poultry ques-
tion in any breed is an item to
be looked after, for as a rule we
look for the money to be received
from marketing of the males up
to six months of age, to pay for
the raising of the entire flock. This they will do, leaving the
females as they commence to lay free of the cost of feeding,
when they commence the dividends in poultry culture, which
we may safely reckon in October as a dollar and twenty-five
cents and the value of the hen as in the market added. In
this breed the males will pay better in proportion as capons,
as in appearance when dressed they resemble a small turkey
more than does any other breed, therefore sell better as
Our novice and beginner demands a pen picture of all
the breeds. How essential then that all such, in the absence
of specific standards, be truthful descriptions of nature's
excellence, and that all illustrations be found within the
lines of nature. The artist has no right to go beyond nature,
even if by so doing he gives the same impression. Measure-
ment should have weight as well. See our illustrations.
Thus should our pen pictures and illustrations become
true and instructive standards for the novice, and rules of
action in adjudicating prizes in our exhibitions. We do not
think, should we be followed, that the specimens will score
any the less by the A. P. A. law, but nope they will when
meeting our demands, be far more appreciated by, and bring
a better price in the thoroughbred market. In our present
standard the language is too meager and the dividing of the
subject of color and shape not appreciated by the novice or
beginner. We have outgrown the belief that standards are
for the sole use of the judges in our exhibitions; they are
and should be the text book for the beginner in poultry cul-
ture. It is for such we are endeavoring to write this essay.
We are therefore opposed to that heresy which demands
that standards shall be formed and illustrations made other-
wise than true likenesses of nature's best. We hear the ex-
pressions used often, "We want the standard better than we
have seen, for the breeder to breed up to"; what nonsense.
The Almighty as a rule gives us in the best efforts of nature
the best merit and productive power; what folly to distort
this handiwork of the Creator.
When we describe each section according to the best
nature has produced, doing this in all sections, we have per-
A Pair of Black I^angshans, Illustrating the Shape of Different Sections Advocated by I. K. Felch.
fection as a whole. It is true nature produces individual
sections perfect, but perfection as a whole is impossible,
for it is written, "None are perfect, not one."
The chance to produce a specimen to score one hundred
points is' just one in a million, eight hundred and twenty-
eight thousand, eight hundred. Then why augment this
difficulty by making standards foreign to nature in the
Now to our task of presenting a pen picture that may
well be adopted as a standard for Black Langshans:
THE LANGSHAN MALE.
Their weight and condition: To our mind a cock should
not weigh less than ten pounds, cockerel eight and one-half
pounds, hen eight pounds, and pullets six and one-half.
Any less weight is to give undue advantage to small under-
size specimens, when judging by scale of points. The cut-
ting of two points to the pound for any deficit thereof is a
just rule to follow. The present American Standard de-
mands only ten, eight, seven and six pounds weight, but is
it not folly to list an Asiatic female at less than in some
breeds in the American classes, which is but to acknowledge
that the breeders fail in the handling? When pens of twelve
birds, one male and eleven females, are seen at full one
hundred pounds weight — thirteen pounds above adult weight
even, does it not present an argument for an increased stan-
dard weight for this breed? We have demanded for them
ten, eight and one-half, eight and six and one-half pounds.
The preseDt condition of things makes the awards in our
exhibitions hinge solely on color, because standard weights
Ideal Black Langshan Male, Illustrated by the Late Artist Lee, under toe
Direction of I. K. Felch.
are so low that they are inoperative. It also handicaps all
other weight controlled breeds competing with them for
sweepstakes prizes, and this handicap is fully a point in
favor of the Langshan, giving them at least eight chances
in ten to win. Condition is simply a resultant which only
in a general way can be considered under the head of health.
Uncleanliness or accident from bad conditions is invariably
disclosed in the sections which are affected by it, so far as
this sectfon (condition) goes it becomes an intuitive consid-
eration for the judges, as an additional defect other than
is punished in the several sections; this double application
being seldom applied.
Rather more than medium in size and longer in its reach
back, as compared with the whole class of single combs,
evenly serrated into five points so that the center one is
largest and stands highest. The rear point is counted with
the flange (the minute points at rear upon the flange are
not counted, nor are they mentioned, as they are almost
never illustrated by our artists), the whole fine in texture,
erect and straight upon the head, smooth at the sides, and
free from all wrinkles or corrugations.
Defects. Too large; not setting firmly
upon the head; corrugated along the
sides; curved from a straight line from
front to rear; unevenly serrated. For
these cut one-half to one and one-half,
as in degree. Cut one point for each side
If twisted into a letter S shape at back,
or lopped in a male, the bird should be
condemned as a breeder and score card
HEAD AND ITS ADJUNCTS
Carriage slightly forward and high, be-
ing medium long in skull and deep in
face, which is a dark shade of red; eyes
a dark hazel or approaching black; the
yellow discoloration being a defect; beak
fairly well curved to point and of dark
horn color or black, shading to light slate
in lower edge or rim; the lower bill of
the latter color.
Barlobes well developed, hanging low
with well developed wattles, their lower
extremities hanging below lower line of
the earlobes, all this embellishment being
in color crimson red.
Defects. Depression in front of eyes;
want of proper arch to upper mandible;
pale or yellow eyes. For these cut one-
half to one and one-half as in degree.
Diminutive size in earlobes and wattles
one-half to two points. In the case of
absence of wattles, crossed beaks or
enamel in earlobes, withhold a score card
record or prizes.
Long; thereby has less apparent junc-
ture with head; the arch is less pro-
nounced than in other Asiatics; hackle
plumage long, covering well shoulder and
cape; the surface color, reaching well up
to the web, is a metallic black, which at
other than a direct angle gives off a
green sheen; under-'color black or dark
Defects. Head carried so far forward as to cause a too
straight appearance of neck and want of breast develop-
ment; want of sheen to hackle plumage; under-color too
light, approaching a gray or white; hackle short, falling in
a full flow over cape. For each, cut one-half to one and one-
half points, in degree, as they fall short of description. In
under-color, carry cuts to two points before disqualifying
for positive white.
Back proper, short; cape, broad and flat; saddle, rising
in an inclined plane from in front of hip joints to high upon
tail coverts; saddle plumage long, merging with tail coverts
and flowing well down over tips of wing bays; in color,
shading from an intense black into a green sheen over black
to the rear.
Defects. Deep concave saddle; roached back; bronze
bars in plumage; plumage short and straight in the feather;
oval capes; dull black failing in the green sheen near tail
and on wing bays; back long and narrow; under-color gray,
approaching white. These are to be cut one-half to one
and one-half points, as in degree. Birds with crooked shell
bone, slipped hip, white in any part or under-color, are to
be passed as unworthy specimens and
score card withheld.
Fairly broad and deep; the long
sweep from throat to keel bone detracts
somewhat from its apparent fullness;
quarter fairly well developed; color a
bright almost metallic black; showing
somewhat of the green sheen in upper
part near throat; under-color black or
Defects. Smutty black plumage;
wedge shape from insufficient prominence
of its quarters; too flat in front of wing
fronts; too light under-color; gray
streaking the feather and near the quills,
approaching white. For these cut one-
half to one and one-half points, extending
to two points for defective color before
condemning the specimen.
BODY AND FLUFF.
Keel bone carried only moderately
low; sides fairly oval in their lines to
keel; keel bone straight, with keel muscle
well developed and firm to touch; plum-
age close and clinging to body and thighs
more than in other Asiatics, thus leaving
lower extremities of thighs and hocks in
profile below body line; in color, a coal
black, with dark slate or black in the un-
dercolor. The fluff proper, but fairly de-
veloped, being in harmony with a close
clinging plumage elsewhere; the color
Defects. Keel so crooked as to af-
fect the general shape; shrunken keel
muscle; too light, or light gray under-
color. For these cut one-half to one
Positive white under-color and yel-
low skin in any part must deprive them of
a score card record or prizes in exhibi-
Close and smoothly folded, with
fronts reaching well to fore part of breast
and points well into fluff; rose fairly well
cupped; in color, black with a rich green sheen in rose, cov-
erts and bay.
Defects. Loosely folded; bronze bars across feathers;
dead or smutty black in color; bluish gray spots in prima-
ries or secondaries. For these cut one-half to one and one-
half, as m degree, carrying the cuts for gray spots to two
points before disqualifying for color.
For red, white or mixed gold and black in plumage, or
for primaries folded outside of secondaries, condemn and
withhold score card record.
Fountain shape (a technical term in this connection),
it being large, carried prominently upright with the sickles;
lesser sickles and large coverts exceedingly long and ribbon
like; tail proper length, closely combed, spread laterally
at a little less angle than the capital letter A. Coverts,
termed side hangers by some English breeders, profuse and
long; they with sickles completely enveloping the tail and
hanging three to Keven inches at the rear of tail proper.
Upper tail furnishings all flowing; plumage being a rich
Ideal Black Langshan Female. Illustrated by the Late Artist Lee, under the
Direction of I. K. Felch.
green sheen over black; tail proper coal black; under-color
of coverts black or slate; the highest point of tail being on
the level with the eye, or crown of head.
Defects. Carriage, squirrel or drooping to the other
extreme; short and Cochin-like in character; tail proper
carried wide like the Brahma; side hangers failing to cover
tail proper; bronze bars across the feathers; want of green
sheen : gray or slate tips to tail proper. Cut one-half to one
and one-half points for these as in degree developed; with
even two points for small Cochin character or bluish gray
tips in tail proper; cutting one-half to two and one-half
for carriage between upright and full squirrel position of
Positive white beyond that allowed in all black plum-
age, to condemn a score card record.
SHANKS AND FEET.
Lower thighs and shanks long, but not crane-like; the
former clothed in coal black clinging plumage curved close
about the hock, having the line in perfect profile below the
lower body line. Shanks well feathered down the outside,
upon and covering the feet to the web and covering full
length of outer toes; the present demand being for plumage
to grow upon outer toe to the tip joint. Scales, and skin
a blue black, showing pink shadings or violet between scales
and in web of feet. Toes medium in length, straight and
well spread. Bottoms of feet flesh color or having a pink
shade to same.
Defects. Insufficient shank and foot plumage; knees
turned in at hock; shanks faded to a willow color, or very
short in bone. For these cut one-half to one and one-half
Yellow bottoms to feet; outer toe not feathered to tip
joint, if not completely covered by shank plumage; positive
knock knees. Pass all such as unworthy of prizes or score
Outer toes if feathered beyond the web, balance be com-
pletely covered by shank plumage, surely should not be cut
beyond one point and should save the otherwise worthy
specimen from disqualification. Feathering of middle toe
is and should be immaterial and of no value in a score card
record. It is folly to make feathering of middle toe a defect,
when if nature were to give us all outer toes feathered to
tip joint, she would feather all of seventy per cent of the
middle toes. It is folly to punish nature for that which fol-
lows her fulfillment of our desires.
The remarks for weight and condition are fully met
under the description for the male.
In the female, medium size; fine in texture (but it is a
fact that nature has furnished them rather large and thin
at the base, which makes it hard to secure a majority in an
upright position and straight upon the head). The smaller
we can secure them, the better, serrated into the regulation
five points, so graduated as to make the center one the' larg-
est, all being a rich scarlet color.
Defects. Too large and thin, twisted or lopped; corru-
gated along the sides. For these cut one-half to one and
one- half points. Side sprigs cut one point for each. "We
do not believe in disqualifying for lopped combs in females
of this breed.
Apparently carried more prominently forward than in
the male. Skull medium in width and long. Face less
deep, giving less surface of red in proportion than the male.
Byes large, in color dark brown or hazel. Beak medium in
length, evenly arched to point, being fairly stout at juncture
with skull. Color, black or dark horn color, so-called. Ear-
lobes medium in size and development with wattles clearly
defined, but rounded close up to lobes, both scarlet red in
Defects. Narrow in skull; pale or light colored eyes;
elongated beak, the same too straight; depressed in front of
eyes; white in earlobes. For these cut one-half to one and
one-half as in degree. We think, however, that white ap-
pearing to any extent or beaks crossed, should class the
specimen as unworthy and withhold the score card.
Apparently long; the arch being rather a moderate
curve from head to cape. Plumage not especially full, but
long in feathers, which cover completely the cape. Surface
color a hard metallic black, but lustrous in a green sheen
in lower portion; under-color being black or a very dark
Defects. Neck short; lack of green sheen; failure of
plumage to cover cape; under-color too light, approaching
gray. For these cut one-half to a full point for each. White
in under-'color should debar the specimen from winning and
score card should be withheld.
Back proper, short; cape flat and medium width; the
plumage flowing from cape to high upon tail; so near
straight is the concave line as to appear more of an inclined
plane in outline in our best specimens; the feathers at ex-
treme rear of saddle, with the tail coverts, curve' downward.
Color, black at cape, shading into a green sheen or metallic
lustre toward tail and back of thighs; under-color black,
shading to slate color.
Defects. Convexed or marked in a deep concave line
from cape to tail coverts; plumage short and straight; want
of the green sheen; bronze bars across feathers; dull black
throughout; under-color approaching gray. Each of which
are to be cut one-half to one full point. For crooked shell
bone slipped hips, under-color reaching positive white, or
positive white in web of feather deprive specimen of score
card or prizes.
Long in its sweep from throat to point of keel; quarter,
medium full; color a deep black, with under-color black.
Defects. Dull or sooty black surface color; flat across
from wing to wing; decided wedge shape from depressed
quarters; under-color approaching gray. Cut one-half to
one point for each. White in under-color, when found,
should condemn specimen as unworthy.
BODY AND FLUFF.
Keel bone curved low, with full keel muscles; from for-
ward part of keel to thigh a slight concave line; plumage
smooth and clinging, leaving hock in profile; fluff but fairly
developed so as to give a slight oblong appearance to body
structure; color of all, coal black; under-color black or
Defects. Dull sooty black plumage, falling down of
abdomen; crooked keel bone, so marked as to mar lower line
of body structure; too light in under-color. For these one-
half to one and one-half points, is the usual cut. Positive
White in under-color or. yellow skin in any part of body
should condemn the specimen as unworthy a score card
Large in an Asiatic sense; the rose well cupped to give
apparent roundness to sides; fronts buried in breast plum-
age quite near the front, with the points well buried between
saddle hangers and fluff; color, fronts, primaries, upper web
of secondaries a coal black; rose, coverts and bay a rich
green over black.
Defects. Flat in the rose; not folded smoothly; want-
ing in the green sheen; slaty spots in primaries and secon-
daries; bronze bars in surface plumage. For these make a
cut of one-half to even two points before condemning them
as unworthy. Primaries folded outside of secondaries;
white, red or mixed yellow and red color in any part of
plumage; refuse score card record or prizes to such.
Large; carried upright; tail proper, spread laterally at
a less angle than the letter A, but combed closely so as to
admit of lower two-thirds becoming enveloped by the upper
tail furnishings, as they meet the curly plumage under the
tail, only the tips of the three or four top feathers appearing
beyond the coverlets; these with lesser coverts hanging
curved in symmetrical shape downward: tail proper a coal
black, furnishings and coverts a green sheen over black.
Defects. Fan-shaped like a Brahma; coverlets short,
not reaching beyond lower portion of tail proper; want of
green sheen on the furnishings and coverlets; bronze bars
in surface plumage; pointed or drooping carriage, like
Cochin; dull sooty black in color; slaty gray tips or spots
in tail proper. For these cut one-half to one and one-half
points; cutting one-half to two and one-half points for car-
riage between the proper upright position and full squirrel
character. Those having white at base of tail or in under-
color of coverlets, pass as unworthy of score card record.
LOWER THIGH, SHANKS AND TOES.
Lower thigh and hock well below body line, the former
closely feathered in coal black plumage that curls close about
the hock joint, thus preserving hock in profile; the shank
medium long and feathered down the outside, the feathers
blending with a foot plumage sufficiently profuse to com-
pletely cover the outer toe and growing on the same to the
tip joint; feathering of middle toe immaterial and of no
value in score card application of the standard; shanks
straight and parallel, with leaden blue or black scale, with
pinkish violet or flesh color in soft parts between scales and
inside of shanks; bottom of feet flesh colored, so-called;
free from yellow skin in any part.
Defects. For shanks turned inward at hock at a less
angle than positive deformity, shanks and outer toe scantily
feathered, cut one-half to one and one-half points, cutting
one full point for each crooked toe. Shanks short, with
hocks not in profile below body line, one^half to a full point;
for positive knock knees, pronounced deformed feet, or yel-
low in scale or skin, pass the specimen as unworthy of score
There are characteristics of color that need a more ex-
tended consideration than is usually given in our standard
descriptions of the breeds and condensed formulas of shape
and color supposed to be sufficient for score card judging.
We have in this essay endeavored to cover all that is neces-
sary to make the work a fair standard. But there is a ten-
dency in this breed, as in all breeds of a metallic black
plumage, to show flights and secondaries and tail proper
with slaty, sheeny spots, and tips of feathers lacking in the
intense black of the general plumage. But these spots are
a long way frDm being white or gray. While these are de-
fects to deal with, the judges should first place such tips
upon the white back of his score card, when he will be sur-
prised to see that they are nearly black. Even the reflection
of light on a highly sheened plumage will produce a white
appearance, which is sometimes deceptive. These spots I
speak of placed upon the metallic black of their own plum-
age look almost white, but this all disappears when laid
upon a white surface.
I am aware of the influence of the grave error we made
in the first standard when we made white, appearing when
laid upon a black surface, a disqualification. But that has
long since been abolished and all disqualifications adminis-
tered in the spirit of giving the specimen the benefit of the
doubt. If to disqualify jars upon your sense of justice, you
surely are not giving the specimen the benefit of your judg-
ment; but bear in mind that this clause in our standard
was put there to save almost perfect specimens from dis-
qualification, not to save poor, unworthy specimens for the
sake of giving them a score card record. White, red, red
and yellow, mixed feathers, then must show beyond the
presence of a single feather. There must be a reasonable
conviction of taint in blood that would transmit the evil in-
dicated. The mere fact of one isolated, small, single white
feather other than in what is called the quill plumage, is not
sufficient nor just cause to disqualify. To so severely pun-
ish such minute defects is better justice than to condemn the
The comb of females of this breed, because of the thin
skin and fine texture, is seriously affected by the heat of the
show room; also by the approach of laying. They easily,
from these causes, lop or fold; thus does this breed suffer
more than other breeds with single combs. The apprecia-
tion of their merit as egg producers, the practical work they
accomplish for us out of the show season, should cause the
judge to be alert and lenient as possible in applying the gen-
eral laws governing our exhibitions. To be cut for these
defects a reasonable amount is all the»females of this breed
can stand in justice.
THE MATING OF THE LANGSHAN.
To mate them seems an easy matter, by first discarding
all hens scoring less than ninety and all pullets scoring less
than ninety-two and one-half and reserving no male under
ninety-two points. This any breeder can well afford to do.
Then divide the birds reserved for breeding into two flocks:
the one rich in green sheen, the other of metallic black with
little or no green.
We are ready to again divide each division into the
largest and longest in bone structure, and those smallest and
shortest in the joints, selecting their male mates from the
opposite of these conditions, using no male not strictly first-
class in shape. It would be folly to use those of poor shape
even to secure good color.
Pen No. 1 should always be mated in any breed to pro-
duce the best results from the male line of ancestry, and
when the breeder is to rely solely upon his own yard, the
male should be the best both in shape and color and as near
to our pen picture as possible.
To him we would mate an even shade of pure black
plumed females; not showing the green sheen in a very
marked degree; being absolutely free from bronze bars in
the feathers. The specimens being large in size and weight;
neck, thighs, shanks such as to make them look large and
commanding in appearance, but void of anything of a crane
Pen No. 2. For this a male tall, commanding, with full
flowing fountain tail; plumage black, with a reasonable
amount of the green sheen in lower hackle, rose and bay of
wing and in tail coverts; well plumed shanks and feet.
The females having all the green sheen possible, while
selecting medium length of neck, back, tail and shanks and
of full weight as recommended in our Standard; with full
inclined plane of back to tail.
Pen No. 3. Male very large, wifh full length of joints;
hocks well below body line, with heavy green sheen to
To him mate females the shortest in neck, back, shanks
and tail of our second division; coal black, with absence of
Pen No. 4. Male very large, full fountain tail; heaviest
in weight; metallic black, but not heavy in green over-color.
The females shortest in joints, but having intense green
sheen. In all our mating we, of course, have considered
only the first selected for mating, all being strictly first-class
specimens. Each pen so selected as to be even in shape and
color; having been so selected to secure a uniform lot in the
There is no race of fowls that needs more to be kept
from the direct scorching rays of the sun, which does more
to bar the plumage with those objectionable purple or bronze
bars, than all else they are subjected to. One need not be
much of an observer to see that early hatched chicks that
get their adult coats during the heat of our harvest sun and
those confined in shadeless yards, are more severely tar-
nished by these objectionable bars. This should influence
you to secure for them all the shade possible during August
and September, especially when the last coat of feathers are
in their pin feather state.
These bars never appear upon birds with a dull or
smutty colored plumage, but who considers such as first-
class Langshan color? All the use I see for such color is a
secondary one, i. e., mating a few very large, strong bens of
this color to males of intense sheeny character, even if
somewhat barred with bronze, that have become thus col-
ored by the mating of both sexes highly colored. Then to
breed a set of his pullets of first-class color back to him,
when as a cock and having lost the bar, he has molted into
perfect form as a cock. These pullets then three-fourths of
his own blood, would be most likely as near perfection of
color as is often seen, and many such have been produced
in this manner. The male product of this first cross of the
dull color had best be sacrificed as capons, or market poul-
try of some sort.
If there is a breed where it is especially necessary to
divide the sexes at an early age, if show specimens are de-
sired, it is the Langshan, and we would do this at the age
of four months, keeping the males by themselves and the
females in small flocks, free from the males. As soon as
the breeding season is over select your best hens, allowing
them to molt in celibacy, that they may molt in quiet, and
not again be put with the males until after the show season
is over. When it is a fact that often a single point blankets
the first three prizes of an exhibition, one sees how useless
it is to exhibit a pullet or a hen with a flattened or mutilated
plumage of the saddle. Watch the growth of plumage, keep-
ing all foul growth and broken feathers removed, in order
that perfect new ones may replace them. See, too, that
wings are smoothly folded, for there is not a breed so de-
pendent upon minor details to secure for them the blue rib-
bon. Keep them clean, with green lawn and clean dust
baths, furnishing nature's foods that are found in the fol-
lowing proportion: Fifteen per cent meat as found in beef
scraps, dessicated fish or green cut beef bones; twenty-five
per cent vegetables, the best of all being green clover; sixty
per cent being grain in the proportion of fifteen per cent
corn — balance in oats, wheat and buckwheat.
They are prolific layers of eggs. After they reach six
months of age it is hard to keep them in exhibition condi-
tion, so that May hatch chicks will generally prove the best
exhibition specimens in January and males hatched a month
earlier, their stronger mates. But the poulterer who cares
nothing for the exhibition, and those who cater for the egg
trade for hatching, will do well to mate up in large numbers,
and as fast as the females become broody to allow them to
incubate a sitting of eggs, for the rest will save you many a
death in your breeding yards and enable you to send out
larger and nicer colored eggs to your trade; which you will
find will be appreciated, and besides all this the eggs will
hatch nicer and stronger chicks for it.
The difference in time to break them up or set and allow
them to bring up a clutch of chicks will not be over two
weeks; for they invariably go to laying when chicks are two
weeks old. It is nature's rest, after which they lay a larger
litter of larger eggs than if broken up to secure a second
litter before allowing them to sit. I. K. FELCH.
Early Ideals and Recent Improvement— Commendable Laying and Market Qualities— Breeding for
Color and Shape— Toe Feathering and Standard Weights— Preparing for Exhibition.
By John Hettich.
TO THE question of "What do you know of the origin
and history of the Black Langshans?" there is little
to be said, since we are convinced that it is a dis-
tinct breed and not a variety made by crossing a
number of other breeds as are many of the varieties we have
The first account we had of the Langshan was in 1872,
when an English army officer stationed in the northern part
of China sent home some of these fowls to his uncle, Major
Croad, of Birmingham, England. The first report of their
exhibition was in connection with the Crystal Palace show
in the winter of that same year, when they came in compe-
tition with the then more popular Black Cochins and were
described by the Cochin breeders of that day as nothing
more than poor Cochins.
The first Langshan club was started in England in 1877,
and the first importation to America was in the same year.
While this most excellent variety met with all kinds of
prejudiced opposition in those earlier days, more so in
England than in America, yet it was not long before their
many good qualities became known.
Major Croad, no doubt, improved them very much
from the time the first ones were received by him up to the
time of their first importation to this country, and the Lang-
shan in America to-day is a great improvement over its
ancestors, so much so that they hardly resemble the first
importation if we may judge from the illustrations made
of them by the best poultry artists of their day. I saw an
illustration some time ago made by the late B. N. Pierce
in 1882 of a pair of Black Langshans belonging to Fred
Greensland, of Highland Park, 111. Of course they repre-
sented an ideal pair at that time, but I am sure that at the
last show at which Judge Pierce made the awards on the
Langshan class he did not judge them by that ideal illustra-
tion. Nor did his son "Mac" judge the big class of Lang-
shans at the late Chicago show by his father's ideal of the
first American Langshans. Another early illustration that
I saw was drawn in 1880 by Ludlow from an imported pair.
No doubt that was a fine pair of birds at that time. There
is but little difference in these two drawings in either style
or carriage, which shows that the Langshans of that time
were of a uniform style, but very different from the Lang-
shan we have to-day.
LANGSHANS AS LAYERS.
In an old article that I read some time ago it said: "After
the appearance of the Langshan at Birmingham a local
Paper stated that its only good quality was that of being a
good layer.. Another publication said: 'One of the judges
was heard to say that the Langshan was a good table fowl,
but fit for nothing else.' " The former was right as to their
laying qualilies, the latter as to its good table qualities, but
both wrong in saying that they were fit for nothing else,
for they possess both of these good qualities and many
As egg producers the Langshans unquestionably take
front rank. They will lay just as many eggs the whole year
round as any breed, except perhaps Leghorns and Minorcas,
and in winter when eggs are scarcest and command the
highest prices they will lay proportionately more. This
proposition has never been successfully contradicted. My
earliest pullets nearly always begin to lay by October 1st,
and many a promising exhibition pullet has gone back on
my expectations on account of her laying just a little too
early for my purpose.
I mated my yards for last season in January; I began
filling orders for eggs for hatching in February. Nearly
every pullet was laying when I made my mating, four yards
of ten females each. Up to April 10th I had only four hens
broody, and had I depended on sitting hens from my own
yards for my early hatches I would not have had many early
chicks, but thanks to the invention of the incubator, I do not
depend upon the hens. I have in my yards two yearling
hens that were laying some time before I put them in my
breeding pens and they have laid continually up to this
time — April 10th.
LANGSHANS AS MARKET FOWLS.
While I do not raise Langshans for market, but strictly
for the fancy, yet I market a few every fall after carefully
culling the flock, and they always brjng the very highest
price that is paid for market poultry at that season. There
is no better taihle fowl than a Langshan, especially when it is
fully matured. The flesh is white, very fine grained, tender
and juicy. The skin is a clear white, not a dark bluish
white, but creamy white. The chief objection offered
against a Black Langshan is, as I said before, their color—
they are black. It is said they are hard to pick and show
pin feathers, but I am sure no one that has ever dressed a
pure-bred Langshan will raise such an objection. The
Langshans are a rather loose feathered fowl, unlike the
short and close feathered Black Leghorn, Minorca, or Black
Spanish, and they are for this reason more easily picked,
and show few pin feathers.
It is' not advisable to use a cock in the breeding pen
after the third year. I have always had very satisfactory
results from mating a cock with pullets, and a cockerel with
hens; in fact, I am convinced that this is the proper way
to mate Langshans. If the pullets are fully matured then a
well-matured cockerel will give equally good results. What
I mean by good results is in producing strong, vigorous
chicks. During the breeding season I was compelled to
make a change in one of my yards, one of my cock birds
having contracted something like chicken pox. I put in his
place a big full grown cockerel and the chicks hatched from
that mating are as big and strong as any I have ever seen.
BREEDING FOR COLOR.
In breeding Black Langshans for the show room I find
more difficulty in getting them free from purple barring in
plumage than from any other defect, yet I find that in mating
a rich greenish colored male with a dark slate under-color, to
a female equally rich in color, I get nearly all good colored
birds. I believe that when the parent stock is full of purple
the offspring will be the same. I am not a believer in the
theory that the sun or dry winds produce the purple barring.
While it may affect the surface color by turning it brown or
rusty, yet I have had some very fine colored Langshans that
were as free from purple barring as they grow run out in the
hot sun the entire season and they never had their color
affected in the least.
One thing almost convinces me that the hot sun does
not cause this purple barring in the plumage. It is a case
of a bird that won first at the Northeast Missouri Show.
This bird was from a sitting of eggs that I gave to a friend
late in the season of 1900. Several cockerels were hatched
j^^_ from the sitting, but
the bird in question
was always the best
in every way except
in color, which was
almost as bad as
could be, and he was
sold with a lot of
mixed stock as com-
mon poultry to a sec-
ond party. The lat-
ter part of last sum-
mer when passing by
the place where the
cockerel was, I jok-
ingly remarked that
I would give fifty
cents for him. A few
days later the neigh-
bor came to see me
with the bird, saying,
"Here is your roos-
ter; give me the fifty
cents." The bird had
been allowed to
rough it and had had no care whatever; had been run-
ning out in the burning hot sun, and yet he molted
out as good in color and as nearly free from pur-
ple as any cock bird I have ever seen. He scored 94%, by
Hewes, after receiving an extra cut for a slightly frosted
comb. I have always been able to produce some extra good
colored Langshans. Not all of them, however, are good in
color and free from purple, but if the hot dry winds were
the cause of so much purple barring in Langshans, why
should it not affect all alike under the same conditions?
Three years ago I raised exceptionally good colored
Langshans, but among them were some that were as full of
purple as they could be. That winter I exhibited three
cockerels and a number of pullets at the Missouri State
Show, one of each sex being passed by Russell, with only
one-half point cut on color, and I found him none too easy
to please, as he is a pretty good cutter. These good colored
birds were raised in the same yards and under the same
care and conditions that those were that had purple bars.
I find that the color of Langshans has been very much
improved since I first began breeding them, and especially
since the revision of the last standard, which at first fixed
the punishment for purple in any section at one point, but
which was afterwards changed to read from one-half to one
A First Prize Black I^angshan Cock.
Owned by John Hettich.
point. There is no other defect that puts a Langshan out of
competition in the show room as quickly as bad color or
purple barring, and many an otherwise common bird has
won a place simply on color. In breeding for color I am
convinced that the male exercises the greater influence.
White feathers in plumage of Black Langshans I have
always contended should disqualify, except where it appears
in toe feathering. I watch this very closely and find that
it does not accompany the best or most brilliant colored
plumage, but on the contrary I find that most of it appears
in my poorest colored (the purple barred or the dull rusty
black) birds. These show more white and nearly always
have white or gray tips on wing flights.
Many an otherwise good specimen, having a little white
in some part of the plumage, which under the old standard
would have been discarded, is now put into the breeding
pen and the result is a lot of Langshans with white-tipped
feathers. It was Judge Wale, by the way, one of the best
Langshan judges in America, who said that the only way
to get rid of white in plumage was not to breed it. I men-
tion Judge Wale because from him I received my first in-
structions in breeding Langshans and his lessons have done
me a great deal of good. I have and always will have for
him a kindly feeling.
I enjoy telling of my first experience with the judge.
When I began breeding Langshans, I started with what I
thought were some fairly good hens bought in this country,
and a ten dollar cockerel, bought of a New York state
breeder. Late that fall Judge Wale came to my place to
score my birds and pick some winners for a show in the
adjoining county. I had them all up and banded, expecting
at least 125 out of the 150 I had would show scores of 95
each. The first ten or fifteen that the judge picked up went
out of the window. I asked him what was the matter with
them and why he did not score them. "Didn't you see those
white feathers?" he asked. Then he found a pullet that
he considered very good. She had no white tips and good
under-color, and then some more went out of the window,
and when he got through I had just thirteen scored birds
out of my one hundred and fifty. I was a pretty sick en-
thusiast. Had my ten dollar cockerel and my geod looking
hens been free from white in plumage I would not have
had one-tenth of the white-tipped feathers. I asked Judge
Wale if it would be wrong to pull out the white feathers (I
was younger then), and he was honest and said yes. Since
then I have asked other judges the same question and they
always smile. I will never forget my first lesson on Lang-
shans, nor my teacher.
I do believe that in breeding for dark under-color, and
the brilliant greenish surface color, we often get red
feathers in hackle or in back or on butt of wings. I have
never seen a red feather in a very dull or purple bird, but
always in the most brilliant plumage, and always in the
males. I have never seen a pullet with a red feather. Last
season I discovered two red feathers in the back of what I
regarded a very promising cockerel. I sold a sitting of eggs
from the yard he was in to a breeder in this locality and he
has now out of that hatch as fine styled, big Langshan cock-
erel as one could wish to see. If he had not a few red feath-
ers he would be worth $15 to anybody for a breeder. These
red feathered cockerels were sired by one of the best colored
birds I ever saw; a brilliant green bird, scoring 95% by
Hewes, and receiving a cut of only one-half point on color
of plumage. Several years ago I purchased the first prize
cockerel at the Mid-Continental show of Kansas City. That
cockerel received the highest score of any Langshan male I
ever saw or heard of— 97 points by Wale, who was one of the
judges at this show. He did not get a single cut on color.
He had dark slate under-color, very rich brilliant surface,
and not a trace of purple anywhere. About three weeks
after I had him I discovered two reddish feathers cropping
out in the hackle. These feathers had black centers with
reddish lacing and in a certain light the defective color was.
not noticeable. I used him as a breeder that season, and got
five cockerels that showed red in hackle and wing at matur-
ity; most of the others possessed extra good rich color; one
of them in particular winning first at Missouri State Show
that winter, being cut only one-half point in color, by
BREEDING FOR SHAPE.
As to shape in males, I find that after we have them up
on the right kind of legs, which should be rather long, espe-
cially in thigh, the hardest sections to breed to perfection are
the back and tail. To get medium length of back, broad at
shoulders, curving gradually upwards from the middle to
the root of tail, with abundant saddle feathers, and what is
called a fan-shape or well spread tail rising upward from its
junction with back so as not to form a break at this point
(and not carried perpendicularly, approaching the squirrel
tail), is not easy, even though we use a male with an almost
perfect back and tail shape. I have always selected the
very best shaped male birds in these two sections and yet
I get lots of straight backed, narrow, pinched tail cockerels.
I am undecided whether the male or the female has the
most influence in producing good back and tails on
The comb of the Langshan has proved with me the eas-
iest section to get; for when I use a male bird with a good
comb, I have few cockerels with bad combs, and the same
is true with females.
I have but little trouble in getting my Langshans up to
standard size, especially in hens, cockerels and pullets, and
I consider the weights as fixed by the standard about right.
I noticed some time ago that Judge Russell recommended
the raising of the weights one-half pound on hen, pullet and
cockerel. I oppose this, for while we can bring them up to
their weights and lots of them over, yet there are many that
never come up to weight. It is difficult to bring the cocks
up to the standard weight of ten pounds. Of course lots of
them come up to it, and some of them go over that weight.
I have one now that weighs eleven and one-half pounds,
another ten and one-half, and yet I am satisfied that there
are more Langshan cocks that weigh nine and nine and one-
half pounds than there are cocks of ten pounds weight. At
a recent Kansas City show there were ten cocks in competi-
tion; most of these weighed less than ten pounds, and some
of them were disqualified on weight. Most associations are
very lenient on weight, allowing one-fourth to one-half
pound on each birds; this allows many under-weight cocks
to come into competition. The same number of cocks were
on exhibition at the late Chicago show, and some of the
winners were not up to standard weight, yet some of the
exhibitors claim that their cocks weighed twelve and thir-
PREPARING FOR THE SHOW.
Black Langshans are one of the most attractive show
fowls, and I experience little trouble in preparing thorn for
the show or getting them in good show condition; in fact,
about all a good specimen needs is to be kept clean and in
good health. They require no washing except their legs and
toes, which should be cleansed with soap and water, and
afterward rubbed with oil. The face, beak and comb should
receive similar attention. Cockerels will remain in better
show condition if kept in roomy quarters, or given an out-
side run. They seldom do well in very close confinement
(that is, in small coops) and will not take on flesh. Hens and
pullets I prefer to keep in a light roomy house with a plank
floor, covered lightly with clean chaff or short cut straw,
as it is easier to keep their toe feathering in good condition
if they are kept on plank floors. Scratching in hard or long
straw always breaks the toe feathers.
Heavy outer toe feathering is one of the points Lang-
shar. breeders are striving for, and I believe with Judge
Felch that slight middle toe feathering is no serious objec-
tion, as it is only an accompaniment of heavy outside toe
feathering. I have never seen a Langshan disqualified on toe
slight middle toe
feathering, but many
perfectly clean mid-
dle toe birds have I
seen that were very
shy, or almost free
from outer toe feath-
ering. A nice
straight, clean mid-
dle toe is a fancy
point and very desir-
able; I like to have
them, but I never
discount an other-
wise good bird with
few feathers on mid-
dle toe. I purchased
the first prize hen at
the lafe Chicago
show, a fine Lang-
shan female with a
perfectly clean mid-
dle toe. She is well
feathered on Shanks First Prize Black Langshan Pullet at Southeast
, «„„*. rt p Missouri Show; also First as Hen at St.
and upper part Of ^^ Owned by John Hettich.
toe, but almost bare
at the extremities, or from the last joint downward.
This hen I am satisfied would if mated to a cockerel also shy
on toe feathering produce lots of bare outside toed young-
sters, but mated as I have her, to a cockerel heavily fea ti-
ered, with a few feathers in middle toe, I look for a wc'.l
feathered lot of Langshans from her.
Langshans have grown more popular each year since I
have been breeding them. Farmers are taking them up as
an all purpose fowl. They are learning their good quali'y
as a table fowl. The prejudice that has existed against them
on account of color is passing away. Their extra good lay-
ing qualities are now well established and their attractive-
ness as show fowls proven by the extra big' classes at the
breeding shows last winter. The big demand for them, the
sales of both stock and eggs, by all the Langshan breeders
of my acquaintance, the big prices paid for good birds as
breeders, and the high prices received by the leading breed-
ers of this variety for eggs for hatching are proof enough
that the meritorious Langshan is one of the popular vari-
eties of the day, and still coming. JOHN HETTICH.
THE CARE AND MATING OF BLACK LANGSHANS.
Their Value for Market Proved— A Novel Stock House— White in Plumage Considered Less Dangerous
Than Purple Barring— Shape Deserves Close Attention.
By L. A. Kline.
EAM surprised at times to note the unreasoning prejudice
that exists among some people against black fowls. I
have seen it very effectively overcome in numerous in-
stances, by a taste of a well cooked Black Langshan. Among
the so-called general purpose fowls, there are none with
finer grained or better flavored meat than the Langshan,
and I believe there are none so good. The resemblance to
turkey in flavor is unmistakable, and is often noticed and
remarked by those who have tasted this breed of fowl for
the first time. They dress very plump and nice, with rather
more breast meat than the average. A few years ago I got
an incubator and experimented a short time with raising
broilers. Not having enough eggs of my own to fill the
machine, I got some Bared Plymouth Rock eggs from a
neighbor. In this way I had an opportunity to observe their
comparative growth. The Langshans kept pace with the
Rocks in feathering and development. I sold the bunch
on the Chicago market, and they brought top price, netting
me twenty-four cents per pound. No objection was made
on account of color, and I have never heard such an objec-
tion urged by a poultry dealer, unless he happened to be a
fancier of another breed. They mature earlier than the.
other Asiatics. . I find that many people are misinformed on
this point, and are. laboring under the mistaken belief that
they develop very slowly, when, as a matter of fact, they
mature as quickly as the Rocks or Wyandottes. A large
part of my flock last year was hatched during the month
of May, but a .great many of them were up to weight by
December 1st. As a rule, the chicks feather quickly, and,
unlike the other Asiatics, are seldom troubled "by a lack
of feathers. A chick that is bare for weeks at a time is a
rarity, and for that reason I have never bothered myself
about the cause of the trouble or its possible prevention and
cure. The chicks are strong and hardy and where given free
range, will hear all the food they will eat, without develop-
ing any trace of leg weakness. I start my chicks either
with a good brand of chick food, or with bread crumbs and
rolled oats, later on giving them corn bread and whole
wheat, and finishing off with oats, corn (preferably new
corn) and milk if I have it. I have always regarded leg
weakness, as a result of lack of exercise coupled with a
forcing ration. I suppose it might develop in the Langshan
chicks if too closely confined and fed high, but on a good
range it will never bother and a fair range is conducive to
good growth and development.
The matter of housing is an important one with any
breed of fowls, especially in a northern climate where win-
ter eggs are much desired and hard to get. I am more and
more of the opinion that a house with too much glass is
worse than one with no glass. My first venture in my pres-
ent locatiojn was a shed roof house with plenty of glass on
the south. Walk into it on a sunny winter day, and it
was as comfortably warm as a room in the house. But
when the sun left the glass, it cooled quickly, and the sud-
den change was injurious to the fowls, resulting in a de-
crease in the egg yield. And then, in summer, although I
took the windows out, it always seemed stiflingly warm.
After a few years' experience with this kind of a house, I
tore it down and built a two-story octagon house, with seven
small windows downstairs and four upstairs. The lower
floor is partitioned with poultry netting, and the arrange-
ment of the windows gives each pen the benefit of some
sunshine during the day, and at the same time the tempera-
ture inside is not raised so much above normal as it was in
the old house, avoiding sudden extremes of temperature.
The result has been an increased egg yield. The upper story
is used for exhibition coops, and during the winter for sur-
Langshans should have low roosts. Heavy hens are
often injured by flying from high roosts. A little experi-
ence with egg eaters, has made me an ardent admirer of the
darkened nest. I am satisfied that it is the only sure pre-
ventive, as well as the best cure for this most discouraging
In mating Langshans, early in the season, one male to
five or six females is enough, but later on, when fowls have
free range, I believe ten to twelve females will give better
results. As a rule, I mate cocks with pullets and cockerels
with hens, believing that more vigorous chicks are secured
in this way. Of course, .there may be individual cases
where a certain result is to be obtained, where the rule can
not be followed. As the general outline of both male and
female is the same, and the color the same. I can see no
advantage to be gained by a double mating system. If
both male and female approximate closely in type to the
ideal, the progeny will be as nearly as possible the correct
The question of color is another thing, and is no doubt
the hardest problem with which the Langshan specialist has
to grapple. Experience seems to prove it an evanescent
quantity, perhaps all right this year and all wrong the
next. It is very evident that we do not thoroughly under-
stand the laws which govern it, and I have myself had one
or two pet theories upset.
Some writers upon this subject advocate making white
in any section a disqualification. At first blush this might
appear to be a reasonable proposition, but a long experience
in the breeding of Black Langshans leads me to believe it
would be a mistake. I will' tell you why.
I have an old hen in my yards that is at least eight years
old-perhaps nine. I am keeping her in the first place as
a sort of curiosity, and also because she has been exceed-
mgly useful in her day, having produced many fine chicks
and having been a first prize winner at one show and a
second at another. She has passed under the hands of such
judges as Hewes and Shellabarger and never showed a white
feather, nor did I ever pluck a feather from her. Judge
then of my astonishment the other day
on picking her up to And one wing full
of white fea tiers. I suppose some one
will say that this is the result of old
age. But, listen. I have also frequent-
ly had an experience like the follow-
ing: A pullet would score well, show-
ing no white feathers, and at the next
molt would bob up with enough white
feathers to disqualify. White feathers
may also appear in places where the
skin has been torn or otherwise in-
jured. I have a friend who breeds
Black Minorcas, and he has had the
same experience. He says he often
finds hens with white feathers enough
to disqualify, which passed all right as
pullets. No doubt breeders of other
black fowls could recount instances of
a similar character. Of course I have
always discarded specimens which
showed enough white feathers to dis-
qualify, so have had no experience
which would enable me to determine
whether the converse of the above is
true, viz.: That birds having white
feathers would be likely, at the next
molt, to replace them with clear, black
feathers, but I believe that it is likely
to occur, and I mean to test it in the
near future. Black and white seem to
be very closely correlated, and if the
theory I have developed from my ob-
servations thus far is correct, the
white in the plumage of a black fowl
is a variable quantity, liable to become
either mors or less abundant at each
succeeding molt. Your disqualified
fowl of this season may become your
prize winner of next season, and vice
versa. This, too, without any feather
P«Hing. ! ; |]j ;jj
Perhaps we Langshan breeders
have made a mistake in discarding all
specimens showing white in plumage.
Perhaps it would be a still greater
mistake to make the disqualifications in
tion any more stringent than they are
I think it will be found very often that
Showing a few white tips will have more
"Big Bug," a Black I,ang5han Cockerel, Winning: at Two Shows. Weight Eleven Pounds.
Bred by Dare & Thurston.
of the de-
sired green sheen and less of the purple than those speci-
mens which are strictly free from white. These questions
are all worthy of more careful thought and study on the
pari of Black Langshan breeders, and if many will unite in
the effort, their united testimony would soon establish a
rule which would be far superior to any man's opinion as a
safe guide to follow in breeding. Personally, I should still
hesitate to breed from a bird having white feathers, but I
feel safe in predicting that with increasing study, this fault
will be considered less of a disqualification than it is at-
The question of white in feathers is not so serious as
purple barring. At times the green sheen seems to be de-
cidedly elusive. When the careful breeder thinks he has
the purple almost eliminated, it crops out in the most unex-
pected place. It is almost certain that it is a case of atav-
ism, aggravated in some instances by lice, improper food,
and lack of shade and pure water, and it is equally certain
that the utmost care in breeding will not entirely prevent
it, although encouraging progress has been made. A prom-
inent judge told me not long since, that a friend of his
who has long been a breeder of Langshans, had the finest
colored birds one season that he ever saw. He thought he
had the color question forever settled. The next year he
mated his yards with the best of his green birds, confidently
expecting the best birds he ever raised, but to his astonish-
ment and intense disgust, the purple barring was as much
in evidence as ever. The same judge said that some breed-
ers believed that mating a finely colored male bird to a
dull or dead black female, would produce the finest green
specimens. I give the opinion for what it is worth, not hav-
ing had an opportunity yet to test it. I have been inclined
to believe that a little white in plumage was accompanied
by a more brilliant green sheen, 'having seen a number of
specimens in which this was the case, and yet I know that
it is not always so. I do know, positively, that white will
often appear after a molt in a specimen which before was
free from it, and I am persuaded that the reverse is often
the case. This subject is worthy of all the study that Lang-
shan breeders can give it.
One of the chief difficulties in breeding to standard
shape is to get the back and tail shape correct. I feel cer-
tain that many breeders and some judges, have laid too
much stress on color, and too little on shape. Glance at the
cut of an ideal Langshan, and then compare it with some of
the photographs of 95 and 96 point birds which appear in
the poultry papers from time to time. I maintain that fre-
quently birds are given high scores merely on the strength
of size and color, which ought never to pose as Langshans.
This is confusing to the novice, and opens the way for a
large degree of carelessness in his selection of next year's
THE ASIATICS. if-'
breeders. It also results in keeping I large percentage of
the Langshans throughout the country below the average
in shape. The ideal gives us a short, broad back in both
male and female, with a long fountain tail in the male, and
a decidedly long tail in the female, carried well up in both.
But the cuts of winners, too, frequently exhibit a long back,
with a decidedly short tail, carried low down. Making all
due allowance for difficulty in posing, etc., it would still
seem that in a great many instances, the punishment for
bad shape has been too light.
L. A. KLINE.
President American Langshan Club.
BLACK LANGSHANS TO DATE.
Twenty-five Years' Breeding Has Not Changed the Breed Type— Generous Producers of Fine Grain
Meat and Dark Brown Eggs— Fineness a Distinctive Quality
of the Langshan.
By Franklane L. Sewell.
D TRUST that, I shall not in any way discourage the lovers
of some of our modern styles of fowls by telling tiiem
that one of the strongest reasons for the Langshan's
value as an economic fowl is its undisturbed type and an-
cient origin. The more we let the Langshan revert to its
natural bent — or perhaps I should say to the type it first
presented when Europeans and Americans took it up — the
more profitable, vigorous and productive it becomes, both in
quality of flesh and number of eggs.
You know that the reason a flock of mixed hens is more
difficult to handle profitably is that there are so many dif-
ferent natures in the flock. What is good for the few will
starve some and spoil the rest by overfeeding. The more
the flock is crossed and intermixed, the more complicated
the successful management of it becomes. The average
farmer's flock of hens presents as many types as it contains
birds. This is the reason that on free range, where they
can suit themselves as to exercise, food, etc., they do pass-
ably well. But as a man regularly in the poultry business
cannot handle his fowls in that way — all in one rambling
flock — he must have a distinct race of fowl that will all
respond productively to one method of management.
The Langshan (pure) to-day is the same type as it was
twenty-five generations of birds back. It seems to have
passed its "artificial selection" atage long before che Eng-
lish people found it. The Old English Game and the Dork-
ing are also counted among the few races that keep reason-
ably to their understood type. A fancier or farmer need not
spend a great amount of study on these races in selecting
for fancy requirements. It is the few among them that show
a turning out of the line, while with our later made varieties
only the few are fit to rely on to produce their like, or better.
This prepotency in the Langshan has kept its type in spite
of many misinformed and misdirected matings, where the
race has been allowed to remain pure. It has been found
more difficult to change the pure Langshan type in England,
to follow the whims of the judges, than it is to preserve
its original shape, and many breeders found it impossible
to keep pace with the demands of some of their misin-
formed judges without resorting to a cross.
We took up the Langshan twenty years ago, because we
liked their looks. People said they were hardy and produc-
tive and that they were an old established race. At that
time we were keeping the Brown Leghorns and Plymouth
Rocks. We had started when twelve years of age with
Game fowls, the only pure-bred fowls then kept in our town,
but after three years' enduring their quarrelsome nature
we decided to keep Houdans. We liked this breed, but they
did not fully satisfy us. At seventeen we learned of the
Langshan, and have kept them ever since.
THEIR PRACTICAL AND FANCY CHARACTERISTICS.
The older nations that have tried all kinds of fowls and
fed and prepared them in all sorts of ways to suit their ap-
petites, require white-skin fowls. The Dorking, the Houclan,
the La Fleche, all have white skins. The La Fleche has black
legs, but this in France seems to make no difference in the
market value of a fowl. However, it is not the color of
skin that is most important in a table fowl, it is the fineness
of grain, the depth and length of keel bone and succulency
of flesh. In our experience the Langshan shows the smooth-
est skin and finest grained flesh of any fowl equal to its
size. The size of carcass in a Langshan can be overdone.
The quantity of the true Langshan is (and should be in all
races kept for profit) on the breast, and he is proud to carry
it well forward.
You will not overfatten the Langshan easily unless in
very close confinement. Like the Jersey cow for cream, the
Langshan turns its food to the production of eggs that are
rich in their contents. I believe they are the only white
skin race of fowls producing dark brown eggs.
As to their fancy characteristics we have so often told
them in word and in picture that we may be pardoned for
here writing only briefly of them. The fancy points of the
Langshan need not change to make them attractive, and
they are already of a genuinely practical type.
I will add a few words that may prevent mistakes
for those who do not understand the real Langshan. Our
friend, Mr. Harrison Weir, who always stood so firmly for
the Langshan, not long ago wrote me, "A bird can be too
large and too coarse to be good." Remember that, when
thinking of the Langshan Standard and recall the most
typical and productive Langshan you have seen or pos-
sessed. The best were not the greatest in size, not those
stilty, close hocked, coarse boned roosters with heads for-
ward and tails drooping, but the deep bodied, spirited birds
whose length was in the keel bone rather than in the back.
Among the worst and most common drawbacks to the
Langshans seen at our shows of late has been coarseness of
feather, bone and head furnishings. The Langshan wanting
in fineness lacks in the qualities that set the race distinc-
tively apart from other Asiatics.
The cordy-limbed, smooth-plumaged, fine-headed Lang-
shan has often prompted commendatory remarks from ex-
pert stock breeders visiting the poultry shows. The long years
of successive breeding stand out in the tense, nervy carriage
and proud bearing. Coarse heads, loose feacher and heavy
bones and clumsy action do not belong to the profitable nor
the showy type of Langshan. They are the outgrowth of
mongrel blood or continuous careless breeding.
The Langshan is peculiar in its show type — carries a
very large, expanded tail, profusely furnished with
flowing sickles, side hangers and covert feathers. In the
Langshans the plumage in this section is sought in abund-
ance in contrast to the short plumage sought for in the
Cochins and Brahmas.
The erect carriage of this abundant plumage adds to the
appearance of depth and height, especially in the rear of
The show Langshan then requires deep breast and full
development of it to appear well balanced. This possession
of "balance" is not too common in our show rooms. Our
American fanciers, it is gratifying to observe, have never
striven to select or breed stiltiness in their Langshans, _
plainly recognizing the impractical qualities that became
common with that ungainly extreme. A few, long legged
specimens have occasionally appeared, but their narrow
bodies and close hock joints have warned away any tendency
toward that type.
During the early 90's the Black Langshan was among
the best advertised races, was much written, talked about and
shown — its classes in numbers compared well with the most
popular in the leading exhibitions. It is evidently not be-
cause the Langshan has a reputation of producing less fine
flesh or abundance of large eggs than the more extensively
advertised breeds. One of which owes its best qualities to
its parent, the Langshan.
In an Australian egg laying contest we lately read that
the Langshans were one of six pens that had produced 202
to 241 eggs during the first three months (April, May and
June), there being six hens in each pen.
It is plainly a lack of push and printer's ink that causes
the Langshans to lag instead of leap along the highway cf
popular favor. The "Orpington" (a white skin fowl) comes
along with its mixture of Langshan, Rock and Minor: a
blood— cackles no louder nor oftener than the "Lordly
Langshan" and his wives, in the barnyard, but hangs his
shingle high in the leading publications and keeps it there.
Pride of ancestry, perhaps, prevents the Langshan from put-
ting himself so prominently before the people— while Amer-
ican dollars and poul'.ry stalls are calling for "better poultry
and more of it."
A High-scoring, Prize-winning Black Langshan Cock.
Lemen, Sketched by Sewell in 1894.
Owned by A. A.
All the prejudice against dark leg fowls can be overcome
by good exhibits of well eonditioned Langshans at the
dressed poultry displays of our leading shows. It is only
because the people leave it to the poultrymen to tell them —
and nobody shows them the difference — that they believe
all this "white skin" talk. I remember when some Black
Russians were shown at the dressed poultry display at Madi-
son Square Garden they had a host of admirers, when they
never would have been thought of as a table fowl with their
feathers on. F. L. SEWELL.
BREEDING BLACK LANGSHANS.
A Beautiful Variety With Genuine Practical Worth-Notes From Fifteen Years' Experience With
These Superior Fowls.
By Henry L. Allen.
' ITH the exception of a short period early in life, my
experience as a breeder of fowls in the Asiatic
division of breeds has been confined entirely to
the Black Langshan; in fact, it may be said that to the
Black Langshan has been devoted all the time which could
he spared from an exacting business, for nearly fifteen years.
I have never been blind to the beauty and excellent points of
other breeds, in fact, I have always been willing to admit
that there are other breeds more desirable for some people to
breed, but for me, I know that no other breed or variety
could ever come to possess the same interest that the Black
Langshan does and I feel that the same can be said by any
one who has become thoroughly familiar with the qualities
of the lordly black beauties, both from a fancy and a utili-
To begin with, the Black Langshan, although almost
unexcelled as a producer of eggs all the year round and as
a table fowl, is pre-eminently a fanciers' fowl on account
of the great beauty of plumage and carriage which charac-
terizes the breed. Its lordly stateliness combined with an
activeness which is not a characteristic of any other family
in the Asiatic division, makes the Langshan stand out in
sharp contrast with the other Asiatics. In color the Black
Langshan is, to those who have come to know its coloring
in its 'highest perfection, a fowl of surpassing beauty. Look-
ing at one in the sunlight, one forgets that it is a black
fowl, the rich green sheen making it appear more like a
piece of beautiful green silk, so brilliant is its lustre, and
he who imagines that perfection in color is easy to attain
in the Black Langshan because the breed is of "solid color"
^k fl Ib
A ,^k wL.
First Prize Black Langshan Hen at Illinois State Show.
Score 95^. Bred by Jesse T. Bateraan.
has only to make the attempt in a careless way to learn how
woefully he may be mistaken.
As a rule, I have found that the best and most satisfac-
tory mating is that of one's best male with the pick of the
females. There are some who contend that the best show
birds are not the best breeders, and while that may be so
in instances where the natural vigor of the birds has been
impaired by long continued showing or by improper treat-
ment while preparing them for the shows, my own experi-
ence has been that my best youngsters have been raised
from a pen of my best show females headed by my best
show male. By this it should not be inferred that one can
always succeed by simply mating a good show male with
a pen of show females. In the first place, there is a marked
difference, sometimes, in good show birds.
ANCESTRAL CHARACTERISTICS IMPORTANT.
Then, too, a breeder can get the best results who is
familiar with the characteristics of the ancestors of the
birds being mated. A good show specimen decidedly off in
some one point should be used cautiously. For instance,
an otherwise perfect male with a decidedly poor comb should
be used experimentally before being placed at the head
of a largt breeding yard. The same holds true if the male
is good in other respects but weak in leg and toe feather-
ing. A nearly perfect male, but lacking some in size can
safely be used if the females are a little over rather than
under the weiight limit. Light weight females are not desir-
able, and when used should be mated with a heavy weight
Color and the part it plays in the mating of Black Lang-
shans has been a much discussed subject. Some of the most
eminent authorities have asserted that the objectionable
purple barring is likely to result from mating the best col-
ored males and females, that is, those having the metallic
green lustre in an accentuated degree. Those who hold to
that belief say that a dead black female, one possessing
little of the green sheen, mated with a perfect colored male
will produce the best colored chicks. In this respect I am
unable to agree with the authorities referred to. By mat-
ing females possessing the green sheen so much desired in
a show bird with a male similiarly characterized year after
year, I have had so small a proportion of chicks marked
with the purple barring as to lead me to believe that, with
other things being equal, the proper mating is male and
female colored as one wants the chicks to be colored.
In trying to get the proper type outlined to follow, the
beginner should remember that the Langshan is not in-
tended to have the massive blockiness of the Cochin or the
majestic angularity of the Brahma. Neither should one go
to the extreme which has made the Langshan a laughing
stock in England and attempt to get a type which is stilty
and lacking in style. The Langshan, as recognized by the
standard, is, first of all, an upstanding, stately fowl of
remarkable beauty. To allow it to take on the chunky
characteristics of the Cochin or the stiltiness of the exhibi-
tion Game robs it of those attributes which the breeder
should most carefully cherish and which when properly
conceived in the breeder's mind and embodied in the prod-
uct of his breeding yards, make the Black Langshan an
example of the breeder's art that will draw the admiration
of every genuine fancier. • HENRY L. ALLEN.
THE HANDSOME BLACK LANGSHAN.
An Attractive Fowl With Sound Utility Merit— Hints on Breeding and Raising.
By Jesse T. Bateman.
(From the Reliable
BREED Black Langshans because of their beauty and
utility. A Langshan of true shape and color is in my
opinion the most beautiful fowl bred. Take a male bird
with his red face, comb, wattles and ear lobes, attired
in his beautiful plumage, black and glossy with that green-
ish sheen, standing up so tall and stately with his arched
neck, long flowing hackle, concave back, well spread tail full
of long flowing sickles, and he is a thing of beauty and a
bird that every one admires.
As winter layers they are among the best. Any kind of
hen will lay when spring and grass come. I get plenty of
eggs all winter, and when spring comes, too, and I don't
have to wait until April for biddy to set.
Some people object to the white skin and black pin-
feathers of Black Langshans. I have time and again seen
Black Langshans and Barred Plymouth Rocks dressed
equally well by the same party, placed in the show window,
and the white skinned birds have gone first invariably. As
for pinfeathers, they have no more than other kinds and
not as many as some, for they are a loose feathered fowl.
There is an advantage in black pinfeathers, for we see them
and pick them out, while If invisible by reason of color they
are eaten. That's all right for those who are partial to that
kind of thing, but please excuse me. Some say a black bird
will not bring as much on the market as other kinds. I
always get the top price for my culls and the poultry dealers
are anxious to get them. I have heard them advise the
pickers not to rub the white skinned chickens so hard, as
their skin is thinner than the others. This being the case,
there would be more meat and less waste. Langshans have
Second Prize Black Langshan Hen at Chicago, November, 1903.
Bred by Jesse T. Bateman.
long deep breasts; their meat is of delicate flavor and as
good as the best.
Langshans will stand confinement well. A four-foot
fence will keep them in. I have some yarded, and some
have free range. I get more eggs (and a larger majority
are fertile) from the former than the latter. Often more
than one male bird with a flock of females causes interfer-
ence one with another and this prevents fertility in the eggs.
I And the eggs from mature pullets are more frequently fer-
tile than those from hens. The older the hens the fewer
fertile eggs; yet | .
I would rather
have a chick
from a hen than
a pullet. I think
they are strong-
with regard to
cocks and cock-
erels; the young
one is more cer-
tain than the old
one. The cock is
liable to be no
good at all and
you rarely see a
young bird but he
is all right as a
breeder. I think
it right to mate
pullets, If they
are both well
matured, but it
is not best to use
them in the
breeding yard if they are not so, no matter to what they
Sometimes in full feathered breeds we find a chick that
will not feather out. It is practically naked. I know of no
remedy for this. I think it is hereditary, for his associates
may be in full dress, although they all have similar food and
care, while he is as bare as if he had been picked.
I think leg weakness, which often appears in Asiatics,
is caused by too much fat producing food. My remedy is to
take away corn and such food and give bran mash with
some good poultry food added.
I do not think the standard too hard on Black Lang-
shans. If we have an easy standard we will not improve
our stock. The cocks are hardest to get up to standard
weight, but if a cockerel develops as he should he will be
up in weight. If he does not, let him go or he will decrease
the size of your stock. The thing to do is to cull and cull
closely, and, if the white and gray tips are eliminated from
the breeding yards, there will be less of them next year,
and still less the next. If not, the white will increase.
More attention should be paid to symmetry. There are
more Langshans off in shape of back and tail than any other
points. Many a bird wins in shows which the judge or
owner would never suppose to be a Langshan if he saw its
As for color, some are breeding to the brownish black
to overcome the purple. I think the remedy about as bad
as the defect. JESSE T. BATEMAN.
Black Langshan Cockerel, scoring 95.
Bred by Jesse T. Bateman.
MATING AND HOUSING BLACK LANGSHANS.
Selecting the Breeders— Two Males for Each Pen— Fifty Birds Yield Five Hundred Dollars Income
in Twelve Months.
By L. E. Meter.
(From ihe Reliable Poultry Journal.)
ATING for good results is one of the knotty ques-
tions for all breeders of fancy fowls. Langshans
have some bad defects to overcome that often
puzzle the breeder, such as red and yellow eyes;
gray or white tips in wings; white in toe feathering; crooked
breast bones; lopped combs in females; side sprigs and pur-
ple barring. These defects may all be transmitted. The
breeder who is always preaching that like begets like has
a hard time making all his customers and friends believe
it. Even the old line breeders who often produce high class
specimens have a hard time to get offspring that are the
equal of their parents. I have tried all sorts of matings.
My first idea was to mate in pairs, which is a very good
way of mating. I got about ten per cent first class birds
from such matings. If I had females weak in some sections
I would select a male strong in section where females were
weak. This is a good way to mate, but the best plan I
"Choice Goods"— A Magnificent Langshan Male— A Winner,
Bred and Owned by I,. E. Meyer.
have ever adopted is to select the females and put from ten to
twelve in each pen. Be sure to get them with good straight
combs, having from four to six spikes; long, deep bodies
with broad backs; good length to legs and toes with plenty
of toe and shank feathering. If the pen I have described
is composed of pullets I would select two cock birds to mate
to them, allowing only one at a time to run with them, say
three or four days at a time. Keep one cooped all the time.
Fourth Prize Black Langshan Hen at Chicago,
Bred and Owned by L. E. Meyer.
This keeps the males vigorous. I find if you allow the same
male to run with the pen all the time they are inclined to
take three or four females away from the rest and give
them nearly all of their attention. My method of mating
makes eggs more fertile and I think gets stronger chicks,
and I can get fully as many show specimens.
In selecting a male to breed from I select one that is
strong in color, with as perfect a head and comb as I can
get; short, broad back; large, spready tail, with an abun-
dance of sickles— the more the better.
When my cockerels are maturing I select those that I
expect to breed from, and they are not for sale at any price.
In this way I have improved my birds every year. 'Choice
Goods," whose photo appears here, would be my ideal if he
had a better comb. This season I am using six cockerels
that will all be his equal when fully matured. If you want
to get rid of defects quit breeding them. That is the quick-
est and surest way.
Never crowd your fowls. Keep their roosting place
warm and clean; have your yards as large as possible; feed
good wholesome food and be liberal with it. From fifty
hens kept in this way I sold in 1902 nearly $500 worth ot
stock and eggs. That's very good pay for a farmer.
L. E. MEYER.
THE REGAL WHITE LANGSHAN.
The "Sacred Bird" of the Chinese— Produced in This Country From Sports— A Fowl for Fancier and
Farmer— Hints on Selecting and Breeding.
By Rees F. Matson.
THE only pure White Langshans are sports from the
Black Langshans or descendants of such sports.
During the early existence of this breed, when, as is
usually the case with a new breed, the demand ex-
ceeded the supply, many cross-bred mongrels were sold as
White Langshans. These were mostly of White Dorking,
White Leghorn and White Cochin extraction, and even yet,
though it is rare, one runs across birds that show some of
this foreign blood. The Dorking and Leghorn crosses can
easily be detected by their large, coarse combs and the
Cochin birds by their loose feathering and yellow skin.
Thanks to the untiring efforts of the breeders of this excel-
lent bird, these crosses have been almost entirely eradicated
and I doubt if there is a breed of its age that shows a more
uniform type than the White Langshan. I should have said
its age in this country, for it is known that the White Lang-
shan has existed for, possibly, hundreds of years in China,
its birthplace, where it is known as the "Yop" or Sacred
Bird, but, because of the fact that the Chinese consider it
sacred, it has been almost impossible to secure any speci-
mens for importation.
Whatever can be said of the Black Langshans can be
said of the Whites for the only difference is in color. I find
amongst my own birds that the Whites lay the larger egg,
but I am inclined to believe this is attributable to strain.
In the spring of 1893 I set fourteen eggs, all laid by my best
Black Langshan hen, which was mated to an excellent cock-
erel, scoring 94. From these eggs, hatched twelve White
Langshans, the first sports I had ever seen and the founda-
tion of my strain of White Langshans. This black hen
laid an unusually large egg and to this fact I attribute the
large size of the eggs from my Whites. All specialty breed-
ers are accused of being unreasonably prejudiced in favor
of their "hobby," but I recommend the Langshan after try-
ing nearly all the popular varieties of pure j bred poultry.
As a winter layer they have no superior and I doubt an
equal, for not only in winter, but throughout the entire year,
they lay with gratifying regularity. Their eggs are large
and of varying shades of brown and pink. For table use
the White Langshan is excellent, having small bones and a
juicy flesh, which retains tenderness at an age when most
fowls are relegated to the tahle of the proverbial boarding
house. The White Langshan is particularly well adapted to
the farm, being splendid foragers, hardy, prolific and easily
managed. Let's take the chick, a bundle of "smutty " down, some
as dark as a mole, others almost white, with tints of canary
here and there on their breasts. Who would suppose they
would ever be white? Several customers have complained
that I had sent out mongrel stuff, when they first viewed
the little fellows in the nest, but their disappointment was
turned to joy when in two months they were as white as
snow and the brightest, liveliest chicks they had ever seen.
I will confess that at from three to five months of age the
Langshan cockerel is an awkward, ungainly fellow, no more
than other Asiatics, but where can you find a more beautiful
specimen than the matured male, all life, style and beauty.
In the show room no breed attracts more attention not
only because of their beauty, but because of their gentleness,
you might say friendliness. At the '03 Chicago show, my first
prize pullet occupied a corner coop, from the bars of which
she pecked at the rings and buttons of all who passed her
way, and was a friend of all. The following descripti6n of
her, by Editor Curtis, in the Reliable Poultry Journal, is
applicable to Langshans in general, for they all have that
"Regal bearing," that "Distinguished air":
"At this show, for the first time in our experience, we
became really inter-
ested in the White
Langshan, as a result
of the exhibit of
made by Rees F.
Matson. The stately
white beauties forci-
bly remind you of
the demure 'ladies of
quality' of a hundred
years ago going
through the evolu-
tions of the minuet.
Fardon this flight of
fancy, but Mr. Mat-
son's first prize
White Langshan pul-
was easily the state-
liest creation in the
form of a standard
fowl we have seen."
The graceful, neat- '
ly proportio ned
Langshan of to-day.
is nearer the accepted ideal than either the "squatty" or
"snaky" extremes met with so often in the past. By careful
selection and close culling this type can be improved. We
must keep away from the loose-feathered Cochin type and,
too, we must not go to the other extreme, the hard-feathered
Game type. The true Langshan is neither hard feathered
nor loose feathered, but, while seemingly close feathered, is
yet soft and fairly fluffy. In shape the defects to avoid are:
Large, beefy combs, flat, meatless breasts, long, jnarrow,
straight backs and low, scantily furnished tails. In color
breed for pure white, both in web and quill, shanks and feet
of a blue slate color, pink skin and a dark brown eye.
Summing it up, the especially laudable characteristics of
the Langshan are its docility, winter laying proclivity, large
size combined with small hone, tender and juicy flesh, abun-
dance of breast, and beauty, unsurpassed.
REES F. MATSON.
A High Scoring, Prize Winning White Lang-
shan. Cockerel, Bred and Owned by
Rees F. Matson.
THE WHITE LANGSHAN.
A Variety Fortunate in the Langshan Shape and Style— Valuable for Winter Laying— Offering Two
Sources of Profit if Properly Handled.
By Geo. D. Black.
VERY breed of fowls has its admirers and cham-
pions; there are many good varieties, and the value
of many of them is so nearly equal as to make it
difficult to choose among them. I am going to
praise the White Langshan, and this I am very willing to
do, for having tried it for a number of years by the side of
other pure-bred fowls, I have come to be a decided admirer
of the breed. There are birds that may be better suited to
the fancy and to the wants of other people, but to me there
are none whose style and general characteristics appeal to
me as those of the White Langshan do. If there is such a
First Prize Winning White Langshan Cockerel at Dayton, Ohio,
Bred and Owned by George D. Black.
thing as the artistic in chicken conformation, the Langshan
has it. For stateliness, for elegance of form, it easily stands
at the head of the poultry kingdom. This is true of both
the male and female. Every one who knows the breed rec-
ognizes that there is a Langshan style which is so distinc-
tive that it never can be confounded with that of any other
breed. We say that form differentiates breeds; but the
American breeds, for instance, are so near alike, as we see
them in some yards, that one form easily passes for another
to the novice; and ihis is sometimes true in the show room.
But a judge would have to be form-blind and style-blind
ever to mistake the Langshan conformation.
The White Langshan is a beautiful fowl; but if it is at
the same time a highly useful one, its friends have good
ground for their attachment to it.
For several years I have been trying the White Lang-
shan by the side of other breeds, and I have found no chick-
ens that will lay more eggs during the year than my Lang-
shans, and few that will lay as many. I have had none that
will come anywhere near them in winter laying. The White
Langshan hen has the knack of laying just at the time when
eggs are at the tip-top price in the market. Last winter
when eggs got so high that only millionaires could afford
to eat them, my Langshan hens kept laying. The coldest
days did not stop them, and they were not housed and fed
differently from the others. I think it may confidently be
claimed that the White Langshans are excellent winter
When it comes to table qualities, this breed will hold
its own with the best. The flesh is especially tender, and
it remains so in the mature hens beyond any other fowls I
have ever had any experience with. Their freedom from
dark pinfeathers adds greatly to their value when dressed.
They can be cleaned in about half the time that is'required
to clean most other kinds, and when they are dressed they
One other thing I prize in them especially is the ease
with which one can handle them. They are naturally quiet
and gentle. A wild chicken I have no use for. It is annoy-
ing, to say the least, to go into your poultry yard or poultry
house and have the whole flock flying and scurrying around
as if you had started up a covey of partridges. My White
Langshans will hardly get out at my way as I go among
them, and if I come suddenly upon a bunch of them they
do not raise a general hubbub and fly all over the barnyard.
I pick up my sitting hens and put them in a house used as
a hatching place, giving each one a box with a clutch of
eggs, and they sit there as contentedly as if the place were
of their own choosing. This docility of disposition makes
them unexcelled sitters and mothers. You can handle them
with their broods without their flying into your face i?|
tramping the chicks to death. And yet the Langshan is not
a lazy, stupid fowl. It is sprightly and active, and a good
This quality of docility in the Langshan to me counts
for much. I esteem it so highly that I could not be induced
to harbor about the place chickens that were nervous and
The qualities which I have enumerated are the ones
that combined make a good all-purpose chicken, and it
may be claimed with assurance that the White Langshan
is of this sort. The general farmer keeps from fifty to a
hundred hens. If they are good layers and have good car-
casses he has two sources of profit from them, and the mil
profit, if he manages his business skillfully, will amount t|
considerable in the course of a year, to say nothing of the
fries and roasts that go to his own table. I am so well con-
vinced of the worth of the White Langshan as a farmert
fowl that I shall be glad if this book does much toward call-
ing the attention of farmers and breeders to it. There 1§J
marked increase of interest in it, as I happen to know, «BH
I am sure that if its merits were better known it would bl
come one of the most popular breeds.
GEORGE D. BLACK.
' I I-
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